Our Open Culture Future

In the book You are Not a Gadget, Jaron Lanier expresses his worrisome predictions about technologies future advancements: “Manual labor will be unpaid, since cheap robots will do it. In the open culture future, your creativity and expression would also be unpaid, since you would be a volunteer in the army of the long-tail. That would leave nothing for you” (pg. 103). The “open culture future” that Lanier predicts is a society in which people create and consume creative expressions on the internet with no source of profit or pay. Free information as we know it is ideal for users like ourselves, but in reality Internet freedom has replaced the services of many people throughout the country. For example, years ago, purchasing CDs was the main way people listening to music. Today, most people download music from the internet. (Some of which is purchased on itunes and some downloaded illegally.) The change from CDs to delivering music to consumers via Internet has eliminated many jobs. For example, there is no need to manufacture nearly as much CD hardware and plastic cases as in the past. Also, the truck drivers who used to drive the CDs to stores become irrelevant. Now that anyone and everyone has the ability to publish their creations online such creative expressions are no longer payed for. Sharing, instead of paying for information is appealing to users, but this concept is not sufficient to sustain the economy. I am unsure if Lanier’s prediction is accurate or just an exaggeration. Throughout the course of technological evolution, new inventions have always been created. Naturally, the newer technologies replace the old technologies. Some people lose their jobs, while some new jobs are also created. I can not tell weather or not technology has been replacing human significantly more now than in past decades. Lanier fails to compare the modern societal changes to the changes in past. 


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