The first two chapters of Douglas Rushkoff's Program or Be Programmed sound warning bells for media users/consumers to take an active, aware stance for responding to technology where it impacts quality of life. His message effectively counterbalances the prevalent tech-push marketing driving generational advances in hardware, software and network capacity.
In part Rushkoff's arguments emerge from linking anecdote and historicity. He traces social-tech-media phenomena by pinging the familiar as it blurs into ubiquity. Ruskoff's main premises represent a distinctive take on Time and Place where they are implicated in our measurable (and sensed) relations to new media:
- [TIME] - Because computer code is biased away from continuous time, so too are the programs built on it, and the human behaviors those programs encourage.
- [PLACE] - (D)igital media are biased away from the local, and toward dislocation.
Rushkoff's keen observations and concern are valuable for anyone evaluating the effects of technology in the social sphere, from the self-management perspective. The author's message could benefit from dimensional analysis, with respect to temporal orientation and the many means by which location spans the virtual and actual "worlds" today. Our experiences of time and place are to varying extents externally imposed and consecutively variable. As I see it, it is a matter of 4D+ dynamics. It is interesting that Rushkoff opens his "Commands" with macro-issues that are as relevant in physics or astronomy as they are as socio-anthro-psych micro- or behavioral issues. For the latter discourse, the Panopticon pertains, and one would think the political, economic and other power distribution systems would be more prominent in Rushkoff's text. I would look to Agamben's investigation of Command for amplification.