Virtual Futures Salon: Dawn of the New Everything, with Jaron Lanier

So here’s what hap­pened. If you tell peo­ple you’re going to have this super-open, absolute­ly non-commercial, money-free thing, but it has to sur­vive in this envi­ron­ment that’s based on mon­ey, where it has to make mon­ey, how does any­body square that cir­cle? How does any­body do any­thing? And so com­pa­nies like Google that came along, in my view were backed into a cor­ner. There was exact­ly one busi­ness plan avail­able to them, which was adver­tis­ing.

Everybody Runs

I’ve been try­ing to get as many weird futures on the table as pos­si­ble because the truth is there are these sort of ubiq­ui­tous futures, right. Ideas about how the world should or will be that have become this sort of main­stream, dom­i­nat­ing ver­nac­u­lar that’s pri­mar­i­ly kind of about a very white Western mas­cu­line vision of the future, and it kind of col­o­nized the abil­i­ty to think about and imag­ine tech­nol­o­gy in the future.

Kenneth Goldsmith at The Influencers 2016

I think that what I want to say is that the polemics around the dis­course of the Web are too bina­ry. I think that one of the prob­lems that we have in the­o­riz­ing the Web is that we tend to mor­al­ize it in bina­ries. I get it. It’s bad. The Web is bad for you. Or the sort of free cul­ture is always like, It’s real­ly good. It’s great. Free cul­ture is great.” It’s nei­ther.