Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now
Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock, in conversation with David Weinberger
June 18, 12:30pm ET
Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall, Classroom 1015
This event is at capacity.
The always-on, simultaneous society in which we have found ourselves has altered our relationship to culture, media, news, politics, economics, and power. We are living in a digital temporal landscape, but instead of exploiting its asynchronous biases, we are misguidedly attempting to extend the time-is-money agenda of the Industrial Age into the current era. The result is a disorienting and dehumanizing mess, where the zombie apocalypse is more comforting to imagine than more of the same. It needn't be this way.
Winner of the Media Ecology Association's first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, 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 is technology and media commentator for CNN, digital literacy advocate for Codecademy.com and has taught and lectured around the world about media, technology, culture and economics.
His new book, Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now, explores the always-on, simultaneous society in which we live, as well has how this new temporal landscape influences media, culture, economics, politics, and meaning. His previous best-selling books on media and popular culture have been translated to over thirty languages. They include Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age, a followup to his Frontline documentary, Digital Nation, and Life Inc, an analysis of the corporate spectacle, which was also made into a short, award-winning film.
His other books include Cyberia, Media Virus, Playing the Future, Nothing Sacred: The Truth about Judaism, Get Back in the Box: Innovation from the Inside Out and Coercion, winner of the Marshall Mcluhan Award for best media book. Rushkoff also wrote the acclaimed novels Ecstasy Club and Exit Strategy and graphic novel, Club Zero-G. He wrote the graphic novels Testament and A.D.D., for Vertigo.
He has written and hosted three award-winning PBS Frontline documentaries - The Merchants of Cool looked at the influence of corporations on youth culture, The Persuaders, about the cluttered landscape of marketing, and new efforts to overcome consumer resistance, and most recently, Digital Nation, about life on the virtual frontier.
His commentaries have aired on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR's All Things Considered, and have appeared in publications from The New York Times to Time magazine. He wrote the first syndicated column on cyberculture for The New York Times and Guardian of London, as well as regular columns for Arthur, Discover Magazine and The Feature. He also hosted is own radio program on WFMU, The Media-Squat.
Rushkoff has taught regularly for NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, The New School University, the MaybeLogic Academy and the Esalen Institute. He also lectures about media, art, society, and change at conferences and universities around the world.
He has served on the National Advisory Board of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, the Board of Directors of the Media Ecology Association, The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, the United Nations Commission on World Culture, and as a founding member of Technorealism. He is on the Advisory Boards of MeetUp.com and HyperWords. He has been awarded a Fullbright Scholarship, and Senior Fellowships by the Markle Foundation, the Center for Global Communications, and the International University of Japan. He served as an Advisor to the United Nations Commission on World Culture and regularly appears on TV shows from NBC Nightly News and Larry King to the Colbert Report and Bill Maher. He developed the Electronic Oracle software series for HarperCollins Interactive.
Rushkoff is on the board of several new media non-profits and companies, and regularly consults on new media arts and ethics to museums, governments, synagogues, churches, universities, and even Fortune 500 companies that are willing to listen to reason.
Rushkoff earned his PhD in New Media and Digital Culture from Utrecht University with a dissertation entitled Monopoly Moneys: The media environment of corporatism and the player's way out. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, received an MFA in Directing from California Institute of the Arts, a post-graduate fellowship (MFA) from The American Film Institute, a Fulbright award to lecture on narrative in New Zealand, and a Director's Grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has worked as a certified stage fight choreographer, an SAT tutor, and as keyboardist for the industrial band PsychicTV.