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Comment Lanier: Why people should pay more attention to me (Score 1) 212

When I noticed myself getting mean online I thought, "Something has gone terribly wrong." It was obvious the rest of the ARPAnet had a social problem, not just me being some sort of asshole.

My book You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto is ruffling virtual feathers across the ARPAnet. And so it should, because I invented virtual reality. Wikipedia, which is a tissue of lies, says so. Prospect magazine's Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll lists me. Also, my hair is much better than yours. And I'm fifty. According to Wikipedia, so I'd better change my birthday.

Today, the web is a bland place. It's all user-generated content — silly clips on YouTube, spiteful anonymous comments on blogs about my books, endless photographs of people at a bar with their friends or up a mountain with an ironing board. It was much better back in the early days of the ARPAnet, before we let the commercial users on. These words will mostly be read by numb mobs composed of people who are no longer acting as individuals. You know, the peasants. Virtual reality is far more ennobling, but you never hear people talking about that any more.

The ARPAnet only creates banal mashups of old culture. Salvagers picking over a garbage dump. Only the old-world economy of books, films and newspapers creates original content like Lawnmower Man or Battlefield Earth. Everyone knows that real artists have no influences. This stuff the kids are into these days is just noise!

The ARPAnet is also killing music, according to my good friends at the RIAA. Did you know there's no music in Spain any more? It's true!

Will we — meaning I — be able to live off our brains in the future, or will we just have to give our creative works away for free? If we can't live off our brains then we'll need a form of SOCIALISM just to survive. WIKIPEDIA IS COMMUNISM! Until the Wikipedia Corporation finally builds a good interface, for goggles and power-gloves.

Open source and open content are a cancer. The dogma I object to is composed of a set of interlocking beliefs and doesn't have a generally accepted overarching name as yet, so I'm going to call it Digital MAOISM, which is COMMUNISM. Update, five years later: Here is a detailed retcon explanation of why I was not just trolling for headlines by calling Wikipedia COMMUNISM, but was speaking precisely and you just weren't thinking hard enough: [snip 10,000 words]

Also, you should get into virtual reality more.

You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto is published on papyrus scroll and hand-illustrated by monks. You cannot have a copy until you have fought your way up the mountain and proven yourself worthy.

Photo: Lanier's starring role in Battlefield Earth.

Comment Re: one of the biggest and most powerful companies (Score 1) 235

While Microsoft did pull every scurvy trick you can think of with IE, it is both true and important that Netscape 4 was such a rickety piece of shit that IE was actually better to use; that Netscape passed up the chance to release an open source Netscape 5 based on the old code base; and that Mozilla took just too fucking long.

Comment Re:Summary implies that tablets are not a fad (Score 1) 243

Netbooks are usable as computers for doing actual work on. I lived on my netbook for a couple of years, including for work from home. Trouble is that the whole point is to build them with the cheapest possible parts, so it basically fell apart. (Now using overpriced oversized company laptop. Faster, though.)

Comment Re:wine (Score 1) 255

This is pretty much incorrect and has been since about 2005. It was somewhere in the middle of the 0.9 series that Wine went from mostly not running things to mostly running things. Usually it's the newer stuff that doesn't work yet (and keeps Wine dev going) - but it's the old abandonware, that just one program, that keeps people on Windows, and Wine increasingly can be expected to run that stuff.

But yeah, it did take over a decade to get that complete.

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