douglas rushkoff

douglas rushkoff bw

First encounter – Program or Be Programmed, book links to amazon:

prgram or be prorammed


Find him many places – perhaps start here:

link twitter



and/or here:

wikipedia small





and/or here:

douglas rushkoff site

present shock


book links to amazon


present shock notes..

present shock highlights

so many resonating thoughts/ideas…


The fractal is less threatening when its shapes are coming from the inside out.

without an agenda

Jerry seemed content to attend for attendance’ sake.

For Michalski, the “self” is defined by connections. TheBrain isn’t about him, but about everyone else he has met

As of today, Jerry has over 173,000 thoughts in his brain file, and 315,000 links between them, all created manually.23

It’s amazing what creative people can come up with when there’s nobody there telling them what to do.”

The fractal is the beautiful, reassuring face of this otherwise terrifying beast of instantaneous feedback. It allows us to see the patterns underlying the seeming chaos, the cycles within the screechy collapsed feedback of our everything-all-at-once world

Fractals are really just a way of making sense of that screech. Deep inside that screech is the equivalent of one of those cyclical, seemingly repetitive Philip Glass orchestral compositions. We just don’t have the faculties to hear i

after talking about nipping things in the bud.. [again – the starfish]:

there is no bud. Just pollen. Everywhere.

In a networked ideascape, the ownership of an idea becomes as quaint and indefensible a notion as copyright or patents. Since ideas are built on the logic of others, there is no way to trace their independent origins. It’s all just access to the shared consciousness. Everything is everything.

Nothing’s personal—except maybe the devices through which we connect with the network. New ideas seem to emerge from a dozen places at once, a mysterious zeitgeist synchronicity until we realize that they are all aspects of the same idea, emerging from a single network of minds

Steven Johnson would remind us, ideas don’t generally emerge from individuals, but from groups, or what he calls “liquid networks.”1 The coffeehouses of eighteenth-century London

spaces of permission – with nothing to prove – play:

There is no time for an artist or scene to develop unless those involved take extreme measures to isolate themselves and avoid being noticed

taking care of 7 billion artists – a plan for 100% of humanity:

the beauty of a flow-based economy is that it favors those who actively create value

Yes and no,” I replied, breaking the binary conventions of digital choice making

Digital time ignores nearly every feature of kairos, but in doing so may offer us the opportunity to recognize kairos by its very absence

Chronos can be represented by a number; kairos must be experienced and interpreted by a human.

Kairos is perfect timing relative to what’s going on, where chronos is the numerical description of what happens to be on the clock right then.

while digital technology can serve to disconnect us from the cycles that have traditionally orchestrated our activities, they can also serve to bring us back into sync

betting on the sync

Seeing this previously hidden information gives us new access to natural rhythms and the ability to either adjust them or adjust ourselves and our lives to their warning signals.

Or better than simply following along, technologies can sync to us and generate greater coherence for all of us in the process

Everything is recorded, yet almost none of it feels truly accessible.

The time it took to open a file drawer was recorded down to the hundredth of a second, in order to determine the standard time required to complete any job. Once that was known, the efficiency of any particular worker could be measured against it

In a scheduled world, you are told you have half an hour to peruse an exhibit at the museum; in a programmed world, you are strapped into the ride at Disneyland and conveyed through the experience at a predetermined pace.

more here:


Facebook is not the Internet. It’s just one website, and it comes with a price.

agreed.. but the same is true about everywhere no? the same happens on twitter, no?


Life Inc. Dispatch 01: Crisis as Opportunity from Douglas Rushkoff on Vimeo.


Likewise, elementary school boards adopt “laptop” curriculums less because they believe that they’ll teach better than because they fear their students will miss out on something if they don’t. We feel proud that we’re willing to do or spend whatever it takes to use this stuff—with little regard to how it actually impacts our lives. Who has time to think about it, anyway?

Rushkoff, Douglas; Leland Purvis (2010-11-01). Program or Be Programmed (Kindle Locations 158-161). OR Books. Kindle Edition.

We do not know how to program our computers, nor do we care. We spend much more time and energy trying to figure out how to use them to program one another instead. And this is potentially a grave mistake.

Rushkoff, Douglas; Leland Purvis (2010-11-01). Program or Be Programmed (Kindle Locations 193-195). OR Books. Kindle Edition.

Most of the smart folks who could help us are too busy consulting to corporations—teaching them how to maintain their faltering monopolies. Who has time to consider much else, and who is going to pay for it?

Rushkoff, Douglas; Leland Purvis (2010-11-01). Program or Be Programmed (Kindle Locations 217-218). OR Books. Kindle Edition.


program or be programmed
great review of douglas rushkoff’s book
my fav quotes from Venessa:

  • If we agree to categorize ourselves based on the choices available, we become more predictable, our potential for exposure to novelty narrows, and we conveniently transform into statistics for consumer research and targeted advertising.
  • In some instances, all this tagging and categorization based on preferences is valued for the personalization it gives us and assistance in decision making. But, we should be aware that there is a point where a trade-off is being made, and we begin to voluntarily limit our perspectives and ability for growth.

[reminds me of Kevin Kelly’s what tech wants.. minimize what we do, but keep the options limitless]

  • No amount of reading or theorizing can replace prototyping, testing, and experiential learning and knowledge building.
  • In fact, it seems the closer you are to the actual creation of value, the further you get from the money.
  • In essence, we’re all marketing to each other instead of just doing the thing we’re advocating.
  • by approaching the digital experience with the understanding that nothing is really off the record, we can shape our online identities by being willing to own the words we say.
  • As Rushkoff put it, “The history of the Internet can probably best be understood as a social medium repeatedly shaking off attempts to turn it into something else.”
  • Like Buckminster Fuller said: You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

via @zephoria

also from danah boyd
the 2011 horizons report 

wondering in the critical challenges if we flipped – went bottom up for importance. specifically, organizing, tagging/coding video documentation, esp conversation. (humanity 4.0 – all about convo)


Michael Wesch‘s 2011 rethinking ed:

1 min – Douglas Rushkoff et al- that’s not just – we’re getting another renaissance

4 min – if you’ve got enough links… you don’t need the hierarchy anymore..


the invention of the corporation..

our commitment to debt based system..

the distrust..

it’s good for when aliens attack..

not good when we want to inhabit reality..

we need to use our heads.

occupy – not just riling up against the now.. fighting an unlevel playing field that has been building up for years..

don’t let anything too particular define it

maintain cohesion without centrality..

now occupy your town.


four of us made the road trip to ContactCon – put on by Douglas and Venessa:



Douglas is evangelist for codeacademy:

codeacademy siteas it reads on site:

Douglas Rushkoff, PhD. (Digital Literacy Advocate), is a new media theorist and activist dedicated to promoting digital fluency around the world. His books include Program or Be Programmed, Present Shock, Life Inc, and Media Virus, and his PBS documentaries include Merchants of Cool, The Persuaders and Digital Nation. He also played keyboards for PsychicTV.


rushkoff on snowden

Ed Snowden is a hero because he realized that our very humanity was being compromised by the blind implementation of machines in the name of making us safe. Unlike those around him, who were too absorbed in their task to reflect on their actions and pause in their pursuit of digital omniscience, Snowden allowed himself to be “disturbed” by what he was doing. More in the midst of technology than most of us will ever be, Snowden disengaged for long enough to be human, and to consider the impact of what he was helping to build. He pressed pause.



17 min – maybe there’s not health care, but there’s healthier people…

26 min – let’s not re-ify the system

32 – how do we scaffold so that this can grow in a sustainable way.. because the shouting doesn’t work

1:07 – exactly nicco – create one that makes the original go away.. one that doesn’t even talking about voting.. congressmen.. 

1:16 – max interaction w/min coercion -

how about no coercion.. ?

1:19 – diversity… (nicco)

city as ecosystem

1:20 – security..

does security matter if transparency occurs as thunderclap

1:25 – tools.. (anna)

what if it’s our personal fabrication.. that makes it possible/useful any/every second

1:27 – collaboration to be easier (ben)

again – if the conversations are part of your being.. talking as data, app & collab space

1:31 – peer to peer

in the city

meet your neighbors..

big does go to small.. govt becomes neighborhood gatherings.. conversations/doing/being becomes your vote.



generation like (2014 53:04):

generation like

[also on thought maybe site here:]

are we all asking the wrong questions..

the social currency of this generation – likes.. instant gratification

for kids today – you are what you like

6 min – hunger games – teens forced by adults to battle each other as a form of public entertainment – being a fan isn’t so different. on their website.. kids can compete on twitter to be best fan

it’s really cool – them noticing you.. because other kids notice.. and then they like you too – empowerment

7 min – there’s no one there (online) saying – you can’t say that

9 min – getting people to be all about something is big business.. biggest transformation in communicating with consumers..

11 min – now a huge corp push to collect as much data as possible… who interacts with who.. who likes what.. where the currency of likes.. turns into actual money

12 min – instagram: 1 bill; twitter: 30 billion; facebook: 140 billion; prices based on volume of likes they can generate

to get kids involved: do it – by giving kids a chance to be a part of the game… ie: photos part of promotions

16 min – there’s no point in not wanting all of us to rise together..

17 min – new type of company – the audience – run social media in behalf of musicians/actors/etc – to build/leverage a social network

19 min – merging the fan bases  – then funded by major brands – everybody seems to be getting what they want…

21 min – soon – all those little likes turn into youtube gold – a walking billboard for sponsors

24 min – views rise as videos gets racier (even though his passion is skateboarding)


26 min – ways to get seen more? do crazy stuff.

seth – money isn’t the only currency.. suddenly your arm doesn’t hurt  -because you know you’re famous

how much fame is enough…

28 min – oliver’s company is running the show (not so much the talent of the person) – the audience – in the end.. selling the audience.. and the audience is you

obvious and transparent.. or simply invisible…

customer as marketer… get the audience to sell the product for them… embeds trust, ie: adding captions.. comments.. shares.. contests

34 min – may be catching fire… but dowsed with gasoline beforehand.. barnes – nytimes – yeah – nothing is left to chance.. totally timed out.. the goal is to create a brush fire... every bit of it is being manipulated… studios worry that once you realize there’s a man behind the screen – it’ll be over

38 min – base shows (music video) in afternoon – on convos on twitter… 

kids come up with content… then help to promote it back to themselves… and selling stuff for companies all along… 

companies hoping for brand loyalty

41 min – my plan for the future is world domination.. but by my own rules

selling out isn’t selling out anymore if you get the gold ring

42 min – not sure young people even know what selling out means

so not so good if we keep focusing on consumerism.. money as success..

has tyler won the game of likes..? is this it? can kids really win when they don’t make the rules

teens are creating this.. and there’s this giant underclass that like like like

44 min – founder of kiip – turn every moment into your life into a gaming opportunity – rewards from corps.. no mention of ads… we say – rewards… serendipity by design… becoming mast manipulators of games themselves

46 min – to get sponsors – you have to get people to like you..

but ultimately kids are out there alone

49 min – the whole world can watch as your numbers rise or fall

mom saying of her daughter – if i have a full body picture.. she gets more likes… 

bad – selling out authenticity to gain a like/attachment.. empty success ness.. whether with money or not..

but it’s cool the way it’s helping people to become expert at something they love.. 53:47 ness

can kids really win when they don’t make the rules – douglas

getting likes does feel good – at least in the moment – douglas

post on Douglas’s site:

likes on rushkoff site



spring 2015:

This is media studies for Occupiers.


via thought maybe site – digital nation – (2010, 1:21:34):

3 min – Sherry Turkle – been teaching at mit for 30 yrs – pressure on teaching – coming up with things that will distract them (kids) from the web

4 min – not that they’re dumb.. they’re just not paying attention.. they’re drinking the kool aid..

or – perhaps – they can now see beyond the classroom

6 min – Clifford Nass at stanford – mri’s studying multi tasking… in general the brain can’t do 2 things at once..  so experimented with youth that seemed to be doing 5-6 things at once… testing how fast they can switch between tasks w/o losing focus… found that even though they think they are good – they are slower, disorganized

wrong question.. no?

9 min – Turkle – the point is to be our best creative selves… not to distract ourselves… at the end of the day – after multi tasking – i feel i haven’t thought deeply about anything

10 min – Douglas – maybe we’re changing what it means to be a human being – when using all this stuff

how a young person chooses to use their time.. will have an effect on their brain

11 min – brain on google – Gary Small

12 min – bigger is not necessarily better.. looking at brain scans.. this was a call for reach research – Douglas

13 min – research can’t keep up with it, ie: getting grants/permission to do research..

14 min – on addiction


s korea – legendary internet cafes – kids sometimes stay overnight to play games… better than doing homework… a few people have actually died in these cafes…

again – an addiction

but because we’re realizing how empty, ie: compulsory school is, no? it’s not the net.. it’s the absence of that first 7 hrs of the day.. filled with supposed to‘s – so this is escapism..

created a society johann






18 min – mom wishing games didn’t exist… i think if i can’t control my son right now.. i’m losing him..

so what are the kids thinking… what do they wish didn’t exist…

so kid sent to a camp – internet addiction

20 min – treatment seemed like it was meant to capture a childhood lost to the computer

oh my. how about childhood lost to school. computer was just an escape.. can’t we listen to that…?

21 min – Douglas talking his book cyberia – when he was convinced web could help us change in good ways… i felt like i was in on a secret… over the past 20 years… the net has changed from what it does.. to being on it all the time

korean govt -taking a stand – elementary – taught to use computer right away – but also how to use them in a healthy way

24 min – watching my kids.. how did they figure this out..?

26 min – Steven Maher – teacher using tech – helped me see my kids might need a diff ed than me

Jason Levy – principal – took over school in 2004 – vision – have all kids with laptops..  tech is like oxygen… violence down, attendance up… scores up

something is working here… but is there a catch to this..

30 min – oppenheimer – author – the flickering mind – my concern is their short attention spans

sometimes.. teacher bores us – so we go online – monitor kids on laptop

wait – no question about that..? turning into different humans? oh my.

32 min – but what about kids at mit and experiments at stanford… is there a pt of diminishing return

student: if there were 47 hrs in a day i’d read hamlet – but there’s not

33 min – book – the dumbest generation – mark bauerline – we want them to grow up and blow us away – with literacies, reading/writing skills, knowledge about history/art, their civic activity.. but we just don’t see it..

raised eyebrow..

he claims writing skills are suffering too..

while our skills of surveillance are getting better. ha.

Nass – changes of way kids write… less of a notion of big idea carried through..

unless they’re approaching the limit of life.. that most of us don’t get. 24/7 ness. and we can’t keep them in our box.. so we’re calling them dumb…. calling it bad… dangerous. (while yes.. it’s dangerous that we have this tech/net but still forced to live in boxes – science of people in schools ness)

35 min – so of course kids are agreeing.. they know they have to … still in the box

36 min – Marc Prensky – confusing best/old ways to do things once with best ways doing things forever… it’s not that they shouldn’t express (verbs) the nouns they use (essay, ) that’s what changes … i don’t know that the book is the best way in the 21st cent

37 min – when print came into being – one thing we lost was memory – is it a loss? sure. but that’s the price of gain.. Jim Gee

38 min – Henry Jenkins… when asked – do you struggle with distraction – i don’t know anyone on the planet who doesn’t struggle with distraction – but this is not a new issue… we are seeing a period of evolution.. and we’re better as a society if we’re open to this as an exploration

39 min – stories gathering on frontline digital nation site

40 min – great story… 83 yr old lady and grandson have hit cooking show – i have to say that the internet added years to bubby’s life

42 min – there’s something missing that they have to pour their heart out to me..

2 needs

43 min – world of warcraft… getting you into the screen

44 min – Katie Salen – elements of games… this immersive world.. have a hard problem to work on – and other people to work on it with

46 min – game conferences – have desire to connect.. meet face to face..

48 min – avg amount of time people play wofw – 10 hrs a week.. but many play more than that

on addicted:

escapism ruins oases arendt




49 min – tech (games) not isolating – but giving people a new way to be intimate

Philip Rosedale – creator of second life – to Philip – not a game – but a new reality

53 min – solving alienation tech has helped to create – with more technology

mechanism as placebo… has to be created that way.. can’t be dependent on it.. if freedom is our mission

55 min – ibm using it – to save money on travel meetings..

57 min – yeah – i still don’t get that

59 min – studying effects on brain with virtual vs real

1:01 – making Doug 10 inches taller – made his success of a deal better… then carried over into face to face (even though not 10 in taller)

swimming with whales experiment – the virtually swim with whales then later believe they really did

1:02 – working on stress in fighters, overtime – they are able to tone down their own levels of anxiety and stress

tech is rapped up in the story of war – military has been a driver for tech – also creates new dilemmas

ie: wage a war when one side is in real life and the other isn’t, ie: drones – war flight suits to remind themselves they’re fighting a real war

drones – precise – with no cost to american lives – pentagon is clamoring for more

1:05 – Noah Shachtman – wired editor – different attitude… when you’re dealing out risk but not accepting it – they do take a lot of care of civilian casualties.. but there’s no way of knowing..

1:10 – disconnect of being at war and at home…

1:11 – close recruiting centers – and opened army experience center


we have what young americans want and what they like.. recruiters know if they don’t (oblige) they’re not going to have the army men they’ll need for the next century.


1:13 – i came – played – and decided i had to do something more than the came – so i signed up and left w/in a couple weeks.

1:14 – i think most kids are smart enough to understand – diff between reality and game – in regard to war

but – earlier – kids are dumb..

1:15 – Katie – kids have the ability to move between digital and real – quest2learn – using gaming for entire curriculum. games get us an incredibly engaging learning experience…. if you can’t engage that kid in wanting to learn… you’ve got a real problem on your hand

1:17 – schools are one of the places in our society where you can have a convo without being distracted by machines.. we have to protect that – Oppenheimer – the flickering mind

? – has he been in school?

1:17 – maybe there’s something these kids are getting that we haven’t learned how to value yet

and that we won’t ever if we don’t free them… from the escapism et al aspect..

1:18 – Turkle – tech challenges us to figure out our values.. that’s hard to do.. it’d going to take time

1:19 – Doug – tech to find other people, to remake the world in their own terms…

– – –

wished i would have seen this before contactcon.. maybe..



mar 2015 with Jason Silva:

Jason Silva and Douglas Rushkoff | Creative Session

4 min – adjacent possible no longer connected to the real… but rather.. let’s build this platform – the eyes of the prize is kind of counter balanced – when it’s not explored in the present – D

rather than app to transform the world – app to raise stocks – J

or even build second life instead of this life – D

6 min – i say humans matter because i’m on team human – D

7 min – problem with constructivism is that it’s great to plan.. but hard to remember that we have to keep testing it with reality – … as long as that dream/trip is brought back into reality – rather than a way to get out of reality.. – D

escapism ruins oases arendt





drug induced high or tech high – our desire to chase these states… to hack perception – don’t you think that’s an amazing opportunity to play.. J

sure.. but … while we’re chasing our highs… we’re supporting a tech structure that we’re not in control of.. – D

12 min – for me the best part of the trip is coming down.. waking up in the morning.. ie: now what.. (from all that)  – D

after the trip – a reset of the self – J

groundhog day ness

the beauty of the coming down is you see the structures at face value.. – and can question that – D

when i came down – oh… we can do it this way – rather than build on structures that we had before. there are plenty of people to get you high as long as you don’t come down to question (paraphrase) – D

systemic ness – fractal ness

16 min – lower entry – but less who have made it than before – because they’re not selling the music – selling attention rather than music – D

18 min – awe – antidote to intellectual dispair –  all these takeaways after blowing your own mind – more alturistic/compassionate/etc  – J

20 min – i think D is talking placebo ness here

22 min – i’ve always envied people (like my mother) who find awe in everything.. then there’s those of us who have to induce it.. – J

23 min – awe videos as self-medication  – J

24 min – the trick is to help people understand this isn’t reality but metaphorical ways of understanding reality.. we are like computers… memes are like genes… they’re just prone to the sort of m meade, g bateson abstracted understanding of reality as this kind of participatory mediated spectacle..

how can we upgrade our operating systems.. -J

the digital thing is so key.. the opposite of global/google.. for me digital is always the digits – local means of production… the whole local.. burning man, occupy, .. occupying reality… – D

27 min – you don’t have mental references for what you’re seeing.. so experience changes – subjectivity is transformed – on burning man – J

28 min – a p to p bizarre appeared – after the breaking of the piñata – with 8 yr old girls – D

how do you define creativity… what happens to brain.. J

29 min – when humans do what only humans can do.. the expression of the paradox.. the weirdness.. the ambiguity.. – D

liminality – the inbetweeness – J

33 min – can’t write a book that never ends..?

34 min – i think there’s something going on here that we don’t yet know about (not just complexity) – D – what if they’re wrong (big bang et al) –  if we don’t understand the very basic building blocks of reality – i’m concerned about ditching reality for another one…

disneyland is like if the nazi’s had won and they weren’t evil.. but that’s not real – D

37 mi – it won’t matter if they’re real when you’re done – because when it’s over it will be real – J

i like it – i just don’t like it more than what i got. – D – you got to ask – what’s the purpose

38 min – the purpose is catharsis – J – spaces where we sort shit out

the world of the self can be a lonely place.. the reason we do inner work is so we can go out and engage with people. the practical concerns are so real – D

the practical concerns are being addressed…  – J

oh my.

40 min – i just want to make sure we don’t use these medicines.. the same way we use prosac – D

41 min – right now – my frame of mind is just my disappointment in bitcoin

43 mi n- q&a

44 min – maybe we’ll find out we’re not that unpredictable – J

45 min – i’m going to behave as if this is real (that perception matters and we have free will) – and as if they are the ones who haven’t figured things out – D

50 min – q: how can we afford the opportunity

a: i was lucky… i made 8-10000 yr and i was fine with that.. coming out as a slacker.. my idea was to not have to work.. that’s why i hear obama and jobs are artifacts of renaissance..  lentils and rice.. you can live a long time on that.. you can survive.. i did that for a good long time. i tutored kids on sat’s in beverly hills mansions.. i was lucky. i’m a child of privilege – i had a long way to go down.. even though my friends saw me as the poor kid. and then – not getting off the bus.. i’ve not worked for others. – D

55 min – for me i like steven johnson’s the world has a lot of clues and you can read your way through it. my parent’s encouraged me to find my bliss. george carlin – psycho cybernetics.. brain a goal seeking mechanism.. you can teach your brain what to look for. 1. notice what moves you. 2. write it down. 3. look at notes later. primes your brain to see serendipitous connections.. hacking your brain to pay attention. that’s kind of like what i’ve done. you have those patterns marked in  your head. – J

1:00 having a kid – the slow of evolution have been staring me in the face all the time – oh my gosh those aboriginal people who we didn’t think knew much actually have what we need. – D

1:03 – you get your seat the table and you then are propaganda ist rather than journalist – so now what – D

a nother way. that.

1:06 – 95% of communication is non verbal – so what happens when you just text – D

i see – but – that is in a way biased to the communication style we are comfortable with.. maybe we’ll transcend words – J

science of people in schools ness. no words ness.

face to face time should be face to face time.. -D

1:12 – q: wants there take on a systemic change in ed.. but then uses siloed success markers.. like graduating

a: education is due for a massive upgrade.. how we teach how we learn.. intro’ing crazy psycho tropes into the classroom – J – i was in montessori – big fan of sir ken – my mom also taught in the broncs.. so throw away what’s not working .. et al

so dang – why in the classroom? have you not experienced that in one of your trips..? what good is the high then. dang.

a: after my decade of awe – i said i’m going to the darkest places.. and test my awe – so i went to s africa.. et al .. to challenge and earn my awe by going dark. the only good trip is a bad trip. get as lost as i can and then come back. ed is one of those places. use digital tech to make them better in this (consumer) system. or we can say – use tech to ask – what’s education for.. right now.. what it’s for.. to create workers for factories..  now what is it for… depends on what we think the future of the economy is. if we think people only need to work 10% of the time… so then – ed is to embue people with critical thinking.. maybe ed is to develop people who will create the next ed system. – D

again – dang – why school? – why not just live the 10% time now.. or whatever. why aren’t we questioning school..


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