Douglas Rushkoff and the Terror of Modern Time

Filmmaker/journalist Abraham Riesman interviews Doug Rushkoff as his new book Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now hits stores (text story also at BetaBeat):


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13 Comments on "Douglas Rushkoff and the Terror of Modern Time"

  1. this guy oozes conceit. I haven’t heard so many tired platitudes crammed in such a short piece since Jerry Springer’s Final Word.

    There is a better analysis of time: George Woodcock’s The Tyranny of the Clock

    • There may have been platitudes, but I am instantly interested in what Rushkoff has to say. The video you shared, my first reaction was boring :34 seconds in.

      • Well it’s originally an essay, and a brilliant one at that. It’s available online to read. But, yeah, the guy reads it in monotone. Rushkoff doesn’t strike me as a very profound person.

        • I have seen him around for quite a few years. My experience is that he has some interesting stuff to say. He is also friends with some very interesting people such as Timothy Leary, Robert Anton Wilson, etc. Not that it makes him more or less profound.

          I have not read anything by him so I cannot go into detail, but I have been intending to get around to checking out his work. This is the condensed version perhaps 🙂

        • People who make fun of others usually cant think of a single good thing to say about themselves.

    • When people talk about others, I can hear them speak about themselves.”

      -Michael Sams

    • Jin The Ninja | Mar 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm |

      i love me some george woodcock. a lot of my former cdn studies profs seemed to hate him- but my aboriginal studies profs love him. i thought that was quite interesting.

    • i think he’s just in a weird mental state where over the last couple of years, he’s coming into a certain kind of wisdom out of a dramatic state of naivete simultaneously into an unfamiliar popularity that he himself never expected and probably doesn’t know how to deal with. Its clearly not perfect but its better than a kardashian.

  2. Glass House | Mar 30, 2013 at 2:48 am |

    “If computers get better at complexity than humans, then humanity’s role in the universe’s evolution towards complexity is over…” It’s not “if” it happens, it’s “when”. The groundwork for such an evolutionary leap is manifesting before our eyes on an almost daily basis, from computer chips which can “heal” themselves to fully automated systems which will eventually be able to teach themselves. Such tech will continue leaping forward, initially with our help and then eventually on its own. Do we stand idly by and watch as our tech races off toward the horizon without us, or do we embrace the possibility that we might also be able to go along for the ride?

    For those who contemplate the transhumanist philosophy, it would appear that the journey is only
    just beginning. There is a great quote from the architect and futurist, Jacque Fresco: “We talk about civilization as though it’s a static state. There are no civilized people yet. It’s a process that’s constantly going on. As long as you have war, police, prisons, crime, you are in the early stages of civilization.” How far have we truly come since the Greeks, and how much further could we actually go, should we ever bother to make the effort? Humanity may never achieve Utopia as such, but it certainly does not have to degenerate into Dystopia…we have options.

    Rushkoff then continues: “…I don’t buy that. I think that kind of has the medium and the message reversed. I don’t think we’re here for information; I think information’s here as a byproduct of us.” What he fails to acknowledge is that we ARE the manifestation of information…the medium IS the message! Why is that such a scary notion? The Human Mind is an incredibly powerful tool but – just like any other tool – it can be used to create and destroy. And if we can sharpen and refine said tool, then why not do so? Why not strive toward a higher ideal, so long as it benefits everyone, everywhere, equally? Seems like a win-win to me…

    • we ARE the manifestation of information

      What do you mean by that?

    • the funny thing is you rely on such a silly statement as “better at complexity”

      its such a laughably silly concept, and i suspect it is much of what rushkoff isn’t buying here.

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