Media is a tool that can program and reprogram the human bio-computer. Stories pattern the imagination. Language helps us think about our thinking. Cinema can open up new vistas for our minds.
This video is a new collaboration with my friend, artist and filmmaker Jason Silva, host of National Geographic's BrainGames and creator of Shots of Awe.
Jason sent me an inspiring recording he made in the park with his Iphone discussing how powerful advances in technology can extend our connections to each other making us more compassionate and kind-hearted beings.
He proposes that communication technologies act as "empathy machines", opening up new intersubjective spaces where we can all become one.
These new tools give us new "spaces of possibility" to explore, and this video is a celebration of that new space of imagination, compassion, collaboration and inspiration.
Jason and I have become good friends, kindred spirits, and share a passion for intense inspiration, for using videos to share new vistas, and when he sent me this I was so excited, I started creating visuals right away. Hope you find it inspiring.
We took three days and repurposed footage from Shots of Awe series, it was a spontaneous desire to create a campaign for POSSIBILITY and a call to action to improve the world.
Special thanks to UNEP - United Nations Environment Program for supporting the creation of this video - unep.org
Thanks to Discovery Digital Networks, TestTube, Bokeh, Imaginary Foundation and Shots of Awe team for supporting the images. Especially Tom Lofthouse, Barry Pousman, Jordan Dertinger, Nick Philip, Colin Decker and the rest of the team.
Jaron Lanier is a technology inventor and philosopher who has been dubbed the prophet of the digital age. He coined the phrases 'Virtual Reality' and 'digital Maoism'. His last book, You Are Not A Gadget, was a hugely influential and hotly debated critique of the 'hive mind'. Here he talks about his new book, Who Owns the Future?, with artist and writer James Bridle.
Digital technologies dawned with the promise that they would bring us all greater economic stability and power. That utopian image has stuck. But, Lanier argues, the efficiencies brought by digi-techs are having the effect of concentrating wealth while reducing overall growth. He predicts that, as more industries are transformed by digital technologies, huge waves of permanent unemployment are likely to follow those already sweeping through many creative industries.
But digital hubs are designed on the principle that people don't get paid for sharing. Every time we apply for a loan, update Facebook, use our credit cards, post pictures on Instagram or search on Google, we work for free says Lanier. He argues that artificial intelligence over a network can be understood as a massive accounting fraud that ruins markets. Past technological revolutions rewarded people with new wealth and capabilities. He will explain why, without that reward, the middle classes - who form the basis of democracy as he sees it - are threatened, placing the future of human dignity itself at risk.
Lanier discusses his analysis of the deep links between democracy and capitalism, and shares his thoughts for how humanity can find a new vision for the future.
This event was part of The School of Life's 'In Conversation' series and took place at Conway Hall on 6th March 2013.
A Renaissance Man for the 21st century, Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, visual artist, and author who writes on numerous topics, including high-technology business, the social impact of technology, the philosophy of consciousness and information, Internet politics, and the future of humanism.