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Dawn of the New Everything

Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality

Jaron Lanier


Dawn of the New Everything Download image

ISBN10: 1250097401
ISBN13: 9781250097408

Trade Paperback

368 Pages



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Bridging the gap between tech mania and the experience of being inside the human body, Dawn of the New Everything is a look at what it means to be human at a moment of unprecedented technological possibility.

Through a fascinating look back over his life in technology, Jaron Lanier, an interdisciplinary scientist and father of the term “virtual reality,” exposes VR’s ability to illuminate and amplify our understanding of our species, and gives readers a new perspective on how the brain and body connect to the world. An inventive blend of autobiography, science writing, philosophy and advice, this book tells the wild story of his personal and professional life as a scientist, from his childhood in the UFO territory of New Mexico, to the loss of his mother, the founding of the first start-up, and finally becoming a world-renowned technological guru.

Understanding virtual reality as being both a scientific and cultural adventure, Lanier demonstrates it to be a humanistic setting for technology. While his previous books offered a more critical view of social media and other manifestations of technology, in this book he argues that virtual reality can actually make our lives richer and fuller.


Praise for Dawn of the New Everything

“Deeply personal . . . compelling: a poetic and humanistic view of technology . . . His style is wonderfully discursive, reflecting his wide range of interests and experiences.”—Emily Parker, The Washington Post

Dawn of the New Everything spirits us back to a time when a plurality of ideas about what the Internet could be were still in play . . . it pulses with kaleidoscopic insight . . . It also contains some of the more artful, numinous writing you’ll find on technology . . . Lanier offers a vision for an enhanced reality for everyone.”San Francisco Chronicle

“Jaron Lanier is both cheerleader and doomsayer in a highly personal story of virtual reality . . . a studied and nuanced interrogation of VR’s potential, as well as a gentle critique of what he sees as a failure of imagination when it comes to the medium’s current proponents.”The Guardian

“Essential reading, not just for VR-watchers but for anyone interested in how society came to be how it is, and what it might yet become.”The Economist

“A very personal scientific autobiography . . . He emerges as an exceptional and engaging character.”Nature

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt


What Is It?

VR is ­those big headsets that make ­people look ridicu­lous from the outside; ­those who wear them radiate startled delight at what ­they’re experiencing from the inside. It’s one of the dominant...

About the author

Jaron Lanier

Jaron Lanier, an interdisciplinary scientist at Microsoft, either coined or popularized the term Virtual Reality. His startup VPL created the first commercial VR products, avatars, multi-person virtual world experiences, and prototypes of surgical simulation. Both his previous books, Who Owns the Future? and You Are Not a Gadget have been international bestsellers. In 2014, he was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, one of the highest cultural honors in Europe.

John Naughton

Jaron Lanier

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