Futurist, techno-philosopher, and musician Jaron Lanier has a new book out, called You Are Not A Gadget. In an interview about it with Metafilter's Jessamyn West, Lanier predicts the next stage in globalism: Americans pirating Chinese designs.

Lanier says:

At some point which is essentially now, China is going to be sick of the idea that we're the designers and they're the manufacturers and they'll start designing on their own, and then, before too long, some American manufacturer will rip off a Chinese designer and the Chinese will be upset about it.

The same sort of thing will happen for a lot of countries and then there might be enough international pressure for some sort of convention on intellectual property because this, what this is about is a social contract, a social contract will come about when enough people perceive self-interest in a system that defers gratification.

It's worth reading West's entire interview with him, posted on her website, because they delve pretty deeply into Lanier's arguments in his book - including his distaste for "long tail" ideas of economics. He also talks a little bit about Gawker Media, and says that he felt "degraded" when he wrote for the Huffington Post.


Needless to say, you should also check out You Are Not A Gadget, an intriguing look at how technology mutates culture, from the guy who helped invent the idea of "virtual reality."