Douglas Rushkoff on Singularity Podcast

by Socrates on October 13, 2010

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Today I have Douglas Rushkoff as my guest at Singularity Podcast and we discuss a variety of topics such as his most recent book Program or Be Programmed, the impact of modern media and social networking, technology in general and the technological singularity in particular.

Who is Douglas Rushkoff?

Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other’s values. He teaches media studies at New York University, serves as technology columnist for The Daily Beast, and lectures around the world.

Rushkoff’s new book, Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age, is a followup to his Frontline documentary Digital Nation. His previous book was called Life Inc. was also made into a short, award-winning film.

Douglas has ten best-selling books on new media and popular culture which have been translated to over thirty languages. They include titles such as Cyberia, Media Virus!, Nothing Sacred, Get Back in the Box and Coercion. He has written and hosted three award-winning Frontline documentariesThe Merchants of Cool, The Persuaders, and most recently, Digital Nation.

  • Cymast

    “I don’t trust Zuckerberg or Facebook . . ”

    Well said, Rushkoff! I’ve always avoided MySpace, and tried Facebook but deleted my account. Perhaps it’s a flaw in my personality but I find them too cartoonish to tolerate. Even if they were less spammy-looking and more streamlined, (like Twitter) they have gotten enough negative press to dissuade me from trusting and using them. So I guess I choose to be manipulated by the anti-MS / anti-FB media instead of directly being manipulated by MS / FB. But in a sense, I’m still making decisions based on what those platforms do, right?

    I really like Rushkoff’s comment about consciousness being emergent rather than innate. For me personally, that’s the best framing I’ve heard to facilitate conceptualizing the possibility of self-aware, sentient, conscious non-biological machines.

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  • Nunya

    Very annoying background commotion.

  • Socrates

    I am sorry about that Nunya — the background noise you are referring to was not coming from my end. I tried to filter it as much as I could without distorting Rushkoff’s voice but that was all I could do. Rushkoff is a very popular and busy guy and I suspect he may have been multitasking while giving the interview… At any rate, I thought it is better to post an interview rather than not…

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