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Program or Be Programmed

Ten Commands for a Digital Age
Paperback Book
August, 2011
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Banyen's Description: 

The debate over whether the Net is good or bad for us fills the airwaves and the blogosphere. But the argument is essentially beside the point: It’s here; it’s everywhere. The real question is, do we direct technology, or do we let ourselves be directed by it and those who have mastered it? “Choose the former,” writes Rushkoff, “and you gain access to the control panel of civilization. Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you get to make.”

Only by understanding the biases of the media through which we engage with the world can we differentiate between what we intend, and what the machines we’re using intend for us—whether they or their programmers even know it.

In ten chapters, composed of ten “commands” accompanied by original illustrations from comic artist Leland Purvis, Rushkoff provides cyber enthusiasts and technophobes alike with the guidelines to navigate this new universe.

Do Not Be Always On

Live in Person

You May Always Choose None of the Above

You are Never Completely Right

One Size Does Not Fit All

Be Yourself

Do Not Sell Your Friends

Tell the Truth

Share, Don’t Steal

Program or Be Programmed.

In this spirited, accessible poetics of new media, Rushkoff picks up where Marshall McLuhan left off, helping readers come to recognize programming as the new literacy of the digital age––and as a template through which to see beyond social conventions and power structures that have vexed us for centuries. This is a friendly little book with a big and actionable message. His aim is, as Chris Barsanti wrote in The Barnes & Noble Review, “to encourage readers to take back the Internet before it is fatally compromised by a desensitized, crowd-sourced, omnipresent cloud of Twittering, snarking, short-attention-span infotainments.”

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