Do you control your data, or does your data control you?
The internet has evolved at an unprecedented pace. It’s a massive network of individuals, corporations, and other entities that can fit in the back of your pocket. Our most prominent use of the internet is for communication—through social media, we believe we are empowered because of our extensive connections, we think that we have been given a voice because we are only on one end of the screen, sometimes shrouded in the comfort of anonymity.
Jaron Lanier wants to challenge those beliefs.
Jaron Lanier is a pioneer of virtual reality technology and has been in the industry since the 1980s. His involvement in the evolution of modern technology has given him rockstar status in the tech world.
However, he’s taken a complete 180 regarding his beliefs on the growth of the internet and the direction that adjacent technologies have taken—and many of his opinions align with what TARTLE stands for.
In this episode, Alexander McCaig and Jason Rigby engage in a light back-and-forth on a quote made by Jaron Lanier in his book entitled, Who Owns The Future?
“The foundational idea of humanistic computing is that provenance is valuable. Information is people in disguise, and people ought to be paid for value they contribute that can be sent or stored on a digital network.” - Jaron Lanier
Jaron describes how the internet has journeyed down a path where human beings are all treated like machine components in one giant electronic brain. We all take our part in powering this massive brain through our interactions on the internet: we build a unique personal profile as netizens by visiting our favorite websites, shopping for goods and services, and otherwise investing plenty of time and effort navigating the digital landscape.
The internet takes all these interactions and synthesizes it to create an all-knowing electronic brain that is capable of fulfilling all our desires. If you want to buy a certain product and start searching for it, you’ll soon get ads showing that specific item across your platforms. If you look at the websites and applications you use, your mind is trained on the function of the product and how amazing it is for technology to have reached this point.
We forget that everything on the internet is hoisted on the shoulders of ordinary people, like us.
Where is the harm in this? The internet dehumanizes people and takes away our capacity to have a meaningful, authentic human experience—especially when you fall victim to the allure of social media.
One of the most thrilling ideas of being on the internet is that at any time, you can hide behind a veil of anonymity. It’s a great development for many people: anonymity helps others speak up about experiences they were too afraid to share. For example, the #MeToo movement helped bring a voice to oppressed women across the world through anonymous posting.
However, anonymity can also have an ugly face. It’s also enabled troll farms, fake news mills, and doxxing. In some cases, it’s endangered the lives of innocent people.
This is not to say that the progress we’ve made because of anonymity is invalidated with their presence. It is, however, an indication that we must do more to reign in the evolution of the internet so that it returns to being human-centered.
In a world so interconnected with the internet, it can be difficult to change our perspective on social media—but that’s not to say that it can’t be done.
When you have the right tools and equipment to take control of your data and turn it around, you’ll be able to notice how much you’re capable of and how much influence was taken away from you by the internet.
That’s what TARTLE hopes to do for you.
We offer a collaborative and transparent marketplace where everyone is compensated for the value that they contribute to the platform. You sign up, fill out a data packet, and submit it for sale to companies and causes that are important to you.
Your information and purchases are stored securely on the network. You are in complete control over the information you submit, the amount of work you put out, and the amount of money you receive.
If you’re reading this, Jaron, we think TARTLE’s the platform you’re looking for. We’d love to have you on the podcast so we can discuss further:
What’s your data worth?
Alexander McCaig (00:00):
What's the dude's name?
Jason Rigby (00:12):
Alexander McCaig (00:13):
How do you spell Jaron?
Jason Rigby (00:13):
He's a virtual reality futurist. I'll read the-
Alexander McCaig (00:17):
How do I spell his name? J-E-R-O-E-N?
Jason Rigby (00:20):
Alexander McCaig (00:22):
Jason Rigby (00:23):
He has an underscore there so I don't know if that's his name, underscore.
Alexander McCaig (00:27):
Lanier. Let me read this guy's background before we ... Oh, yeah, I know this guy. He was the one that was on the Social Dilemma or whatever the hell that thing was called, I already forget the name of the film, but he's the computer scientist with all the dreads.
Jason Rigby (00:45):
Alexander McCaig (00:45):
Kind of heavy weight guy.
Jason Rigby (00:46):
Yeah, yeah, I know exactly who you're talking about.
Alexander McCaig (00:48):
Okay. What the ... You know, he went to New Mexico State University.
Jason Rigby (00:53):
Well, let's get him on the podcast.
Alexander McCaig (00:56):
Do you have his link?
Jason Rigby (00:57):
Got his page.
Alexander McCaig (00:59):
Let's send that link, get him on the podcast.
Jason Rigby (01:01):
He's got a homepage to himself.
Alexander McCaig (01:04):
10 arguments for deleting social media.
Jason Rigby (01:06):
We're going to have our outreach director reach out to him right now.
Alexander McCaig (01:09):
Yeah. Oh, my goodness. Okay.
Jason Rigby (01:13):
Let me read the quotes so everybody knows what we're talking about because this is turtle in a nutshell. Here we go. "The foundational idea of the humanistic computing is that provenance is valuable. Information is people in disguise and people ought to be paid for value they contribute that could be sent or stored on a digital network."
Alexander McCaig (01:36):
Shall we just end the episode?
Jason Rigby (01:37):
Yeah, we're done. Yeah. Thanks, Jaron.
Alexander McCaig (01:40):
Right. Let's just break this down-
Jason Rigby (01:42):
Alexander McCaig (01:43):
-to talk about the obvious here. Okay. Number one, go.
Jason Rigby (01:47):
"The foundational idea of humanistic computing." Let's stop right there.
Alexander McCaig (01:49):
Jason Rigby (01:50):
Alexander McCaig (01:52):
Like you and I, Jason, have talked about for so long, technology has diverged a way for the benefit for a human being. It's evolved but the human being hasn't. We got to bring that back. Humanistic, it has to have more human values put into it, not just machine values, engineering for engineering sake, efficiency for efficiency sake. We need to bring it back for the evolution of the human being. Okay, next one.
Jason Rigby (02:22):
The foundational idea of humanistic computing is that provenance is valuable. Provenance.
Alexander McCaig (02:26):
Okay, provenance. Where does the information or the action come from? You have to be able to trace it back to the source, source.tartle.co, every day packet has ... It's on a ledger so there's provenance. You know exactly who it came from, when it came from, the price that was paid to acquire it, it's right there. It's verifiable ownership over information. Go ahead.
Jason Rigby (02:59):
And he says it's valuable so we know that.
Alexander McCaig (03:01):
Of course it's valuable.
Jason Rigby (03:02):
"Information is people in disguise." It's TARTLE, it's not in disguise.
Alexander McCaig (03:05):
It's not in disguise, it's very clear, Jaron.
Jason Rigby (03:08):
We're not passive aggressive, trying to get peoples information.
Alexander McCaig (03:11):
No, there's nothing passive aggressive about it. Information is a function of human work.
Jason Rigby (03:17):
Alexander McCaig (03:19):
That's what it is. It's not in disguise, it's very obvious. Human being puts in work, that work gets recorded, that is information.
Jason Rigby (03:26):
Alexander McCaig (03:27):
Oh, okay. You missed the last part.
Jason Rigby (03:28):
"Information is people in disguise and people ought to be paid for the value they contribute."
Alexander McCaig (03:34):
Okay. When you do work, you should get something in return for that work. On TARTLE, if you do work with generating that information, that data packet, essentially the NFT with provenance of that information that's humanistic values, you get paid on the marketplace for the sharing of that information. Makes pretty obvious sense, does it not?
Jason Rigby (03:57):
Alexander McCaig (04:00):
Millions ... This has been done millions of times on TARTLE with the amount of data packets that are created. Data's being bought and sold.
Jason Rigby (04:09):
That's what the next part is, at the ending of the quote, it say, "Paid for via, they contribute. That could be sent or stored on a digital network." End or quote.
Alexander McCaig (04:19):
Jason Rigby (04:19):
"That can be sent or stored on a digital network."
Alexander McCaig (04:23):
It is sent and stored, not even in order. It's an and on TARTLE. You can securely store your information, never send it.
Jason Rigby (04:30):
Alexander McCaig (04:32):
And/or you can send it to somebody on the digital network, Party A to Party B. Jaron, I know you've been in a lot of videos, I know you've written a lot of books, I know everybody wants this to happen, I know you were talking with Andrew Yang and all these other-
Jason Rigby (04:48):
Lex Friedman, I think he's on [crosstalk 00:04:49].
Alexander McCaig (04:49):
You've done all these other initiatives, I just need to raise like a flag of awareness here, we have people in 222 other countries that are doing this, TARTLE's been around since 2017, okay? Just want to say that. We're right here if you want to chat about it or we'll do a whole nother episode where you can explain your own quote and then you can sell yourself on TARTLE. I don't even have to talk about it.
Jason Rigby (05:15):
That's so awesome. If somebody wants to sign up for TARTLE, how would they do that?
Alexander McCaig (05:19):
Oh, this is great. They got to get to that digital network, right? How do I get to the fabric where I can transmit information as a human in disguise? I go to tartle.co with my web browser on any device. I don't care if it's an internet browser on TV, I don't care if it's the screen on your Mercedes Benz, I don't care if it's your low powered cellphone. You can go to T-A-R-T-L-E.C-O and you click on Get Started. That's all you got to do.
Jason Rigby (05:47):
And then when you click on that, you get started, you can start filling out data packets, you can take control of your data, you get paid for your data because we have buyers because this is a marketplace.
Alexander McCaig (05:57):
Right. You're essentially taking a stance for your rights around something that you've put work into. You're not going to do all the work and give it to somebody else like this is some fascist world we're living in. No. Work for you, be responsible and share the glory of that work.
Speaker 3 (06:22):
Thank you for listening to TARTLECAST, with your hosts, Alexander McCaig and Jason Rigby, where humanity steps into the future and restores data, defines the path. What's your data worth?