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Author of Team Human, Present Shock, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Program or Be Programmed, and host of the Team Human podcast http://medium.com/team-human

How we can trade a mere digital revolution for a truly dimensional shift

Portrait of the mathematician Fra Luca Pacioli and his student, by Jacopo De Barbari, 16th Century. Credit: Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Image

Built to enhance our essential interrelatedness, our digital networks could have changed everything. And the internet fostered a revolution, indeed. But it wasn’t a renaissance.

Revolutionaries act as if they are destroying the old and starting something new. More often than not, however, these revolutions look more like Ferris wheels: the only thing that’s truly revolving is the cast of characters at the top. The structure remains the same. So the digital revolution — however purely conceived — ultimately brought us a new crew of mostly male, white, libertarian technologists, who believed they were uniquely suited to create a set…


Musician and composer Ela Minus introduces us to her acts of rebellion and shows us how music can help us find the others against all efforts to prevent it. Minus’ new album, Acts of Rebellion is streaming everywhere now.

In his monologue, Rushkoff explores how robots can help us appreciate and understand what it means to be human. Similar to technology, “You need the next medium in order to understand the value of the medium that you’re in.” Rushkoff says.

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By pitting science against nature and human experience, we rob it of its moral power

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Our common sense and felt experience contradict too much of what we’re being told by scientific authorities. That’s a problem. Research scientists’ willingness to play along with industry and accept grants to prove the benefits of tobacco or corn syrup doesn’t encourage us to place more trust in them either. If those arguing in favor of vaccination enjoyed more public credibility, for example, more people would see the logic and ethics of taking a minute risk in order to benefit our collective immunity.

Instead, we get a population increasingly distrustful of scientific evidence, whether it’s about the low correlation between…


Meaningful discoveries happen from the bottom up

‘The Environs of London from Greenwich’, c1620–1630. From the Museum of London. Getty Images.

Science is not a cold abstraction, but a product of directly felt human experience.

If we think of science as the knowledge of nature, then it makes sense that its discoveries often come from those who are most intimately dependent on its processes: sailors, hunters, miners, healers, and others whose livelihoods involve direct encounters with nature’s ways. Nearly every plant and animal species we eat is the result of selective breeding — a gentle form of genetic engineering, really — by working farmers long before Mendel founded the discipline of genetics. Our knowledge of the oceans and tides came from…


Teacher of principled entrepreneurship and author of Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life Luke Burgis shares the reasons behind Silicon Valley’s obsession with the philosophies of former Stanford Professor René Girard and whether we can ever transcend the human impulse of wanting to be like someone else.

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Credits

Hosted by Douglas Rushkoff Produced by Josh Chapdelaine


Like the builders of doomed Fukushima, we envision the future without respecting the past

A stone warning of the danger of deadly tsunamis of centuries past, one of many lining the coastline of northeast Japan, at the village of Aneyoshi, Iwate prefecture. “A house on high ground will lead to peace and happiness for posterity,” reads the inscription on the stone, which was erected after a massive tsunami in 1933. Credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

The Japanese built a nuclear power plant right down the hill from the stone tablets that their ancestors put in the ground warning, “Don’t build anything below here.” The markers, called tsunami stones, were placed centuries ago by villagers who had experienced the region’s devastating earthquakes and floods. Moderns ignored the advice, believing that their building techniques far surpassed anything their ancestors could have imagined.

The villagers had recognized the pattern of natural disasters, as well as the fact that the cycle repeated too infrequently for every generation to witness it. …


Permaculture embraces the complexity of both

Credit: Hagen Production/Getty Images

The planet’s complex biosphere will survive us, one way or the other. Our own continuing participation, however, is in some doubt. Our aggressive industrial processes don’t just threaten the diversity of other species; they threaten us, too. Increasing levels of carbon dioxide lead to sharp declines in cognitive ability. Global warming not only displaces huge populations, but the higher temperatures can lead to everything from the spread of disease to increased social unrest.

We are part of a complex system of feedback loops and interconnections, and must learn to approach our world with greater sophistication, empathy, and vision — not…


Photo credit: Gina Randazzo

Author and lifelong community and climate activist Frank Brodhead helps us transform our rage and despair into hope and action. Why is environmentally-friendly policy never the focal point of political leadership? “I think so much of local politics has to do with maintaining the resale value of people’s main asset, that’s their home. The last thing that responsible political leadership is to maintain a stable climate.” Even in the face of despair, Frank provides reason for us to keep playing for Team Human..

In his monologue, Rushkoff explores why film and television needs to embrace the human soul. “You…


From Pharaoh to Big Agra, it’s always been about monopolizing the harvest

Credit: anucha sirivisansuwan/Getty Images

There’s no single answer.

Our current approaches to stewarding nature are vastly oversimplified. They may be complicated, but they’re not complex. They have many moving parts, use lots of technology, and involve many different actors, but they don’t acknowledge the interconnectedness of nature or the possibility of unseen factors. Nature is dynamic and in constant flux, so we must manage it with approaches that seek balance rather than the extraction of maximum yield.

The first hunter-gatherers to plant seeds couldn’t have foreseen an era when the practice of agriculture would threaten the viability of the planet’s topsoil. Nor should they…


Socialite, philanthropist, international southerner, mischief maker and self-described shit-starter, Kenya (Robinson) investigates gender, consumerism, and ability through unexpected performative actions and sculptural gestures.

In his monologue, Rushkoff proposes that people use non-fungible tokens to critique the art market. “The current NFT market in some ways is anti-art in that it’s simply reinforcing capitalism.”

Support Team Human

Team Human is made possible thanks to the generous support of our listeners on Patreon.

On Patreon: http://patreon.com/teamhuman
Become a Contributing Subscriber: TeamHuman.fm

Follow Team Human Show

Twitter: http://twitter.com/teamhumanshow
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Follow Douglas Rushkoff

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