Tag Archives | Douglas Rushkoff

Some Advice For The 1%

Douglas Rushkoff has some advice for our overlords, writing at CNN:
A whole lot of us are stuck with credit-card debt that goes up each month, mortgages worth more than our homes and student loans that extend into infinity. So it's only natural that we look at the debt crisis from the bottom up: from the perspective of the 99% who are getting screwed. But what if we instead looked at this whole mess from the top down, from the point of view of the 1%: the billionaires and venture capitalists in Mitt Romney's world? Maybe, just maybe, their problem is our problem. In fact, as I have come to see it, short of civilization-ending revolution, solving the debt crisis might actually mean saving the 1%. They have the power and the money, they own our government, and they won't go down without taking everyone and everything else with them...
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From Club Zero-G To A.D.D.

ADDI wrote my first comic, Club Zero-G, as a monthly insert to the rave culture magazine BPM. When the magazine couldn't afford to continue the series, disinformation came to my rescue, giving me the pages I needed to tell the whole story in a single volume graphic novel, drawn by Steph Dumais. The story was about kids who shared the same dreamspace at night - a giant rave that none of them remember the next day in waking consciousness, except one boy. That was more than a decade ago, but on the release of my latest graphic novel, A.D.D., I'm coming to realize that I am telling a similar story - this time about a gamer who sees things in the games that others don't. He's part of a group of kids raised from birth, or maybe even earlier, to test various forms of media. If they develop special abilities like our hero's, it is labeled as resistance and steps are taken to neutralize it. A.D.D. stands for Adolescent Demo Division, but it's also an obvious reference to the sensory disorder plaguing so many kids today. And while it's still considered controversial or even dangerous to suggest, I'm hoping we start to consider the role that our "attention economy" may have in the massive increase of diagnoses. In this short scene, we get a glimpse of our hero, Lionel, and his love...
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Douglas Rushkoff On Kicking The Consensus Reality Habit

Doug Rushkoff. Photo by Paul May (CC)

Doug Rushkoff. Photo by Paul May (CC)

An interview with Douglas Rushkoff via Technoccult:

“When Video Toaster for the Amiga came out everyone was really excited,” he Rushkoff said. “We believed that we could use it to create deeply alternative states of consciousness using lights and colors and things.”

“Today, those technologies are used by companies like Fox News to make you pay attention to what they want you to pay attention to, or to make your eye fall on a particular ad. Stuff like that.”

But he says if you know how the program works, you’re less likely to be hypnotized by it. “There’s two ways to experience magic,” he says. “And I don’t mean stage magic.” You can either experience it as a spectator, watching a priest or guru. Or you can participate. “Having a guru will only take you so far,” he said. “You have to become the guru.”

But it’s not easy.… Read the rest

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The Demise Of Facebook

Facebook logoDouglas Rushkoff called the impending doom of AOL when it’s hapless merger with Time Warner was announced. Now he says Facebook is cashing out and it’s the beginning of its demise, in an opinion piece at CNN:

All signs for Facebook appear to be pointing up.

Mark Zuckerberg is Time’s Man of the Year, the movie about him seems likely to be an Oscar winner, and now Goldman Sachs is raising $1.5 billion from its favorite investors on behalf of the social networking company.

At the very same moment, Facebook’s only real competitor –NewsCorps’ waning social networking site, MySpace — is shedding employees and expenses, most likely in hopes of a fire sale.

But appearances can be deceiving. In fact, as I read the situation, we are witnessing the beginning of the end of Facebook. These aren’t the symptoms of a company that is winning, but one that is cashing out.

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Harvey Pekar & Doug Rushkoff: How Life Got Incorporated

Two pop culture mainstays, comic book legend Harvey Pekar (RIP) and author/media theorist Doug Rushkoff collaborated on a graphic adaptation of Doug’s book Life Inc: How Corporatism Conquered the World, and How We Can Take It Back for SMITH Magazine as part of the Pekar Project. Part 2 has just been published by SMITH (sample panel below) and if you missed it, you might want to check out Part 1 first. Not to be forgotten, artist Sean Pryor.

Source: SMITH Magazine

Source: SMITH Magazine

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Rushkoff: Why Johnny Can’t Program

ComputerkidsDoug Rushkoff bemoans the lack of programming in education, at Huffington Post:

Ask any kid what Facebook is for and he’ll tell you it’s there to help him make friends. What else could he think? It’s how he *does* make friends. He has no idea the real purpose of the software, and the people coding it, is to monetize his relationships. He isn’t even aware of those people, the program, or their purpose.

The kids I celebrated in my early books as “digital natives” capable of seeing through all efforts of big media and marketing have actually proven *less* capable of discerning the integrity of the sources they read and the intentions of the programs they use. If they don’t know what the programs they are using are even for, they don’t stand a chance to use them effectively. They are less likely to become power users than the used.

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Rushkoff Says Sell Now

Crowd outside the New York Stock Exchange after the 1929 crash.

Crowd outside the New York Stock Exchange after the 1929 crash.

Doug Rushkoff, counterculture guru and all-round incredibly smart dude has some worrying advice, just posted on his blog:

Yes, this is really it. The beginning of a true end-of-cycle economically.

If you own “stocks,” use these bounces to get out completely. If you have to park your money somewhere, consider yourself lucky you have money to park.

The object of the game for those who actually have capital is not how to grow it, but how to keep it. Capital has driven our economy since 1300, and the recent bull market was the end of a cycle that began in the mid-1700′s.

The fact that it is ending is not the end of the world at all. It just means that there’s a whole lot of money out there with no place to go. People can’t find a place to park their money because there’s more money looking for investment than there is stuff to invest in.

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First They Came For The Musicians…

Douglas Rushkoff writes of the perils of believing that everything journalistic can be handled effectively by well-meaning amateurs, for Harvard’s Nieman Reports:

First they came for the musicians, and I did not speak out—because I am not a musician. Then they came for the filmmakers, and I did not speak out—because I am not a filmmaker. Then they came for the journalists, and there was no one left to speak out for us.

In a media universe that for so many decades, even centuries, seemed stacked against the amateur, the Internet has made a revolutionary impact. Previously, the only law of physics that seemed to apply to the top-down, corporate-driven media space was that of gravity. King George II, William Randolph Hearst, or even Rupert Murdoch would decide what the public should believe and then print that version of reality. And inventions from the printing press to radio, which once seemed to be returning media to the people’s hands, were quickly monopolized by the powers that be.

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Program Or Be Programmed: Programming Is Our Era’s Equivalent Of Literacy

Obama Hates iPadsFascinating, albeit brief, comments by Doug Rushkoff on his blog. I can’t wait to hear more of his thoughts – I think he’s right, but what does it really mean in practice for those of who who aren’t programmers and are well past college?

I am writing Program or Be Programmed as a book. I will be done soon. Weeks, not months. Recent events in the Facebook and Apple universes have convinced me more than ever that programming is our era’s equivalent of literacy. Whether corporations are controlling the direction of technology, or whether technology is an emergent entity doing this on its own, our only option is to participate in its unfolding by participating in its programming…

Obama recently told a college audience that they’re being distracted by their iPads, and that they need to become aware of who is programming the devices they use. He is right…

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