Lanier’s “wisdom of crowds”

As the reading continues of Jaron Lanier’s novel “You Are Not a Gadget”, it is becoming more and more obvious what he is trying to get across. More specifically, he focuses on “cybernetic totalism” and implicates that it has an extremely large affect on our society as a whole. He explains that we are just patterns of the net and we will soon change in the next decade due to the altering of the Internet. Lanier boasts about the improvement of computers and how quickly it is happening; therefore, humans will alter as well. Although he tries to make a pretty educated guess on what we will become, he is not entirely sure what the term “human” will become.

Along with that, Lanier talks a lot about the “wisdom of crowds”. He mentions it as a tool and states that it should be used ‘selectively’. In other words, we need to be careful when working and sharing together on the Internet. From this, it becomes clear that Lanier is fully aware of the positives and negatives. On one side, a crowd or group action is beneficial when trying to get the word across quickly. Lanier even quotes in an interview that “it’s great that we now enjoy a cooperative pop culture concordance” which proves that working together is a positive. On the other side of it, “wisdom of crowds” can be seen as a negative because the individual voice becomes hindered and we become multiple people on the Internet.
Overall, the continued reading of Lanier’s book has made me realize that with any type of social media or anything that has to do the with the Internet or the web, we must be extremely cautious. Many people do not realize how much of an affect that the Internet has on us and it is important to understand that everything we do on the web affects our everyday lives. The habit of consuming things on the Internet has become a part of our daily routines and along with that, it would be nearly impossible to not use the Internet for school, information, connecting, etc. So far from Lanier’s book, I have come to the realization that, we as humans, being grouped as patterns or a crowd, is not either a complete positive or a complete negative.

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About joellerae

My name is Joelle Altomare! I am currently attending Rutgers University, class of 2016, and I am a cell biology and neuroscience major. I have a twin sister and my favorite thing to do in my free time is surf. The purpose of this blog is to motivate people and show them that nothing is impossible. With determination comes greatness and if you work hard towards your goals, you will achieve them.

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