My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Program or Be Programmed (A Cheat Sheet)

The title of Douglas Rushkoff‘s recent book, Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age, is in essence — true to all such high-concept titles — a cheat sheet for the full text. Spend more than a minute pondering the four words that precede its colon, and you pretty much know what’s coming: Today we live in a world that is increasingly mediated by digital technology; people who fail to educate themselves about how that technology is controlled risk leaving themselves open to manipulation — i.e., to being controlled. As for those “commands” to the right of the colon, they provide the book’s structure, a coy nod to the Ten Commandments. Rushkoff’s isn’t really comparing himself to Moses. He’s comparing himself to, or acting as, a Talmudic-style scholar. He’s explaining how the written word shapes, informs, and provides a means to understand human existence. In this case, the written word is the hand-typed code that is the programmed back-end of digital technology.

I wrote the piece, “10 Things Musicians Can Learn from Douglas Rushkoff’s Program or Be Programmed,” for weallmakemusic.com. It was published earlier today.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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