“You Are Not A Gadget” Chapter 1 response

The concept of lock-in that Lanier writes about seems really hard to avoid in today’s digital world, and in VR and games, I guess, considering the internet is only as old as we are (generation y, right?) and it has already been locked-in to structures that probably won’t ever be deviated from, considering that wildly successful things don’t change a lot from their earlyish years. VR, despite being human-middle-aged, has only started gaining traction/attention from the money-people in very recent years, and it hasn’t had the time or volume of work to be locked-in to some specific format (???), beyond the devices it can be used with. In order to avoid a boring sort of lock-in, one of us has to approach VR in a totally unconventional way in order to move the medium forward, and that’s already difficult to do. We can look around and move a little bit. What other things we can do will hopefully be discovered soon.

Some of the points Lanier makes about netizens as fragments of people I can understand, but also question, maybe due to generational differences? He watched the internet grow, while I have grown with the internet, and we might have fundamentally different views of how the internet allows us to interact with one another. Yeah, social media often reduces people to short comments, and we might not know anything about Steve1989 on Youtube except that they like to comment “Nice!” on military ration review videos, and that’s fine. That’s the function of the comment section, so that people can share thoughts on topics. People did that before the internet too, by writing angry letters to their local newspaper editors complaining about an article they disagreed with the week before.

We won’t know all about other people on the internet just as we won’t know all about other people we coexist with in the library, or in a coffee shop, or in the park, and that’s fine. The only difference is that people talk online, and we can’t see each other there, and that’s fine, too. Lanier’s list of ways to be more than a fragment of a person feel suited toward a diary or personal blog, which there are sites for, like Tumblr or Livejournal. People do those things on sites designed for short, small content like Twitter or Facebook, often through really long text posts about finding themselves, or through edited images overlaid with text expressing users’ mental health in a humorous way. We are all constantly relating to each other. People are always people on the internet, even if they don’t have names. Maybe Lanier just has to look in different places.

I did not go to Playtech. I had work and I could not call out.

I also did not finish my game (Who is surprised? No one!).

I was going to write this really long explanation of how my brain is not cooperating, and how this semester my depression has been the worst it’s ever been, but I should probably tell the school therapist about that instead of a teacher. So that is my excuse.

I have finished one out of five? projects on time this semester. I feel really bad about it, always lagging behind, disappointing people, mostly disappointing myself, and I know my grade is suffering for it. I just want to get over this hurdle of not being able to do stuff. You and John don’t need to waste time hearing my sob story.

I’m going to try to do well on the final project and finish everything I haven’t finished before the end of the year.

(the documentation posts will come sometime this week, sorry. it’s been a rough time.)

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