People spent the twentieth century obsessed with the future. We created technologies that would help connect us faster, gather news, map the planet, compile knowledge, and connect with anyone, at anytime. We strove for an instantaneous network where time and space could be compressed into one focal point: everyone would be everywhere at once.
Well, the future’s arrived. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, 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.
In this illuminating keynote, media theorist and author Douglas Rushkoff explores the implications of this “Present Shock” for narrative – and for the book industry.
Douglas Rushkoff, PhD, is a world-renowned media theorist whose twelve books, including Life, Inc and Program or Be Programmed., have won prestigious awards and have been translated into thirty languages. He is a commentator on CNN and a contributor to The Guardian, Discover, and NPR. He also made the PBS documentaries Merchants of Cool, The Persuaders, and Digital Nation. He advocates for digital literacy at Codecademy.com, and teaches at NYU and The New School. He lives in New York, with his wife Barbara and daughter Mamie.
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