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, Arthur, Discover, and the online magazines Daily Beast, TheFeature.com and meeting industry magazine One+.
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 and the ITP at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he created the Narrative Lab. He also has taught online for the MaybeLogic Academy.
|Born||February 18, 1961|
New York City, New York
|Occupation||American media theorist, writer, columnist, lecturer, graphic novelist, documentarian|
|Education||BA, MFA, PhD|
|Alma mater||Princeton University|
California Institute of the Arts
|Spouse||Barbara (Kligman) Rushkoff (one child)|
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. He graduated from Princeton University in 1983. 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. He was a PhD candidate at Utrecht University's New Media Program, writing a dissertation on new media literacies, which was approved in June, 2012.
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.
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." It was eventually published in 1994.
As his books became more accepted, and his concepts of the "media virus" and "social contagion" became mainstream ideas, Rushkoff was invited to deliver commentaries on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, and to make documentaries for the PBS series Frontline.
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. 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.
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. Rushkoff taught classes in media theory and in media subversion for New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program, participated in activist pranks with the Yes Men and eToy, contributed to numerous books and documentaries on psychedelics, and spoke or appeared at many events sponsored by counterculture publisher Disinformation.
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.
Rushkoff worked with both Robert Anton Wilson 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. 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, and the day AOL bought Time Warner in 2000 – 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. 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. 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 as well as in numerous documentaries decrying the corporatization of public space and consciousness. He has dedicated himself most recently to the issues of media literacy, participatory government, and the development of local and complementary currencies. He wrote a book and film called Life Inc., 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.
Douglas Rushkoff has served on the Board of Directors of the Media Ecology Association, The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and is a founding member of Technorealism, as well as of the Advisory Board of The National Association for Media Literacy Education, MeetUp.com and HyperWords
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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. These "screenagers", a term originated by Rushkoff, 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.
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.
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.
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
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.Metamedia
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, Disinfo.com. 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
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
TheFeature.com 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 Biota.org 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.