‘Seeing New Worlds’ with Danah Boyd

On stepping outside of our narrow worldviews

Douglas Rushkoff
Sep 12, 2018 · 2 min read

Playing for Team Human today, technology and social media scholar, founder of Data & Society Research Institute, and author of It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, danah boyd.

On today’s episode, Douglas and danah talk about stepping outside of our narrow worldviews. How does technology amplify our biases? Where does human agency lie in complex, networked systems? What is the distinction between a “network” versus a “community?” These and many more questions explored in this deep-dive into social media and the relationship of digital technology to our everyday lives.

“This week, my journey to make sense of digital society — and to challenge my own underlying assumptions about the promise and peril of social media — I visited my friend danah boyd. We met up at The Data & Society Research Institute, which she founded in 2014 to explore the social and cultural issues arising from data-centric and automated technologies. What makes her work unique is that it’s based less on thought experiments than on observations from the real world. That’s part of why I waited until danah could make time for an in-person discussion, which we had in a little meeting space at the always busy Data & Society office in Chelsea, Manhattan.”

This show cites research by previous Team Human guest and Data & Society fellow Caroline Jack. Check out Episode 29 here.

danah boyd is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, the founder and president of Data & Society, and a visiting professor at New York University. Her research is focused on addressing social and cultural inequities by understanding the relationship between technology and society. Her most recent books — “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens” and “Participatory Culture in a Networked Age” — examine the intersection of everyday practices and social media. She is a 2011 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Director of both Crisis Text Line and Social Science Research Council, and a Trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian. She received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Brown University, a master’s degree from the MIT Media Lab, and a Ph.D in Information from the University of California, Berkeley.

Check out danah’s blog and Twitter @zephoria.


This show features intro music sampled from Fugazi’s Foreman’s Dog courtesy of Dischord Records. Musical interludes include new, unreleased music from Herkimer Diamonds courtesy of Majestic Litter. Mid-show was Throbbing Gristle’s “Walkabout” See Team Human Episode 67 with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. Closing the show is a track from Mike Watt’s Hyphenated Man LP.

Recording thanks to Luke Robert Mason. Our community manager is Josh Chapdelaine.

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.

Douglas Rushkoff

Written by

Author of Team Human, Present Shock, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Program or Be Programmed, and host of the Team Human podcast http://medium.com/team-human

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.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade