Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age

By Douglas Rushkoff

The debate over no matter if the web 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 inappropriate: It’s the following; it’s all over. the true query is, can we direct expertise, or will we allow ourselves be directed through it and people who have mastered it? “Choose the former,” writes Rushkoff, “and you achieve entry to the keep watch over panel of civilization. decide on the latter, and it can be the final genuine selection you get to make.”

In ten chapters, composed of ten “commands” followed by way of unique illustrations from comedian artist Leland Purvis, Rushkoff presents cyber fans and technophobes alike with the tips to navigate this new universe.

In this lively, available poetics of latest media, Rushkoff alternatives up the place Marshall McLuhan left off, supporting readers come to acknowledge programming because the new literacy of the electronic age––and as a template by which to determine past social conventions and gear constructions that experience vexed us for hundreds of years. this can be a pleasant little ebook with a massive and actionable message.

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This can be how the bazaar became a feudal society of peasants right into a new thriving center classification. It was once a tradition, continually churning, blending, and bettering as contributors sought to enhance their prestige. through the past due center a long time, the bazaar used to be operating so good as a peer-to-peer economic system that the aristocracy started to fall. because the former peasants rose to turn into a center category of retailers and craftspeople, they have been not depending on feudal lords for foodstuff and safety. households who have been in energy for hundreds of years have been wasting floor.

It is because electronic know-how is biased in desire of openness and sharing. simply because we're not used to working in a realm with those biases, besides the fact that, we frequently make the most the openness of others or prove exploited ourselves. via studying the adaptation among sharing and stealing, we will be able to advertise openness with out succumbing to selfishness. regardless of how inner most and person we strive to make our desktops, our courses, or even our documents, all of them slowly yet absolutely turn into a part of the cloud. even if we easily again up a dossier through sending it to the server protecting our electronic mail, or pass as far as to create an internet site archive, all of us ultimately utilize computing assets we don’t truly personal ourselves.

Many are devoted to selling this phenomenon. expertise websites sponsor contests to determine who can exhibit the internal workings of upcoming items earlier than the brands unlock them—much to the consternation of Silicon Valley CEOs and their advertising departments. in the meantime, and masses extra considerably, websites like WikiLeaks and reminiscence gap offer conceal for activists with details they wish to unlock to the general public. no matter if it’s damning transcripts from a corporation’s board assembly or the Afghan battle coverage files of the Pentagon, the true proof now have how to upward push to the outside.

As soon as a message is launched—whether via anyone or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company—it isn't any longer in that person’s keep watch over. the way it is got, the way it is modified, and if it is replicated and transmitted is as much as the community. might the easiest meme win. ads companies think they've got all this interactivity in hand. they appear on the electronic communications area as a “conversation” by which the newly empowered client can converse her brain to the corporate, ask for what she wishes, after which see herself mirrored within the model.

I’ve endeavored to provide an explanation for ten of the main major ones right here, in addition to the way to flip them from liabilities into possibilities. yet you'll without doubt proceed to discover others. i urge you to discover them, get a hold of your personal concepts, after which percentage them with others—including me. If dwelling within the electronic age teaches us something, it truly is that we're all during this jointly. might be extra so than ever. * * * nine. The Bureau of work data (http://www. bls. gov/) updates those figures every year. 10. See Richard Clarke, Cyberwar: the subsequent chance to nationwide defense (New York: HarperCollins, 2010).

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