Re: our integration with machines, Jaron Lanier is one of the Big Idea Guys. He was talking virtual reality back when it was more like virtual virtual reality. Fascinated by how the Internet affects everything from business to consciousness to business-consciousness, Lanier is also known around the way as a maestro of rare and eclectic instruments; according to an SF Weekly story from February 2012, he has maybe hundreds in his house -- more than he can count, anyway.
He's got a book coming out this year, The Fate of Power and the Future of Dignity, which, get a load of that title. His last, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, was a pretty scathing critique of pretty much the entire Internet -- its structure, its culture, the fact that we give everything away and it's still a lousy way to exchange ideas. Chances are the new book will raise some eyebrows, too, as will his playing of the Turkish clarinet, if you're so lucky.
Jaron Lanier speaks on Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at SFAI, 800 Chestnut, S.F.