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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


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

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  • brettearle

    I hear people complain, all the time, about how the quality of communication, between individuals in our society, is deteriorating.

    Are there any better examples of this kind of disintegration than instances where technology has completely taken over situations and circumstances–where live, 1-to-1 communication was once the preferred, if not the only, option?

    • DeJay79

       what are those situations?

      are you asking a question or making a point?

      • brettearle


        But as far as the second half of your question is concerned:

        For example:

        depending on social media such as FaceBook

        While one could argue that such measures, within technology, broaden everyone’s network, I would argue that such outlets put a crimp–sometimes, if not often–on quality of communication and helps to increase anonymity.

        Anonymity, is the one enemy, in my view, that shrivels 1-1 communication.

        Even this thread, here, has its downside….as do Talk Shows.

        • DeJay79

           but, with out this show and this post site you and I could not have this meaningful debate. Not that you know me from Adam or I you but we are both real people and sharing our ideas.

          and many days when I get home I will talk with my wife about the conversation and share what others have said about it, good or bad, insightful or stupid. For Gregg or not from Gregg (jk Gregg).

          my point is change is change and connections are many in quantity but less in quality but that does not mean that we will have no meaningful relationships or conversations.

          • brettearle

            We agree more than you are letting on to yourself.

            If you my read comment more carefully–which isn’t all that hard to do–you will see that I acknowledge the upside or else imply it.

            BUT….there is SOMETHING–and here’s that word again: PALPABLE, that is broadly adverse, about not meeting you face to face.   

          • JobExperience

             I get  it. Keep up the careful effort.

          • brettearle


    • JobExperience

       Examine the quality  of understanding and constructive activity among the discussants on this board and you will see reality.

      • brettearle

        Explain further….

        How far should I take your cynicism?-if, indeed, it is cynicism.

        • JobExperience

          My post is Rushkoffian in that it is vague  enough to appeal to a very shallow thinking mass audience. But it is also directed at astute longtime posters like brettearle who might surmise that the quality of On Point and On Point comments are a race to the bottom.

          I read these pages for many years never writing anything. I was here to laugh at my friend Grady Lee Howard. After he died I felt a need to fill the void, but I’m not capable. He was a dynamo and a savant, with a nasty personality.

          • brettearle

            First, thanks for your kind comments, about my work, here on the Threads.

            I’m still in the developing stage of an understanding about your own work.
            [I can clearly see you're quite articulate.]

            That having been said, it is not fair to say–at least I don’t think it is–that everything here reaches “its” Lowest Common Denominator.

            [Although admittedly, there have been a few times, when I was planning to lodge a formal protest [and I still might.]]

            Some people, here, are fairly well-informed–sometimes more than I.

            It is certainly less negative than the place, from where I am a renegade.

            That place was a national website of political and cultural discussion.

            And the verbal attacks, there, make the ones, here, seem like a Love-In.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    I see cell phone zombies. Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re cell phone zombies.

    The social skills of children are deteriorating. This is tragic and undermining our already lobotomized society.

  • TrueAdventure

    zapped my fb accounts weeks ago

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      Don’t worry, it is still there, somewhere. There is no true deletion.

      • JobExperience

         Yet the Memory Hole lives.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

    Quick! Name, an e-device that lacks an on off switch.  A more appropriate title for this show might be voluntary e-zombies.

  • Loring Palmer

    Douglas, please, are we seeing the last gasp of the rational approach of post-modernism driven into absurdity? Are we pushing off of these ideas that no longer serve into the integral paradigm that can work in all areas? For example, integral politics, integral education, integral spirituality. ‘Evolutionary’ is the new buzz word because it sees this integral narrative as the next Big Idea. This would include the philosophy of Ken Wilber (‘A Brief History of Everything’), Don Beck, (“Spiral Dynamics’) Steve McIntosh,(‘Evolution’s Purpose’) Howard Bloom,(‘The God Problem’), and especially Andrew Cohen, with his ‘Evolutionary Enlightenment’, that he refers to as the “universe project.” 
    What do you say?
    Thank you.

  • JobExperience

    Turning off devices is not enough. To be free one must find other activities more productive. Keeping people online is social control. It will take a critical mass of off-liners before we are freed.
    (the Web has gone the way of radio, TV, telephony and the moving image before…. totally commercial to the exclusion of all else. The definition of commercial is “in the interest of the Owners.”)
    Voluntary face-to-face association, like Occupy, is the only peaceful antidote I know. (Rushkoff’s career is media dependent, I wonder if he could sacrifice it for freedom.)

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      Hey you! Get off line. how did you get here?

    • Whaar Garbl

      This is the opinion of someone who was only recently introduced to the online world.  When you say “online” you actually mean “connected to social media”.

      There’s pockets of people who are online and never socialize, keep to themselves, or have their own networks of people across the world who have a lot more freedom and wealth of peace than you could ever imagine.

      It isn’t about turning off.  It’s about personal management.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Luddites of The World unite!

    I don’t even know if I’m kidding any more.

    • JobExperience

      Had we maintained a non-commercial public Internet the content would be sparser  but higher quality, and interactions more beneficial. It works the same way as medicine. Medicine for profit is always bad medicine. Selling your mind for the privilege of communicating never works out. How many hours a week does the typical texter work to gain access?

  • creaker

    The big difference with change now, at least for the US and Europe and Japan, instead of changing upward, we’re changing downward. The middle class, at least as middle wage earners are being phased out. The floor for the poor is being lowered. Technology is making a large working class obsolete. And changing downward is much, much harder to deal with.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    We are not men, we are vidiots.

    This topic reminds me of the TV show Max Headroom which painted the vision of a dystopic future where interruptions in video feeds could trigger riots.

    One basis for happiness is feeling a sense of self determination; the inability to construct or envision a future is a form of depression.

    The nowness of today is OCD on steroids.

    It has destroyed broadcast news – there is no time for confirmation, if a scoops is not published ten seconds ago, it’s lost.

    It has destroyed our management

    - corporations are managed now by bureaucrats managing stock price controlled by the whims of swing traders on Wall Street holding stake in their corporation for 500 milliseconds. 

    - politicians are too busy to make decisions based upon historical fact and don’t even try to avoid the pitfalls of decision making by learning from history.

    There is no narrative except look at ME, look at ME NOW!

    We are indeed a nation of Vidiots!

    • JobExperience


  • nj_v2

    Hmmm … re. M.r Rushkoff’s observation of the “now” emphasis…

    I’ve noticed in some journalism outlet—especially local, teevee news— that the reporting of events that have already occurred is increasingly written as “New round of bombs explode in Iraq,’ or, “Large accident ties up traffic.” The events in question may have occurred many hours previous, yet the present tense is used.

    Similarly, at the end of some program segments, it’s common to hear, “We’re back after this break.” rather than, “We’ll be back after this break.

    • JobExperience

      Look, he’s stealing Naomi Klein’s idea of Shock Doctrine, arguing that it’s 24/7. But  he presents the damage as stochastic and not pre-determined. He’s with EasterChrist who pleads “they know not what they do.” Doug wants the benefit of selling a critique that excludes criticism of Capitalism. He’s typical of hothouse intellectuals serving power these days. He goes to the edge of the ocean only to dampen his toes.

      Nutshell: How can Tom and Doug return when they never arrived?

    • http://mbhs.edu/~jeglick Jerome Glick

      Yeah, I agree. As a budding radio broadcaster I have promised never to “fake the present tense” in my announcements.

  • hellokitty0580

    I often feel that because technology makes everything happen so fast, I am in this eternal rat race that I can never win. I don’t even really WANT to be in this rat race except I feel I HAVE TO BE to be relevant and have a job and make friends.

    And I have to also question the quality of what society is being presented with when everything is happening RIGHT NOW. There is often something to be said for ideas and products that are cultivated over time. Are we gaining speed at the expense of quality and what are we speeding forward to? Its overwhelming.

    • JobExperience

       Don’t behave like a rat. Decline to race.
      Then you’ll arrive in no time.

    • http://mbhs.edu/~jeglick Jerome Glick

      Remember what Aesop said: “Slow and steady wins the race.”

  • http://twitter.com/bbelgard Brian Belgard

    The author bemoans the extinction of narrative in the way we see the world. I will cede him the point, 
    but I don’t see this as a negative. Our narrative perspective is an awful way of seeing the world. 

    Events overlap, focus changes, and the central theme necesary for a narrative understanding almsot never exists. 
    Nothing is finite or tied up and concluded like it would be in a narrative form, and this understanding provides a better way to understand the world. 

    • JobExperience

      If the narrative method of comprehension is a result of structural limitations of the brain and our evolution then abandoning that history and structural accommodation puts the individual mind at a distinct disadvantage and makes it dependent (for judgment) upon digital technology owned or controlled by  others. This is far more consequential than the industrial revolution which forced the masses only to rent their bodies for labor. It may mean we must now pay to think, and that thougt not integrated into the commercial sphere will be extinguished.  In short, maybe activity is shifting to a part of the spectrum not detectable to our biological senses and we are as blind slugs under a rock. (I realize my insight is beyond Rushkoff but I have hope many here share my intuitions.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Where’s my jetpack? This is not my dream ;^)

    • JobExperience

      Farts are silent in Cyberspace, but gut propulsion remains possible.

  • nj_v2

    For most of human evolution, we (as a species) have been exposed to and have had to process orders of magnitudes less information than what most of us now have to deal with.

    I wonder how this will affect our biology on an evolutionary time scale.

  • http://twitter.com/allen2saint allen 2saint

    I think the author’s own “broad brush” approach to this idea is more of a self promotional tool than an accurate assessment of our time. He clearly has done NO research on the Occupy movement, which has a ton of planning. He annoys me. 

    • brettearle

      How do you account for the Occupy Movement shriveling?

      It’s `Heart’ may have been in the right place.

      But I would argue that the Movement, indeed, suffered from a lack of strategic planning.

      • http://twitter.com/allen2saint allen 2saint

        Look up the large amount of info available on Occupy Sandy. Same people. It’s a horrible example. 

        • JobExperience

           Charity under Capitalism is a hyper-conformist activity. Pretty soon the Habitrail builders start fighting over lost hammers. It is a joke that anarchists would be needed to direct victims to government handouts. But they were needed. Crazy ain’t it.

      • JobExperience

        It flourished from a lack of agenda setting, and it will again, before you know it. I’m working on  large paper mache puppets for street demonstrations already. You’re just  out of the loop. Maybe you smell like “the Man.”

    • http://twitter.com/professorjacko professorjacko

      I can see the objection, but reading the book, as with his other writing, I see him, not trying to be a savant, but to break open a certailn dynamic for discussion and consideration.

    • JobExperience

       That has been the repetitive and easily discernible pattern of Rushkoff’s career. He made money piggybacking so why change now?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nathan-Carpenter/1037994265 Nathan Carpenter

    I have a theory that I’d like Mr. Rushkoff to address:

    Connection is a premium service–we are told that there is a digital divide between those who are connected and those who are not.  But as connectivity becomes ubiquitous, are we going to start seeing “disconnective” services emerge, that is, services that “buy back” our time or serve as surrogates for our online existences?  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    Patience has been a casualty of the digital revolution. One wonders if children raised on instant access to infinite ( & often useless ) information will ever develop that essential human trait.

    • JobExperience

       The commercialized Internet means compulsory streaming gonzo porn in every room. That is the law of diminishing returns in advertising.

  • Jill Zimmerman

    For me, this Present Shock concept fits in with the Intense World Theory explanation of Autism.  The world becoming so much more “intense” it pushes fragile, hyper-sensitive (and often gifted) minds to withdraw within. They are being bombarded with so much information, they can’t communicate well with others and share their insights.  I suspect this is especially true for many kids, identified or not identifed, as extremely high-functioning Asperger’s. If the world can’t slow down and streamline a bit, we may miss connecting with many brilliant minds. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Yes, I see this clearly. Certain minds have a compulsion to accumulate information. It’s natural for them to seek knowledge. However, the “glut” & “bloat” of the internet thows so much crap at the seeker that it all amounts to sensory overload & mental fatigue. This is true & uncomfortable for me but it must be absolutely hellish for someone with symptoms along the autistic spectrum even as it quenches some of the desire to learn more about specific topics.      

      • JobExperience

         You know me well.

    • JobExperience

      Were you a Starchild in the 60s? We talked like you do back then. 

  • ToyYoda

    Just get over it.  Prioritize, assess, and choose a life of some utlity rather than doing a lot of nothing.  Does it matter that you can’t keep up?  Think back 10 years ago, when you ‘missed the boat’ on some occasion.  How much has that miss effects your life today?

    The answer is it doesn’t.  And if it does, you had 10 years to make up fo it, and so you have no excuse.  So, miss out on a blog or tech stream, and enjoy the new found time that you have.

  • LianeSperoni

    With this new presentism is there a place for justice, and with justice, reconciliation?

    Justice is the relationship of the present with the past,  to change the future. But what we repeatedly see in our politics, is a refusal to “look back.” And this translates into people who have committed crimes getting off the hook for the sake of “moving forward.”

    • JobExperience

       It’s a perverted etiquette allowing the wealthy and powerful secrecy and impunity. It says that their doings are so much more important than our own that to disturb them is to risk catastrophe. Such an ethic meshes well with state terrorism which mobilizes fear for control. Respectful, afraid and silent is how Oligarchy likes it’s citizens. We can deconstruct such a falsehood by emphasizing the human vulnerability of those in the 1%.
      Soon we see that only their money and conspiracies maintain them, and that they are worse than we are. Then the cult of celebrity and awe will die.

  • http://twitter.com/bootlegbruiser Bruiser

    “History began with text”– some people’s history. let’s not continue to marginalize oral-history based cultures like the US’s Native tribes. k bye.

    • J__o__h__n

      Who knew Herodotus was English?

    • JobExperience

      Every archaeologist and many geologists would argue against that conception.(as Bruiser does)  Down the cue a writer (Brian Belgard) wonders if the narrative form matters and if we must abandon it. I think that would be human undoing. We are our story, his-story, her-story, their-story.

  • J__o__h__n

    I’m more annoyed by having to listen to constant blather from cellphones than I am by intrusions from the digital world. 

    • JobExperience

      And the microwave radiation, insidious and invisible, disease inducing, even second-hand users are bombarded.

  • Addy_10

     The example of Occupy makes me think that we might be getting away
    from pendulum swing, and slowing down to land in the middle. The optimist in me things that maybe,
    because of the acceleration of information available, we as a species
    actually do have a better understanding of our own behavior, and are
    learning that the drama and backlash against previous trends will not
    solve the original problem.

    Although I do have to wonder if we will push back against the pace and obsession of the digital age and its information flood.

    • JobExperience

      Glut is a powerful method of censorship.

  • LianeSperoni

    it seems like what he’s talking about is frivolousness not about the past

  • Claudia Paraschiv

    What would your Douglas Rushkoff say about the idea of eternal return, well described by Milan Kundera: “The idea of eternal return is a mysterious one, and Nietzsche has often perplexed other philosophers with it: to think that everything recurs as we once experienced it, and that the recurrence itself recurs ad infinitum! What does this mad myth signify?Putting it negatively, the myth of eternal return states that a life which disappears once and for all, which does not return, is like a shadow, without weight, dead in advance, and whether it was horrible, beautiful, or sublime, its horror, sublimity, and beauty mean nothing. We need take no more note of it than a war between two African kingdoms in the fourteenth century, a war that altered nothing in the destiny off the world, even if a hundred thousand blacks perished in excruciating torment.
    Will the war between two African kingdoms in the fourteenth century itself be altered if it recurs again and again, in eternal return?
    It will: it will become a solid mass, permanently protuberant, its inanity irreparable.
    If the French Revolution were to recur eternally, French historians would be less proud of Robespierre. But because they deal with something that will not return, the bloody years of the Revolution have turned into mere words, theories, and discussions, have become lighter than feathers, frightening to no one. There is an infinite difference between a Robespierre who occurs only once in history and a Robespierre who eternally returns, chopping off French heads.” (unbearable lightness of being)

    • JobExperience

       Nutshell: Rushkoff’s insights are insignificant.

  • mairelena

    Does anyone remember Fahrenheit 451?  Not the movie, the book.  This is what Mr. Rushkoff is talking about.  Read it.

    • JobExperience

      See also the Frank Langella film “Frank and Robot.”
      We should thank Frank for  giving Barbara Walters shingles.

  • OnPointFan

    Excellent show, and excellent point about just now about “fractalism.”  First noticed this with GPS vs. old fashioned paper maps, where you have the overview right in front of you, big picture. You can see where are you and where you are headed, and could picture this in your head.

    With GPS, you see everything piecemeal and you can’t figure out the big picture of where you are in space. It’s all chopped up into little immediate pieces.

    The old maps let you connect where you are and what it looks like overall, in real location space, while you’re driving or walking in it.

    • JobExperience

      You need a bigger tablet.

  • L armond

    These digital devices are advertised as adding to your life, when they actually subtract.  You can’t ‘become’ if you have no time to be.  

    • JobExperience

      The same is true of a washing machine or an air conditioner.

  • J__o__h__n

    That is an interesting point about having to grow up in public now on Facebook but I don’t think that this is a source of stress for people growing up online.  It is more alarming that people no longer value privacy.  I don’t want to have public conversations with friends on a Facebook wall.

    • JobExperience

      You’re right- they’re numb socially.

  • http://twitter.com/professorjacko professorjacko

    I’m reading the book right now. My son (now 27) wrote a book when he was 3 called “Mr Everything Right This Second’s Christmas”. He was commenting on the humor with he saw the need to know and own NOW immediately. I’ve saved it as a reminder. “Merchants of Cool” I showed to my students for years. The next step is understanding how live in this endless present. I hunger for narrative and psychological insight to cope, not perpetual recognition. Have you read “The Clock of the Long Now”. Danny Hillis gets it!

  • LianeSperoni

    I think it is worth remembering that “we” don’t live in a post-industrial age because there is still a large segment of the population who are industrial workers whose products we consume. Because “we” of the digital realm relate to these industrial workers (where the clock still rules) as consumers we have not been “liberated” from the clock- we are their time-keepers, albeit indirectly.

    • JobExperience

      Excellent, wonderful, superb suggestion…. but is On Point capable of something so precise? Plugging books and puffing up celebrities leads to lazy radio. Diane Rehm would not be allowed by handlers to try it, but she would most certainly fail if she tried. I think maybe that political analysis would require the skills of Christopher Lydon, David Graeber or Naomi Klein. Haven’t heard them on NPR lately, have you?

      Thanks so much for remembering the billions of people doing the necessary work.

  • http://twitter.com/professorjacko professorjacko

    And BTW. That was a really rude cutoff of the show today. Ashbrook deserves more than to end the show and the guest with a brick wall. You guys need money, but lighten up,

    • JobExperience

       True. It was like porn without orgasm.
      Jack-on, jack-off, the slapper!

  • burroak

    The digital world has arrived, 21 century technology is commonplace; with many benefits. But, how many hours do we spend each day with this?  Whether it is a television, computer, smartphone or ipad.

    Do we spend more and more time looking at a screen, and less time at a face, a sunset, landscape, streetscape, a pet perhaps?

    It is ironic that this extraordinary technology has facilatated much of everyday life; so much so that sometimes we loss the wonder of an ordinary moment.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2WYSYVZOQAV4VMQ7F5XBXJWEUY David

    After listening to the first part of the show it became readily apparent the every person on the show was incapable of seeing the present without the filtering it through our past. For us old folks to be privy to the present we should be listening to 10 year olds who are not biased by the past. What we consider intrusions and pressure and shock are most likely considered necessities by people who are “of the present” and not just “in the present”. We can’t understand the present by looking for compasses, analog clocks and old time values. They are irrelevant. Society may be evolving into a hive mind where a billion tweets or texts form one conscious thought representing society as one being. Just a thought. I know I can’t perceive the present as it really is, but I am fascinated by it.

  • geraldfnord

    I would like to see the death of all narratives, and live only in the actual world, which can feel inadequate—everything alive will die, for one thing—but (though you might have heard otherwise) there is no other.

    • JobExperience

      Big G.- Did you ever consider that our brains evolved to capture Mileiux as narratives and are weakened in their critique without the device of storymaking. The oral tradition supports such a view. I wrote more about that below, as did others. Now you are correct that narrative (especially Hero cosmology) results in celebrity and probably wealth  and power worship, but it may be our soul too. Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers broadcast hours 30 years ago to explain how to work through it to grasp reality. Reality alone leaves us fixed in the present where “what is” is always good. C. Wright Mills thought a Sociological Imagination (intelligent storymaking) would fix that. We continue that struggle in all political resistance, artwork and creative writing. Consider crazy Ayn Rand, at least we can point at her narratives and say WRONG, so wrong. Maybe the insight that digital (like Rushkoff’s interview) lacks narrative is an important caution.

      • http://twitter.com/aachsherman Aaron Sherman

        Yeah, I would like to live only in the “actual” world too sometimes, until I realize that it is impossible for a subjective being. Since narrative is inevitable, I can’t help but wonder if it is also good and appropriate.

  • http://profiles.google.com/filmi.girl Filmi Girl

    @JobExperience:disqus  Thanks for calling out all of Rushkoff’s bullshit. I listened to the show this morning and started a mental checklist of all the bullet points he’s going to use on the powerpoint slides of his next round of corporate speaking gigs.

    We’d all benefit greatly from less navel-gazing wheel-spinning like the stuff Rushkoff peddles and more time engaging in the world.

    We’d also all benefit greatly from learning to filter out the informational white noise like the stuff you see on Yahoo and reading a history book or two.

    • JobExperience

      Filmi: Why listen to a 63 year old loser? Decide for yourself (you have). As I had Rushkoff in the background and a laptop in front of me I was reading “Rethinking Money”, a book by Jacqui Dunne and Bernard Lietaer about complimentary currencies and how they can stabilize depressed economies. They might also be a step toward self-sufficiency and Worker Self-Directed Enterprise. Doug Rushkoff was a pretty good reviewer and reporter before he began smoking his own weed. Cultural analysis is crippled when the presenter lacks any fixed POV, a coherent worldview, or even a particular opinion. Information is not informational without context.
      Doug is gonna be getting those $50 checks from Amazon for about 8 months and then they will trail off to $30… $15….$21….$6….   The present market is glutted with mediocre printed matter no one has time for. Shows like On Point get kickbacks to plug some not-so-hot scribbling.

  • Mike_Card

    Why is this a feature of On Point?  This guy is a total geek-fest.

    Meta-analysis is exactly right–he has nothing to contribute to the conversation.

    • spencercmc

      incoherent.  really disappointing.  he was all over the map.  reminds me of when deutsch was on talking about his book “the beginning of infinity,” but at least deutsch started making sense less than half way through.

      • http://twitter.com/aachsherman Aaron Sherman

        I’ll agree he was all over the map, but I think it was because the categories assumed in Ashbrook’s questions didn’t fit Rushkoff’s categories very well.

  • Gregg Smith

    I heard only a small portion off the show but it was enough to draw me in and get me to read the 8 pages above. I found it interesting and accurate but I don’t know what to do with it.

    • JobExperience

      If you assign  a tonal value to each sentence it can be arranged and played. It’s ragtime, comes out as “The Sting” by Scott Joplin.

  • markcoman

    This nonsense of permanent now, and erasing time. The problem is that youth can’t tell the difference from Reality and a video game. Kids need to learn there are real consequences for their actions before they find out the hard way and end up in jail or worse. The future you mold through your choices will come weather you like it or not. Life is about making choices. One needs to Plan ahead, and think of the consequences of their actions. It isn’t enough to just live in the now, Or the past. The Internet is just a communication and information tool. To make it something more, to replace reality, and time with it is begging for trouble.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1083360111 Kevin Malicki

    Rushkoff is a genius who will never be fully appreciated.  He tied together so many loose ends in my research as a communications undergrad. 

  • spages

    Ironically, I feel like I need to read this book. RIGHT NOW!

  • MordecaiCarroll

    “When you accelerate that wheel with digital technology, it really is untenable”

    Exactly.  Applying digital means within the economic framework we have now is undoubtedly more efficient in the short term, but over the long term this increasing speed and efficiency becomes unsustainable to the humans that it was designed to help.  People have limits.

    Or I should say, it becomes unsustainable if the changes it brings aren’t accompanied by changes in our larger economic framework. 

  • geralldus

    The point Rushkoff makes of the compression of of past and present is valid. The internal map we have of reality is built up out memories and these are sequentially stored in out mind and range from distant past to the present.

    We have a problem with our adaption to present technology where past and present are mixed so it is difficult to see an orderly sequence of event. Also the digital world is one in which nobody dies and past heroes can always be resurrected in brilliant HD. There has always been change and there always will be, but today the connectedness we have gives this a remorseless pressure which worries people. To balance this go into the garden every day for a week and look at the same spot and see how little changes….nature is very very slow!

    Constant digital connectedness also presents problems that seem to me driven by a terror of isolation. This fear is itself driven by a lack of knowledge and understanding of our own internal worlds. Access to this internal world is complex and often frightening and means facing a version of ourselves which which we may dislike. Another unfortunate consequence of realising our own isolation is acceptance of the fact that we are born connected but die alone, but that’s another topic entirely!

    So, in conclusion Rushkoff is reflective and interesting if slightly prone to wandering off topic at times, still very enjoyable and the sun is out today, so all is well…..

  • humbow

    This was a fantastic show, and I’m off to buy the book.

  • http://twitter.com/emptyhandspvd hutch1377

    “I’m an anlog man”. there is no way that the record was recorded in analog. Try some Electric Wizard or The Templars or Uncle Acid or Windhand for analog recordings.

Aug 20, 2014
A man holds his hands up in the street after a standoff with police Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, during a protest for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. (AP)

A deep read on Ferguson, Missouri and what we’re seeing about race, class, hope and fear in America.

Aug 20, 2014
In this Oct. 21, 2013 file photo, a monarch butterfly lands on a confetti lantana plant in San Antonio. A half-century ago Monarch butterflies, tired, hungry and bursting to lay eggs, found plenty of nourishment flying across Texas. Native white-flowering balls of antelope milkweed covered grasslands, growing alongside nectar-filled wildflowers. But now, these orange-and-black winged butterflies find mostly buildings, manicured lawns and toxic, pesticide-filled plants. (AP)

This year’s monarch butterfly migration is the smallest ever recorded. We’ll ask why. It’s a big story. Plus: how climate change is creating new hybridized species.

Aug 19, 2014
Lara Russo, left, Cally Guasti, center, and Reese Werkhoven sit on a couch in their apartment in New Paltz, N.Y. on Thursday, May 15, 2014.  While their roommate story of $40,800 found in a couch made the news, other, weirder stories of unusual roommates are far more common. (AP)

From college dorms and summer camps to RVs and retirement hotels, what it’s like to share a room. True stories of roommates.

Aug 19, 2014
Police wait to advance after tear gas was used to disperse a crowd Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, during a protest for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer last Saturday in Ferguson, Mo. (AP)

“War zones” in America. Local police departments with military grade equipment – how much is too much, and what it would take to de-militarize America’s police force.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Your (Weird? Wonderful? Wacky?) Roommate Stories
Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014

We asked, and you delivered: some of the best roommate stories from across our many listener input channels.

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Our Week In The Web (August 15, 2014)
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On Pinterest, Thomas the Tank Engine and surprising population trends from around the country. Also, words on why we respond to your words, tweets and Facebook posts.

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Nickel Creek Plays Three Songs LIVE For On Point
Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014

Nickel Creek shares three live (well, mostly) tracks from their interview with On Point Radio.

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