Life Incorporated

A few weeks ago we posted a brief interview that Jason Boog of GalleyCat conducted with Douglas Rushkoff about conglomerates and the media. This interview tied into Rushkoff’s latest book — Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back — which is a fantastic critique of the rise of corporations and the negative influence the principles underlying corporations have had on virtually every aspect of our life.

We’re planning on running an interview with Douglas about the book and about corporations and publishing (irony #1: Life Inc is coming out in June from Random House) in the not-too-distant future, but since this is such a fantastic, important book, I thought I’d point out the book’s special website and “Life Inc The Movie,” which hits on some of the major points of the book. (It’s kind of like a videobook! )

The book releases on June 2nd, but is available for preorder from, well, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders. (Irony #2.)

One of the interesting examples Douglas uses in this video is the bit about the restaurant Comfort and the owner’s inability to secure a bank loan for expansion. When this happened, he came up with the idea of “Comfort Dollars” through which, for every $100 invested, you received $120 Comfort Dollars to spend at the restaurant, thereby helping this local business to expand, and receiving a 20% return on investment . . . This isn’t unlike our subscription model through which for every $120 “investment,” you receive approx. $180 worth of Open Letter books . . . From our perspective, it’s great to know that X number of units of a new book are going directly to readers the second the book comes back from the printer, and for readers, you’re receiving $1.50 worth of books for every $1 spend . . .

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