Have you read or are you reading PRESENT SHOCK by Douglas Rushkoff?

present shockI am midway through it now and finding it disturbing, stimulating, revealing about many burning issues of our time.

Particularly what Rushkoff has to say about:

THE COLLAPSE OF NARRATIVE

THE FALSE NOW

THE DISSONANCE BETWEEN OUR DIGITAL LIVES AND OUR ANALOG (flesh and blood) lives

And what all this portends for writers, artists, our society and values…it’s a very rich provocative book and the author is no slouch just mouthing off.  He is the real deal, a good writer, and has the creds and background to speak about the enormous perceptual earthquake in that is in process and transforming us.

Visitors, please join the conversation. We are not writing here for the ages, handing down any tablets from a mountain, but only talking about impressions, reactions–that is, unless you want to opine, review, elucidate (for the ages).  I’m not there yet. If you are, I want to hear it.  If you aren’t what are your initial impressions?

A fair description of the book (which I did not write:))

“…the future’s arrived. We live in a continuous now en­abled by Twitter, email, and a so-called real-time technologi­cal shift. Yet this “now” is an elusive goal that we can never quite reach. And the dissonance between our digital selves and our analog bodies has thrown us into a new state of anxiety: present
shock.

Rushkoff weaves together seemingly disparate events and trends
into a rich, nuanced portrait of how life in the eter­nal present has affected
our biology, behavior, politics, and culture. He explains how the rise of zombie
apocalypse fic­tion signals our intense desire for an ending; how the Tea Party
and Occupy Wall Street form two sides of the same post-narrative coin; how
corporate investing in the future has been replaced by futile efforts to game
the stock market in real time; why social networks make people anxious and email
can feel like an assault. He examines how the tragedy of 9/11 disconnected an
entire generation from a sense of history, and delves into why conspiracy
theories actually comfort us.

As both individuals and communities, we
have a choice. We can struggle through the onslaught of information and play an
eternal game of catch-up. Or we can choose to live in the present: favor eye
contact over texting; quality over speed; and human quirks over digital
perfection. Rushkoff offers hope for anyone seeking to transcend the false
now.”

About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic and so on for many years...A consultant to publishers, providing manuscript critiques, a friend and supporter of others, admittedly a small group but my kind of people, interested in literary things and of writers who aspire to writing not just books (or poems, stories, novels, plays etc.) but literature.
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2 Responses to Have you read or are you reading PRESENT SHOCK by Douglas Rushkoff?

  1. This has been on my TBR list for a while. I think you’ve convinced me to take the plunge!

    BTW, I’m midway through the Vonnegut letters. Every bit as good as you said. Unlike a lot of personalities whose letters I’ve read, I wish I could have known him!

    Thanks for this analysis.

    Like

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