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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

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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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.”

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Author of “Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World” and member of the Apalech Clan, Tyson Yunkaporta helps us reckon with the end of civilization. Have we accidentally reintroduced circularity into our systems? Is there a way to integrate western civilization’s ideal of progress with integral theory?

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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Credits

Hosted by Douglas Rushkoff Produced by Josh Chapdelaine Audio…


We cannot dominate nature for much longer, but neither can we retreat from civilization

Clearcutting on Lyell Island in the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada. Photo:
Joel W. Rogers/Getty Images

It’s tempting to declare war on the institutions and technologies that seek to remake our world in their own image. Radical environmentalists believe that the only way for nature to reassert itself is for human civilization to reduce its numbers and return to preindustrial conditions. Others believe it’s too late, that we’ve already cast our lot with technological progress, genetic engineering, and global markets. In their view, slowing down the engines of progress will merely prevent us from finding the solutions we need to fix our current crises.

Neither approach will work. We cannot dominate nature for much longer, but…

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