Who Owns The Future? by the American computer scientist, Jaron Lanier famed for popularizing the term “virtual reality” examines the economic value of intellectual property in the digital age we reside in. As we live in a capitalist era information has become the most valuable currency for commerce and industry, however, despite its value, we give it away for free.
Lanier provides a philosophical proposition for the individual to be recompensed to ensure fairness and egalitarianism. The concept is an interesting one as we all become more plugged into the various online networks. I know during this pandemic that my digital usage has grown exponentially as our physical contact has been replaced by virtual bonds – Houseparty was a pretender for a while, but following the roll out of Facebook Messenger Rooms meant we could retreat there without randoms popping in.
The book challenges mainstream ideas about the use of digital networks, and this can not be a bad thing.
Update: This was originally written in 2013, but has been updated due to my watching The Social Dilemma on Netflix.