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.

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. (…)“

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

„We can have democracy, or we can have a surveillance society, but we cannot have both.

Who knows? Who decides who knows? Who decides who decides who knows? Surveillance capitalists now hold the answers to each question, though we never elected them to govern.“

(Shoshana Zuboff, Jan. 29, 2021 in The New York Times)

Quelle: Opinion | The Coup We Are Not Talking About

The web’s inventor believes the liberation of our data will help redistribute power on the internet.

Quelle: Tim Berners-Lee’s plan to save the internet: give us back control of our data