Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality | Mechanics' Institute

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Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality
Author Jaron Lanier in conversation with tech journalist Kim-Mai Cutler

Named one of the best books of 2017 by The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, & Vox.

The father of virtual reality explains its dazzling possibilities by reflecting on his own lifelong relationship with technology.

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.


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.

Kim-Mai Cutler is a well-respected writer and technology journalist and is in charge of marketing and outreach for portfolio companies. She is a columnist at TechCrunch and is best known for her work covering the intersection of tech and SF Bay culture, politics, housing, and racial diversity. She has worked for Bloomberg, VentureBeat, and the Wall Street Journal. She has a BA in Political Science from University of California, Berkeley. She is a partner at Initialized Capital.

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