Douglas Rushkoff has been named one of the world’s ten most influential intellectuals by MIT. He is an award-winning author, broadcaster, media theorist and documentarian who studies human autonomy in the digital age. Rushkoff is the host of the popular Team Human podcast and was among the very first guests I ever interviewed when I started my own podcast, nearly 10 years ago. Needless to say, it was way overdue to catch up with Douglas and see how his thoughts on the technological singularity and transhumanism have evolved and why.
During our 75-minute interview with Douglas Rushkoff, we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: who he is as a human; his path from theater to technology; the “society of spectacle” we live in; why futurists (still) suck; what he calls “the deeply embedded anti-human agenda”; capitalism, chartered monopolies, and centralized currencies; Team Human and why being human is a team sport; anthropomorphism and mechanomorphism; the rise of suicides among young professionals; the singularity as an industrial age fantasy of solving our problems; the limitations of blockchain; the meaning of being human and the downsides of our exceptionalism; the need for ReWriting the Human Story.
Just two of my favorite quotes that I will take away from this conversation with Douglas Rushkoff are:
“We have the power of cancer but really not much more awareness of our self-destructive trajectory.”
“It’s interesting to me to live in a world where liking people is radical.”
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Who is Douglas Rushkoff?
Named one of the world’s ten most influential intellectuals by MIT, Douglas Rushkoff is an award-winning author, broadcaster, and documentarian who studies human autonomy in the digital age. The host of the popular Team Human podcast, Rushkoff has written twenty books, including the bestsellers Present Shock, Program or Be Programmed and Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus.
Rushkoff has written regular columns for Medium, CNN, Daily Beast, and the Guardian, and made the PBS Frontline documentaries “Generation Like” and “Merchants of Cool.” He coined such concepts as “viral media” and “social currency,” and has been a leading voice for applying digital media toward social and economic justice. Douglas Rushkoff is a research fellow of the Institute for the Future, and founder of the Laboratory for Digital Humanism at CUNY/Queens, where he is a professor of media theory and digital economics. He lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.