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
Aug 31, 2015
This July 30, 2014 photo shows Margerie Glacier, one of many glaciers that make up Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park. With melting glaciers and rising seas as his backdrop, President Barack Obama will visit Alaska next week to press for urgent global action to combat climate change, even as he carefully calibrates his message in a state heavily dependent on oil. (AP Photo/Kathy Matheson)

The scramble for the Arctic. President Obama’s in Alaska. We’ll look at the stakes.

Aug 31, 2015
Oliver Sacks (Elena Seibert)

Oliver Sacks, celebrated neurologist and best-selling author, has died at 82. We’ll listen back to our remarkable 2013 interview with Oliver Sacks on life and aging.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 31, 2015
A television photographer takes video of a memorial for the two slain journalist in front of the studios of WDBJ-TV7 in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday.  (AP)

Lessons from the Roanoke TV shootings. We’ll look at the way forward with the New York Times’ Nick Kristof and other top thinkers.

 
Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments
 
Do You Recognize Amazon’s Workplace Culture? Tell Us!
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015

Do you recognize the workplace conditions described in a recent New York Times piece on Amazon? We want to hear from you!

More »
5 Comments