Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age by Douglas Rushkoff

By Douglas Rushkoff

The talk over no matter if the web is sweet or undesirable for us fills the airwaves and the blogosphere. yet for the entire warmth of declare and counter-claim, the argument is largely irrelevant: it's right here; it's in every single place. the genuine query is, can we direct expertise, or will we allow ourselves be directed by means of it and those that have mastered it? "Choose the former," writes Rushkoff, "and you achieve entry to the keep an eye on panel of civilization. pick out the latter, and it can be the final genuine selection you get to make." In ten chapters, composed of ten "commands" observed by way of unique illustrations from comedian artist Leland Purvis, Rushkoff offers cyberenthusiasts and technophobes alike with the information to navigate this new universe.

In this lively, obtainable poetics of latest media, Rushkoff choices up the place Marshall McLuhan left off, aiding readers come to acknowledge programming because the new literacy of the electronic age––and as a template in which to work out past social conventions and gear constructions that experience vexed us for hundreds of years. this can be a pleasant little ebook with an immense and actionable message.

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The numbers used to represent the song—the digital file—is perfect, at least on its own terms. It can be copied exactly, and infinitely. 47 PROGRAM OR BE PROGRAMMED In the digital recording, however, only the dimensions of the sound that can be measured and represented in numbers are taken into account. Any dimensions that the recording engineers haven’t taken into consideration are lost. They are simply not measured, written down, stored, and reproduced. It’s not as if they can be rediscovered later on some upgraded playback device.

Instead of making a product from beginning to end, each worker on an assembly line completed one small task in the overall process. The product moves from person to person—or even nation to nation—as it is assembled. Each person means less to the production cycle. One’s skill level becomes less important as repeatable processes replace craftsmanship and expertise. Workers become cheaper and replaceable, while corporate pricing power puts local companies out of business. Towns become ever more dependent on foreign-owned factories for employment.

Ophir, C. Nass, and A. D. Wagner. ” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences vol. 106 no. 37 (September 2009), 15583–15587. 29 PROGRAM OR BE PROGRAMMED we transmit sound like orders barked over a walkie-talkie in a war zone. Everything must happen right away or, better, now. There is no later. This works against the no-time bias of digital media, and so it works against us, even though it might work for the phone company programming the device and inducing our dependence and compliance. ) It’s not that the net has somehow changed from an asynchronous medium to a synchronous one.

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