Rich Crocco

Jaron Lanier: Helping Us Remember to Question What We Know About Tech

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I recently made a conscious decision to integrate myself into the tech world. This meant going back to school for a second Master’s degree (MBA in IS), becoming a participant in social media platforms, and reading and writing about new tech products and fields. I found it quite easy to accept the winners in Tech (companies like Google, Facebook, etc.) and adjust my thinking accordingly. However, whenever I start drinking the cool-aid too much I invariably come across an author named Jargon Lanier. First on the Charlie Rose show, then his book “Who Owns the Future” (which I purchased after seeing the Charlie Rose interview), other articles and most recently an article named “The Myth of AI: A Conversation With Jaron Lanier.”

Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, author and musician whose career dates back to Atari and who is considered to be one of the pioneers of virtual reality, in other words he is a big player in the tech world. What Lanier represents to me is a Philosopher of Technology. My Bachelor’s degree is in Philosophy so I am no stranger to philosophical arguments and ideas. There is little I enjoy more than listening to a good philosophical lecture. Lanier does it in the tech world. What he is able to do is take ideas we take for granted and turn them on their head. It is interesting to note some of these ideas have only been mainstream for approximately ten years. Amazing how quickly we do drink the cool-aid. Read more…

SXSW 2015 In Full Swing! Startup Winners Announced

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SXSW (South by Southwest) kicked off its 10 day run on Friday March 13th in Austin, Texas. Every year Austin becomes the center of the country as it showcases a series of festivals and conferences focusing on music, film and technology. The film & tech (official name is Interactive) portions started on day one, with the music portion getting its start on the 17th. This ‘festival on steroids’ has been steadily growing since its inception in 1987.  I am particularly interested in the Interactive portion of the conference.

What’s Going On With Interactive (Tech)
The Interactive portion of the event features conferences and sessions with themes such as:

  • Art, Science & Inspiration
  • Branding & Marketing
  • Design & Development
  • Fashion & Wearable Tech
  • Food & Experimental Dining
  • Gaming
  • The Intelligent Future

Within these major themes there are sessions as diverse as:

  • 3D Printing
  • Bitcoin
  • Augmented Reality
  • Virtual Reality
  • Drones
  • Humanizing Digital Content
  • Women in Business
  • The Future of Buying Groceries

There is literally something for everyone and anyone who is the least bit interested in the future of technology and social media.  The products proposed and the discussions that take place show us and inform us as to what we can expect to see in the near future. Read more…