Dawn of the New Everything

Dawn of the New Everything

Encounters With Reality and Virtual Reality

Book - 2017
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"Through a mesmerizing look back over his life in technology, Jaron Lanier, the scientist who is said to have either coined or popularized the term virtual reality, exposes VR's ability to illuminate and amplify our understanding of our species and gives readers a new perspective on how the brain and body connect to the world. An inventive blend of autobiography, science writing, philosophy, and advice, Dawn of the New Everything tells the wild story of Lanier's personal and professional life as a scientist. Raised in the UFO territory of New Mexico, Jaron lived with his father in a geodesic dome they built together in the desert after the sudden death of his mother. Attending college at age fourteen, Lanier was immediately hooked on computers, and from then on his life became entwined with technology. He forged an unconventional career path that eventually led him to the early frontier days of Silicon \/alley, where he founded the first VR start-up. An intense and imaginative dreamer, he retained a fierce humanism that continues to guide his innovative work and thought. Understanding virtual reality as being both a scientific and cultural adventure, Lanier demonstrates it to be, in fact, one of the most humanistic settings for technology. In this illuminating book, he cautions against certain computational beliefs such as AI, even as he explains the dazzling possibilities of \/R and argues that it can make our lives richer and fuller."--Dust jacket flap.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781627794091
1627794093
Branch Call Number: 004.092 L272D 2017
Characteristics: xv, 351 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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tjdickey
Dec 09, 2017

Enjoy the ride with Jaron here! he is a musician, scientist, technologist, philosopher all wrapped in one, and "Dawn" presents an almost psychedelic journey with him through the early days of virtual reality technology. "Never has a medium been so potent for beauty and so vulnerable to creepiness," writes Lanier; he further sees VR (and "mixed reality," where technology allows us to add virtual aspects to the rest of the world we perceive) as an exciting frontier for basic understanding what it means to be human and to perceive the world.
The chapters alternate between narrative memoir of the author's experience founding one of the first Silicon Valley startups dedicated to VR technology, and his musings on the phenomenon. Imagine, he asks us, what it is like to return to the very first memories of childhood, the time when our imagination could conjure anything we wanted, positive and wonderful or harmful. This is just some of the potential of the experience of VR, and we get an insider's thoughts on it - while he is demoing and discussing with Terry Gilliam, the Dalai Lama, Al Gore, Peter Gabriel, and Spinal Tap among others.

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