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

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Employment as we know it has only existed since the late Middle Ages

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Image: Artur Debat/Getty Images

Losing one’s job to a robot is no fun.

Without a new social compact through which to distribute the potential bounty of the digital age, competition with our machines is a losing proposition. Most jobs as we currently understand them are repetitive enough to be approached computationally. Even brain surgery is, in most respects, a mechanical task with a limited number of novel scenarios.

While we humans can eventually shift, en masse, to “high-touch” occupations like nursing, teaching, psychology, or the arts, the readiness of machines to replace human labor should force us to reevaluate the whole premise of having jobs in the first place. …


On the psychological effect of how trust in American civic and social institutions has so quickly eroded

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Playing for Team Human today, Executive Director of Institute for the Future, Marina Gorbis.

Gorbis discusses what she believes to be the real solution to our economic and social problems: Mutuality. She explores the psychological effect of how trust in American civic and social institutions has so quickly eroded, why scale is anti-human, and our best chance at making our ideas actionable.

In his opening monologue, Rushkoff looks at the war of reality creation taking place between the Trump administration and the Biden campaign. Here, he looks at the effect of magical thinking on the election, and how it can help us navigate through a disorienting moment.


How workers unknowingly train their robot replacements

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Photo: Donald Iain Smith/Getty Images

In the future envisioned by Wall Street and Silicon Valley alike, humans are just another externality. There are too many of us, asking for salaries and health care and meaningful work. Each victory we win for human labor, such as an increase in the minimum wage, makes us that much more expensive to employ, and supports the calculus through which checkout workers are replaced by touchscreen kiosks.

Where humans remain valuable, at least temporarily, is in training their replacements. Back in the era of outsourcing, domestic workers would cry foul when they were asked to train the lower-wage foreign workers who would shortly replace them. …

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