Computer Scientist and Visual Artist Jaron Lanier’s TED Talk

A philosopher for the digital generation on the urgent changes we must make online

One of the brightest minds in computer science, Jaron Lanier‘s titles and accomplishments are many. Whether you primarily consider him the founder of virtual reality, a visual artist, an author or philosopher, his ideas and their execution have long been revolutionary. Lanier took the stage in Vancouver for this year’s TED—and his talk, very much in the raw but sharp and poignant style of TED days of old—was decidedly radical. Throughout, Lanier emphasized the urgency of changing social networks and the Internet as a whole, which he currently deems “behavior modification empires.” His core question, however, was what happens if we pay for these services? Would they, then, be more transparent and less concerned for prying in revenue streams across secretly? Lanier believe micropayments or subscription fees would not force people out, but provide an even safer, high quality destination. But the best way to understand his justification, is to hear it from his mouth.

Images courtesy of TED