Program or Be Programmed
Program or Be Programmed

Program or Be Programmed

Douglas Rushkoff
Full Title
Program or Be Programmed
Last Highlighted
March 26, 2015 11:56 PM (CDT)
Last Synced
June 8, 2023 1:13 PM (CDT)

Walter Benjamin,

Note: find this essay

According to best estimates,[4] only 7 percent of human communication occurs on the verbal level. Pitch, volume, and other vocal tone account for 38 percent, and body movements such as gestures and facial expression account for a whopping 55 percent.

Note: we needsigns for these : 7,38,55

Instead of looking to monetize or otherwise intercede between existing social connections, those promoting networks should be looking to foster connections between people who are as yet unknown to each other yet potentially in need of each other. And then let them go about their business—or their socializing.

Note: so key to 4.0 success

Those who succeed as communicators in the new bazaar will be the ones who can quickly evaluate what they’re hearing, and learn to pass on only the stuff that matters. These are the people who create more signal and less noise, and become the most valued authorities in a digital media. But the real winners will once again be those who actually discover and innovate—the

Now that students can find out almost anything they need to online, the role of the teacher must change to that of a guide or coach—more of a partner in learning who helps the students evaluate and synthesize the data they find.

The real problem is that while our digital mediaspace is biased toward a shared cost structure, our currency system is not.

Now that digital technologies offer us identity confirmation, secure transactions, and distributed networks, we have the ability to operate local-style currencies on a global scale. Net-based, or “e-currencies,” have already been experimented with successfully in gaming environments, and are now under development around the world for more practical applications across great distances.

Participation is dependent on knowing both the programming code necessary to make valuable additions and the social codes necessary to do it in ways that respect the contributions of others.

Digital technology is programmed. This makes it biased toward those with the capacity to write the code. In a digital age, we must learn how to make the software, or risk becoming the software.

We look at developing the plots and characters for a game as the interesting part, and the programming as the rote task better offloaded to people somewhere else. We lose sight of the fact that the programming—the code itself—is the place from which the most significant innovations emerge.

So considering the biases of a technology before and during its implementation may not be so trivial after all. In the case of digital technology, it is even more important than usual. The automobile determined a whole lot about how we’d get from place to place, as well as how we would reorganize our physical environment to promote its use. Digital technology doesn’t merely convey our bodies, but ourselves. Our screens are the windows through which we are experiencing, organizing, and interpreting the world in which we live. They are also the interfaces through which we express who we are and what we believe to everyone else. They are fast becoming the boundaries of our perceptual and conceptual apparatus; the edge between our nervous systems and everyone else’s,

These stages of development—from player to cheater to modder to programmer—mirror our own developing relationship to media through the ages.

Note: ould this inform the 4.0 continuum?

Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses, the first great “mod” of Catholicism, and later, nations rewrote their histories by launching their revolutions.

Our enthusiasm for digital technology about which we have little understanding and over which we have little control leads us not toward greater agency, but toward less.

We are too busy wading through our overflowing inboxes to consider how they got this way, and whether there’s a better or less frantic way to stay informed and in touch. We are intimidated by the whole notion of programming, seeing it as a chore for mathematically inclined menials than a language through which we can

Digital technologies are different. They are not just objects, but systems embedded with purpose. They act with intention. If we don’t know how they work, we won’t even know what they want. The less involved and aware we are of the way our technologies are programmed and program themselves, the more narrow our choices will become;

On the other hand, the more humans become involved in their design, the more humanely inspired these tools will end up behaving. We are developing technologies and networks that have the potential to reshape our economy, our ecology, and our society more profoundly and intentionally than ever before in our collective history.