In Who Owns the Future, Jaron Lanier makes the controversial case that the internet has destroyed more jobs than it created and looks into why this has happened and how to go about solving it. He focuses on the impact of artists and entrepreneurs who wanted to use the internet to sell their art, music, and other information to a worldwide audience. Wealthy individuals and companies have created what he calls, "siren servers," that have the largest amount of computing power and data and have become gatekeepers that have monopolized various segments of the web. The large amounts of data on users have become a new currency, transferring, even more, wealth to the top. The internet also introduced more efficiency innovations than empowering innovations and greatly reduced the number of people needed for labor and other tasks. Lanier's arguments are heavily focused on technologies impact on the creative and outside labor market and fail to acknowledge outside forces like government policy. Although Lanier, is a fan and heavy user of technology, his gloom and doom lack is tied to the rise of technology and it will continue to rise so what could we do to capitalize on the growth in more empowering ways.
Who owns the future looks at the poisonous concentration of money and power in our digital networks. Both of these areas are very important to me being a technologies and seeing my mother struggle to break into the middle class.The book also looks into data privacy, which has been big in the news as of late.