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Team Human

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  473 ratings  ·  70 reviews
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 an ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 22nd 2019 by W. W. Norton Company
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  473 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Ana  Ulin
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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".
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 oversimpli
Jenn "JR"
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 Marke
Chris Masters
Feb 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 du
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 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]
Daniel Hageman
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 ;)
Derek Ouyang
Mar 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
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.
Rasheed Abdullah
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
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
Hakan Jackson
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
May 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
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 t
Mike Brancatelli
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Adolfo Neto
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Anup Bhatti
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Healing Toolbox Bruce Dickson
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 i
Christopher  Wireman
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Depressing and uplifting. Join team human, I know that I need to do that.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
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)
Clive Freeman
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
There's a lot that I liked about Team Human: the underlying thesis is that we have let technology into many corners of our lives without thought for many of the consequences, that the motives of those driving the technology adoption are often very poorly aligned with those of the users of the technology, that the result is often a significant level of social isolation and repression, and that the default answer of "add more technology to fix it" is unlikely to improve things. For me, it's undeni ...more
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Doug Rushkoff. This is a man fighting the hard fight.

I love the mystical, humanist message of love implicit in everything he does - his kind of postindustrial gospel of presence and connection.

Two particular contributions of this book, for me, are his excellent critique of mechano-morphism, and the historical work he did to shore up what he calls the anti-human "religion" of Silicon Valley. A short version of the latter, which is in the book, can be found here

This b
Jerry Wall
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
We need to work together, as a team, to get positive things done. No need for stories we don't believe. we must establish what is true.
. . . technology has been used as a way to make humans less valued and essential to labor, business, and culture. This is the legacy that digital technology inherited. p. 50
We have ended up living in a state or perpetual interruption that used to be endured only by 911 emergency operators or air traffic controllers, only we do it 24/7 and we pay for t
Glenn Schmelzle
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is written in an academic style, but the message is meant for everyman. Rushkoff's thesis, that we're letting technology (and capitalism) dehumanize us, is stated in many ways. One pithy nuggets in which he puts this is:
"We must not accept any technology as the default solution. When we do, we end up optimizing ourselves for our machines, instead of optimizing our machines for us."

Yet he's not anti-technology. He states "Technology may have created a lot of problems, but it is not th
May 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 bunc ...more
Aden Date
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
"Team Human" is a left-wing manifesto for the future and is ambitious in scope - covering philosophy, history, economics, ethics and politics. The result is that it ambles and reads like a scrapbook, and even at times contradicts itself. At it's core it is a book about humanism in the age of digital capitalism, yet the human subject at the centre is never defined or defended but simply assumed.

Rushkoff's belief seems to be that old Christian fall from grace hangover, where we were a
Aaron Maurer
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
A deep thought provoking read. I finished still a bit confused about what I am to do with all of these ideas, but the book read as a manifesto that we as humans need to realize that if we are not careful we will no longer be in charge. As technology continues to blind and recruit us our team is losing enrollment. This is not to blame technology as technology cannot be developed without humans.

As I went back, typed my notes, checked my highlights, and started to process what I read I
Murilo Queiroz
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
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
Lee Barry
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
One could watch a few of the author's recent talks on YouTube and get the gist of this book--and could, in fact, be the transcript of his talks. Either the writing came before the talks, or the talks inspired the writing or a bit of both.

I've been a fan of Rushkoff ever since the advent of the "Third Culture." He was frequently interviewed on or contributed to, a "Web 1.0" website appealing to the intelligentsia circa 1995. (Those were the days...)

Check out:

"The medium, or process/>"The
Sean Carlin
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Less a standalone treatise in its own right like some of his more recent nonfiction -- essential deep-dives like Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now and Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity, for instance -- this is more akin to an organized distillation of thoughts and ideas Rushkoff has conversationally exchanged with guests of his ongoing Team Human podcast; it helps, I would suspect, to be familiar with that show as well as some of his previous works -- he draws on and deve ...more
Toby Newton
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
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 e
Andrea McDowell
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
Gregory John
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
p.3: … being human is a team sport. We cannot be fully human alone.

p.18-19: The difference between plants animals, and humans comes down to what each life form can store, leverage, or—as this concep has been named—“bind.” Plants can bind energy. … the animal binds space. … What makes humans special is that we can also bind time.

p.74: …. what do networked algorithms bind? They bind us.

p.80: Study after study has shown that human beings cannot multitask.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
How systems and technologies created with good intentions lead to bad consequences when metrics used to measure our success in implementing them become the goal in themselves. What we need to focus on to leverage the sustainable natural systems instead.

I very much liked the different look at current technological trends and related social problems presented in the book. Not so much the proposed solution - I think the current systems "won the evolutionary race" not because they necess
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If you are unhappy with this book, HOW WOULD YOU IMPROVE IT? 1 6 Feb 02, 2019 10:13PM  

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Douglas Rushkoff is a New York-based writer, columnist and lecturer on technology, media and popular culture.
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“People are at best an asset to be exploited, and at worst a cost to be endured. Everything is optimized for capital, until it runs out of world to consume.” 1 likes
“Socialization depends on both autonomy and interdependency; emphasizing one at the expense of the other compromises the balance.” 1 likes
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