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who is also founder of the Laboratory for Digital Humanism

edit:casino time:2019-03-08

In this way of moving through the world, there is an exhaust pipe behind us spewing out something, but we are just keeping our eyes forward so we don’t really have to think about what is back there. I think we are finally at a place now where we realize, “Oh, this is a contained world here.” Our atmosphere is pretty small, and you can’t just externalize because those people are part of your world and those places are part of your world.

But Rushkoff believes there is a way for humans to reconnect. He draws on research from evolution, biology and psychology to show the benefits of working collectively. Rushkoff, who is also founder of the Laboratory for Digital Humanism, joined the [email protected] radio show on Sirius XM to explain why he is ready to bat for Team Human. (Listen to the podcast at the top of this page.)

An edited transcript of the conversation follows.

[email protected]: Social media plays a role in the divisiveness that’s occurring right now, but it’s not the only reason. Do you think technology in general has made it easier to facilitate separation?

“We are no longer using technology as a tool for humans, but as a way of playing and manipulating humans.”

[email protected]: You also take a look at this from a historical perspective. The wealthy have always had better access to communication technology than the rest of the population.

When Facebook marked its 15th birthday recently, founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote a post expressing optimism about the positive role the social media site has played in reshaping society and communication for its 2.7 billion users. Douglas Rushkoff, professor of media theory and digital economics at City University of New York Queens, would disagree. In his new book, Team Human, which is based on his podcast by the same name, Rushkoff says social media is being used to divide people into increasingly atomized groups. Modern technology certainly has made life easier, he says, but it’s also made it easy for people to isolate themselves from opposing views, critical thought and even each other.

Douglas Rushkoff: I wouldn’t blame technology for almost anything. I would agree that there are different media environments, and different media environments are biased towards different kinds of attitudes and behaviors. The television media environment was very globalist. In years past, we were all watching the moon landing or the Olympics. The whole world was watching all of these things together. The height of the TV era might be Ronald Reagan going in front of the Brandenburg Gate and saying, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

[email protected]: You say it is time we re-assert the human agenda, not as the individual players we imagine ourselves to be, but as the team we actually are. Team human. Can you explain?

I made this impassioned argument for humans. I said, “No, people matter. We’re weird, we can embrace ambiguity, we do art, and we can understand what is going on. We are conscious, and we deserve a place in the digital future.” He said, “Rushkoff, you’re just saying that because you’re human.” As if it was hubris. That is when I said, “All right I’m on Team Human.”


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