The disbelievers
November 20, 2005 2:30 AM   Subscribe

In 2000, Bill Joy wrote "Why the future doesn't need us" and Jaron Lanier wrote "One half of a manifesto". How did people react to what they said? What do Joy and Lanier do today?
posted by Termite to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Bill Joy resigned as Chief Scientist for Sun. He is currently working in various capacities to assist technology entrepeneurs.
posted by Jairus at 3:09 AM on November 20, 2005

Last I heard Bill Joy's main gig was as a partner at VC firm Kleiner Perkins. On the punditry side, he recently wrote an editorial with Ray Kurzweil arguing the 1918 influenza genome shouldn't be published.

As for Jaron, read for yourself.
posted by Nelson at 4:30 AM on November 20, 2005

I used to work at a think tank that brought these guys out to speak to corporate types about the future. The two of them are pretty different animals, for one thing. But I'm sure they both make a nice chunk for speaking. I remember having to stay late one night to film an interview with Lanier. He insisted on being shot tight, showing only his face, if possible. And he went on and on about this "cybergland" idea he had: an artificial implant that could monitor life signs, communicate them back to a doctor, and administer medines in precise amounts at precise intervals. Cool idea. But I couldn't figure out what made it different than a zillion other sci-fi ideas that people have had in their bedrooms.
posted by scarabic at 8:37 AM on November 20, 2005

NerdTV interviewed Bill Joy a few months ago -- it's a good listen, although not something you'd necessarily want to sit and watch.
posted by ph00dz at 10:40 AM on November 20, 2005

And that's why Wired went the way of the Dodo Bird...

But seriously, they're still doing their things. It's only been 5 years since they made their predictions. And that's not a long time in the grand scheme of things. That's not to say that I think their ideas will come true -- I don't. But hey, cut 'em some slack.

This is basically the problem with every futurist. Make wild claims about a future but make sure they're still a good bit out of reach. Either you'll be rememberd as a visionary, or forgotten to the dustbin of history. Make sure to get paid today and you'll make out either way, right?
posted by zpousman at 2:32 PM on November 20, 2005

Jaron Lanier occasionally writes for You can see read some responses to One Half of a Manifesto here. And here's one of his more recent papers. The response is not supportive.
posted by painquale at 3:08 PM on November 20, 2005

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