Sunday, March 04, 2012

Douglas Rushkoff: Program or be Programmed (English)

По наводке блога Давыдова.

Short version:

Long version:

There is short explanation below.
Ниже есть продолжение.

...if we don’t understand the biases of the tools and mediums we’re using, we’ll risk being slaves instead of masters....

1. Time: Do Not Be Always On
...The bias of digital technology is against continuous time – it can more accurately be thought of as asynchronous, with operations happening from decision to decision, command to command. As the web continues to feel increasingly “real-time,” we’re tricked into thinking we’re supposed to be able to somehow keep up – constantly checking in, updating, tweeting, and responding...

...The point is, we don’t need to be always on and always available all the time. It’s bad for us, our nervous systems, and ultimately, our relationships. Boundaries are healthy and help us make efficient use of our time.

2. Place: Live in Person
...For some things this is great – i.e. I’m glad I’ve been able to watch the events unfolding in Tunisia and Egypt because that experience is being broadcast. But when it comes to local production and community relationships, actually being present is what builds social capital and strengthens social fabric. To turn to a decentralized medium like the web to filter real interaction can be desensitizing and disembodying....

3. Choice: You May Always Choose None of the Above
The digital sphere is biased towards choice. Everything can be reduced down to digits, 1’s and 0’s, yes or no, on or off. We input information in order to create better representations of the world and ourselves, but something is always lost in translation. As Korzybski famously put it, “The map is not the territory.”

Sometimes we forget that despite how granular the inputs are, defining ourselves and the things we care about as ‘either this or that’ is rarely so simple. It’s nice that we have choices for those inputs, that’s good, but forced choices – not so good. If we agree to categorize ourselves based on the choices available, we become more predictable, our potential for exposure to novelty narrows, and we conveniently transform into statistics for consumer research and targeted advertising...

4. Complexity: You Are Never Completely Right
Digital technology is biased toward the reduction of complexity. Meaning, these tools create models and simulations, and regardless of how complete they may seem, they are still oversimplifications of the complexity and nuances of reality...

5. Scale: One Size Does Not Fit All
...Just as it could be said that bankers have become entranced with the abstractions of currency without regard to creating actual value, we must also be careful not to mistake our online assertions as a substitute for taking action in the world and actually doing something...

6. Identity: Be Yourself approaching the digital experience with the understanding that nothing is really off the record, we can shape our online identities by being willing to own the words we say...

7. Social: Do Not Sell Your Friends
...The net isn’t ‘becoming’ a social platform, it is in fact the essence of what it has always been. When the first computer networks were designed, it was for the purpose of scientists to exchange research and share findings with one another, after all...

The risk is that we concede the web as a space best suited for commercialization, throw net neutrality out the window, and turn our networks into commodities that we attempt to quantify and then monetize.

We’re nearing the point where if we don’t make the choice of how we’d like to see this play out, it will be made for us.

8. Fact: Tell the Truth
...We post our thoughts and ideas and see which ones spread. Useful ones get paired up with other useful ones, and then we have innovation.

The most valued authorities in the digital space will prove to be the ones that create more signal than noise and convey information that actually matters, that’s socially relevant, and significant to others. If you want to ‘go viral’ – try doing something that has the honest purpose of being useful in the lives of others, and then spread the word about it. It’s easier than just marketing marketing.

9. Openness: Share, Don’t Steal
...n a system that encourages sharing and openness, there is a different guiding ethos that celebrates collaboration, intrinsic motivation, fun, and creativity. At the same time, artists, programmers, developers, writers, designers, makers, and creatives of all kinds deserve to be fairly compensated for their contributions to culture and the open web...

10. Purpose: Program or Be Programmed
...My takeaway was that in order to participate fully in a digital age, we need to raise our awareness and consciousness of what is going on around us. If we just mindlessly use the tools in front of us, and accept the version of “how things work” that these tools imply, then we miss a big opportunity.

If we are not willing or able to learn how to program the digital tools that we use, we should at least understand the biases that are embedded within them. If we don’t, we subordinate ourselves to digital technologies, while they serve the intentions of their designers.

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