Yes. “Create a website that expresses something about who you are that won’t fit into the template available to you on a social networking site.”
You Are Not A Gadget by Jaron Lanier
A lot of people think Jaron Lanier is a dirty hippie or a Luddite or something, but I am about a third of the way through You Are Not a Gadget and I am finding it to feel pretty vital. So far it seems to be about remembering the necessary limitations of software and that this ‘place’ we spend a lot of time ‘on’ is a less-than as well as a more-than.
He takes quite a few shots at web 2.0-land, and the
exultation exaltation (see: fallible human) of the crowd before the individual, and blah blah let’s have a blogfight about it, but what is most resonant to me is the idea that the mystery of experience and personhood in all its subtlety can never be truly expressed by 1s and 0s, and we should remember that (while still being awesome with 1s and 0s).
I read this right after I read Cognitive Surplus — mainly because Lanier is a critic of Shirky and his web optimism. I expected to completely hate it, but I didn’t, and in fact, although I didn’t love the book by any means (Meaghan told me she remembered throwing it at least once), many of Lanier’s ideas have been nagging me for the past weeks.
The list above, which Meaghan posted a while back, was my favorite part of the book, and well worth sharing.