2012 Tuesday-Discussion Assignment 1

*You will be required to post at least two thoughtful, well-constructed comments or responses in order to earn the full point value each week. Discussion posts must be copy-edited and proofread. Typos happen to everyone but a careful re-reading will allow you to rid your writing of most of them.

On page 21 of Program or Be Programmed, Douglas Rushkoff writes, “…instead of optimizing our machines for humanity–or even the benefit of some particular group–we are optimizing humans for machinery. And that’s why the choices we make right now (or don’t make) right now really do matter as much or more than they did for our ancestors contending with language, text, and printing.”

1. In a thoughtful paragraph, please explain:

  • What you think Rushkoff means by this.
  • Considering the state of modern technology in general and media specifically, do you agree with him? If yes, why?
  • Do you think Shields would agree? If yes, why?

2. In a second thoughtful paragraph, comment on some other issue or idea you’ve come across in the week’s readings or post a response to another comment. Please be considerate and generous in responding to your classmate’s comments, even if you don’t agree with what they’ve written.


229 thoughts on “2012 Tuesday-Discussion Assignment 1

  1. On page 27 of Reality Hunger, David Shields writes, “The implied secret is that one of the smartest ways to write fiction is to say that you’re not, and then do whatever you very well please.” He states that fiction writers have a burden of unreality. It seems hard for authors to categorize their works in fear of the lack of appeal. Is fiction really fiction anymore, readers can’t enjoy memoirs because they are too busy trying to decipher what is fact and what is fiction. What is fact? Shields stated, “Facts change shape.” We can longer depend on the “facts” we have been fed our whole lives.

  2. I believe that Rushkoff means technology is not catering to humans, humans are catering to technology. Technology has completely taken over and humans are no longer in the driver seat. I completely agree with Rushkoff because technology is everywhere, there is no questioning that. Society is quick to train its students to rely on technology for any and everything. Technology is becoming increasingly more advanced and can make our lives a little more convenient, but when it begins to control your life it can become a hazard. We don’t have to think anymore because the machines do it for use and in what way is that benefiting us? Our generation is known for technology and the choices we make or don’t make, and how we decide to use it can affect us for the rest of our lives. I believe Shields would agree because, on page 31, he stated, “Facts quicken, multiply, change shape, elude us, and bombard our lives with increasingly suspicious promises.” He said that we are on a quest to find our own answers. Rushkoff and Shields both believe that you can’t just believe what you are told and trust that it will be right; you have to search for the answer on your own.

    • I agree completely with this statement. I think that technology, like stated above, is starting to do all of our thinking for us. We are becoming more and more lazy as human beings. We would rather look up how to do something online than figure out how to do it ourself. Most of us trust the information that we get off of the computer, but why? How do we know that the information we are reading is legit? We need to become more active researches and figure out why things work the way they work on our own, instead of relying on technology to figure out all of these things for us.

      • I agree with both of the above statements. In the first response, I would like to elaborate on the fact that students have become very dependent on technology. Shields mentions in Reality Hunger the differences between literature and technology in it’s first days and how it is today. For students today, many things in their curriculum are fairly easy to finding answers or ways to do tasks easier from the internet. This makes me question as to how helpful is the internet when it stops being an aid and becomes a personal assistant that does everything for you? It is coming to the point where it can be debilitating towards learning if there is nothing to learn as the answers can be simply laid out in front of you.

  3. I think Rushkoff means that technology is slowly taking over humanity as a whole, whereas it should be the other way around. With new technological advances every day, our lives are becoming easier. While that’s not necessarily a terrible thing, I completely agree with Rushkoff. We are addicted to shortcuts and like he says, “are no longer in the driver’s seat.” While technology certainly makes our lives more convenient, it could also unknowingly be damaging our generation. The choices we do or do not make matter much more today in this technologically savvy world than it would have to our grandparents. I definitely think Shields would agree with us too because on page 30 he says, “In the clash between the conventions of the book and the protocols of the screen, the screen will prevail. On this screen, now visible to billions of people, the technology of search will transform isolated books into the universal library of all human knowledge.” They both concur that our generation has abruptly made the switch to technology and all that comes along with it. While it may be more convenient, we must not adapt to instant gratification.

    • I completely agree with you saying that technology could be damaging to our generation, and personally, I am just as guilty as the next college student in being addicted/dependent on technology. A question that often pops into my mind is “What would happen if all technology fails?” I cannot even imagine how different our society would be, think of how much we use technology on a daily basis. I have noticed in my first week at Iowa how integrated it is to my education, this class is almost 100% dependent on technology, could this class even exist if the internet was never invented? How different would your day-to-day routine be if you didn’t have your laptop, iPhone, etc. Again, I cannot imagine how different our world would be.

    • I would almost completely agree with this statement. After I read that part of page 30, I knew right away Shield’s stance on Rushkoff’s opinion(s).

      However, I think that instead of Rushkoff thinking that technology is slowing taking over humanity as a whole, I think he thinks that there is a strong potential and demand for it to occur in the future. Why else would he give us examples of ways to fix the relationship between technology and human life?

      I think that his belief is that we are still in control, (however barely) of our technology. I don’t agree with the thinking that we should be the ones to “take over technology”. To me, that statement seems almost rather harsh. Rather than one of us (technology or humans) taking over the other, I think Rushkoff’s point is for us to work in a sort of harmonic manner where prosperity can occur and a happy medium is reached.

  4. Going off of what was written earlier, I agree that technology is (not) so slowly but surely taking over our society. Generally speaking, we as a society are becoming trapped within our own man-made technological limits. What I mean by this is, if there is something that we do not have the capability of doing with technology, we give up instead of trying to figure out a way to do it “offline”. I also believe this is what Rushkoff means, we are becoming too dependent on technology, and yes I do agree with him. I also believe that Shields would agree with Rushkoff’s words. On page 30, he writes, “All new works will be born digital, and they will flow into the library as you might add more words to a long story” Shields is basically re-stating what Rushkoff said, we are “optimizing ourselves for technology” and becoming increasingly dependent on it.

  5. I believe Rushkoff means humans are, in this day and age, expected and almost required to be able to use technology in everyday life to an overwhelming degree. It has become such an important part in our day-to-day routines that we, especially the younger generation, don’t know how to function without it. Kids these days are starting to use technology and younger and younger ages, to the point where preschoolers are now coming to school with cell phones in their backpacks. Even in school, students are required to have an internet connection and laptops at home in order to use school websites like ICON and ISIS. Technology is slowly taking over our world in Rushkoff’s eyes, and Shields believes so also. David Shields, while discussing the decline in printed works, states on page 30, “The reign of the copy is no match for the bias of technology.” What he means by this is that now even books are becoming less and less popular because now people just want to buy the online version instead. It is becoming increasingly clear the our society will soon depend solely on technology.

    • I second this! In just my first week at Iowa, I have realized how dependent not only we, but our teachers are, on technology. Just to know what reading is due for my next lecture, I have to (or get to) go online. It’s a lot easier for everyone to communicate through e-mail and text messaging, but where is the real interaction? I also agree with your point that technology is starting at a much younger age these days. I didn’t have a cell phone until high school and my 10 year old brother just got one (not fair!). You are correct in that we will soon be a society solely dependent on technology and not each other which gets me thinking…are we really willing to sacrifice interaction for convenience?

      • Just as Douglas Rushkoff mentions how society has become reliant on technology, David Shields highlights “Culture, like science moves forward. Art evolves” (31). I definitely agree with kelseyryansop that the staff and students are constantly plugged in. Yes, I believe the internet can be more convenient; however, the value of a tangible book or assignment could be lost in the transition from human interaction to cyber interaction. This was also me first week at the University of Iowa and I do believe we are sacrificing interaction for convenience! Although we do live an era that is constantly evolving technology wise, we must evolve along with technology, but it is still critical to hold on to the real interaction.

      • I completely agree with what both of you are saying! ! I didn’t get my first laptop until about a month until I started attending the University of Iowa last year, and as soon as I got it, I never realized how reliant I would become on using it. I began to go on Facebook a lot more, and sometimes even online shop during lecture (oops). Even when I got my first smart phone as a senior in high school, I never stopped using social networks. I had to stop myself because I realized that instead of taking to my friends on the phone or face to face, I would just write on their Facebook walls. Although this made it easier to communicate, it didn’t make it completely okay. I definitely agree with you guys in the fact that we use email, texting and even Facebook as an easier means of communication and that’s scary because it does seem like our society will solely become dependent on technology.

    • I also second this. I have a younger sister that has special needs, and seeing her grow up and become more proficient with technology over handwriting, complex math, and even the ability to use a dictionary/encyclopedia is kind of frightening. There’s no need for her to perfect her handwriting because she can type what she needs to write in a word processor. She doesn’t need to know any math beyond basic addition/subtraction/multiplication/division because there are computer programs to aid her. She doesn’t need to use reference books (or even books in general) because she has an infinite information source called the Internet. For her, it really is a brave new world.

  6. In this statement, i believe that Rushkoff is saying how our society as a whole is not concerned with how technology works or how it is impacting our lives. As long as we have a general understanding of how to use our most basic pieces of technology (cell phones, laptops, iPods, computers), we do not seem to care about why we are using them, or how they are actually working. We simply accept that they are normal parts of our society and we will keep using them to in order to make our lives “easier”. We will continue to adapt ourselves as human beings in order to keep up with the rapidly changing world of technology. As Rushkoff said, “instead of optimizing our machines for humanity…we are optimizing humans for machinery.” Instead of taking the “machines” we use on a regular basis and making them as useful and effective for us as possible, we alter the way we do things in order to make ourselves more useful for the technology that goes on in our society. It’s almost as if technology is taking over our lives. We are expected as humans to be able to use technology to a certain degree whether we want to or not. Most people have little to no understanding of how the technology they use actually works, they just use it. I believe that Rushkoff is worried that if we continue to be ignorant about the technology we use around us, it will continue to control us instead of us controlling it. I think Sheilds would agree with Rushkoff’s beliefs. When Sheilds states, “In the clash between the conventions of the book and the protocols of the screen, the screen will prevail.” Simply stating that, technology is taking over our lives and we are quickly “throwing away” old ways of doing things. Instead of taking the time to read a book and gather useful information, we are jumping on the internet and looking for quick results that are not very credible.

    • I agree with your first comment about how we don’t care how technology works as long as we know how to use it. I think that understanding how the technology we use actually works is something that our society does not find important. If we knew the work and ingenuity that gets put into the hand-held devices that we use, we would appreciate them a lot more. When I use my cell phone the only thing I care about is if I have a wifi connection and good service.

  7. Douglas Rushkoff focuses on the even larger issue than the economy: our generation’s faith and addiction to technology. Rushkoff is stating that the only way to leverage you in the technology world is to learn how the system works and regain control of our technological views. I agree with Rushkoff, tale for instance, Apple. “We continue to accept new technologies in our lives with little to no understanding of how these devices work on us” (23). While Apple nearly owns the technology industry, each time they introduce a new gadget the world goes on a rampage to buy the object in order to stay up-to-date with technology. Apple has programmed us to believe we NEED their latest product. I also believe Shields supports Rushkoffs’ claim because he as well is aware of the integral role technology is playing in this generation’s lives.

    • I agree with what you said about the concern not being the economy, but with our addiction to technology. The constant need for the next new thing is becoming a craze among people everywhere. It seems these days parents are even buying their ten year olds iPhones just so that they can have that new thing, even though they don’t need it. But companies like Apple, especially them, make us feel pressured to need those things to feel accepted by society.

  8. Upon reading the beginning portions of Program or be Programmed by Douglas Rushkoff, I believe there is much to be said of his particular quote of “…instead of optimizing our machines for humanity–or even the benefit of some particular group–we are optimizing humans for machinery. And that’s why the choices we make right now (or don’t make) right now really do matter as much or more than they did for our ancestors contending with language, text, and printing.”

    To me, the quote speaks of how our dependence on machinery in today’s society has become so prevalent and accepted on a global scale, that we are taking a sort of human U-turn in regards to our thinking and discoveries.

    Past generations of intellects during the Renaissance, Industrial Revolution, etc. brought about new ideas or simplified solutions to problems that plagued society in mass quantities. Today, our machinery – whether it be computers, global positioning systems, music players or for military defense, has become so advanced that it requires us little to no pre-decision tasks or thoughts. It is almost as though our machines have developed intellect beyond our capabilities and a switch has been made in who has the real societal control.

    Although there may never been another era where new languages and text are discovered or created, the advancement in them and our technology still has similar impacts. During ancestral times, the human race wasn’t competing with or working alongside another intellectual race. In my opinion, with the incredible advancement of our various technologies over the centuries, our machines have developed into a secondary race in their own right. In today’s society, not only do we have to worry about the continual competition among our own race, we must now take into close consideration the competition by way of our machines. We must ask ourselves, how much would we be able to do without our technology. How would life be different? Would it be for the better or for the worst and can we learn to advance beyond them?

    • I totally agree with your last paragraph. It really has become a competition not only in our society but other societies as well. Our lives would literally be turned upside-down if we did not have the technological advancements that we have in our day-to-day lives. I think we need to find a way to become less dependent on these technologies, but these technologies are a privilege that should not be taken for granted. We would need to be careful when advancing beyond these technologies in the future.

  9. In regards to if David Shields, author of Reality Hunger would agree with what Rushkoff says in Program or be Programmed, I believe he would. Throughout the first chapter, Shields speaks of the necessity of the human race to evolve. For instance, on page 31, he says “We all need to begin figuring out how to tell a story for the cell phone. One thing I know: it’s not the same as telling a story for a full-length DVD.”

    Again on page 31, he writes “It’s important for a writer to be cognizant of the marginalization of literature by more technologically sophisticated and more visceral narrative forms. You can work in these forms or use them or write about them or through them, but I don’t think it’s a very good idea to go on writing in a vacuum. Culture, like science, moves forward. Art evolves.”

    He also suggests throughout the first 31 pages steps or solutions as to how the human intelligence can evolve without succumbing to technology completely.

  10. There are already many similarities between Rushkoff and Shields, despite exploring different forks of the same road. As the title of his book suggests, Rushkoff is very concerned with the idea of “program or be programmed”–if we let ourselves become subservient to our technology, we won’t be able to decipher what is reality and what is fantasy. George Orwell saw the writing on the wall in his day when he wrote his famous essay “Politics and the English Language.” He demanded that people become more concerned with the English language and their personal usage of it, lest the language become meaningless and turn into a tool for those who wish to manipulate or disenfranchise. I am very much in agreement with Rushkoff on the state of modern technology and our cumulative knowledge of it as a society. I’d like to learn to program (or at least enough to understand it), but it seems like such a daunting task, and I think a lot of other people feel the same way; “programming is for nerds, man!” and that kind of thing. Although, I do see a change on the horizon. We are the first generation to really grow up with truly modern technology and the leaps and bounds that are made in technology sciences in what seems like months or years rather than decades or ages.

    • I agree that Rushkoff and and Shields seem to be addressing the same problem, yet diverging in their respective solutions. While Shileds warns of the seemingly inevitably digression of traditional methods, Rushkoff hopes these already-laid platforms don’t compromise our individuality. There is no doubt our generation is at the precipice of new technology, and the more information we have at our disposal and understand, the more powerful we become. So yes, with all this information at our disposal, of course we’re overwhelmed.

      • The core issue of the role of technology in our lives is the same, but the two authors have very differing opinions. Rushkoff thinks that the problem lies in user, technology, and the interaction. Shields thinks that technology now allows us to create better things by having more access. Shileds seems more willing than Rushkoff to accept the role of technology in the modern world. Our generation will have so much to do with what becomes of the internet (as one example), once we reach the time when we take control from the generation before. The problem is, in my opinion, staying motivated, not falling into an apathetic state due to the overwhelming barrage of information, stories, and negative world news. If our generation can continue to actively shape our laws and lives, I believe that the relationship between humans and technology in the future will be even more productive and creative than we can imagine.

  11. Rushkoff’s Program or be Programmed seems to challenge the notion that the world is becoming more and more advanced. We watch as our grandparents shake their heads as they observe us browsing the web, and it’s easy to feel a sense of accomplishment or entitlement – but in all reality, we all know someone had to first lay, or should I say, program the foundation. Is this really such a bad thing? Rushkoff correlates our limited knowledge of technology to the intellect it takes a driver to operate a car (8) – but what would happen if everyone acquired the knowledge to diagnose their own cars and repair them in their garage? You’d have a lot of exasperated car-owners and pissed-off mechanics. I agree with Rushkoff to the point that basic technical literacy is necessary to understand our rapidly changing world, but the reality of the matter is, there are so many things we use on a daily basis we have no idea how to manipulate or fix. I enrolled in this class knowing full-well I would not come out with a completely new skill-set, but I do hope it gives me a more thorough understanding and appreciation for the people that have laid the groundwork for the knowledge I’ve acquired.

    • I agree with you about how it might be bad if everyone knew how to program. I think a good metaphor for what I think Rushkoff means would be government. Right now there is a small number of people in the population that actually have the power to program. In the past, there was usually a small number of people governing (like a monarchy or an oligarchy). They had all the power in the state. It would be horrible if everyone knew how to program in the same way that it would be horrible if everyone was directly involved with governing (which is why we opted for choosing representatives). If we can move away from the few that create the programs into a more involved populace (not to say everyone), then the ideas about how to structure technology and for what purposes could incorporate more ideas from more people. This could open up technology’s uses and what it can do rather than having the small elite working for certain companies that only concentrate on a few goals for the technologies they create and program.

  12. In Douglas Rushkoff’s quote on page 21, I believe that he is stating humans are evolving around modern technology today rather than molding technology around us. This meaning that technology today is advancing far more quickly than the average person can keep up with. Regardless of the people who create it, most people can only learn about the new advances in technology at such a level before the next machine improves with new features or a new machinery is created. Thus, I agree with Rushkoff especially when he states that our decisions matter much more than it did to our ancestors with text, language, and printing. The decisions we choose (or do not choose) are very easily known or essentially public. I also believe that Shields would with Rushkoff because he explains the differences from the past and present with modern technology and how people need to evolve along with the technology today and learn its techniques within our society.

  13. I think what Rushkoff is trying to say is that we now live in a new age where we have to program people to use machines, in stead of program machines to work for people. The evolution of our lifestyle relies on our ability to adapt and evolve, instead of computers adapting to our needs. How we decide to use our new machines, can really effect how we live as an entire civilization. I agree with Rushkoff, technology is not getting any easier to use, and is expanding and getting faster at a rate that most people cannot wrap their brains around. So either we learn how to take advantage of this technology and adapt to it’s changes, or be left behind. I believe that Shields would be on the same side as Rushkoff and I, simply because he sees the evolution of media and culture just as clearly as Rushkoff does.

    • I completely agree with you, because I got the same exact thing from reading that quote. I also agree and like the fact that you brought up the idea of the evolution of technology. And I took from your quote that technology is evolving even faster than mankind did. How could we keep up with something that is moving to fast for us.

  14. In Rushkoff’s quote on page 21 of Program or be Programmed, I believe that he is saying that our generation and society has become so dependent on technology that wit out it, we would feel helpless and confused. I agree with him because in our society, technology has made a great but sometimes frightening impact on all of our lives. In the past, machinery and technology was only used to better our lives and make it easier, such as Facebook to find long lost friends or the assembly line in factories to save time when making large amounts of products. However, as technology became more and more advances, humans began to feel more dependent towards it. Now a days, people feel like they’re nothing without their online identity and we suddenly feel like were lost when our cellphone dies in the middle of our day. Now, instead or just using technology because it is efficient, we are just molding our lives around it. Suddenly, Facebook is important for our self-image, and we spend our time texting instead of having a nice face to face conversation with a friend. All of these things are just proof that our generation is being defined by the advanced technology we are using today. I also believe that David Shields would agree with Rushkoff because on page 30 he says, “The reign of the copy is no match for the bias of technology.” In this quote, I think that he is trying to say that instead of reading the newspaper, or buying a nice book, all those things can be found online now. You can easily find an electronic copy of a book, download it for your tablet, and now the paper copy of any book is losing value. People used to sit down in the morning and open up a newspaper but now they can find all their news online or maybe even on Twitter. This also makes in apparent that technology will soon be something people will be solely dependent on in the future.

  15. I think that what Rushkoff is getting at in his quote about machinary is the fact that our choices matter more now because their consequences can be so much more instantaneous. We have molded ourselves into a world founded upon instant gratification. Whereas in the past printing, language, and texts took time to either be printed, or audiences were not as easy to come by, now we can spit out a tweet and it is published and reaches its audience at the same exact time. And yes, technology is becoming more and more part of our lives, but I think both Shields and Rushkoff believe that it is an interdependent relationship. As much as technology may be “taking over” our society, it wouldn’t exist without humans to steer the ship. Our choices matter more now because we are choosing to have technology become such a part of us.

  16. I was completely taken with Shield’s thoughts on nonfiction and found myself underlining line after line until basically all my underlining was pointless and I should’ve just dog-eared. I know I have heard the term lyric essayist before, but this is the first time I have really heard it explained so wholly. I love Shield’s takes on secrets, the truth, and how memories themselves can become works of fictions. His thoughts take away all segregations of what is fiction and non-fiction, and I am fully on board with that. I love the idea of considering oneself a lyric essayist, and the “nasty fact that none of this ever really happened.” to disappear completely. Speaking of facts, I thought that Shield’s words on the fact was another phenomenal point, especially if we tied it to Rushkoff. The lifespan of a fact keeps dwindling in direct correlation to new technology making it easier to prove and disprove what is thought to be known. Technology is making us uncertain of everything.

  17. I think Rushkoff is referring to the complexity of the machines that are coming into our lives and how humans are working around the machines rather then adapting the machines to humans. I think humans today are way to involved with technology and machinery. I know from personal experience that my cell phone is my lifeline and I am very rarely without it. I think we have a dependency on modern machinery and we do work our lives around it instead of incorporating it as needed. Media on the other hand is a necessary evil in some cases in our world to stay connected with everyone and everything that is going on. I believe we read too much into media and we live in a society that is media dependent. I think Shields has similar views but would never say he conforms to what Rushkoff is expressing. He believes that we can control what is going on around us, but it still can effect us negatively.

  18. Rushkoff’s meaning in my opinion is that machines and the act of computing run our everyday life, instead of being an aid in accomplishing the goals that we have set for ourselves. What I mean by this is that in today’s modern world we rely on technology to give us the answers, to help us learn, and to feed our curiosity, but our ancestors didn’t have computers or Google, they went to find the answers themselves. Their curiosity led them to have an adventure, while ours lead us to internet. And I also think he meant that instead of making machines fit us and our everyday life, today we mold humans to fit machines. What I mean by that is we start children out nowadays on the computer instead of teaching them in a way that if a computer was to crash they would be able to find at the library and through books. I do agree with Rushkoff, because I feel like we let computer know so much about us and our life, but we don’t take the time to think about knowing them (programming) or even trying to disconnect ourselves from being codependent on computers. I like the analogy he created about “Driving Miss Daisy”. In today’s world, we are the passengers and computers are the drivers. We trust the computers will get us where we want to go and generate the correct answers, while we just sit back and trust that the answer is right without even questioning it, but yet we don’t know how to get the answer, like Miss Daisy didn’t know how to drive, we just allow the computers to take us wherever. I do believe Shields agree, because he believes that technology is running our lives, and we don’t even have to abide by the rules when it comes to voicing our opinions and pushing the boundaries to say what we believe and what we think.

  19. In the reading from Program or Be Programmed, David Rushkoff discusses the problems with the way that our society uses and evolves to use new technology. Rushkoff differentiates between using technology to improve the human race and using technology in order to better technology. Our laws and regulations have not quite caught up to this change, which puts us in the unique position that Rushkoff highlights by stating “that’s why the choices we make right now (or don’t make) right now really do matter[…]” This aspect of Rushkoff’s position particularly resonated with me because as a child of the 90’s, during my lifetime I have had the opportunity to witness the change in the role of technology firsthand. Rushkoff sees that people need to make important decisions about how we want technology in our lives in the future, and we need to make it soon. I do not think that Shields would agree with Rushkoff because he uses his interestingly written position to mirror the way in which we process information and culture and create new culture.

  20. I think Rushkoff has a very interesting point. A lot of people just use technology without thinking about the intentions of the people who programmed that technology. The limits that programmers can put without the mass public realizing can have a very powerful effect on the interaction between users and technology. At a young age, children are learning how to use the technology without understanding that someone designed it to do certain things—in the same way that Rushkoff points out when he talks about the grid design of New York City (page 10-11). A lot of people just look at the interfaces of technology and think that it is “set in stone”, and that is the nature of the new technology, but a group of people are actually programming how they see fit. I agree with this because I can see it first-hand, growing up with this technology. Reading this has really enlightened me; I didn’t realize how much of an impact other people and their ideas about how this technology should look and act affected me. It is also setting more “norms” for society by homogenizing culture and getting rid of what were previously personal niches (for example, comic books—now everyone is privy to them, especially with all of the superhero movies, but back when they were first being written, they were not mainstream). Shields makes it sound like he would disagree. He seems to have a more positive outlook on technology that will allow for more people to be more creative and to break the “laws” of reality that he describes as being so formal in times past.

  21. (from cwfnm)
    In the reading from Program or Be Programmed, David Rushkoff discusses the problems with the way that our society uses and evolves to use new technology. Rushkoff differentiates between using technology to improve the human race and using technology in order to better technology. Our laws and regulations have not quite caught up to this change, which puts us in the unique position that Rushkoff highlights by stating “that’s why the choices we make right now (or don’t make) right now really do matter[…]” This aspect of Rushkoff’s position particularly resonated with me because as a child of the 90’s, during my lifetime I have had the opportunity to witness the change in the role of technology firsthand. Rushkoff sees that people need to make important decisions about how we want technology in our lives in the future, and we need to make it soon. I do not think that Shields would agree with Rushkoff because he uses his interestingly written position to mirror the way in which we process information and culture and create new culture. In the Shields view of the relationship between humans and technology, our increasing dependence on the technological is just another step in the developing nation, allowing us to create all new things.

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