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A Talk Based on Life with Douglas Rushkoff

DouglasRushkoff-BL Check out this fascinating excerpt from a talk by Douglas Rushkoff based on his book Life Inc.: How Corporatism Conquered the World and How We Can Take it Back -- a book that challenges us to think completely differently about how we see the economics, the world of business, and money itself. 

As I see it, nothing is free. Nothing is free. Everything costs. It’s just that many things are not paid for. So there is a very big difference between those two things. I think that the problem is that the operating system for money, the operating system that we use for money, is obsolete and it is incompatible with the digital era. Our money system is a legacy system and like any legacy systems, they work for a certain amount of time. You forget that it’s even a legacy and then you begin to accept the operating system as a given circumstance.

So then, we talk about free and we have all of these discussions accepting the kind of currency we use as the given circumstance of the economy. Once you understand, once you cope with the fact that it is only an operating system, you realize the programs that we are trying to run aren’t working for us anymore. Not because the programs are the problem or because we are the problem, but because the OS, the operating system that we are running them on doesn’t work for that any more. The stuff in our pockets, the stuff that we call money is not money.
 
Did you ever hear about general semantics? General semantics, the idea. You can’t use the word “is.” You can’t say, “This is money.” If you take the word “is” out of the equation and you’re not allowed to use it anymore, then what can we say? We can say this represents money in our society right now. We use this as currency. That’s all we can say about it. This is not money. This is not value. This is not anything. This is, if it’s going to be is, this is paper with stuff printed on it that means something.

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Douglas Rushkoff Bio and Links

Excerpt from A Talk Based on "Life Inc" by Douglas Rushkoff

We are very excited to have this fascinating excerpt from a talk by Douglas Rushkoff based on his book Life Inc.: How Corporatism Conquered the World and How We Can Take it Back -- a book that challenges us to think completely differently about how we see the economics, the world of business, and money itself.

Hmmm, yeah, I mean, as I see it, nothing is free, right? Nothing is free. Everything, everything costs. It’s just that many things are not paid for, right? So there’s a very big difference between those two things. Hmmm, I think, I think that the problem is that the operating system for money, the operating system that we use for money is obsolete, and it’s incompatible with the digital era. Right? Our money system is a legacy system, right? And like any legacy systems, they work for a certain amount of time, you forget that it’s even a legacy, and then you begin to accept the operating system as a given circumstance.

So then we talk about free, and we have all these discussions, accepting the kind of currency we use as the given circumstance of the economy. Once you understand, once you cope with the fact that it’s only an operating system, you realize “Oh, the programs that we’re trying to run aren’t working for us anymore”. Not because the programs are the problem, or because we’re the problem, but because the OS, the operating system that we’re running them on doesn’t work for that anymore. The stuff, the stuff in our pockets, you know the stuff that we call money is not, this is not money.

Did you ever hear about general semantics? General semantics, the idea you can’t use the word “is”. You can’t say “This is money”. You take the word “is” out of the equation. And you’re not allowed to use it anymore. Then what can we say? We can say “this represents money in our society right now”. Right? “We use this as currency”. That’s all we can say about it. This is not money. This is not value. This is not anything, right? This “is”, if it’s going to be “is”, this is paper with stuff printed on it, that means something.

 

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Why I'm Quitting Facebook by Douglas Rushkoff

Douglas Rushkoff -- one of the most compelling cutting-edge thinkers of our time -- has sworn off Facebook.  Check out this recent article he wrote for CNN.com.  Do you agree?  Can you imagine your life without Facebook? 

"I used to be able to justify using Facebook as a cost of doing business. As a writer and sometime activist who needs to promote my books and articles and occasionally rally people to one cause or another, I found Facebook fast and convenient. Though I never really used it to socialize, I figured it was OK to let other people do that, and I benefited from their behavior. I can no longer justify this arrangement..."

Click HERE to read the complete article.

Douglas Rushkoff on BetterListen.com


Code Literacy: A 21st Century Requirement

Rushkoff-codecademy-literacyDouglas Rushkoff, one of the leading cutting-edge thinkers of our time, recently published an article in Edutopia about the importance of making sure we -- and even more importantly, our children -- have a true understanding of how to negotiate this new digital world.  The article begins:

Ask kids what Facebook is for, and they'll tell you it's there to help them make friends. And, on the surface anyway, that's what it looks like. Of course, anyone who has poked a bit deeper or thought a bit longer about it understands that people programming Facebook aren't sitting around wondering how to foster more enduring relationships for little Johnny, Janey and their friends, but rather how to monetize their social graphs -- the trail of data the site is busy accumulating about Johnny and Janey every second of the day and night.>>

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Douglas Rushkoff on BetterListen.com