Douglas Rushkoff – Team Human

Douglas Rushkoff is a writer, documentarian, and lecturer whose work focuses on human autonomy in a digital age.

He is the author of fifteen bestselling books on media, technology, and society and in 2013 was named ONE of the world’s TEN, most influential intellectuals by MIT.

Today he serves as Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY in Queens where he recently founded the Laboratory for Digital Humanism and currently hosts the TeamHuman podcast.


00:00 Trailer.
02:12 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
05:12 Brian’s introduction.
06:06 The pre-internet psychedelic days of late ‘80s, early ‘90s London.
11:30 Social media causing public’s panic and confusion.
13:02 How social media companies use your data to change your behaviour and make you addictive.
20:52 What Douglas thought the internet would be and when he realised it would not and why.
27:48 Facebook and similar companies’ need to grow and make a profit causing dehumanisation.
34:00 Human attention is the only thing that is scarce, but it’s the only thing we have, it’s our time.
35:00 Douglas’ argument with how Uber operates.
38:31 Capital is king, with no thought given to land and labour issues.
47:06 Google is a holding company and no longer innovative.
50:44 Humans will be and should be replaced by computers: the motivator for starting Team Human.
54:39 Douglas’ prediction for the future.
59:10 Perhaps AI is just a ruse.
1:00:24 The concept of present shock and how we all experience it.
1:03:35 Steps we can all take to combat being in present shock.
1:07:42 Moon cycle effect on humans.
1:09:39 Know that every app you put onto your phone will demand your time and violate your privacy.
1:17:33 Douglas’ view on whether plants will ultimately help us in the war with artificial intelligence
1:25:39 The role of psychedelics in our humanism.
1:28:07 Artificial intelligence (AI) what it could be, but what we should be worried about.
1:36:36 Modern terrorism is a hack of our media system.
1:41:38 What Douglas sees in Donald Trump and his optimism for the next four years.
1:50:48 The art of storytelling.
1:58:09 Douglas looks into how London Real could develop in their mission.
2:02:04 Success secrets.
2:04:43 Choice of becoming rich doing a job you don’t like or being alive doing something beneficial.
2:09:39 Looking at The New York Times’ objectivity.
2:12:49 Who Douglas thinks of as successful,
2:13:58 Darkest moment of Douglas’ life.
2:16:26 Best day of his life.
2:17:53 His time in the theatre and a possible return.
2:21:41 What keeps Douglas awake at night.
2:23:17 What scares him.
2:24:06 What we would be surprised to learn about Douglas.
2:25:07 A phone call to the 20 year old Douglas.
2:27:08 Best advice ever received.
2:28:10 Advice to the 20 year old listening who wants to grow up with the insight of Douglas.
2:30:02 Brian’s summing up.

Douglas Rushkoff links:
Douglas Rushkoff website
Douglas Rushkoff on Twitter
Douglas Rushkoff on Facebook
Team Human
The Persuaders
Generation Like
Merchants of Cool
Douglas Rushkoff on Wikipedia

Douglas Rushkoff Books:
Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus
Program or Be Programmed
Present Shock
Aleister & Adolf
Life Inc.
Get Back in the Box
All books by Douglas Rushkoff

Topics discussed:
Queens College, Cuny
Camden Lock Market
Persuasive Technology by B J Fogg
Slot Machines: The big gamble
Awakening Earth: The Global Brain by Peter Russell
Gaia hypothesis
Wired (magazine)
Bretton Woods system
Sherry Turkle
Nicholas Carr
Deloitte’s Shift Index
IBM Watson
Colossus (film)
2001 A Space Odyssey (film)
Beavis and Butt-Head
The Simpsons
Breaking Bad
The New York Times
Oslo (play)
Oslo Accords
The Colbert Report
Waiting for Godot
Angels in America (Play)

People mentioned in this episode:
Rupert Sheldrake
Jill Purce
Fraser Clark
B J Fogg
Kevin Kelly
Adam Smith
Eric Schmidt
Ray Kurzweil
Elon Musk
Peter Thiel
Marshall McLuhan
Dennis McKenna
Terrence McKenna
Timothy Leary
Donald Trump
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Vladimir Putin
Robert McKee
Charlie Kaufman
J T Rogers
Nelson Mandela
Genesis P-Orridge
Wyclef Jean