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Team Human

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Team Human is a manifesto—a fiery distillation of preeminent digital theorist Douglas Rushkoff’s most urgent thoughts on civilization and human nature. In one hundred lean and incisive statements, he argues that we are essentially social creatures, and that we achieve our greatest aspirations when we work together—not as individuals. Yet today society is threatened by a vast antihuman infrastructure that undermines our ability to connect. Money, once a means of exchange, is now a means of exploitation; education, conceived as way to elevate the working class, has become another assembly line; and the internet has only further divided us into increasingly atomized and radicalized groups.

Team Human delivers a call to arms. If we are to resist and survive these destructive forces, we must recognize that being human is a team sport. In Rushkoff’s own words: “Being social may be the whole point.” Harnessing wide-ranging research on human evolution, biology, and psychology, Rushkoff shows that when we work together we realize greater happiness, productivity, and peace. If we can find the others who understand this fundamental truth and reassert our humanity—together—we can make the world a better place to be human.

256 pages, Hardcover

Published January 22, 2019

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About the author

Douglas Rushkoff

61 books807 followers
Douglas Rushkoff is a New York-based writer, columnist and lecturer on technology, media and popular culture.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 143 reviews
Profile Image for Ana  Ulin.
147 reviews13 followers
February 1, 2019
I agree wholeheartedly with the central premise of this book: that we need a return to human-centric and community-centric values, connection and collaboration.

But sadly the book read as a series of inaccurate statements about what's going on in the world, designed to evoke an emotional response, but ultimately distracting to someone who is looking for nuance and precision. There is also no suggestion of what to do practically about these issues, other than "find the others".

All in all, a worthwhile message, but the value of this book could have been condensed in a Tweet. A better (though narrower) take on many of the same themes is Jaron Lanier's "Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now".
Profile Image for Ray.
Author 16 books282 followers
February 5, 2019
If you haven't been listening to podcast Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff--the great techno guru of the 90s who has now become more of a skeptic and the social consciousness of the silicon era--do so now. Full of brilliant ideas and dialogues about our current confusing era. Then, after listening to most of the archive, get the book Team Human.

To be honest, it's rather light for Rushkoff. To delve deeper, try Life Inc. or Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus. Team Human could be accused of oversimplifying a host of issues, but the book does provide a valuable service by summing up the ethos that humanity needs to start living by if we are going to survive the digital landscape that we are in. These things do need to sorted in an orderly manner, like a manifesto or at least a starter, so that well-meaning people will have a foundation to fall back on.

Much of the book is fascinating, on the connection between computerized media and nationalism as opposed to the unifying nature of other mediums. On the absurd abstraction of the economy, and how we must care more about the foreground and not be lost in the background. Why the Renaissance, which takes in positive old ideas, is a better metaphor for the state of the world than 'revolution', which always ends up with the same power structures in the end. There is even an analysis about how story structure in cinema has warped people's expectations of reality, and even gets into the cyclical nature of time in cultures both pre- and post-agriculturalism. And my personal favorite, the dangerous concept of mechanomorphism in which humans start imitating the machines.

Team Human is an important book for anyone who cares about just that, humans. Armed with these ideas, let's choose a team that has our interests in mind before it's too late...
Profile Image for Jenn "JR".
444 reviews79 followers
March 15, 2019
Ruskhoff is in a privileged position – He makes his living as a speaker (let’s face it – books are publicity for the speaker circuit) – and he’s established himself as a “thought leader.”

While the book is a bit of ramble – it reads like blog postings or bits of a Ted talk – it’s clear that he’s a voracious reader, and he absorbs concepts and streams of information to synthesize and develop persuasive arguments that skirt the edge of radical recommendations that might get him voted off the Marketworld acceptable speaker’s list. A lot of what he writes seems kind of “insider-y” for those of us who have been in the tech world (at the Commonwealth Club, he and the moderator chuckled about the wonderful days of Well.com, for example).

Rushkoff has made a living doing what I wish I had the guts to do since college when a respected sociology professor discouraged me from applying to a MA program in Chicago focusing on pop culture and media as “a fad.” In the first dot com boom – my inner sociologist was totally wigging out on the possibilities of technology and the strangely predictable boom and collapse, increasing bureaucratization and specialization and efforts to “monetize” everything and to “gamify” things to trap users into addictive and exploitive behavior patterns.

I almost have to say that I enjoy the end notes more than the book itself – unfortunately, he doesn’t use any sort of citations in the text to link users back to these notes which would improve the experience a lot.

He makes a lot of generalizations but since he’s going for a visionary approach – I think that’s acceptable. Some of what he says strikes me as overly cynical (you can see that in my notes) and I don’t agree with all of his assessments. He has a fairly linear, causal chain assessment of developments in human society and communication. Hindsight, as we all know, is 20-20.

For example “Before language, there was no such thing as a lie.” Really? So, we’re to believe that pre-language cave drawings were entirely accurate? Some cave artist never fudged a few extra kills or such?

Again – as with “Winners Take All” – this author is focusing on a process of co-optation that is inherent in the development of non-distributive, hierarchical human societies. Of course, web technology has been co-opted to commerce – that’s what commerce does. We’re so immersed in the pursuit of the success and ideals of Capital that business language and processes are saturating all spheres of our lives.

While I don’t necessarily believe his dark vision – that computers are programming us to learn how to replace us – but he says some interesting things and overall the book is very thought provoking. He encourages us to look at the underlying forces and ideologies driving and shaping the requirements of the world around us: “Technology is not driving itself. It doesn’t want anything. Rather, there is a market expressing itself through technology.”

“Human ideals such as autonomy, social contact, and learning are again written out of the equation, as the algorithms’ programming steers everyone and everything toward instrumental ends.”

Ruskhoff made a great argument somewhere in this book as well as an NPR interview about education for education’s sake – it’s necessary for people to learn, explore and get exposure to a wide range of ideas and to have the space to experiment intellectually and develop their own perspectives about things. This is a similar argument to “The Coddling of the American Mind” – and Ruskhoff takes this a step further, eschewing the push to make education a place where people are trained to join the corporate world and to be “useful.” Education is meant to make you interesting, to make you a human, and to teach you how to interact with adults who have different ideas. Education is also not meant, as detailed on “Coddling,” to protect you from ideas you find offensive or “triggering.”

Finally – he gets around to the meat of his arguments and his recommendations. He talks about how capitalism as it is implemented is the enemy of commerce because it extracts value and gives it to remote shareholders. The solutions for underemployment revolve around “getting everyone ‘jobs,’ as if what everyone really wants is the opportunity to commodify their living hours” and punishing the hungry or homeless for “not contributing” even though we don’t really need everyone to be working full time with the abundance we have in our society and economy.

“We must not accept any technology as the default solution for our problems.” And – further – question everything around you: commercial media, mainstream diversions – what are the values they are promoting? So much of the models around us leave us unable to cope in the face of ambiguity and uncertainty – but increasing our prosocial behavior and interdependence can give us the resilience and resources to solve so many of our contemporary problems.

“Transcending the game altogether means becoming a spoilsport – someone who refuses to acknowledge the playing field, the rules of engagement, or the value of winning” – much like the shaman (or hermit) who lives apart from the tribe. Delete the app, leave your phone at home, connect with people because “Weirdness is power, dissolving false binaries and celebrating the full spectrum of possibility. Eccentricity opens the gray area where mutations develop and innovations are born.”

Finally, Rushkoff’s key recommendation: “Just as we can derive an entire ethical framework from the single practice of veganism, we can apply the insights of permaculture practitioners to education, social justice, and government: look for larger patterns, learn from elders, understand and leverage natural cycles.”

“The greatest threats to Team Human are the beliefs, forces, and institutions that separate us from one another and the natural world of which we are a part.”

“We must learn to distinguish between the natural world and the many constructions we now mistake for preexisting conditions of the universe.”

“Find the others.”

Profile Image for Gary.
109 reviews12 followers
December 17, 2021
This was a cool little diatribe against the many ills of our current society. Our addiction to growth (as opposed to sustainability), our over-dependence on machines, our drive to be independent and “above it all”.

I can’t help but agree with every negative impression of society that the author puts forth (my neck was sore from being a bobble head for 10 straight minutes during the chapter on the ills of social media; for those that don’t know I quit FB and IG in May and have been happier ever since).

The author thinks that the cure to societies destructive ills is to “come together”; to unite. This is where he lost me a little bit. I largely believe the answers lie in us being more independent. More rational. More aware of our biases and pre-judgements. I don’t think large crowds can solve any problems, I think they can only perpetuate more of them through a little tick we humans have called group think, where the lowest ideals are often the most appealing. But, I am not a sociologists or any other -ologist. I felt the authors solutions were fanciful at best and highly improbable at worst.

It could just be my pessimism. Sadly the author had me hooked on all his observations (which were rather dreary) and I thought they were spot on. But his speculations could use some work in my humble, non-professional opinion. Again this is probably my own personal biases.

I guess my take home from this book is that I should try to connect with people more, I’ve always been somewhat of a lone wolf and cynical about human nature and society. Next year I will try to volunteer more and be more of an optimist, maybe I can rekindle that flame of hope lol.

I will proofread this review later on, if there are any grammar errors please look passed them.
Profile Image for Chris M.
1 review
February 16, 2019
Skip this one.

I only finished the whole book because I wanted to feel like I could legitimately write a review.

I discovered it through a post on Medium which seemed reasonable, but it is Terrible. One giant opinion piece with a handful of reasonable points drowned out with dubious claims and outright falsehoods. The author has a vague grasp of some technical concepts that then get used to reinforce points using bad analogies. History is conveniently framed to make points with dubious basis. Simply put, don’t bother reading.
63 reviews2 followers
March 4, 2019
I don’t know how I came across this book but I liked the title: Team Human. I’m a strong believer in people being communal by nature and in need of one another to thrive and reach our fullest potential. Maybe I should have read the synopsis because whereas the author, Douglas Rushkoff, intimates that--he takes a long time to get there.

Before Rushkoff gets into the beneficial aspects of being a team he spends an inordinate amount of time being a misanthrope. He presented one doomsday scenario after another in which humans were the culprits. Even though he spends the bulk of his time attacking technology he leaves some bullets in the chamber for religion, agriculture, politics, and of course capitalism. I was starting to believe he hated civilization.

He harps on the fact that the digital world has made humans into slaves of technology with only binary choices. He pillories the very thought of having binary choices. But the hypocrisy is abundant as he issues one black or white scenario after another. Either we break free from our computers or become machines, either we break free from capitalism or become mindless workers, either we break free from agriculture as we know it or we’ll destroy the earth. It was very depressing.

That’s not to say that there weren’t any truths in his book at all because there are many. Such as:

“We seek high numbers of ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ on social platforms
because these metrics are the only way we have of gauging our social

“Following through on mechanomorphism, transhumanism holds that
people can be upgraded just like machines.” (p. 108)

Still, embedded in those truths was sort of a dismal outlook on humanity. Not only that, some of his analyses took him into making proclamations that seemed wholly inaccurate and/or very conspiratorial. For instance:

“Instead of designing technologies that promote autonomy and help
us make informed decisions, the persuasion engineers in charge of
our biggest digital companies are hard at work creating interfaces
that thwart our cognition and push us into an impulsive state where
thoughtful choices—or thought itself—are nearly impossible.” (p. 81)

“Capitalism no more reduced violence than automobiles saved us
from manure-filled cities.” (p. 137)

“Worshippers turn to religion less to explore their relationship to
creation or ethics than to guarantee their own salvation or claim
virtue.” (p.159)

Between the conspiracies, false analyses, and cynicism I found myself audibly disagreeing with Rushkoff and literally shaking my head. Chapter after chapter, paragraph after paragraph I was thinking, “Is not anything created by human hands worthy of indulging and free from some ulterior motive?”

In the end he did offer suggestions for solutions and the few he offered weren’t half bad. I think he needed to tone down the animus and turn up the optimism. After all, he’s trying to be a recruiter for team human; he’s got to be a better salesman.
Profile Image for Yxas.
33 reviews1 follower
May 15, 2019
Tame, tepid, and ineffectual. Desperately wanted to like this as I really like Rushkoff, but this was largely useless. I don't know who'd derive value from this book.

Constant frustration was the lack of specificity. Far, far too many points rely on generalisations rather than concrete examples. It's rescued by some novel associations, but these are never developed beyond intriguing conjecture sadly.

2*s for a few interesting thoughts, introducing "Mechanomorphism" to me (a terrific term) and for the quality of the book itself - it'll look marvellous on your bookshelf.

I know I'm uncharacteristically brutal here but it's only because I wanted to love this so much, but I can't. Read Jamie Bartlett's People vs Tech or Paul Mason's Clear Bright Future instead.

Team Human isn't a manifesto, it's a morass.
Profile Image for Rachel.
9 reviews293 followers
December 22, 2019
I highly recommend this book, and though I understand the criticisms I have seen that there are many statements of "fact" which are not backed up by cited evidence, my takeaway is that the concepts herein are offered up in order to spark us to ask important questions. Should we desire to we can, and should do further research ourselves. The important thing is to challenge ourselves to look beyond what we may have taken as fact before, to remember we are responsible for finding our own answers. Answers are not meant to simply be fed to us, and perhaps those which have been are not conducive to our collective well-being as a human race.
17 reviews1 follower
February 29, 2020
The only Rushkoff book I’d read before Team Human was Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus. I started and finished it while in Paris during the yellow-vest protests. For those few short days I passed the remains of violent protest—burnt cars, smashed windows, and graffitied ATMs—and in the background I read Rushkoff argue that modern capitalism destroyed society by devaluing workers’ sense of worth and hoarding capital within monopolistic firms. The setting was ideal. The book made me view venture-capital-funded tech startups as something like ponzi schemes and convinced me that the rate of money changing hands is synonymous with money’s utility. In the backdrop of inequality-fueled protests, Rushkoff convinced me that modern capitalism, defined by stock buybacks and corporate “war chests,” is bloated and inefficient and the root cause of political turmoil in developed countries today.

I went into Team Human expecting a similar level of insight. I wanted Rushkoff to explain the 2020 election’s malaise as the byproduct of corporate control and indoctrination. I wanted a Galloway-esque polemic about Facebook’s spreading of disinformation. Instead, I read through 200 pages of half-baked hideas. Section after section—100 of them—Rushkoff punched at the issues that he thinks plague society: isolationism, scientific elitism, time as a linear concept (seriously). And section after section, he failed to follow through. For each issue he'd present a problem plaguing modern life, give a half-paragraph explanation of its history, then wander off into vagaries that left me wondering when he was going to get back to the point.

The gist of Team Human is that technologies are crudely replacing the things that most make us human. Social media is replacing socialization; science is replacing morality; video games are replacing challenge and reward. While Rushkoff paints a bleak picture of modern life, he concludes the book by asking humanists to unite like the participants of Occupy Wallstreet and Burning Man. I’m drawn to the subject matter. It’s why I bought the book. Give me a few citations and polemicize away. Team Human’s issue isn’t its subject however, but its complete lack of substantiation.

An example is Section 78; in it, Rushkoff begins by highlighting the scientific community’s lack of trust among the public: “Our common sense and felt experience contradict too much of what we’re being told by scientific authorities… 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.” Rushkoff questions the relatability to scientists and points out that the general public might conflate the average scientist with industry shills, sowing doubt. But he immediately loses focus: “The unemployed coal worker doesn’t want to be retrained to build solar panels for a company thousands of miles away, owned by venture capitalists aligned with progressives screaming about climate change.” While you’d expect Rushkoff to explain what caused this coal-miner’s disbelief in climate change, and further the subject he started the section with, it never happens. Instead we’re left with this self-indulgent, recursive metaphor:
There is no backdrop against which reality happens. An object doesn’t sit anywhere absolute in space; its position is entirely a matter of its relation to every other object out there… Like a dancer where the only space that exists is defined by and between the dancers themselves, everything is happening in relationship to everything else. It’s never over, it’s never irrelevant, it’s never somewhere else… That’s what forces science into the realm of morality, karma, circularity, and timelessness that prescientific people experienced.

Besides intra-section meandering like that of Section 78, Rushkoff makes dozens of baseless and unconvincing arguments. He implies that ADHD medication is overprescribed because of the internet, that transhumanism is an avoidance of personal responsibility, and that science will never provide a mechanistic explanation for consciousness. Each warrant a book or at least a chapter, but none of those claims were explored because they were just fodder for whatever tangent Rushkoff was drifting along on at the time.

The moments that I enjoyed most were Rushkoff’s reflections on how we got to this point. As a software engineer who’s constantly looking at a computer monitor, I was particularly empathetic to his description of the experience that humans felt when, after years of watching the programming sent to them by major network channels, video games and computers enabled hobbyists to manipulate the pixels on their screens. Rather than passively consuming, gamers and programmers were able to create. It's obvious there was a time before and a time after people could change the pixels on their screens, but I’d never thought of what that jump must have felt like, and Rushkoff, a media theorist, was able to impart some of that awe.

The book was aggravating. At best, it’s a high—high—level review of Rushkoff’s prior writing; a quick reminder that technology does not a utopia make. At its worst, it’s a hodgepodge of nonsequiturs, rambles, and questionable opinions.
10 reviews1 follower
January 28, 2019
For Rushkoff fans who have read many previous works, I'd give it 4stars cause much of it is retread territory. However he does combine many of the basic themes of several prev books (esp Google Bus and Program Or) into one rather cohesive narrative. Enjoyed how the book is "100 Chapters" which makes it seem like a combo of essays at times, but more bullets on a larger Outline proving his thesis. [edit: grammar]
Profile Image for Daniel Hageman.
323 reviews40 followers
January 27, 2019
While Rushkoff seems a bit overly pessimistic about the current state of affairs for humanity, I think he highlights relevant critiques to our pursued path of progress, and provides a fundamental wake up call for those who find themselves adrift in a digital culture. Heck, even book review sites are starting to be about friend-making and liking statuses ;)
Profile Image for Derek Ouyang.
161 reviews34 followers
November 16, 2019
I had really high expectations coming out of the Sam Harris podcast, but was let down incredibly. The basic ideas are fine, but they're buried in pseudo-intellectualism.
Profile Image for Hakan Jackson.
635 reviews4 followers
March 5, 2019
Douglas Rushkoff brings much needed attention to issues that have been overlooked for a while. The problem is that he doesn't seem to have the strongest grasps of the science. For example he seems to mix up evolution and social darwinism which is a mistake that should have stopped happening in the 80's. I know this book focuses on how technology can go too far, but it seems like he wants to go back to a time where life expectancy was much lower and slavery was seen as a necessity. I think he is asking a lot of the right questions, I just want someone with more of a scientific background to answer those questions.
Profile Image for Kathryn Carlson.
38 reviews
July 25, 2022
he has a tendency to make dubious generalizations and grand statements but I liked the overall message
Profile Image for Toby Newton.
158 reviews29 followers
April 26, 2019
Well-intentioned, with some sections better than others, but ultimately disappointing.

The problem is that the book just isn’t well enough evidenced to be convincing. For fellow travellers, fine, you’re nodding along nicely, having your prejudices confirmed. All the drama might function to put wind in your sails. For the ideological enemy, there is nothing here that would even begin to change their minds - indeed, in dismissing all the generalisations and lofty assertions, they would find more evidence for their thesis that these libtard snowflakes are all just windy shysters. But, then again, if the book were more taxing, they wouldn’t read it anyway ... and perhaps nor would anyone else and Douglas wouldn’t get to add to the conversation in other formats, which he is good at and for.

So, we’re stuck.

In sum, some nice, even powerful, moments, but long on exhortation and short on substance.

Profile Image for Mike Brancatelli.
2 reviews3 followers
February 20, 2019
Thought provoking and at times profound. Rushkoff is one of the greatest thinkers of our time. Sure, he may not have all the answers or solve all the worlds problems but he sure does a good job of identifying and articulating the zeitgeist. This is a great contribution to helping analyze where we are,
Where we’re headed and how we can come back to balance and let the human team win.
Profile Image for Blair.
Author 2 books44 followers
May 19, 2020
You don't get many manifestoes these days, so there's something a little refreshing about this one. You could criticise it for the sweeping historical overviews which inevitably simplify and distort things, but hey, it is a manifesto, not a historical study. It's one of those weird books where I agree with pretty much everything in it (we need to prioritise humans over technology and the economy and aim for community over individualism) but find it somewhat unsatisfying. I think sections will be good for my students to read: perhaps high schoolers are the appropriate target audience. A bit obvious?
Profile Image for Zachary.
24 reviews1 follower
January 11, 2021
The book is a 5/5 when discussing philosophy, morality, collectivism, and taking macro views of entrenched culture, and a 6/5 for distilling down what is wrong with modern digital life. The book is a 2/5 when attempting to support these ideas with science. Which is a shame, because the core ideas are exciting and don't need to be understood at a quantum or neuroscientific level.
1 review1 follower
December 28, 2018
Want to read
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Adolfo Neto.
52 reviews13 followers
May 7, 2019
It is not exactly my kind of book (sometimes it is too abstract) but some messages are so important that it deserves to be read.
Profile Image for Emma.
53 reviews
October 4, 2020
We all need to read this book right now. There are so many problems with society that we refuse to address and think about. We need to communicate with each other desperately.
Profile Image for Bejinha.
79 reviews12 followers
February 9, 2021
The book that inspired Netflix’s The Social Dilemma. It could be shorter, and I've preferred Life Inc., from the same author. Still important and timely.
Profile Image for Healing Toolbox Bruce Dickson.
67 reviews3 followers
February 24, 2019
Review: How to make the Team Human meme even more inspirational to more people

I love Doug's new book; I have my copy and another to give away. I've been a fan of his earlier podcast in the early 2000s; I've heard every TeamHuman.FM podcast.

This said, I'm more in love with the meme of Team Human than the book itself. I think this may be a good thing, perhaps even by design.

Why? Why should I love the concept of Team human more than the book Team Human?

Because if you and I are going to make SpaceShip Earth sustainable, we each have to go beyond Doug's book, beyond all of Doug's books, beyond anything written. We have to go all the way to demonstrating and manifesting new replacement culture, according to the local consensus possible around you.

This will require getting up off the couch and turning off Netflix. It will require the retail, face to face--not so much virtual--activity of finding the others who are like-minded with you.

Then what? Do one more thing together to make your local community and the world more wonderful.

This I believe points at the inspiration Doug and his book facilitates.

Another way to review Doug's latest book is to ask you: What do you imagine is missing from

Doug's book to make it more inspirational to more people?

Really, I want to hear. I started this discussion on GoodReads.com on the Team Human book page.

I like everything Doug says in TH. To constructively criticize it, we can expand bigger than the book itself, bigger than the podcast, if possible.

Below I list three factors I believe can make Team Human more inspirational to more people. See if you see flaws or can improve on these:

1) Address the values of women, iNtuitive Feelers and Cultural Creatives more explicitly,

2) Address the lack of explicit theory, method, training in EQ and interpersonal competency,

3) Address the value of ecumenical spirituality more explicitly.

Why these three modifications?

I believe these tweaks increase the appeal of Team Human to women, Intuitive Feelers and Cultural Creatives, the core innovators of our 2008-2025 period.

I believe if Cultural Creatives are engaged into the Team Human approach to SpaceShip Earth, mainstream culture will sooner or later swing this direction.

Since the above is many new concepts together, I'll slow it down and address each one.

1) Address the values of women, iNtuitive Feelers and Cultural Creatives more explicitly
The only brief way to do this is to employ an idea from MBTI, iNtuitive Feelers (NFs). If old news to you, please skip: The intuitive Feelers - https://www.16personalities.com/perso... - scroll down to and click "DIPLOMATS."

The final death rattle of mainstream, Western culture was the 2008 financial crash. WE NO LONGER LIVE IN THE OLD STERN FATHER PARADIGM. We now live in the Nurturing Parent paradigm, which is also the whole-brain psychology paradigm, striving for a balance between left and right brain hemispheres; and, gut nervous system and cerebral nervous system.

What's confusing is--old Stern Father ghosts persist. Too few strong voices have yet emerged to fill the vacuum left by the death of Old Testament, male-only, Stern Father leadership.

Did you know, the years 2008-2025 resonate in many ways with the Interwar Period 1918-1939 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interwa... -

Consider: 1965-2017 liberal-Progressives were coasting on their New Deal laurels, avoiding the hard work of door-to-door coalition building.

Starting with the Powell Memorandum in the 1970s, entitled male elites systematically invested millions of dollars to dismantle the New Deal Progressive consensus.

By the way, this is the real-world history mythologized in Stars Wars movie #2, the Empire Strikes Back.

The outcome? Since 2008, we are living WITHOUT ANY CULTURAL RUDDER.

Where will a new cultural rudder come from?

This is the correct question, perhaps the most meaningful question for SpaceShip Earth now.
My response? Whenever a new cultural rudder is needed, it always comes from, and thru, innovative Cultural Creatives

The Stern Father paradigm finally collapsed when it stopped benefitting the needs of the 99%. Male-domination, male-speak and male-think, Sherlock-Holmes-think, proved itself incapable of evolving into a cooperative, collaborative paradigm capable of benefitting the 99%. The new core values of the new culture coming are interpersonal connection, cooperation, collaboration and competency in these behaviors

Why? Because these are the crucial competencies to build safety and trust, face to face, between people with whom you are like-minded.

Who is already good at this, we can all learn from? The iNtuitive Feelers - https://www.16personalities.com/perso... - scroll down to and click "DIPLOMATS."
Why appeal directly to this demographic? I believe NFs and NTs aligned with the values of NFs comprise the largest fraction of all Cultural Creatives.

What do we know about NFs? More NF Diplomats/Idealists are women than men. Men who share the value system of Diplomats/Idealists are also significant. Age and generation is irrelevant. They can be any age.

Q: What evidence do you have for this?

A: The 2017 Womens march and the 40 women sent to Congress in 2018; I believe, are the beginning of a planet-wide waking-up of women. My hope is 100 years from now, these recent events will be seen as the beginning of the women waking up and taking over from the men, since the men have proven incapable to lead SpaceShip Earth.

Q: If you are correct, does this mean we are going back to matriarchy or to early 1970s hippie-dom?

A: No. The men were one-sidedly left-brain-only and head-nervous-system dominant. Ancient matriarchies and early 1970s hippiedom were one-sidedly right-brain-hemisphere; and, gut-nervous-system dominant.

Most of the new women elected to public office since 2018 demonstrate WHOLE-brain thinking, a balance of right~left brain hemispheres and top~bottom nervous-systems.

The women are using whole-brain thinking in service to the 99%, for the highest good of all concerned. Profit-extraction for elites, "way past its expiration date," is what got us into the mess we're in.

2) Address the lack of explicit theory, method, training in EQ and interpersonal competency
To strengthen Team Human, in the area of interpersonal competency, call out how the Emperor has no clothes on.

As some writers have noticed, Tronald Dump has been therapeutic for the USA. Dump and Mitch McConnel show anyone interested, how corrupt male-only, male-centric, leadership has become.
Leadership more devoid of emotional intelligence and interpersonal competency can hardly be imagined.

How can this sorry state be turned around? Only thru education, middle school thru adult ed. Specifically, EXPLICIT, LIVE EVENT, HANDS-ON PRACTICE, in Best Practices in interpersonal skills of connecting, listening and speaking.

This takes us back to the Diplomats, those most interested in and likely to take training in counseling, therapy, mediation and healing skills.

This is the PRACTICAL ASPECT of any desire to create a "kinder gentler" mainstream culture. A few tribes of people already living this way already exist (see NVC, Insight Seminars and msia.org, ecovillage.org). We can learn from them. Only explicit live, face-to-face training--not books, not documentaries--can convey competency in interpersonal skills to small and large groups.

Without this training, much more challenging for Cultural Creatives to find each other, form intentional communities build around worker-owned biz; and, make other needed local innovations.

Q: I thought Emotional Intelligence (EQ), social emotional learning (SEL) and Crucial Conversations were already a big thing now?

A: Only in men's minds. Only in the minds of publishers promoting their books. Very, very, very little has changed on the ground.

The evidence of how EQ was never; and is not yet, any explicit theory, method, live training and practice of skills, is so far, known only to people working in the field of communications and training.

What's stopping EQ-SEL from moving into middle school and adult live training? Too much resistance in male-dominated academia and male-dominated corporate culture. Full discussion of this is in Growing Sustainable Children; and, Schools Worthy of Our Affection (2018).

Male-thinkers prefer to keep things intellectual, where the mind feels in control.

Healthy women thinkers understand intellectual insight has no direct translation into changed behavior; except, thru hands-on, live-face-to-face practice.

Q: What methods-orgs are having success using live event practice to convey greater interpersonal competency to small and large groups of people?

The first two I wish to point readers towards are Compassionate (nonviolent) Communication (NVC) - http://empathybrain.com - and Insight Seminars - https://www.insightseminars.org

Q: Why are these orgs so obscure?

A: Not enuf women and not enuf Diplomats involved yet. Are YOU ready to get up off your couch and participate? YOU ARE NEEDED. Did you hear? Team Human is a team sport.

3) Address the value of ecumenical spirituality more explicitly
One of the fastest ways to inform women, Cultural Creatives, and iNtuitive Feelers, they are welcome to join you, is to publicly voice your value of ecumenical spirituality.

This means: inclusive and tolerance towards whatever pathway individuals use to connect with their own divinity. In ecumenical spir, emphasis on ritual and ceremonial garb is reduced and de-emphasized, not eliminated. The idea is to focus on connecting. In ideology, the idea is to challenge each other to walk your own talk, whatever brand of talk you are committed to.

Q: Why do you think Doug does not mention the above factors more in his 2019 book?

A: I suspect Doug's audience is primarily male. A large fraction of these men are in leadership and executive positions. For a large fraction of Doug's male fans, to implement the changes I suggest would substantially "rock the boat" of their org. We all want positive, progressive change--unless it's bad for us and our family.

Therefore, Doug has to step carefully in these areas. To us it's a book. To Doug it's a livelihood.
Dear Reader, what are your ideas for how to expand the Team Human conversation and rhetoric?

To Learn More

Dickson, Bruce. 2018. Growing Sustainable Children; and, Schools Worthy of Our Affection (Team Human as the theme for the second 100 years of Waldorf K-12 education)
Profile Image for Dave.
411 reviews16 followers
May 13, 2019
This was a really frustrating book to read. The core idea is sound; people should be nicer to each other, cooperate more, compete less, and stay in charge of their own destiny instead of allowing their lives to be run by giant corporations and machine intelligences. Team Human should triumph because of its humanity. He's not (thankfully) arguing for a kind of hippy abandonment of technology, but a taming of its excesses. Fair enough. But, but this is a huge but, he then goes on to make-up a bunch of shit and blame it on technology and corporate excess, and most of what he says is either just vapid or untrue.

For example, and this is no spoiler, just a small thing that annoyed me, he starts talking about how people used to believe in reincarnation (news flash they still do here in India where I currently live, and in plenty of other countries too) and he makes the claim that "A belief in reincarnation or karma would make it hard to engage in such inhumanity without some fear of repercussion." Clearly he's never been to India where their belief in reincarnation has not stopped them turning the rivers into toxic waste pits, their air into a carcinogenic miasma of pollutants you wouldn't allow in a factory, and hundreds of millions of people live in the streets and under bridges, without access to regular food, water or even a toilet. I'd argue in fact that it's their belief in reincarnation that allows the cognitive dissonance needed to shove such atrocities out of sight as someone in their next life can fix it.
Profile Image for Andrea McDowell.
562 reviews303 followers
August 23, 2019
I enjoyed it, but not as much as I was hoping to.

The first approximately 150 pages detail the many, many problems with our social media platforms, and what they're doing to us and to our societies. None of them get a very in-depth treatment; while I learned some interesting new facts (eg. that not only do algorithms exist to better predict us, but also try to get us to behave in line with their predictions, which is a bit creepy), nothing was really outside of my expectations. Really if you understand why FaceBook and Twitter are bad for democracy, you won't find much to shake you.

What I wanted from the book was more about its premise: how we can join and support Team Human to overcome our collective problems by doing what we do best: cooperating. But that part of the book was too short to permit much depth.

There are some inspiring bits and pieces. I'll leave one here:

"We mistakenly treat the future as something to prepare for. Companies and governments hire scenario planners to lay out the future landscape as if it were a static phenomenon. The best they can hope for is to be ready for what is going to happen.

"But the future is not so much something we arrive at as something we create through our actions in the present. Even the weather, at this point, is subject to the choices we make today about energy, consumption, and waste.

"The future is less a noun than a verb, a thing we do." (p. 214)
Profile Image for Murilo Queiroz.
141 reviews14 followers
July 21, 2019
Team Human contains many valid and interesting criticisms of bad uses of technology, fragmentation of communities and the excesses of unrestrained capitalism. This is a relevant and important topic, which justifies reading the book.

However frequently it gets too preachy; hypotheses are presented as certainties and many opinions are very polarized. An example is the insistence of the author in considering Roger Penrose's ideas of consciousness being quantum processes occurring in the microtubules a scientific fact, and concluding that it makes artificial general intelligence absolutely impossible (and human consciousness something very unique).

Rushkoff sometimes contradicts himself; he at the same time condemns technologies like machine learning, genetic engineering and nuclear power in a Luddite fury but also says that Team Human must use technology to face the many challenges ahead. The end of the book is a lot more reasonable than the middle chapters.

Finally, a comment about form: Team Human reads basically as Twitter thread: a long sequence of almost standalone short paragraphs that quickly becomes monotonous and sermon-like. I understand the text is supposed to be a manifest and this format is intentional, but it doesn't help to communicate the message.
Profile Image for John.
1,662 reviews30 followers
February 10, 2022
2.5 Star. Not what I was expecting at all. Rushkoff has pitched this as a culmination of his work. Basically tying all his ideas up in a pretty bow. I was extremely encouraged when he shared an e-mail about the need to either A.) Find new mythologies B.) Go back to the old ones or C.) Get rid of them altogether. It was a great think piece.

I was excited! I was turned on that the back page said "Find the Others"

However this a pretty flimsy book (and it's a thick hardcover) of aphorisms. It feels more like your stoner yet smart Phd friend's thesis. The one will will never get out of debt. It doesn't have as much solid action items then his previous works and comes off more as a manifesto.
Profile Image for Rodrigo Veríssimo.
10 reviews4 followers
June 25, 2020
As someone really into AI and software engineering, this opened my eyes a bit in regards of what has happened in the past and where things can go. The idea of the book is simple and good. However, I doubt how true some of the facts the author presents really are. It would probably be better to make it shorter and more concise without appealing so much to emotion (which he criticizes social media for doing that thing precisely).
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