Having learned the hard way that hater-baiting is a loser’s game I’m not going to critique or even name the author who recently made the absurd claim, in a Prominent and Respectable Middlebrow Magazine, that Douglas Rushkoff’s Present Shock (whose title said hater gets wrong) offers no solutions. For the record, I read that book with great care in August/September, and its wise advice played no small part in the germination of my website Slow Ottawa.
Launched a month ago, this is a multimedia platform providing people in my community with the resources to live happier, more financially and ecologically sustainable lives. In the spirit of Rushkoff’s maker manifesto Program or be Programmed, which I also ingested very carefully, I produced (and continue to produce) the entire Slow Ottawa site, serving as web designer, artist, photographer, researcher, journalist and audiocast host. I have no formal training in any of that, aside from general research skills.
It would be hard to pinpoint, or summarize in the space of a blog post, the cumulative effect of Rushkoff’s books on my current life path. So I won’t even attempt that. Suffice to to say that the perfectly-titled Program or be Programmed remains increasingly relevant, as does his contention, at the end of Present Shock (p. 264), that while there are countless reasons to despair or seek quick fixes we need to quietly beaver away at consensus-building and “slow paths to sustainability.”
Thank you Douglas for putting it all together.