Mar 29, 2021
Jaron Lanier is a Silicon Valley veteran and a pioneer of virtual reality technology. In Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, as you might expect, he outlines his dissatisfaction with the status quo of the Internet. He admits that his generation of Silicon Valley engineers and entrepreneurs made a grave error in the early days of the Internet by paradoxically believing in the power of everything being "free", while at the same time hero-worshipping successful billionaire capitalists such as Steve Jobs.
Lanier is a very witty writer, and the book is peppered with eminently quotable phrases. I structure the recording around these. Here are some of my favourites: "Social media is biased, not to the Right or Left, but downward."; "Your character is like your health, more valuable than anything you can buy. Don't throw it away."; "Hypnosis might be therapeutic so long as you trust your hypnotist, but would you trust a hypnotist who is working for unknown third parties?".
Having just recorded the epic nine-part episode of The Anthropology of Childhood, I wanted to go for something a bit lighter here. The topic is serious, but the approach is laid back.
Enjoy the episode.
104. Addiction by Design by Natasha Dow Schüll