Archive for the 'Photography' Category
From my Observer piece about Jaron Lanier…
Jaron Lanier is that rarest of rare birds – an uber-geek who is highly critical of the world created by the technology he helped to create. Now in his 50s, he first came to prominence in the 1980s as a pioneer in the field of “virtual reality” – the development of computer-generated environments in which real people could interact. Ever since then, he has attracted the label of “visionary”, not always a compliment in the computer business, where it denotes, as the New Yorker memorably put it, “a capacity for mercurial insight and a lack of practical job skills”.
In person, he looks like central casting’s idea of a technology guru: vast bulk, informal attire, no socks, beard and dreadlocks. Yet he also has good people skills. He’s friendly, witty, courteous and voluble. His high-pitched voice belies his physical bulk and he giggles a lot. He’s a talented musician who is widely read and he writes accessible and sometimes eloquent prose. His latest book – Who Owns the Future? – is a sobering read for anyone who worries about what cultural critic Neil Postman called “technopoly” – the belief that the primary goal of human labour and thought is efficiency and that technical calculation is superior to human judgment.
I enjoyed our conversation very much. And found his new book very thought-provoking.
When taking his portrait (above) I asked him to think of someone or something of which he strongly disapproved. This made him laugh uproariously. I got the feeling that he’s not a great hater.
LATER: Jon Crowcroft’s Amazon review of the book.
I was in in t’smoke today for an interesting lunchtime meeting — which, coincidentally, took place in an Argentinian steakhouse (no horses were harmed in the preparation of my — mouthwatering — fillet steak; not a place for vegetarians, though). Afterwards, reassembling my Brompton in the freezing wind outside I suddenly saw this view of the Shard. So I (laboriously) took off my rucksack, delved into it for a camera, took the photograph and packed everything away just before my fingers succumbed to frostbite. It was the coldest day I’ve ever cycled in London.
Larger size here.
One Sunday in August, a couple of years ago, we were driving along the beachfront in Antibes when we saw this eminently sensible dog, who stayed in the shade while his master and topless mistress (just out of shot on the left) sizzled in the scorching sunshine like sausages on a spit.