For instance, he said, “I’d been an early advocate of making information free,” the mantra of the movement that said it was OK to steal, pirate and download the creative works of musicians, writers and other artists. It’s all just “information,” just 1’s and 0’s.
Indeed, one of the foundations of Lanier’s critique of digitized culture is the very way its digital transmission at some deep level betrays the essence of what it tries to transmit. Take music.
“MIDI,” Lanier wrote, of the digitizing program that chops up music into one-zero binaries for transmission, “was conceived from a keyboard player’s point of view...digital patterns that represented keyboard events like ‘key-down’ and ‘key-up.’ That meant it could not describe the curvy, transient expressions a singer or a saxophone note could produce. It could only describe the tile mosaic world of the keyboardist, not the watercolor world of the violin.”
The new establishment of course.
Not the old establishment that was arguing this stuff before Lanier's 'conversion'. Those of us who cautioned against the 'culture of free' were able to discern the radical ways it decimated the creators.
Nice to see Lanier on board.
A bit fuckin' late though.
(The cynic in me notes that he made his fame creating the monster and now wants fame to defeat it. Yeah, I am just that cynical.)