Douglas Rushkoff interviewed on Motherboard TV

Vice's Motherboard has a good interview with our friend Douglas Rushkoff.

Understanding how things work In order to make them work better is the basic hacker ethos, but Rushkoff has applied it to his broader discussion of the way the culture and politics of the many are driven by the interests of the few. Between his landmark Frontline documentary The Merchants of Cool to his recent book Life Inc., Rushkoff has indexed the risks that capitalism and corporate influence pose to democratic society. Or, to extend the metaphor, he’s sought to show how we the users routinely get screwed by an “operating system” that’s over 500 years old.

“We’re leveraged in so many ways, it’s like, our economy is leveraged to produce more than it can in order for it to survive,” he says. “It’s leveraged to grow. Human beings are financially leveraged now. So how do you roll that back and say, well, you know, ‘this is it’?” Or, rather, “How do you get the good of a zombie apocalypse without the zombies? That’s sort of what I’m trying to help people with.”

Motherboard TV: Douglas Rushkoff in Real Life


  1. I like Mr. Rushkoff.  He’s provocative.  But there’s something about him and other visionaries that I occassionally find off-putting.  He tends to be too poetic.  I find myself charmed while listening to him speak, but looking back dispassionately I’m not sure he really said anything of substance.  I like the zombie and OS metaphors.  But what is the meaning of “Human beings are financially leveraged”,  “Take up people’s vocal mechanisms”, and the entire poem he reads to the crowd?  I like David Brooks from the NYT too, but I think he’s too poetic as well, especially when compared with his colleague Paul Krugman.  I just wish Mr. Rushkoff was a little less like Brooks and more like Krugman.  Incidentally, it’s interesting that this video also contains a clip of Glenn Beck orating a bit of his own poetry.  Is poetry destroying America?

    1. i think there’s nothing wrong with poetry, the problem is how to achieve or erradicate what, through poetry, it is presented, poetry is the ultimate level of clearness that lenguage can offer, and lenguage is just a tool,  some can use the poetry to say absolutely nothing and make it sound good, and some can achieve another level of clearness through poetry, like Bucky Fuller, maybe Rushkoff hasn’t achieve that level yet, but i don’t mind him trying, and Glen Beck, well, he can try all he wants, hes getting nowhere..

      1. I’m trying to figure out if your response is satirical.  Is it?  I’ll assume it is not.  I was just teasing poetry in general, but serious with my criticism of Mr. Rushkoff.  But since you said it, I’m very intrigued; Can you give me a specific example where poetry gives “the ultimate level of clearness that language can offer” or where poetry achieves “another level of clearness?” 

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