Tag Archives: douglas rushkoff

Rushkoff’s 4 Commands


Social, Fact, Openness  and Purpose are the last four commands in Douglas Rushkoff’s Program or be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age. These last four commands are Rushkoff’s attempt to convince you to be involved with the wonderful world of technology. Rushkoff describes the social command as “the ongoing coevolution between people and technologies.” (p.90)and that “the bias of digital media is toward contact with other people”(p.90)

The idea behind Fact, is that the truth will always prevail. Rushkoff states if you “Put something false online”. . .” it will eventually be revealed as a lie.”(p.100) Just like in real life we must be very careful and deliberate about what we post online. Unlike lying in the physical world the lie that you put on the internet will be on the internet forever.

With Openness, Rushkoff believes that “Digital networks were built for the purpose of sharing computing resources by people who were themselves sharing resources, technologies, and credit in order to create it.”(p.112) According to Rushkoff, we also “often exploit the openness of others,” and we must learn to promote openness. And that openness refers to sharing, not stealing.

All digital technology must exist in a programmers mind before it can be created for the world to see. In In the last chapter, Purpose, Rushkoff says that, “we must learn how to make the software, or risk becoming the software.”(p.128) What he is saying is that if we don’t know how to develop this new technology, we might as well let someone else run our life.

Technology is important


In contemporary times, the commands that Douglas Rushkoff writes are important even if someone does not want a computer. This person is part of the digital divide because they are separated from digital media. Digital media should not be ‘shunned’ because “digital networks are biased toward social connections-toward contact” (Rushkoff 91) If someone refuses to use technology, then they are not connected to society. This is seen through the digital divide, since those who cannot connect to the ‘online community’ are noticed less often. Although people want to separate from technology because they think digital media is pointless, digital media is useful and needed for our society. Digital media is needed for our current society because “we must learn to tell the truth” (Rushkoff 108). The internet does have false information, but people want to know the truth and want it to be available to others. The digital divide makes this connection to the truth limited when someone does not have access to the internet. Our culture is composed of shared information online. Without being connected to the internet, then you cannot participate in sharing or obtaining certain information. For example, less newspapers and magazines are using hard copies because people are connected to the information online. Rushkoff’s main point is that if we do not program, then we will be programmed by our society. So people who separate themselves from technology because they do not want to be influenced are at the greatest risk of being influenced.