Douglas Rushkoff

Douglas Mark Rushkoff (born 18 February 1961) is an American media theorist, writer, columnist, lecturer, graphic novelist, and documentarian. He is best known for his association with the early cyberpunk culture, and his advocacy of open source solutions to social problems.

Rushkoff is most frequently regarded as a media theorist and is known for coining terms and concepts including viral media (or media virus), digital native, and social currency. He has written ten books on media, technology and culture. He wrote the first syndicated column on cyberculture for The New York Times Syndicate, as well as regular columns for The Guardian of London,[2] Arthur,[3] Discover,[4] and the online magazines Daily Beast,[5] and meeting industry magazine One+.[6]

Rushkoff is currently Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at the City University of New York, Queens College. He has previously lectured at The New School University in Manhattan[7] and the ITP at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he created the Narrative Lab.[8] He also has taught online for the MaybeLogic Academy.[9]

Douglas Rushkoff
Douglas Rushkoff
BornFebruary 18, 1961 (age 58)
New York City, New York
OccupationAmerican media theorist, writer, columnist, lecturer, graphic novelist, documentarian
EducationBA, MFA, PhD
Alma materPrinceton University
California Institute of the Arts
Utrecht University
SpouseBarbara (Kligman) Rushkoff (one child)[1]



Rushkoff was born in New York City, New York, and is the son of Sheila, a psychiatric social worker, and Marvin Rushkoff, a hospital administrator.[1] He graduated from Princeton University in 1983.[10] He moved to Los Angeles and completed a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the California Institute of the Arts. Later he took up a post-graduate fellowship from the American Film Institute.[11] He was a PhD candidate at Utrecht University's New Media Program, writing a dissertation on new media literacies,[12] which was approved in June, 2012.[13]

Rushkoff emerged in the early 1990s as an active member of the cyberpunk movement, developing friendships and collaborations with people including Timothy Leary, RU Sirius, Paul Krassner, Robert Anton Wilson, Ralph Abraham, Terence McKenna, Genesis P-Orridge, Ralph Metzner, Grant Morrison, Mark Pesce, Erik Davis, and other writers, artists and philosophers interested in the intersection of technology, society and culture.[14][15][16]

Cyberia, his first book on cyberculture, was inspired by the San Francisco rave scene of the early 1990s. The initially planned publication was scrapped, however; in Rushkoff's words, "in 1992 Bantam canceled the book because they thought by 1993 the internet would be over."[17] It was eventually published in 1994.

As his books became more accepted, and his concepts of the "media virus"[18] and "social contagion" became mainstream ideas, Rushkoff was invited to deliver commentaries on National Public Radio's All Things Considered,[19] and to make documentaries for the PBS series Frontline.[20]

In 2002, Rushkoff was awarded the Marshall McLuhan Award by the Media Ecology Association for his book Coercion, and became a member and sat on the board of directors of that organization.[21] This allied him with the "media ecologists", a continuation of what is known as the Toronto School of media theorists including Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong, and Neil Postman.

Rushkoff was invited to participate as a consultant ranging to the United Nations Commission on World Culture and the US Department of State.

Simultaneously, Rushkoff continued to develop his relationship with counterculture figures, collaborating with Genesis P-Orridge as a keyboardist for Psychic TV, and credited with composing music for the album Hell is Invisible Heaven is Her/e.[22] Rushkoff taught classes in media theory and in media subversion for New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program,[23] participated in activist pranks with the Yes Men[24] and eToy,[25] contributed to numerous books and documentaries on psychedelics, and spoke or appeared at many events sponsored by counterculture publisher Disinformation.[26]


References to media ecologist and Toronto School of Communication founder Marshall McLuhan appear throughout Rushkoff's work as a focus on media over content, the effects of media on popular culture and the level at which people participate when consuming media.[27]

Rushkoff worked with both Robert Anton Wilson[28] and Timothy Leary on developing philosophical systems to explain consciousness, its interaction with technology, and social evolution of the human species, and references both consistently in his work. Leary, along with John Barlow and Terence McKenna characterized the mid-1990s as techno-utopian, and saw the rapid acceleration of culture, emerging media and the unchecked advancement of technology as completely positive.[29] Rushkoff's own unbridled enthusiasm for cyberculture was tempered by the dotcom boom, when the non-profit character of the Internet was rapidly overtaken by corporations and venture capital. Rushkoff often cites two events in particular – the day Netscape became a public company in 1995,[30] and the day AOL bought Time Warner in 2000[2] – as pivotal moments in his understanding of the forces at work in the evolution of new media.

Rushkoff spent several years exploring Judaism as a primer for media literacy, going so far as to publish a book inviting Jews to restore the religion to its "open source" roots.[31] He founded a movement for progressive Judaism called Reboot, but subsequently left when he felt its funders had become more concerned with marketing and publicity of Judaism than its actual improvement and evolution.[27] Disillusioned by the failure of the open source model to challenge entrenched and institutional hierarchies from religion to finance, he became a colleague of Mark Crispin Miller and Naomi Klein, appearing with them at Smith College[32] as well as in numerous documentaries decrying the corporatization of public space and consciousness.[33] He has dedicated himself most recently to the issues of media literacy,[34] participatory government, and the development of local and complementary currencies.[35] He wrote a book and film called Life Inc.,[36] which traces the development of corporatism and centralized currency from the Renaissance to today, and hosts a radio show called MediaSquat on WFMU, concerned with reclaiming commerce and culture from corporate domination.[37]

Awards and appointments

Douglas Rushkoff has served on the Board of Directors of the Media Ecology Association,[38] The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics,[39] and is a founding member of Technorealism,[40] as well as of the Advisory Board of The National Association for Media Literacy Education,[34][41] and HyperWords[42]

He is the winner of the first Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, given by the Media Ecology Association, in 2004.[43]



Douglas Rushkoff's philosophy developed from a techno-utopian view of new media to a more nuanced critique of cyberculture discourse and the impact of media on society. Viewing everything except for intention as media, he frequently explores the themes of how to make media interactive, how to help people (especially children) effectively analyze and question the media they consume, as well as how to cultivate intention and agency. He has theorized on such media as religion, culture, politics, and money.[44]

Technology and cyberculture

Up to the late-1990s, Douglas Rushkoff's philosophy towards technology could be characterized as media-deterministic. Cyberculture and new media were supposed to promote democracy and allow people to transcend the ordinary.[45]

In Cyberia, Rushkoff states the essence of mid-1990s culture as being the fusion of rave psychedelia, chaos theory and early computer networks. The promise of the resulting "counter culture" was that media would change from being passive to active, that we would embrace the social over content, and that empowers the masses to create and react.[46]

This idea also comes up in the concept of the media virus, which Rushkoff details in the 1994 publication of Media Virus: Hidden Agendas in Popular Culture. This significant work adopts organic metaphors to show that media, like viruses, are mobile, easily duplicated and presented as non-threatening.[47] Technologies can make our interaction with media an empowering experience if we learn to decode the capabilities offered to us by our media. Unfortunately, people often stay one step behind our media capabilities. Ideally, emerging media and technologies have the potential to enlighten, to aid grassroots movements, to offer an alternative to the traditional "top-down" media, to connect diverse groups and to promote the sharing of information.[48]

Rushkoff does not limit his writings to the effect of technology on adults, and in Playing the Future turns his attention to the generation of people growing up who understand the language of media like natives, guarded against coercion.[49] These "screenagers", a term originated by Rushkoff,[50] have the chance to mediate the changing landscape more effectively than digital immigrants.

With Coercion (1999), Rushkoff realistically examines the potential benefits and dangers inherent in cyberculture and analyzes market strategies that work to make people act on instinct (and buy!) rather than reflect rationally. The book wants readers to learn to "read" the media they consume and interpret what is really being communicated.


In Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism, Rushkoff explores the medium of religion and intellectually deconstructs the Bible and the ways that religion fails to provide true connectivity and transformative experiences.[51]


Most recently, Douglas Rushkoff has turned his critical lens to the medium of currency. One of the most important concepts that he creates and develops is the notion of social currency, or the degree to which certain content and media can facilitate and/or promote relationships and interactions between members of a community. Rushkoff mentions jokes, scandals, blogs, ambiance, i.e. anything that would engender "water cooler" talk, as social currency.

In his book, Life, Inc. and his dissertation "Monopoly Moneys," Rushkoff takes a look at physical currency and the history of corporatism. Beginning with an overview of how money has been gradually centralized throughout time, and pondering the reasons and consequences of such a fact, he goes on to demonstrate how our society has become defined by and controlled by corporate culture.

Social media

Rushkoff has long been skeptical of social media.[52] On February 25, 2013, he announced in a CNN op-ed that he was leaving Facebook, citing concerns about the company's use of his personal data.[53]

401K Plans

In 2016, Douglas Rushkoff penned an article critical of 401(k) plans, in which he refers to the stock market as a "pyramid scheme" and states "In the 401(k) game, the patsy is anyone who follows the advice of the human resources department and surrenders a portion of his or her paycheck to the retirement planning industry, all under the pretense of personal responsibility." Rushkoff does not suggest any alternatives to 401K plans for retirement savings.[54]




  • 2019. Team Human ISBN 978-0-393-65169-0
  • 2016. Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus ISBN 978-1617230172
  • 2013. Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now ISBN 978-1591844761
  • 2010. Program or be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age Paperback ISBN 978-1-935928-15-7 Ebook ISBN 978-1-935928-16-4
  • 2009. Life, Inc.: How the World Became A Corporation and How To Take It Back ISBN 978-1-4000-6689-6
  • 2009. Foreword: The Opportunity for Renaissance, pp. 273–281, in Be The Media, David Mathison, editor
  • 2005. Get Back in the Box: Innovation from the Inside Out ISBN 978-0-06-075869-1
  • 2003. Open Source Democracy A Demos Essay
  • 2003. Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism ISBN 978-1-4000-5139-7
  • 1999. Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say ISBN 978-1-57322-829-9
  • 1996. Playing the Future: What We Can Learn From Digital Kids ISBN 978-1-57322-764-3 (Published in the UK in 1997 as "Children of Chaos: Surviving the End of the World as We Know it" ISBN 0-00-654879-2)
  • 1995. Media Virus: Hidden Agendas in Popular Culture ISBN 978-0-345-39774-4
  • 1994. The GenX Reader (Editor, contributor) ISBN 978-0345390462
  • 1994. Cyberia: Life in the Trenches of Cyberspace ISBN 978-1-903083-24-6

Fiction works

  • 2002. Exit Strategy (aka Bull) ISBN 978-1-887128-90-2
  • 1997. Ecstasy Club ISBN 978-1-57322-702-5

Graphic novels

  • 2016. Aleister and Adolf ISBN 978-1-50670-104-2
  • 2012. A.D.D. – Adolescent Demo Division ISBN 978-1-78116-019-0
  • 2005-2008. Testament ISBN 978-1-4012-1063-2
  • 2004. Club Zero-G ISBN 978-0-9729529-3-4


  • 2014. Generation Like. PBS Frontline.
  • 2009–2010. Digital Nation, Life on the Virtual Frontier. Web site and documentary, PBS Frontline.
  • 2009. Life Inc. The Movie
  • 2004. The Persuaders. This Frontline documentary examines the psychological techniques behind popular marketing and advertising trends, determines how these methods influence how we view ourselves and desires, and postulates on the future implications of these persuasive approaches at work.
  • 2001. Merchants of Cool, a groundbreaking, award-winning Frontline documentary which explores the people, marketing techniques and ideologies behind popular culture for teenagers. This video attempts to answer whether or not teen popular culture is reflective of its population or manufactured by big business and related groups.


  • The Media Squat (creator and host): freeform, bottom-up, open source WFMU radio which examines similarly open source, bottom-up solutions to some of the problems engendered by our relentlessly top-down society.
  • Team Human Podcast (creator and host): a weekly interview show focused on themes of inspecting and subverting technologies effect on human behaviour. The format of the show is typically started with a monologue from Rushkoff and then an interview with a guest.


  1. ^ a b "Rushkoff, Douglas 1961– - Dictionary definition of Rushkoff, Douglas 1961– - FREE online dictionary".
  2. ^ a b Rushkoff, Douglas (2002-07-25). "Signs of the times | Technology". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  3. ^ "Crowdsourcing The Bank Recovery By Douglas Rushkoff | Arthur Magazine – We Found The Others". 2009-03-30. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  4. ^ "Science and Technology News, Science Articles". Discover Magazine. 2007-01-21. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  5. ^ "Douglas Rushkoff". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  6. ^ "Publications - Meeting Professionals International".
  7. ^ "Media Studies :: Academics :: All Courses". Archived from the original on 2011-05-30. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  8. ^ "ITP Research 2005 » Narrative Lab". Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  9. ^ "Maybe Logic Academy :: instructors". Archived from the original on 2009-05-03. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  10. ^ "Princeton Alumni Weekly: Search & Archives". 2009-07-15. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  11. ^ The devil's candy: The bonfire of ... – Google Books. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  12. ^ "". 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  13. ^ "Dissertation approved". Twitter. 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
  14. ^ "Open Source Reality: Douglas Rushkoff Examines the Effects of Open Source | EDUCAUSE". 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  15. ^ Michael Foord (1905-10-14). "Douglas Rushkoff – Cyberia". Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  16. ^ "An Open Letter from the friend's of Dr. Timothy Leary". Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  17. ^ "Frontline: digital nation: interviews: douglas rushkoff". PBS. 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  18. ^ "Mediamatic Review: J. Marshall – Media Virus – D. Rushkoff". 1996-10-01. Archived from the original on September 29, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  19. ^ "National Public Radio". Retrieved 2012-05-03.
  20. ^ "Frontline: merchants of cool: interviews: douglas rushkoff". PBS. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  21. ^ "Past MEA Award Recipients". 2001-02-26. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  22. ^ "Douglas Rushkoff Discography and Music at CD Universe". 2009-03-08. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  23. ^ "Core77 / industrial design magazine + resource / Design.EDU". 2005-01-08. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  24. ^ "Book". The Yes Men. Archived from the original on 2009-03-08. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  25. ^ Jill Priluck (2009-01-04). "Etoy: 'This Means War'". Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  26. ^ "disinformation | douglas rushkoff". Archived from the original on 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  27. ^ a b "Digital Minds Blog: Media Resistance – An Interview with Douglas Rushkoff". 2008-03-26. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  28. ^ "Robert Anton Wilson – Maybe Logic: Robert Anton Wilson, Valerie Corral, Paul Krassner, Tom Robbins, Douglas Rushkoff, R.U. Sirius, Douglass Smith, Lance Bauscher, Cody McClintock, Robert Dofflemyer, Katherine Covell: Movies & TV". Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  29. ^ "The Thing That I Call Doug". EDGE. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  30. ^ "Mindjack Magazine: Coercion by Douglas Rushkoff". 1999-10-01. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  31. ^ "A Conversation with Douglas Rushkoff". Zeek. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  32. ^ "Smith College: The Community Responds to Tragedy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  33. ^ "frontline: the persuaders". PBS. 2004-11-09. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  34. ^ a b "National Advisory Council – NAMLE – National Association for Media Literacy Education – Advancing Media Literacy Education in America". NAMLE. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  35. ^ Newitz, Annalee (2008-09-11). "DIY Currencies – Dual Perspectives". Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  36. ^ rushkoff (2009-05-11). "Life Inc: The Movie". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  37. ^ "WFMU's Beware of the Blog: New Podcast: The Media Squat with Douglas Rushkoff". 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  38. ^ "Organization of the Media Ecology Association". Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  39. ^ "Who is the CCLE?". Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  40. ^ "Technorealism FAQ". 1998-03-12. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  41. ^ "About Meetup". Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  42. ^ "The Hyperwords Company". Archived from the original on 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  43. ^ "Past MEA Award Recipients". 2001-02-26. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  44. ^ "Team Human vs. Team AI". strategy+business. February 2, 2019.
  45. ^ "Archives: 1998-1999". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  46. ^ "Cyberia Summary – Douglas Rushkoff – Magill Book Reviews". Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  47. ^ Boyd, Andrew. "Truth is a Virus ." Culture Jamming 101 . 2002. Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  48. ^ "Barbrook". Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  49. ^ "Douglas Rushkoff : Children Of Chaos (Playing The Future) : Lost In Translation". 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  50. ^ "Screenager". World Wide Words. 1998-01-10. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  51. ^ "Douglas Rushkoff Interview // wishtank magazine". Archived from the original on 2008-05-26. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  52. ^ "You are Facebook's product, not its customer // Wired". 2011-09-11. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  53. ^ "Why I'm quitting Facebook // CNN". 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  54. ^ "Why You Might Want To Rethink Making Those 401(k) Contributions". 4 April 2016.

External links

Arthur (magazine)

Arthur magazine was a bi-monthly periodical that was founded in October 2002, by publisher Laris Kreslins and editor Jay Babcock. It received favorable attention from other periodicals such as L.A. Weekly, Print, Punk Planet and Rolling Stone. Arthur featured photography and artwork from Spike Jonze, Art Spiegelman, Susannah Breslin, Gary Panter and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Arthur's regular columnists included Byron Coley, Thurston Moore, Daniel Pinchbeck, Paul Cullum, Douglas Rushkoff, and T-Model Ford.

Arthur magazine was particularly drawn to noise music, stoner metal, folk and other types of psychedelia. The first issue of Arthur featured an interview with journalist and author Daniel Pinchbeck (author of Breaking Open the Head); artwork by Alan Moore (Watchmen, From Hell, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen); and an interview with Arthur C. Clarke.

Previous to creating the publication, Laris Kreslins created the popular music journals Sound Collector and Audio Review. Jay Babcock was a contributor to Mojo magazine and the L.A. Weekly.

Some of the magazine's influences included Joan Didion, Thomas Paine, William Blake, Lester Bangs, Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Wolfe, and Greil Marcus.

Arthur magazine also released CDs and DVDs under the imprint of their label (formerly called [Bastet]). On Labor Day weekend in 2005, they curated Arthurfest in Barnsdall Park; in February 2006, Arthur Ball in Echo Park; and in October 2006 Arthur Nights at The Palace Theater, in downtown Los Angeles.

On February 25, 2007, it was announced on the magazine's web site that it would be ceasing publication indefinitely. The hiatus was due to a breakdown in negotiations between Lime Publishing (Arthur's original publisher) and another unnamed publisher. In April 2007, it was announced that the magazine would return as Arthur Vol. II in the near future. The magazine resumed publication in September 2007.

In June 2008, owner Jay Babcock moved Arthur's headquarters from Los Angeles to New York, the seat of North America's publishing industry.

On March 6, 2011, Jay Babcock announced that the magazine would cease to exist in any form as of March 15, 2011, though its archive and store would remain active for an unspecified period thereafter.In November 2012, the Arthur website announced the return of the magazine as of December 22, 2012. However, this resurgence proved to be brief, and in March 2014 the magazine once again announced that its online and print versions would go dormant.As of April 20, 2017, Jay Babcock announced the start of Landline bulletin , a continuation of Arthur Magazine email bulletin. As Babcock describes it, "What is this stuff? Ideas and nudges, hopefully forming a small bailiwick outside the unceasing current of cruddiness — irregular epistles intended for friends, colleagues, Arthur heads, pastoral people, plant people, rural country people, dharma people, herbalists, gardeners, wild people and other curious sweetfolk."

Cyberia (book)

Cyberia is a book by Douglas Rushkoff, published in 1994. The book discusses many different ideas revolving around technology, drugs and subcultures. Rushkoff takes a Tom Wolfe Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test style (or roman à clef), as he actively becomes a part of the people and culture that he is writing about. The book goes with Rushkoff as he discusses topics ranging from online culture, the concept of a global brain as put forth in Gaia theory, and Neoshamanism.

In the preface of the 1994 edition, Rushkoff describes his book as "a very special moment in our recent history – a moment when anything seemed possible. When an entire subculture – like a kid at a rave trying virtual reality for the first time – saw the wild potentials of marrying the latest computer technologies with the most intimately held dreams and the most ancient spiritual truths. It is a moment that predates America Online, twenty million Internet subscribers, Wired magazine, Bill Clinton, and the information superhighway. But it is a moment that foresaw a whole lot more".Rushkoff's first book was originally penned in 1992 but was not published until 1994 due to publisher concerns that electronic mail and the Internet were still obscure topics unlikely to gain traction. In Cyberia, Rushkoff emphasizes a "cyberian counterculture" out to redefine reality, where people begin to comprehend the systemic, cultural, and spiritual implications afforded by building a technological civilization. Armed with new technologies, familiar with cyberspace, and daring enough to explore unmapped realms of consciousness, his efforts in Cyberia represent the Promethean spirit intrinsic to countercultures throughout the ages.People mentioned include: Craig Neidorf, Ralph Abraham, John Barlow, Dan Kottke, David Gans, Jaron Lanier, Bruce Eisner, Fraser Clark, Mitch Kapor, Phiber Optik, Howard Rheingold, R. U. Sirius, Terence McKenna, John Draper, Neysa "Earth Girl" Griffith, and Timothy Leary.

Digital Nation

Digital Nation: Life On The Virtual Frontier is an interactive website and Frontline documentary, first aired February 2, 2010, from Producer and Director Rachel Dretzin and correspondent Douglas Rushkoff. The website features segments from the film in production, blogs from the production team, and user-generated video and audio about experiences with technology. The documentary's premise is "to examine the risks and possibilities, myths and realities presented by the new digital culture we all inhabit" and "aims to capture life on the digital frontier and explore how the Web and digital media are changing the way we think, work, learn, and interact." Digital Nation has partnered with the Verizon Foundation to create this multiplatform initiative and is projected to air nationally on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in early 2010.

Disinformation (TV series)

Disinformation, also known as Disinfo Nation, was a television show hosted by Richard Metzger. It was aired for two seasons on Channel 4 in the UK as part of their late night "4Later" programming block. Called a "punk rock 60 Minutes" and "wilder than Jackass" by the Los Angeles Times and Wired magazine respectively, the sixteen 30-minute episodes produced for C4 (and several segments never aired in the UK) were then cut down to four one-hour "specials" intended for the Sci Fi Channel in America, but never aired due to the controversial nature of what was portrayed on screen. According to interviews Metzger was told just twelve days prior to the first specials' air-date that he would have to cut 50% of the material from the show in order to pass the USA Network's corporate lawyers' scrutiny. Those four shows have subsequently been released on a DVD with a second bonus disc presenting highlights of The DisinfoCon, a twelve-hour event featuring shock rocker Marilyn Manson, underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger, painter Joe Coleman, and others such as Douglas Rushkoff, Mark Pesce, Grant Morrison, and Robert Anton Wilson.

Disinformation (company)

The Disinformation Company (abbreviated as Disinfo) was a privately held, limited American publishing company until 2012 when it was sold to Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari. It also owned Disnformation Books, which focused on current affairs titles and books exposing alleged conspiracy theories, occultism, politics, news oddities, and purported disinformation. It is headquartered in New York City, New York. Arguably, its most visible publications to date are 50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know and the Everything You Know About [subject] Is Wrong series, both by the company's editor-at-large Russ Kick.

Fee Plumley

Fee Plumley is a British-born digital artist, technology evangelist, and digital consultant. She lives in Australia and is a citizen. She worked for the Australia Council for the Arts on its "Arts content for the digital era" program, producing initiatives such as Geek in Residence and the Digital Culture Fund. Since 1997, she has collaborated with Douglas Rushkoff. She is a regular guest on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Download this Show on Radio National, where she talks about datamining.

Hell Is Invisible... Heaven Is Her/e

Hell Is Invisible... Heaven Is Her/e is the 2007 album by counter cultural provocateur Genesis P-Orridge and the reactivated Psychic TV a.k.a. “PTV3”. This current line up has been active for the previous two years and much of the material on this new album developed from ideas that emerged during PTV3's extensive touring in North America and Europe. The album was produced by Edward O'Dowd, Baba Larraji and Genesis P-Orridge. Special guests were invited to add finishing flourishes: the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner contributes his distinctive guitar playing to "In Thee Body" and "Maximum Swing", the Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes adds vocals to "Maximum Swing" and "I Don't Think So" and renowned author Douglas Rushkoff — the original keyboardist for PTV3 — plays on "Lies and Then". Whilst this album is not a concept album or a musical play per se it does centre on a more or less chronological journey through death to resurrection of the physical body and through confusion via revelation to spiritual epiphany.


Hyperwords or liquid information refers to text that can be sent to programs or services (such as emails, dictionaries, online translators) through a simple set of commands. The concept has been implemented as a server plug-in and as a plug-in for the Firefox, Flock, Chrome and Safari web browsers. It is a selection-based interface which can be used for references, searches, blogging, emailing, copying, conversions and language translation.

The project grew out of a research project at University College London. It was taken on by The Hyperwords Company, renamed to The Liquid Information Company in 2012, where it was then developed and maintained from its London, UK offices until its dissolution in 2014. Frode Hegland was the head of the company. The original development of Liquid (OS X) was by Daoxin Z. in China, followed by Konstantin R. (TIANI Studio) in Poland and Zuzex in Russia. The Liquid Browser add-ons for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari were developed by Mikhail S. and Alex V. in Russia, and Tobias H. in Germany, until it was discontinued.The company's advisory board included Douglas Engelbart, Ted Nelson, Vint Cerf, Dave Farber, Bruce Horn and Douglas Rushkoff.


As coined in the writings of Marshall McLuhan, metamedia referred to new relationships between form and content in the development of new technologies and new media. [REFERENCE NEEDED: The book Understanding Media doesn't once use the word metamedia, meta-media, meta-medium or metamedium.]

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the term was taken up by writers such as Douglas Rushkoff and Lev Manovich. Contemporary metamedia, such as at Stanford, has been expanded to describe, "a short circuit between the academy, the art studio and information science exploring media and their archaeological materiality." Metamedia utilizes new media and focuses on collaboration across traditional fields of study, melding everything from improvisational theatre and performance art, to agile, adaptive software development and smart mobs.

Mondo 2000

Mondo 2000 was a glossy cyberculture magazine published in California during the 1980s and 1990s. It covered cyberpunk topics such as virtual reality and smart drugs. It was a more anarchic and subversive prototype for the later-founded Wired magazine.

OR Books

OR Books is a New York-based independent publishing house founded by John Oakes and Colin Robinson in 2009. The company sells digital and print-on-demand books directly to the customer and focuses on creative promotion through traditional media and the Internet. On its site, OR Books states that it "embraces progressive change in politics, culture and the way we do business."

Not long after its founding in 2009, OR Books became known for publishing Going Rouge: Sarah Palin, An American Nightmare, a parody of the Sarah Palin biography, which went on to become a New York Times Best Seller. Since then the company has published books by Julian Assange, Moustafa Bayoumi, Medea Benjamin, Patrick Cockburn, Sue Coe, Simon Critchley, Lisa Dierbeck, Ariel Dorfman, Norman Finkelstein, Laura Flanders, Chris Lehmann, Gordon Lish, Bill McKibben, Eileen Myles, Yoko Ono, Barney Rosset, Douglas Rushkoff, Elissa Shevinsky, Burhan Sönmez, Jeanne Thornton, and others.

Open-source religion

Open-source religions employ open-source methods for the sharing, construction, and adaptation of religious belief systems, content, and practice. In comparison to religions utilizing proprietary, authoritarian, hierarchical, and change-resistant structures, open-source religions emphasize sharing in a cultural Commons, participation, self-determination, decentralization, and evolution. They apply principles used in organizing communities developing open-source software for organizing group efforts innovating with human culture. New open-source religions may develop their rituals, praxes, or systems of beliefs through a continuous process of refinement and dialogue among participating practitioners. Organizers and participants often see themselves as part of a more generalized open-source and free-culture movement.

Richard Metzger

Richard Metzger (born July 28, 1965) is a television host and author. He was the host of the TV show Disinformation (United Kingdom Channel 4, 2000–01), The Disinformation Company and its website, He is currently the host of the online talk show Dangerous Minds.

Technological utopianism

Technological utopianism (often called techno-utopianism or technoutopianism) is any ideology based on the premise that advances in science and technology could and should bring about a utopia, or at least help to fulfill one or another utopian ideal.

A techno-utopia is therefore an ideal society, in which laws, government, and social conditions are solely operating for the benefit and well-being of all its citizens, set in the near- or far-future, as advanced science and technology will allow these ideal living standards to exist; for example, post-scarcity, transformations in human nature, the avoidance or prevention of suffering and even the end of death.

Technological utopianism is often connected with other discourses presenting technologies as agents of social and cultural change, such as technological determinism or media imaginaries.Douglas Rushkoff, a leading theorist on technology and cyberculture claims that technology gives everyone a chance to voice their own opinions, fosters individualistic thinking, and dilutes hierarchy and power structures by giving the power to the people. He says that the whole world is in the middle of a new Renaissance, one that is centered on technology and self-expression. However, Rushkoff makes it clear that “people don’t live their lives behind a desk with their hands on a keyboard” A tech-utopia does not disregard any problems that technology may cause, but strongly believes that technology allows mankind to make social, economic, political, and cultural advancements. Overall, Technological Utopianism views technology’s impacts as extremely positive.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, several ideologies and movements, such as the cyberdelic counterculture, the Californian Ideology, transhumanism, and singularitarianism, have emerged promoting a form of techno-utopia as a reachable goal. Cultural critic Imre Szeman argues technological utopianism is an irrational social narrative because there is no evidence to support it. He concludes that it shows the extent to which modern societies place faith in narratives of progress and technology overcoming things, despite all evidence to the contrary.


Technorealism is an attempt to expand the middle ground between techno-utopianism and Neo-Luddism by assessing the social and political implications of technologies so that people might all have more control over the shape of their future. An account cited that technorealism emerged in the early 1990s and was introduced by Douglas Rushkoff and Andrew Shapiro. In a manifesto released, which described the term as a new generation of cultural criticism, it was stated that the goal was not to promote or dismiss technology but to understand it so the application could be aligned with basic human values. Technorealism suggests that a technology, however revolutionary it may seem, remains a continuation of similar revolutions throughout human history.

Testament (comics)

Testament was an American comic book series written by Douglas Rushkoff with art and covers by Liam Sharp. It was published from February 2006 to March 2008 under DC Comics' Vertigo imprint.

The story takes place simultaneously in the near future and the biblical past to illustrate the most prominent theme: that history repeats itself. This is done by juxtaposing the two timelines, the purpose of which seems to be to illustrate that religion is a continually evolving, living story that is being written by how people, and specifically the protagonists, live their daily lives. Other themes include increasing numbers of fascist governments, human rights, technology, and information economics in the form of a global currency, manna.

TheFeature was an online magazine and community dedicated to covering the technological, cultural and business evolution of the mobile Internet and the wider mobile telecommunications industry. Sponsored by Nokia, it was launched in August 2000 and continued through June 2005. Over the years, TheFeature became known for seeding innovative ideas in the nascent mobile Internet industry. Its impressive cadre of authors included Howard Rheingold, Douglas Rushkoff, Mark Frauenfelder, David Pescovitz, Justin Hall, Kevin Werbach, Carol Posthumus and Steve Wallage among others. TheFeature's editor-in-chief was Justin Ried, and its executive editor was Carlo Longino.

TheFeature was designed by Razorfish from 2000 until 2003. Sascha Höhne redesigned the site in 2004, and all subsequent iterations through 2005.

TheFeature had the distinction of being nominated for two Webby Awards in 2005, one in each of the Magazine and Telecommunications categories.

Tom Barbalet

Tom Barbalet is the creator of Noble Ape, editor of and chair of the IGDA Intellectual Property Rights SIG.

Born in 1976 in Adelaide, South Australia, Barbalet developed a series of interpreters, compilers, anti-viral programs and the Schmuck Quest series of graphics/text adventure games in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In June 1996, as an undergraduate Barbalet put a collection of his landscape viewing and cognitive simulation demo programs together and created the artificial life development Noble Ape (originally called the Nervana Project).

The Noble Ape development was attributed to;

Barbalet's travels around Malaysia and observation of wild monkeys living on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

a dare with another student in creating a true cognitive simulation in stark contrast to the academic views of the university Barbalet was attending.The Noble Ape development continues on to this day.

Tom Barbalet also created the I Am Darwin website, where people can post video clips of how Charles Darwin and his teachings influenced their lives.

Barbalet moved to the Bay Area in 1999 following an article by new media theorist Douglas Rushkoff. There he spent time with Steve Wozniak and John Draper, before moving to the United Kingdom and settling in Wilmslow in 2001. Barbalet lives in the Bay Area with his wife.

Studio albums

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