Digital Minds Blog

Nice interview with Ido Hartogsohn for Israeli newspaper, Maariv, now translated to English and posted on the Digital Minds Blog. It runs through a lot of topics – from religion to media and back again – and offers a good summary of my thinking on the relationship of open source, spirituality, media, and viral transmission.

Here’s a snippet –

Hartogsohn: Can the role of media be reversed? Can it turn from a disempowering agent into an empowering force? If so, then How?

Rushkoff: I don’t think things go one way and then we turn them around and make them go another. It is not just one thing. The media is many things, and it acts in many ways at many times on many people.

I think the best first step for helping people exploit media in appropriate, life-affirming ways would be to teach the biases of media. Different media have different biases. They were created with different purposes in mind. TV was created to market. The Internet was created to share. What is a blog? Is that the only way to use the Internet, or are there others? How was the Internet changed from a sharing medium to a publishing medium? Why does Rupert Murdoch like MySpace so much?

By understanding how different media and platforms work, and what sorts of behaviors they encourage, who in particular they empower, we end up in a better position to choose what we do.

But the first step is understanding that this stuff is programmed. It’s not pre-existing. It’s coded by people.