Review of Jaron Lanier’s “Who Owns the Future” – or how to extrapolate from false premises

Scott Jackisch , , Jun 13, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It's not exactly a favorable review, or even a fair one, but the value of this article is that it gives the reader a sense of what's in the book (which, ultimately, is the prupose of a good review). "The premise of Lanier’s new book 'Who Owns the Future' is that big data players are shrinking the economy by leveraging the largest servers to achieve information supremacy and then radiating risk out into the world." This is a really interesting concept - we are already familiar with the idea of 'the winner of an all-or-nothing contest' in a network; that was one of the main ideas in Albert-László Barabási's model. The idea that they 'radiate risk' is (to me, at least) new. I wish the reviewer had said more about it.

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