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23 Books for Counterculture Conservatives, Tea Party Occultists, and Capitalist Wizards

18. Program or Be Programmed

Publication Date: September 6, 2011

Official Description:

The debate over whether the Net is good or bad for us fills the airwaves and the blogosphere. But for all the heat of claim and counter-claim, the argument is essentially beside the point: It’s here; it’s everywhere. The real question is, do we direct technology, or do we let ourselves be directed by it and those who have mastered it? “Choose the former,” writes Rushkoff, “and you gain access to the control panel of civilization. Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you get to make.”

In ten chapters, composed of ten “commands” accompanied by original illustrations from comic artist Leland Purvis, Rushkoff provides cyber enthusiasts and technophobes alike with the guidelines to navigate this new universe.

In this spirited, accessible poetics of new media, Rushkoff picks up where Marshall McLuhan left off, helping readers come to recognize programming as the new literacy of the digital age––and as a template through which to see beyond social conventions and power structures that have vexed us for centuries. This is a friendly little book with a big and actionable message.

Why Capitalist Wizards Should Read It:

Program or Be Programmed offers a series of insights for understanding the programmed reality of our new media world. It's among the internet and technology books that has proven most practical in my profession as an editor of New Media publications. Regularly in discussions and email exchanges I'll reference points from it to advocate for directions to develop the website.


Surviving and thriving in the New Media economy today requires one to learn how to recognize the flaws and biases programmed into our digital world so we can then take advantage of them to accomplish our own goals of creating value and wealth.

19. A.D.D.: Adolescent Demo Division

Publication Date: January 31, 2012

Official Description:

The Adolescent Demo Division are the world's luckiest teen gamers. Raised from birth to test media, appear on reality TV and enjoy the fruits of corporate culture, the squad develop special abilities that make them the envy of the world -- and a grave concern to their keepers.

One by one, they "graduate" to new levels that are not what they seem. But their heightened abilities can only take them so far as the ultimate search for their birth families leads to an inconceivably harrowing discovery.

Written by Douglas Rushkoff, world-renowned media theorist, Frontline TV correspondent and author (Ecstasy Club, Media Virus and Program or Be Programmed, TESTAMENT), with full color art by Goran Sudzuka and Jose Marzan Jr. (Y: THE LAST MAN).

Why Counterculture Conservatives Should Read It:

A.D.D.: Adolescent Demo Division, Rushkoff's newest published work, integrates together the themes and styles of the three previous titles and also Digital Nation, the documentary he contributed to in 2010 for Frontline:


There's a new generation rising and from my vantage point among it we resemble what Rushkoff depicts in his parable. Looking back on Rushkoff's work he has a prophetic quality, the subjects of his books often predate the mainstream conversation by years. In the early '90s he wrote about the possibilities of the Internet, predicting its direction. He all but invented the concept of viral media. And now Corporatism has become a more common term as Tea Party conservatives have grown more attuned to the role of corporations working hand-in-hand with the Democratic Party and community organizing activists to cause the economic crisis of 2008.

But prophecy isn't anything supernatural. It's just the application of the techniques previously described: pattern recognition, self control, and an understanding of history. Grasp the truth about human nature and learn the lessons of history and one can foresee what will happen in the future. And more importantly: one can take the responsibility to influence the world so that Good ultimately triumphs over Evil and humanity as a whole can evolve into closer union with the Divine.

In the four published books of Howard Bloom, the last author on this list, we see the call to take control of our future through understanding the past come alive in an exciting merging of science, history, philosophy, and the long overdue marriage of secularism and spirituality.

The last four books provide innumerable tools as Bloom wields the Scientific Method like a blade, chopping new paths as we continue our rise up from the jungle, back to God...