Who owns the future and who owns your future?
Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist and a Silicon Valley insider. His views are similar to those of Douglas Rushkoff in that the premise of his argument is that people are willingly and unconsciously allowing mega-corporations to use them to make billions of dollars from their thoughts and content contributions – and in many ways, are sacrificing their very freedom to ‘siren servers’ who are subtly manipulating our lives.
Many of these content platforms are also incredibly unfair. Take YouTube for instance. A handful of content producers make an absolute killing from their vlogs, but the vast majority of contributors are just used as ‘filler’ for the platform with little or no financial compensation for their contribution.
Que the conspiracy theory music…
Freedom, of course, in this modern age is time away from social network sharing. Time away from access to our networked ‘reality’ – where your thoughts are your own and cannot be ‘owned’ by a massive corporation.
Do you know that you are ruled by Facebook? Or as Douglass Rushkoff puts it in his book Program or be Programmed; ‘Do we direct technology, or do we let ourselves be directed by it and those who have mastered it?’
The questions that people like Lanier and Rushkoff are posing here are important ones to consider. The devastating effects of the massive monopolising of information and capital throughout the world are already clear. What happens as we move towards the future and the resignation of our rights to machines continues without conscious consideration of the consequences?
The world is so worried about machines taking our jobs, but the reality is that we have already allowed machines to take over our minds.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?