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Lunchmeat Underpants

Lunchmeat Underpants

New Stuff and Inspiration

Program or be programmed.

It is January. The month of ambitious ideas to reinvent ourselves. My guess is that learning to code is not on your personal make-over list. Unless you’re Douglas Rushkoff (author, documentarian and teacher of a graduate level digital program at NYU). Learning to code is not on my list, has never been on my list, and most likely never will be, but reading Mr. Rushkoff’s blog makes me feel like it should be. He makes a convincing argument that unless we learn to code, we are passengers in the digital world.

“Programming a computer is not like being the mechanic of an automobile. We’re not looking at the difference between a mechanic and a driver, but between a driver and a passenger. If you don’t know how to drive the car, you are forever dependent on your driver to take you where you want to go. You’re even dependent on that driver to tell you when a place exists.” —Douglas Rushkoff

You can find his 10 reasons to learn to code here.

I rarely get to a place where I can contemplate what is out there that I don’t know about. I’m too busy trying to process all the things I do know about. It always feels like the tip of the iceberg. Despite my attempts at sophisticated bookmarking, I never really feel like I’ve got a handle on the multitudes of information sources. Which happens to be the topic of his upcoming book, Present Shock, When Everything Happens Now. One more book to pile on the nightstand.

My trouble is that this argument to “program or be programmed”  is predominantly based on fear. I don’t like being motivated by fear, even though it usually works. Fear is like caffeine. A little bit will jump start you into action. But too much and you build up a tolerance. I appreciate his more hopeful messages like this one, “I have never been as enthusiastic about the promise of digital technology itself as about the human potential unleashed by these new tools.” Please, Mr. Rushkoff, I humbly beg you to write more about this human potential you envision. That will keep me going back to your blog in the long run. And just might get me coding.