Lanier isn't making any prophecies, he is in fact arguing against the very things you are complaining about. Technology hasn't changed things for most people of the world. It has the potential to do so, but so far has not.
Right now, there is a huge disparity between people and it only seems to be increasing. The ideal is that the free flow of information would allow everyone to benefit. In economics, for example, an exchange is made in which both parties gain. By this logic, trading actually increases wealth. By using the Internet, these trades can happen faster and faster, generating untold wealth for everyone.
Except it doesn't happen that way, only some benefit. Sure, there are lots of new millionaires (especially here in San Francisco) and, of course, Mr. Gates. But what about the rest of the world (or even just the USA?). The greater the rift between classes, the more potential for trouble.
Lanier (to try to get back to the topic) is saying that technology is speeding up the rate at which the classes are separating.
The futurists he is talking about said that a cataclysm (Singularity is Vinge's name for it, not Lanier's) of some sort is inevitable. Great, then all bets are off and we don't need to worry about anything. After all, if it is inevitable, then nothing can be done.
If the futurists are wrong, however, then we have a serious problem. The solutions proposed turn out to be the cause of more problems (same as it ever was).
Although nothing short of near annihilation will stop the technology curve, we may be able to guide it. But first, we need to remove the idea that it is out of control, since that tends to be a self-fullfilling prophecy.
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