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Posts Tagged ‘Douglas Rushkoff’

Steven Soderbergh Quotes Douglas Rushkoff in Hollywood Speech

The great director Steven Soderbergh delivered a passionate speech about the current state of the movie business recently, quoting Present Shock by Douglas Rushkoff as he laid out the problems facing the industry.

Storytellers of all kind should watch this speech (embedded above) or read the Awards Daily transcript, it examines how audiences are changing in the 21st Century. Check it out:

I got my hands on a book by Douglas Rushkoff, and realized that I’m suffering from something called “Present Shock,” which is the name of his book. This quote made me feel a little less insane: “When there’s no linear time, how’s a person supposed to figure out what’s going on? There’s no story, no narrative to explain why things are the way they are. Previously distinct causes and effects collapse into one another. There’s no time between doing something and seeing the result, instead the results begin accumulating and influencing us before we’ve even completed an action. There’s so much information coming from everyone, from so many different sources that there’s simply no way to trace the plot over time.” So that’s sort of the hum that I’m talking about and I mention this because I think it’s having an effect on all of us. It’s having an effect on our culture, and I think it’s having an effect on movies. How they’re made, how they’re sold and how they perform. (Link via)

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Douglas Rushkoff: ‘I Would Do It for Arianna. I Won’t Do It for AOL’

In a recent Guardian essay, author Douglas Rushkoff declared that he will not write for The Huffington Post now that AOL will acquire the sprawling site for $315 million.

Here’s more from the essay: “Arianna didn’t zig, she zagged: she’s not leaving publishing for politics. Rather, she is taking the helm of AOL’s news properties, from Engadget to local webpaper amalgam, Patch. HuffPo and Arianna will now be part of AOL, for real. We’re not really witnessing the demise of HuffPo – just the demise of the justifications for writing for free. I would do it for Arianna. I won’t do it for AOL.”

What do you think? In September, Rushkoff wrote “Why Johnny Can’t Program” for The Huffington Post. He also spoke at our 2010 eBook Summit, explaining that “BookScan is a writer’s nightmare.”

eBook Summit Dispatches

ebooksummit23.jpgToday is Mediabistro’s eBook Summit, a day-long conference featuring digital publishing pioneers, application creators, literary agents, editors, and digital strategists from major publishers. eBookNewser has published dispatches all day long. Here are some highlights of that coverage.

During a literary agent panel Howard Morhaim Literary agent Kate McKean had this advice: “The number one thing I see not happening in pitches is not telling me about your book,” she said. She also reminds writers who are pitching, to “remember that you are talking to a person,” she said. “You should also be a person when you do that.”

During a presentation about author tools, journalist Adam Penenberg shared some thoughts about the evolving role of editors: “Penenberg also said that the roles in publishing are changing these days. He said that while in the 1980s editors were focused on finding great talent, today their job is to think about marketing and selling books. From Penenberg’s perspective, agents are now tasked with discovering good talent.”

You can also check out these posts: Brendan Cahill on building author relationships online and our directory of eBook Summit speakers.

Douglas Rushkoff: ‘BookScan Is a Writer’s Nightmare’

At the eBook Summit today, author Douglas Rushkoff shared a survival tip for writers in any era, including this digital one: “Find things to publish that are worth the price they are asking.”

Rushkoff also pointed out the negative side of Nielsen BookScan in an eBookNewser post: “It generates a kind of accountability that is actually counter productive to business. Banks are not accountable to the present. They are only accountable to the future. BookScan removes speculation from the book industry.”

When asked about what personally inspired him, he answered: “The world keeps happening so inspiration is always there. I would say I’m more ‘anti-inspired’ versus inspired; I write more when something angers me or concerns me.” Do you channel anger in your own writing? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Jonathan Lethem Ponders ‘They Live’ in New Movie-Focused Soft Skull Series

Yesterday Douglas Rushkoff (the author of Program or Be Programmed and one of our eBook Summit speakers) explored Softskull Press’ upcoming Deep Focus series for BoingBoing. The collection matches a great writer with a great cult film, beginning with Jonathan Lethem writing about John Carpenter‘s They Live and Chris Sorrentino writing about Death Wish.

Here’s an excerpt: “These are fun little books – little, meaning a hundred or so pages and in a tiny fits-in-your-back-pocket format suitable for reading anywhere at anytime. And they justify all the nights spent watching reruns of these films, never sure if we were allowed to like them as much as we do – even after we see through to their obvious faults. This book series considers such films “deliberate” B-movies. I read Lethem’s time-coded analysis of They Live on an airplane while I watched the film on my phone, for the perfect DIY mini-Criterion experience. Lethem is one of my favorite writers anyway, but experiencing him wax on about Nada and the ghouls was perhaps the highlight of my summer reading.”

As we noted last week, Counterpoint will shutter its New York offices and cut editorial director Denise Oswald and associate editor Anne Horowitz– causing many to worry about the future of this indie press.

Vanity Fair Analyzes the eBook Summit

VF.pngToday mediabistro.com’s eBook Summit turned up in a Vanity Fair feature, as the magazine asked: “Whoever said digital publishing was boring?”

Vanity Fair blogger Lauren Sozio wrote a long feature about the conference, focusing on Jane Friedman‘s new pubishing company and Douglas Rushkoff‘s scrappy keynote address. Earlier this week, GalleyCat collected all the Summit’s press coverage in one handy post.

The essay also pondered a presentation by Sony Digital president Steve Haber. Here’s an excerpt from the article: “Haber sealed his lecture with the fatalistic advice that “we have to cannibalize our own business because, if we don’t, someone will do it for us.’ This forecast comes from a man who, over his 20 years in consumer electronics, has seen a series of paradigm shifts from LP to CD–and digital to paper–get the better of the technophobes.” (Via eBookNewser)

Douglas Rushkoff on the Future of Writing

LifeInc_1.jpg
This morning author Douglas Rushkoff joined mediabistro.com Morning Media Menu for an interview about Iran, media conglomeration, Twitter, and his new book, “Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back.”

You can listen to the whole show at BlogTalkRadio. New York readers can actually meet Rushkoff this evening at his open source book party co-hosted by SMITH magazine, WFMU and ARTHUR magazine.

Here’s a Rushkoff quote from the Morning Media Menu: “The Paris Hiltons of writing have for the last decade or so done a lot better than the writers of writing. It makes it very tempting to look at our own careers through that corporatist lens … through the external value you can create for some company, rather than the genuine value you can create for people who read what you’re writing.”

Douglas Rushkoff on Twitter and Totalitarianism

lifeinc.jpgIn a new essay, author Douglas Rushkoff praised the power of Twitter and Facebook in Iran–arguing these tools will lead to “the end of totalitarianism.”

At the Daily Beast, the author of “Life Inc.” details how Iranian hackers have subverted a government crack-down on the Internet through proxy servers and the Twitter hash-tag “#Iranelection” to sneak around the censorship. Earlier this year GalleyCat interviewed Rushkoff about publishing conglomeration.

Here’s more from the essay: “On the Internet, content is not king – it never was. The value of Tweets right now is less the information they contain than the solidarity they promote. Like civil rights protesters who sang rousing hymns as they were carried off to jail, Twitterers are bearing witness to what’s happening around them, and calling out into the darkness of cyberspace for confirmation. I’m here. You’re here, too. We are present.”

Douglas Rushkoff on Publishing Conglomeration

“Several big conglomerates seem to be gobbling up major American publishers. Should we be concerned?” Today MobyLives resurrected this 1987 NY Times article about the shifting world of publishing. More than 20 years later, corporate publishers are struggling with layoffs and restructuring.

GalleyCat caught up with author Douglas Rushkoff, asking how conglomeration has affected publishing. In June, Rushkoff will publish his newest book, “Life Inc: How A Business Plan Took Over The World, And How To Take It Back.”

His Random House title argues: “Corporatism tells the story of how we got here, how this value system now perpetuates itself and, most importantly, how we can reconnect with the real and get ourselves out of this mess.”