Among the few things that made me want to be a technology journalist was reading Douglas Rushkoff’s 2010 book Program or Be Programmed, right after I finished college. In it, Rushkoff argued that humans need to understand how technology works or they risk being manipulated by it. In the age of algorithmic recommendations determining our every desire and voters being targeted and manipulated by the likes of Cambridge Analytica, Rushkoff’s warning from nearly a decade ago seems like an understatement.
In his new book, Team Human, Rushkoff argues that our focus on technological development means we’ve lost sight of what was supposed to be the whole point of all this tech in the first place: making life better for humans–or maybe, just maybe, making humans a better version of themselves. The book reads as a manifesto, spanning the entire development of human civilization from the creation of language to the invention of smartphones. But for a book about technology written by a renowned media theorist, Team Human surprisingly doesn’t say much about tech itself. Instead, it focuses on the ways that humans can reconnect and reclaim our collective humanity in the midst of a digital ecosystem that Rushkoff argues is designed to exploit and divide us rather than enhance and unite us.
Read more here.