Rushkoff talks about how, while many see Occupy as dead, in fact it “has barely begun”, and that the movement will never lend itself to being described “in a 28-second commercial.”
He also speaks about social media and the special interests it serves, the lure of the Zombie apocalypse as a grasp-able concept amidst so much confusion, and the runaway impact of what we now know as capitalism and its centralised model of currency.
If Rushkoff’s latest book “Present Shock” revisits themes from his earlier works “Life Inc.” and “Program or be Programmed”, Pasternack’s interview could serve as a bridge between the latter and former.
For someone who likes to talk about the virtues of disconnecting, the media critic Douglas Rushkoff seems surprisingly always on. When I visited him at his storefront office near his home in Hastings on Hudson, New York, he was preparing to teach a new class, getting ready for a BBC interview, writing an essay, staring down a pile of articles to read, trying to figure out his new iPhone, and hurrying to finish his third book in three years – a graphic novel called ADD, which revolves around gaming culture, celebrity and the pharmaceutical industry. “It also asks the question,” he says, “what if attention deficit disorder weren’t a bug, but a feature?”
The hyper-speed, hyperlinked life is familiar ground for Rushkoff, whose first book Cyberia, made him a popular tour guide to the Internet in the early 1990s, and an early prognosticator of its radical potential. But much has changed between the awkward days of “the ’Net” – then a non-commercial collection of public networks, accessed by local ISPs – and the overloaded era of Facebook, YouTube and iPhones. If Rushkoff is well versed in the language underneath the “digital revolution,” he’s also become one of its most outspoken critics.