Douglas Rushkoff is a futurist, author, early cypherpunk and professor of media studies at Queens College. His early writings on the internet paved the way for thinking about the web in revolutionary terms, as a tool to enfranchise and connect the world.
In years since, Rushkoff has been an outspoken critic of the way the web has developed. A handful of tech monoliths – Facebook, Google and Amazon – dominate our digital experiences and monetize our attention, finding increasingly manipulative ways to keep us logged on. Rushkoff, a proponent for mutual aid, thinks we might be better off unplugging and returning our attention to the communities around us.
CoinDesk caught up with him in early-September for a discussion about the idealism of the early web, where things went wrong and the ways it might be improved. He’s not optimistic about blockchain tech broadly, but thinks it could play a key