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‘Just the Way You Are’ With Siobhan O’Connor
On what makes humans so special and how we reassert our inherent value in the digital age
In this special episode of Team Human, Douglas is joined by Siobhan O’Connor, vice president of editorial at Medium. Siobhan and Douglas reverse roles as she hosts the official Team Human book launch. This event was recorded live at Civic Hall on January 23, just one day after the Team Human manifesto hit the shelves. Whether you’ve been a Team Human listener from the very beginning or just started reading the book, this conversation exemplifies Rushkoff at his most open and candid.
Douglas begins with a monologue reflecting back on the classic lesson from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, “You are special just the way you are.” Updating this wise old maxim for a digital age, Rushkoff asserts:
You are not just the inputs and outputs.
You are not just the value you create for the market.
You are not just the metrics that we have of your worth or your “net worth.”
You are not just your utility value.
So what does make humans so special? How do we reassert our inherent value in the digital age? Join in on this live conversation to hear a hope-filled and provocative exploration of topics from the newly released Team Human manifesto.
Check out Douglas’s regular column on Medium.
On this episode you heard Fugazi’s “Foreman’s Dog” in the intro thanks to the kindness of the band and Dischord Records. Mid show you heard R.U. Sirius’s President Mussolini Makes the Planes Run On Time. Our outro features the Mike Watt ’s beak-holding-letter-man.
WWNorton, Civic Hall, and the Team Human podcast celebrated the launch of Douglas Rushkoff’s new book, Team Human.
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. We are creating machine intelligences with the express purpose of controlling human thought and behavior.
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.
Siobhan O’Connor is the VP of editorial at Medium, an author, journalist, speaker, and strategist. She was a speaker at the Aspen Ideas festival and is the former executive editor of Time Magazine.
Douglas Rushkoff is a media theorist, author, documentarian, and world-renowned public intellectual who has spent his prolific career thinking about how new media and technology are impacting culture and the economy. Named one of the world’s 10 most influential thinkers by MIT, Rushkoff has written 15 bestselling books and coined such concepts as “viral media,” “social currency,” and “digital natives.”