Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age

By Douglas Rushkoff

The debate over even if the internet is sweet or undesirable for us fills the airwaves and the blogosphere. yet for all of the warmth of declare and counter-claim, the argument is basically irrelevant: It’s right here; it’s far and wide. the genuine query is, will we direct expertise, or can we permit ourselves be directed through it and those that have mastered it? “Choose the former,” writes Rushkoff, “and you achieve entry to the keep an eye on panel of civilization. select the latter, and it can be the final genuine selection you get to make.”

In ten chapters, composed of ten “commands” observed via unique illustrations from comedian artist Leland Purvis, Rushkoff offers cyber fanatics and technophobes alike with the ideas to navigate this new universe.

In this lively, obtainable poetics of recent media, Rushkoff alternatives up the place Marshall McLuhan left off, assisting readers come to acknowledge programming because the new literacy of the electronic age––and as a template wherein to work out past social conventions and tool buildings that experience vexed us for hundreds of years. it is a pleasant little e-book with a major and actionable message.

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Unfortunately, although, they have been genuine pals. even if solid on-line or within the actual global, those digital connections are an extension of our social fact. those are the folks who support us locate the perfect health professional after we are in poor health, who help us whilst we’re out of labor, and who convenience us once we lose a relative. They’re those who aid us discover a sofa to sleep on whilst we’re touring, a good get together to visit on Saturday evening, or the suitable graduate software for a cross-disciplinary examine curiosity. ultimately although, some of these contacts are much less useful for the actual issues they may do for us than for the mere proven fact that they're they're attached to us in any respect. Friendships, either electronic and incarnate, do create worth. yet this doesn’t suggest the folk in our lives might be understood as commodities to be amassed and counted. everyone is now not issues to be bought piecemeal, yet dwelling contributors of a community whose worth can simply be discovered in a free-flowing and social context. we've but to determine what that price can be. content material was once by no means king, touch is. but the probabilities for brand spanking new degrees of human connectedness and collaboration provided by way of networking applied sciences have infrequently been tapped. we're too sluggish to achieve that folks will not be a sort of content—a source to be received and bought; they're fellow cells within the larger organism of which we're all an element yet are slightly conscious. We price our elevated contacts for what they may supply and omit the larger worth of the touch itself. however it is that this touch, this wish to build a social organism jointly, that has been the driver of electronic know-how all alongside. The intuition for elevated touch is the evolutionary central we suppose to develop into whatever more than ourselves. simply as atoms mixed into molecules, molecules clustered into cells, and cells accumulated into organisms, we organisms are networking into higher degrees of association. this is often the true draw of the various interactive units now we have introduced into our lives. In a feeling, the folk disregarding the internet as one other type of CB radio had it correct: we're nonetheless simply discovering novel methods of chatting with each other. From the ridiculous faxes humans used to ship to one another containing lists of undesirable jokes to the tweets we now transmit via cellular phone, every one new communications know-how offers a brand new excuse to forge connections. The content material isn't the message, the touch is. The ping itself. It’s the synaptic transmission of an organism attempting to wake itself up. VIII. truth inform the reality The community is sort of a fact serum: positioned whatever fake on-line and it'll ultimately be published as a lie. electronic expertise is biased opposed to fiction and towards evidence, opposed to tale and towards fact. this implies the best choice for these speaking in those areas is to inform the reality. prior to what we expect of as media even existed, the vast majority of our details trade came about on the bazaar—the industry and social area the place humans accrued to shop for and promote items, catch up with neighbors and, most likely most significantly, research what used to be taking place of their global.

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