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Douglas Rushkoff-- Present Shock and Presentism: Interview Transcript

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Douglas Rushkoff: Right.

Rob Kall: I don't know if it was in this chapter, but you talk about the commons, and the commons to me is very important, that's our shared resources. How does that tie in with this?

Douglas Rushkoff: Well the idea of a commons was really just that when people try to do this alone, they can really go crazy pretty quickly. When you look at -- it's funny, there used to be a law in Judaism that you have to study Torah with at least nine other people, you have to have a minion. And it's the few times in Jewish History when people were allowed to do it alone that they went crazy, right? They went into weird Messianic worship and [ unintelligible phrase] and crazy, crazy stuff happened. And it's because they didn't have the buffering effect of a network, of other people. If we start to think of both our intellectual and our spiritual heritage as a commons rather than as a personal thing - right, you don't get personally saved, there's no such thing, it's everybody or nobody - than you end up in a much healthier and more buffered journey together.

Rob Kall: So to wrap it up you say, "Art least in a fractal one's relationships matter more than one's accumulated personal knowledge: the shared overtakes the owned. Connections supersede the ego."

Douglas Rushkoff: Right.

Rob Kall: A beautiful idea.

Douglas Rushkoff: That's the shift from the Renaissance to what we're in now. The Renaissance invented the individual: "The Renaissance Man," the individual in relationship to everything else; personal perspective and perspective pain. Everything was objectified. In our age, called The Digital Age, it's about your connections. You only exist insofar as you're connected to other people and things, and you end up in a world where you're much less a solo singer than you are someone who's resonating with that which is around you. It's as much about listening as it is about speaking. You know? Not so people have to pick /

Rob Kall: (interjecting) I've come to believe that we're transitioning from an era of information to an era of connection, and this seems to tie in directly to that.

Douglas Rushkoff: Yeah. Absolutely. It's all we can hope.

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