You Are Not A Gadget: Questions

Discussion questions based on Part 1 Jaron Lanier’s book, You Are Not A Gadget.

Jaron Lanier is an online pioneer and is best known for creating and popularizing the term virtual reality.  In the book, You Are Not A Gadget, Lanier criticizes what Web 2.0 has become and how software has defined people. What does Lanier mean by the term “lock-in”? How do people become “locked in” to ideas?

Lanier is very negative towards the Internet. Since he helped produce the World Wide Web, what were Lanier’s intentions while creating it? Wasn’t the point of the Internet to help share information and make things easier?

I like when Lanier brings up the experience of having Microsoft Word auto correct. We have all had Word automate our outlines or correct one of our words, sometimes making our task harder than it had to be. It is weird to think the computer is evolving into a life form. Does the computer really understand people better than we understand ourselves? Has autocorrect dumbed us down and made us bad spellers and lazy? How can we fight against it?

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