Title: Present Shock. When Everything Happens Now

Author:  Douglas Rushkoff
Published by Via Lettera
Translation from English: Diana Nikolova
Book cover: Kamena Dimitrova
ISBN: 978-619-7204-11-7

Year of publication: 2018
360 pages
Format: 130 х 200 mm


At the end of XX century we were all looking forward to the future. With the start of the new millennium the waiting was over – we arrived in the future.

In his book Present Shock, When Everything Happens NowDouglas Rushkoff, media analyst and social theorist, offers a wide-spectrum view of the ‘present shock’ that has arrived with the new times. Direct reference to the theories of Alvin Toffler, in his book Rushkoff claims that the modern day humans have lost their sense of direction, destination and orientation. Our relationship with time has undergone a new transformation. We live in a world that is always focused on the present and the priorities of ‘now’ are the most important.

The author identifies five different manifestations of present shock, e.g. narrative collapse digiphrenia, overwinding, fractalnoia and apocalypto. In other words, he reviews the causes and effects of the loss of linear storytelling, of the impossibility to be present at more than one place at the same time, of the desire to squeeze enormous timescales into onerously small ones, of the attempts to make sense of the world entirely in the present tense and the intolerance to presentism that at the end of the day makes us fantasize a grand finale.

Rushkoff is undoubtedly an authority in the efforts to explain the intersection of digital technologies and modern culture. In this book he shows us the phenomenon of presentism and the challenges we need to face in order to adapt to the ever changing environment.