May 28, 2008 Douglas Rushkoff To Discuss "Open Source Reality" at Library of Congress on June 30

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

Today's constantly evolving interactive technologies are having a profound impact on our culture, and the analog generation needs to look to its children to learn how to cope. According to new media and pop culture expert Douglas Rushkoff, the nation's youth have already adapted to the digital world's demands. Rushkoff will discuss the new cultural complexities in a lecture titled "Open Source Reality" at 4 p.m. on Monday, June 30, in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Library's John W. Kluge Center , the event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. The lecture will be available at a later date as a webcast at This is the fourth lecture in a series titled "Digital Natives," referring to the generation that has been raised with the computer as a natural part of their lives, especially the young people who are currently in schools and colleges. The series seeks to understand the practices and culture of the digital natives and the implications for education at schools, universities and libraries. According to Rushkoff, our world is getting more complex every day. Faced with a media "run amok," a rapidly expanding global economy, the collapse of national and social boundaries and the profound impact of technology on our lives, people feel like immigrants to a very new territory. Like most new immigrants to an unfamiliar culture, they must look to their children for signs of how to act and think, Rushkoff says. He believes young people have already adapted. In his talk, Rushkoff will explain the profound impact of interactive technologies, from the remote control to the joystick to the computer keyboard. What lessons do the youths who are digital natives have for older Americans and vice versa? Rushkoff, who teaches media theory at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program, is the author of 10 books on new media and popular culture, including "Get Back in the Box: How Being Great at What You Do Is Great for Business" (2007) and "ScreenAgers: Lessons in Chaos from Digital Kids" (2006). Rushkoff has written and hosted two award-winning "Frontline" documentaries for PBS: "The Merchants of Cool," which looked at the influence of corporations on youth culture; and "The Persuaders," which examined the cluttered landscape of marketing and the new efforts to overcome consumer resistance. Rushkoff writes a monthly comic book for Vertigo titled "Testament," and a column for Arthur Magazine. The "Digital Natives" lecture series' coordinator is Derrick de Kerckhove, holder of the Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education at the Kluge Center. Marc Prensky, who is credited with creating the term "digital native," will act as respondent. The Papamarkou Chair in Education was established at the Library of Congress by a gift from Alexander Papamarkou (1930-1998), an investment banker who was generous in his support of the arts, education and medicine, in honor of his grandfather, a Greek educator. Holders of the Papamarkou Chair focus their research on the Library's role in education and examine the impact of education on individuals and society. Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit


PR 08-108
ISSN 0731-3527