90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Douglas Rushkoff On ‘Present Shock’

Never mind future shock.  Douglas Rushkoff says we’re suffering “present shock.”  The tyranny of the digital, always-on “now.”

Douglas Rushkoff (Photo by Johannes Kroemer)

Douglas Rushkoff (Photo by Johannes Kroemer)

In 1970, futurist Alvin Toffler brought out a soon-famous book called “Future Shock”.  It described a world in which people could no longer keep up with the pace of change.

In 2013, big thinker Douglas Rushkoff is out with a book called “Present Shock”.  It describes a world in which the change has arrived.  In a digital tsunami.  And we are lost in it.

Tumbling in an overwhelming, almost tyrannical, “now.”  A present in which we’ve lost our cultural narrative, our past, our future.  We can drown or we can thrive, he says.

This hour, On Point:  Douglas Rushkoff and “Present Shock”.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guest

Douglas Rushkoff, media theorist, documentarian, and author of the new book, “Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now.” (@rushkoff)

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN (Douglas Rushkoff) “I used to be able to justify using Facebook as a cost of doing business. As a writer and sometime activist who needs to promote my books and articles and occasionally rally people to one cause or another, I found Facebook fast and convenient. Though I never really used it to socialize, I figured it was OK to let other people do that, and I benefited from their behavior. I can no longer justify this arrangement.”

Forbes “Rushkoff toes the line between apocalypse and ascension. He diagnoses the cultural problems engendered by our disorientation from traditional concepts of time and attempts to propose concrete steps we can take to recover some sense of control and purpose.”

The New York Times “The ancient Greeks learned about the hero’s journey from Homer’s narratives. We’ve gotten decades of Homer Simpson, who ‘remains in a suspended, infinite present,’ while his audience moves from one satirical pop-culture reference to the next. Citing ‘Forrest Gump’ as a film that failed to combat late-20th-century feelings of discontinuity and ‘Pulp Fiction’ as one wild enough to usher in a new era, Mr. Rushkoff moves on to what came next: the video game open-ended structure that keeps TV drama in the eternal present.”

Excerpt: “Present Shock” by Douglas Rushkoff

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 23, 2014
Specialist Ronnie Howard, center, calls out prices as he works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear. (AP)

The global economic wobble. Europe weakness. China fears. Wild markets. We’ll lay out the global economy now.

Oct 23, 2014
A screenshot from the interactive game, "Depression Quest," the game at the root of the ongoing #GamerGate controversy. (Courtesy  "Depression Quest")

#GamerGate. Sexism, misogyny and rough stuff in a video game world culture clash.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 22, 2014
Authors Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn attend the premiere of "Meena" at the AMC Loews Theater on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.

Author and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says regular folks like us can change the world. He explains how. Plus: we remember the late, great Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee.

 
Oct 22, 2014
Health workers carry the body of a woman suspected of contracting the Ebola virus in Bomi county situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (AP)

We’ll go to Liberia, and hear from a pastor and a physician at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
1 Comment
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment