Jaron Lanier brings into perspective various issues with respect to which software is designed today. Elaborating on the same, I would say, software is the lifeline of any hardware device. Lanier is, right in the fact, that software designed with a short term vision, if not evolved according to its long term impact, can lead to disaster.
His ideas about the concept of lock-in, does bring into light how the environment can be forced to be modified to be in alignment with the existing software foundation or culture. This can have a tremendous impact on human values since we are being forced to adapt ourself to something which we created, arguably with our short term vision, and which has been successfully, able to ward off all efforts for development.
But it also brings into mind the concept of hacking which is prevalent so much today. The idea of using something which is already existing, to build something ( or evolve), is beneficial since it serves the immediate need. However, the normal human thirst for innovation in a particular field, which already has well functioning products, is not unknown. Hence, if an invention is predicted to change the way a field is supposed to function, it surely is going to shake the existing foundations and simultaneously bring about a substantial change in its surrounding environment.
Automation of tasks in softwares also brings into mind, the machine knowing about a person’s preferences, before hand. In a good way, it surely would be beneficial since it can greatly simplify the modalities of operating the machine. However, it depends entirely on the balancing of power, as in who is dominant( passively/actively).
It also brings in the concept of monopolies existing in the computer science field like Google and Facebook. The degree of dependence of its audience on it is so much, that it would be easily be able to change itself without being concerned about its audience, who would then be forced to change/adapt to the new system, which seems to be in alignment with the earlier discussion.
Overall, I do feel, Lanier does bring in an interesting view of the effects of technology.