(webvisionsevent/Flickr)

Author and trend-spotter Douglas Rushkoff says humans are living in the present more than ever before. But he isn’t talking about a serene Zen-like state of being in the moment. Instead, thanks to mobile devices and other technology, “presentism” is characterized by a constant state of distraction, and a need for immediacy which affects virtually everything: the way we tell stories, invest money, and even evaluate politicians. Rushkoff joins us to talk about his new book, “Present Shock.”

Guests:
Douglas Rushkoff, media theorist and author of books including "Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age" and "Life Inc."

  • Frankish

    The banksters are living in the present more than anyone, because presently they are having a field day raping the world economic system. Whereas your average Joe’s presentism is more about tweeting a snapshot of some Thai junk food he ate for dinner. The banksters ate the economy and the political system. In fact if you look at what they did to Greece and Ireland it appears they’re eating entire nations. So much for Joe Blow’s $10 curry fried rice.

    • Guest

      Posts like this made 13 HOURS before the program even starts are essentially spam.

      • Kahn

        I’d rather have an intelligent comment posted yesterday than a dumb, censoring comment like yours posted today. Shame on KQED for caving into your cowardly attack on ideas that you do not like.

        • thucy

          I support Kahn’s position. Christine Bush’s comments are generally thoughtful; her attempt to censor others, and Forum’s acquiescence, is not.
          I also think that Forum was providing a useful public service in allowing the (now-censored) original commenter to “call ’em as he sees ’em.” Now we’re all forced to wonder how Ms. Bush managed to get an idea she disliked erased.

          • Guest

            I just shared my observation. The moderator apparently agreed. No conspiracy of censorship exists here.

          • Frankish

            @Christine Bush:
            You’re like the criminal mastermind who organizes a robbery, then later claims innocence when the dupes you induced to commit the crime get caught. You’re guilty. You can’t escape it, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel.

          • Guest

            I am not uncomfortable with anything that has happened here, or anything that I have said. I could make the same claim about the original comment, but I will not because I’m a grown up.

          • Guest

            And by the way: this thread is making an *assumption* that KQED deleted the comment in the first place. Perhaps the original comment was removed by its author. I asked for no such action.

          • Amanda Stupi

            Hi everyone,

            The Forum staff did not delete the original comment made by Frankish. Our commenting system, Disqus, did for some reason – this sometimes happens,
            usually though it’s obvious why a comment gets blocked or deleted — i.e. use of curse words, legitimate comments that get interpreted to be spam, etc. Neither apply in this case. We will work with Disqus and follow-up to see why this comment disappeared. In the meantime, we have reposted the comment.

            Thank you all for your thoughtful comments, for being
            engaged listeners, and for keeping the discourse civil.

            Regards,

            Amanda Stupi
            Forum Producer

        • Guest

          I actually don’t have much disagreement with he sentiments expressed. I am suspicious, however, of their purpose when they have so little relevance to the program’s topic and are posted so far in advance. I appreciate that being able to post real time is not something everyone can do and I did not suggest comments should be closed in advance or anything of the sort. I have no desire to censor anyone, but this is not a Facebook wall. It is an extension of a program about a particular topic.

          Cowards fail to act or speak. I took action by pointing out a concern.

          • thucy

            I disagree that the original commenter was somehow “off-topic” with his statement on the banks. Many of us know about Rushkoff because he was outspoken after the bailout, and worked with early anti-bailout groups.

            Perhaps you missed the Rushkoff context, but not all of us did.

          • Guest

            If the original comment had made this clear, I would not have called it spam. It read like scree. I called it scree. This apparently makes me a “criminal mastermind,” lol. I am amused, not apologetic.

          • Frankish

            So Christine, you admit you acted wrongly, but you’re not apologetic?
            Maybe you should take up high finance… they need people who are wrong but unapologetic.

          • Guest

            “Hell is other people.” Jean Paul Sartre

          • Frankish

            Not when you’re a good person, and don’t try to censor ideas you don’t like.

  • Guest

    Was Mr. Rushkoff influenced by Robert Pirsig’s work (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Lila)? Or, by Foucault’s interest in the “history of the present?” Does Mr. Rushkoff see any correlation between his concept of Present Shock and hypercoherence?

  • thucy

    Rushkoff makes a good point on Occupy, but I thought Eliot Spitzer’s praise of the group for actually having managed to change the paradigm was more accurate.
    I never much liked Rushkoff, but I gained a new appreciation of him after I saw him speak post-bailout on medieval guilds, and the (I think) importance of building real connections within your own community as a means of resistance to powerful corporations (or in their time, poeerful states.)

  • Guest

    The clock significantly predates the industrial age. “The Salisbury Cathedral clock, built in 1386, is considered to be the world’s oldest surviving mechanical clock that strikes the hours.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clock).

  • thucy

    Rushkoff makes a great point on problems with timeline for brain mapping project.

  • thucy

    the comment on botox bollixing up communication is worth the entire interview!

  • Guest

    Listeners should be aware that the guest is making use of only one of several uses of the term “presentism.” It has a totally different meaning in the context of literary and historical analysis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presentism_(literary_and_historical_analysis)

  • Whenever I have made comments to friends and aquaintences along those lines-not as eloquently as Mr.rushkoff- I’ve noticed a degree of defensiveness. This must hit deep in the human psyche, they realize that they are not as in control as they think they are.

    • Frankish

      Yes, perhaps this is why we have seen an attempt to censor speech in this comment area.

  • RS Love

    Wow. Infinite Jest meets Infinite Jester…

    Hyperventilating, speed-talker, master of generalizations, coherent incoherence, poof goes the Neil Postman show in an itsy-bitsy torrent of an almost “present moment” moment, Zelig-like performance of so many cultural critics, please, bring back Theodore Roszak from the past future, way back machine – or, is Rushkoff really just Hunter Pence’s long lost brother with so much nervous energy that he can drip a perfect Philz coffee with a thought… (BTW, the botox, time-altered lady appeared in Brazil). I could use a Vente right now.

    But I’m hoping Forum will invite Roger Thurow to talk about The Last Hunger Season so we can return to Earth in time to talk about the here and now.

    • thucy

      Nothing wrong with a few jesters!

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