Jaron Lanier was the founder of VPL in the 90’s, a pioneering company around virtual reality.
I stumbled onto a recent Interview with Lanier about his new book.
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Lanier is a creative thinker, one who has grappled with ideas like Ray Kurzweil’s singularity. He has even provided a counterpoint against cybernetic totalism.
His original perspectives come at the same time he sits within the circles of esteemed computer science researchers, providing a rare critical perspective from within the adademia.
1. Playing virtual instruments
Lanier wasn’t just a pioneer around virtual reality, but was also a musician. In the 80’s & 90’s he built & even *played* virtual instruments in VR, on stage.
I managed to catch one of these shows in the late 90’s at Knitting Factory back when it was at 66 Leonard street & Tribeca was still a rough area.
2. A VR sport for the Olympics
Apparently the Olympics Committee commissioned him to build a sport in VR. Complete with simulated antigravity, and some other neat features.
3. An antidote to hysteria & pessimism
With all the hype & hysteria around fake news & backlash against the Facebooks & Googles of the world it’s easy to feel like maybe social media is tearing apart society.
With that I would heartily recommend Lanier’s new book, as an antidote to all of that. His writing is & ideas have always been well ahead of their time, and I expect this to be no exception.
I’ll followup with a review in the coming months.