Lanier writes how he was scared witless when he learned how humans could be conditioned and brainwashed through selective feedback responses. It was then it dawned on him, what he later referred to as “the Thought”, that VR is the ultimate technology for a skinner box; the perfect tool for human manipulation.

Lanier summarised an equation for the terrifying outlook of the ultimate Skinner box, and its reads as follows:

Turing^Moore’s Law * (Pavlov, Watson, Skinner) = Zombie Apocalypse

In other words: if we combine our ever growing computational powers with behavioural manipulation, shit will hit the fan. Those in power of defining the behaviour of the people in the box will have absolute power to bend the world to their will. The result, according to Lanier, will be catastrophic.
In a recent Forbes article, Lanier is quoted:

„If you run [the metaverse] on a business model that’s similar to the one that Facebook runs on, it’ll destroy humanity. I’m not saying that rhetorically. That is a literal and specific prediction that humanity could not survive that. (…) VR can either be beautiful art and sympathy or terrible spying and manipulation. We set its meaning”

Quelle: How Jaron Lanier, “The Father of VR”, Warned us about Meta.

Freedom is not a goal, but a direction

Quelle: Cultural Revolutions

„I was most recently enlivened by a book, so I can’t think of anything more fitting for my return to this format than an account of it: 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows, by the great Chinese artist Ai Wei-Wei.“ (Edward Snowden)

Ai Wei-Wei writes:

„Under the pressure to conform, everyone sank into an ideological swamp of “criticism” and “self-­criticism.” My father repeatedly wrote self-­critiques, and when controls on thought and expression rose to the level of threatening his very survival, he, like others, wrote an essay denouncing Wang Shiwei, the author of “Wild Lilies,” taking a public stand that went against his inner convictions.

Situations such as this occurred in Yan’an in the 1940s, occurred in China after 1949, and still occur in the present day. Ideological cleansing, I would note, exists not only under totalitarian regimes—­it is also present, in a different form, in liberal Western democracies. Under the influence of politically correct extremism, individual thought and expression are too often curbed and too often replaced by empty political slogans.“

A generous reminder that we must aim for “a revelation in the heart rather than a confrontation or a call-to-arms or a defense.”

Quelle: There Is a Crack in Everything, That’s How the Light Gets In: Leonard Cohen on Democracy and Its Redemptions

In „The Every,“ Dave Eggers imagines a monopoly so vast that resistance is futile.

Quelle: What if Facebook and Amazon merged? Dave Eggers imagines our dystopian future

What was first? Dave Eggers‘ novel or this reality?

A former Facebook employee has told US politicians that the company’s sites and apps harm children’s mental health and stoke division in society.

Frances Haugen, a 37-year-old former product manager turned whistleblower, heavily criticised the company at a hearing in the Senate.

Facebook has faced growing scrutiny and increasing calls for its regulation. (…)“

Das Doku-Projekt „Made to Measure“ will untersuchen, ob man das Leben eines Menschen anhand seiner Google-Daten nachspielen kann. Das Experiment zeigt, wie wenig wir inzwischen noch überblicken, was Konzerne aus unseren Datenspuren alles herauslesen können.

Quelle: „Made to Measure“: Die Doppelgängerin

Dazu passt dieses Gespräch zwischen Wolfram Eilenberger und Adrian Daub über die geheimen Vordenker des Silicon Valley aus der tollen Gesprächsreihe „Sternstunde Philosophie“ des SRF (Schweizerisches Fernsehen):—die-geheimen-vordenker-des-silicon-valley?urn=urn:srf:video:ffa89a05-9cf3-42c0-9c11-bb6ee5529f1f .

Welche Philosophie steckt hinter Google, Facebook und Amazon? Es sind Intellektuelle wie Ayn Rand, Marshall McLuhan oder René Girard, auf die sich Tech-Ikonen des Silicon Valley gerne berufen. Der Literaturwissenschaftler Adrian Daub erklärt die philosophischen Wurzeln der digitalen Revolution.

Das innovative Zentrum der digitalen Revolution ist seit mehr als 50 Jahren das sogenannte Silicon Valley. Warum wurde ausgerechnet dieses schmale Tal im Norden Kaliforniens zum Ausgangspunkt der wohl grössten technischen Revolution der Menschheitsgeschichte? Welche Utopien waren dabei leitend? Welche Philosophinnen und Philosophen prägend? Diesen Fragen geht der in Stanford lehrende Literaturwissenschaftler Adrian Daub nach in seinem Buch «Was das Valley denken nennt. Über die Ideologie der Techbranche». Im Gespräch mit Wolfram Eilenberger legt Daub die Geister frei, die Tech-Ikonen wie Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg und Peter Thiel ins Leben riefen – und damit unseren Lebensalltag auch in Zukunft entscheidend prägen werden.

The Danish director’s new Oscar-winning film Another Round is about a group of teachers who dedicate themselves to getting drunk. He talks about losing control, patching up his friendship with Lars von Trier and the death of his daughter

Quelle: Thomas Vinterberg: ‘There is a great need for the uncontrollable – but little room for it today’

Russian hacking, smear campaigns and livestreamed massacres are the price of Mark Zuckerberg’s quest for connectivity, grippingly probed by two New York Times journalists

Quelle: An Ugly Truth by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang review – Facebook’s battle for domination