Now, in a new memoir-cum-manifesto, Jaron Lanier recounts his sad, unusual childhood and calls for a re-evaluation of our ties with the digital environment. Jaron Lanier has written a book about virtual reality, a phrase he coined and a concept he did much to invent.
“Having to encounter that again was difficult. But I am unhappy with the way that digital technology is influencing the world, and I think the solution is to double down on being human”, which leaves Lanier no choice but to put himself all the way into his book.
Lanier is often asked whether his interest in musical instruments came from the same place as his interest in virtual worlds. In virtual reality terms, Lanier would perhaps call this connection “Haptic”, a way of being in intimate touch with fragmenting external realities. Lanier says, pointedly, that he wants to note that we “Haven’t really talked about virtual reality, which is the theme of my book”.
Dawn of the New Everything: A Journey Through Virtual Reality by Jaron Lanier is published by Bodley Head. To order a copy for £17 go to bookshop.