Bonum Certa Men Certa

Jaron Lanier is a Microsoft Troll and Source of FUD Against Everything Free(dom) Software

Jaron Lanier

Summary: Caution needed when it comes to Jaron Lanier, who while being paid by Microsoft publishes books that trash everything that competes with Microsoft's artificial scarcity

THE SELF-PROFESSED father of virtual reality could use some artificial intelligence. He is a booster of artificial scarcity and proponent of an artificial sense of reality where sharing is malicious and proprietary is good. His vain writings have come under a lot of fire as we noted here before [1, 2]. What we never knew before, however, was Lanier's paymaster and Chris Ahlstrom JeffM wrote about a connection to Microsoft. "By looking at him (a white guy with dreadlocks) you'd think he was a complete iconoclast. He is, however, very much about the outdated pay-for-ones-and-zeros closed-source binaries-only meme," he notes.

"Homer" adds: "He's a Microsoft "Partner Architect", after all. What is it with Microsoft and sinister-sounding job titles/departments? "Partner Architect", "Perception Management", "Hired Gun" (games dept.), "Technology Evangelist", "Guerilla Marketer", ad nauseam.

"What next? "Eugenics Technician" and "Bioweapons Researcher".

“A spokesman for Microsoft today confirmed that Jaron Lanier is still at large, and should be approached with caution ... and doughnuts.”
To quote: "He was Scholar at Large for Microsoft from 2006 to 2009, and Partner Architect at Microsoft Research from 2009 forward."

Well, that ought to explain a lot of the trolling against Free software, always without a disclosure except perhaps here. "So there you have it", concludes "Homer", "[h]e was "at Large" with Microsoft. Yes, he really was. But not at the time he wrote that page, which apparently was generated by a WYSIWYG toy called "Mozilla/4.77C-CCK-MCD {C-UDP; EBM-APPLE} (Macintosh; U; PPC) [Netscape]", which translates to a prehistoric version of Netscape Composer running on an equally prehistoric Mac.

"A spokesman for Microsoft today confirmed that Jaron Lanier is still at large, and should be approached with caution ... and doughnuts."

So Jaron is not a gadget but a tool. And this connection to Microsoft helps explain why he's had a road rage against FOSS and everything free for the past 5 or so years. Next time Lanier attacks Free software and freedom (which he will), be sure to point out where his income comes from.

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