“Program or be programmed”

Why binge blogging this weekend? Because I am so busy coughing my heart out that I can’t do anything else other than casual reading and writing. Oh, and drinking litres of herbal tea. One remedy I faithfully rely on. 🙂

There was this symposium I was wishing I could attend. It turned out that they live-streamed as well. What a world. I missed the beginning though because I didn’t know until @wikileaks itself tweeted about it.

Among the panelists, Douglas Rushkoff (starting from 49:40) made a point that I particularly loved. According to him, we are increasingly being made to make choices. Every time we purchase technologies and every time we use things, we can either move further towards a net reality that’s negotiated on our behalf – a sort of “iPad reality” – or towards a P2P, decentralised, uncontrollable, anarchistic network – the kind of the Internet that we think we have but we don’t. And as the latter would require users to understand how these tools work in terms of programming/architecture design etc., he questioned, doubtfully, whether people would actually want it.

Incidentally, this reminds me of a remark I recently read in Korean – from someone who goes by @imagolog. The following is my translation.

As the era of the Web comes to a close and the era of apps dawns, we start to realise that the Web, which supports boundless openness and sharing, was not what the media are supposed to evolve towards but a mutant in media history (putting aside the judgement whether that’s good or bad). The generation who are tired of vast freedom and possibilities are now willing to pay to get things tailored as they like.

Although it passed me by, my recollection was clear enough to trace back this two-week-old tweet in a sea of others because my heart ached a little when I read it.

Anyway, come to think of it, I’d seen him on the telly once before and loved his comments back then too. I think I should check out his books.


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