RushkoffMail

Name:
Email:

MediaSquat

Join the Media Squatters discussion group

Events

October 23-24, 2014
Present Shock Economics
GAIN: AIGA Design and Business Conference
New York Marriott Marquis
New York, NY

October 26, 2014
Techno-Utopianism & the Fate of the Earth
International Forum on Globalization
Cooper Union
New York, NY

October 26, 2014
Media Literacy in the 21st Century
Queens College Homecoming 2014
LeFrak Hall
Flushing, NY

November 7, 2014
Present Shock and the Real Time Digital Economy
le club b
Hamburg, Germany

January 12, 2015
Kairos, Chronos, Time and Space: Designing for Humans in a Digital World
Yale School of Architecture
New Haven, CT

 

Thursday
Mar142013

New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/books/present-shock-by-douglas-rushkoff.html?ref=books&_r=0

Out of Time: The Sins of Immediacy

“Present Shock” is one of those invaluable books that make sense of what we already half-know. Playing on the title of Alvin Toffler’s influential 1970 “Future Shock,” which sounded an alarm about what Mr. Toffler called “a personal perception of too much change in too short a period of time,” Douglas Rushkoff analyzes a very different phenomenon. The future arrived a little while ago, he posits — maybe with Y2K, maybe with Sept. 11. Now it’s here. And we are stuck with “a diminishment of everything that isn’t happening right now — and the onslaught of everything that supposedly is.” Mr. Toffler warned that we would be unready for this onslaught. Mr. Rushkoff is more analytical than alarmist. He divides his thoughts into five sections addressing five kinds of profound change, and his biggest illustration of present shock has to do with the actual book itself. Because the present is more full of interruptions than the past was, it took him extra time to write. Because its ideas aren’t glib, he says, “here I am writing opera when the people are listening to singles.” And he realizes that data-swamped readers may take longer to finish books now. Coming from him the phrase “thanks for your time” has new meaning.

“Present Shock” begins by simply describing how we have lost our capacity to absorb traditional narrative. It goes on to explain what we have used to replace it. There was a time, Mr. Rushkoff says, when everything had narrative structure, even TV ads. Captive audiences sat through commercials that introduced a protagonist, presented a problem, then pitched a product to solve it. The little story ended well, at least from the advertiser’s point of view. But now viewers may be more angry than bored at such intrusions. They know that “someone you don’t trust is attempting to make you anxious,” so they ditch the ad before it’s over.

The ancient Greeks learned about the hero’s journey from Homer’s narratives. We’ve gotten decades of Homer Simpson, who “remains in a suspended, infinite present,” while his audience moves from one satirical pop-culture reference to the next. Citing “Forrest Gump” as a film that failed to combat late-20th-century feelings of discontinuity and “Pulp Fiction” as one wild enough to usher in a new era, Mr. Rushkoff moves on to what came next: the video game open-ended structure that keeps TV drama in the eternal present. About “Game of Thrones” he says, “This is no longer considered bad writing.” Changes to news presentation are even more dramatic. This book describes the present shock of politicians who — thanks to the 24/7 coverage ushered in by “the CNN effect” that began in the 1980s — “cannot get on top of issues, much less get ahead of them.” He notes that both the political left (MSNBC, with its slogan “Lean Forward”) and right (conservatism devoted to reviving traditional values) share this goal: They’re trying to escape the present.

Contrasting the Tea Party with the Occupy movement, he says the Tea Party’s apocalyptic yearning for closure is diametrically unlike Occupy’s “inspiring and aggravating” quest for an eternal present. The ways Occupy resembles the Internet make him think it may be the more durable of the two movements.

When Mr. Rushkoff moves on to what he calls digiphrenia — digitally provoked mental chaos — he writes about present shock’s capacity to be a great leveler. Now that a single Facebook post can have as much impact as 30 years’ worth of scholarship, how do we analog creatures navigate the digital landscape? How do we shield ourselves from distraction, or gravitate to what really matters? This section of Mr. Rushkoff’s agile, versatile book veers into chronobiology, a burgeoning science that has not yet achieved peak popular impact. Dr. Oz may speak of it on television, but the correlation between time and physiology is ripe for more exploration. Mr. Rushkoff, who likes being his own guinea pig, divided his writing of this book into weekly segments based on a lunar cycle.

Among the intuitive ideas turned tangible by “Present Shock” is “filter failure,” the writer and teacher Clay Shirky’s improved term for what used to be called “information overload.” Mr. Rushkoff’s translation: “Whatever is vibrating on the iPhone just isn’t as valuable as the eye contact you are making right now.”

Your new boss isn’t the person in the corner office; it’s the P.D.A. in your pocket. And there are the discrepancies between age and appearance that are increasingly possible in our malleable present. The book contends that young girls and Botoxed TV “housewives” all want to look 19; that hipsters in their 40s cultivate the affectations of 20-somethings, to the delight of marketers; and that apocalyptic types just want to opt out of time altogether. “Present Shock” gives them good reason to feel that way.

But in the end only some of the ills in “Present Shock” can be chalked up to dehumanizing technological advances. “I am much less concerned with whatever it is technology may be doing to people that what people are choosing to do to one another through technology,” Mr. Rushkoff writes. “Facebook’s reduction of people to predictively modeled profiles and investment banking’s convolution of the marketplace into an algorithmic battleground were not the choices of machines.” They were made by human intelligence, because present shock’s ways of targeting, pinpointing and manipulating aren’t just shocking. They’re very lucrative too.

References (45)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Remarkable Nfl Jerseys - Cheapest Price On Line
  • Response
    Response: Hollister
    Hi, this essay is despite the small, but rich in content. Reverie verbiage. If you want to see details:Hollister
  • Response
    Response: Mike Ditka Jersey
    NFL is definitely 1 of the largest sports in America. It has a significant following.
  • Response
    Response: check over here
    Awesome Website, Maintain the wonderful work. Thank you so much.
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: Hollister
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock,Artikel iki ditulis ing tepat Nanging, yen sampeyan pengin ndeleng artikel sing gegandhengan sampeyan bisa ndeleng informasi
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: financial freedom
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: Www.Webdzinz.Co.Nz
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: kaizen video
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: SEO Sydney
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: web design
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: Niagara therapy
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: freedom mentor
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: freedom mentor
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: sewage cleanup
  • Response
    Response: xovilichter
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: nuevo kindle
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: Neundenker
  • Response
    Response: a fantastic read
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: Anthony Alles
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: watch buyers
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: Niagara therapy
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: Seneca Skin Review
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Response: energy investments
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock
  • Response
    Douglas Rushkoff - Blog - New York Times' Janet Maslin reviews Present Shock

Reader Comments (14)

I thoroughly enjoyed the preview, really looking forward to the release on the 21st.

March 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark

I just saw Mr. Rushkoff on The Cycle on MSNBC and was impressed. I have had a feeling similar to the tone of the book for a couple years now, and have been waiting for someone to articulate the cultural shift going on. Can't wait to read the book!

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

love this article :D support

March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJ Channel
Wish you all a Happy <a href="http://www.techdroll.com/happy-raksha-bandhan-sms-whatsapp-messages-facebook-status/">Raksha Bandhan 2014</a>. Get some amazing <a href="http://www.techdroll.com/happy-raksha-bandhan-sms-whatsapp-messages-facebook-status/">Happy Raksha Bandhan SMS</a> to share with your loved ones.
August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRaksha Bandhan
<a href="http://youtu.be/Sff4OIH8PM">Camry mobil hybrid terbaik indonesia><a/>
August 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteryola
happy labor day
August 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlabor day 2014 images
The reviews "Present Shock" by Janet Maslin. Guys must read this review you should agree with him. check out this site http://bayareafind.com/buywatches/
September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJessie Wortley
I just saw Mr. Rushkoff on The Cycle on MSNBC and was impressed. I have had a feeling similar to the tone of the book for a couple years now, http://www.happydiwali-2014.com/
http://www.happydiwali-2014.com/
and was impressed.
September 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAsad
Thank for posting, good information

Harga HP Terbaru dan Terlengkap
http://hargahpterbaru.weebly.com/harga-hp-terbaru/harga-hp-zyrex-onescribe-za966

Tips Trik Komputer
http://tipstrikkomputer1.blogspot.com/

Bisnis Online Pemula
http://bisnisonlinegapteks.blogspot.com/
December 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHarga HP Terbaru
This is a great read, very interesting and a different perspective that has been thought out. Thank you for posting this

https://www.tattooshopsmelbourne.com.au/
December 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCameron

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.

Contact

Book Business Katinka Matson
The Brockman Agency
212-935-8900
Media Inquiries media[at]rushkoff[dot]com
Talks talks[at]rushkoff[dot]com
Personal rushkoff[at]rushkoff.com
All Else contact[at]rushkoff[dot]com
 

Twitter

@rushkoff

Follow @rushkoff on Twitter.

 

Elsewhere

   

Design by AMY E. MARTIN