The host of the popular Team Human podcast offers a manifesto in which he argues that humans are essentially social creatures and achieve their greatest aspirations when they work together―not as individuals.
Now, maybe you think you've heard all this before. But Rushkoff is not delivering a blandwich of common-wisdom complaints. Instead, this remarkably brief and accessible book gets us under the hood to understand how...technologies allowed a witches' brew of dislocation and disconnection to emerge. His answer comes from a thoroughly fascinating exploration of the long interplay between power and the technologies of communication ... Rushkoff's knowledge of digital technology shines...horrifying us with the capacities of the machines we've built and the ways they have been used against us. This is an important book that readers are going to want to share with others. Luckily, Rushkoff doesn't leave us with a sense of dread. In the last few chapters he offers a vision that is neither anti-technology or techno-utopian.
The book, indeed, rarely pauses to consider pesky counterexamples to...grand claims. It is a manifesto-style sequence of 100 numbered sections, flitting from one subject to another. Mr. Rushkoff is on firmest ground when discussing his central theme: that, of all Earth’s animals, humans are especially good at 'working and playing together,' and it is only the virtue of social cooperation that might lead us out of the current mess. But how, exactly? ... The concrete suggestions here...are rather thin ... Mr. Rushkoff does have a gift for the counterintuitive aphorism, which occasionally sparkles through the clouds ... The book’s structure enables him to wander off on some curious tangents. He gives a thoroughly garbled account of the difference between vinyl and digital music formats that seems to rest on a series of technical misunderstandings ... The casual, riffing style also skates past a lot of complications in its invocation of a magical pre-internet golden age ... The book is at its best when inferring a social diagnosis from a small, telling detail ... Overall, Team Human paints our current predicament with infectious élan and energy ... The book’s own style of fractured attention and shallow detail, however, can often seem as much a symptom of this problem as a solution to it.
His statements touch on a wide range of subjects, from education and politics to the home and the workplace. Throughout, he implores us to connect and provides evidence that shows that humans can achieve more if we work together. Team Human is designed to be picked up and digested a few ideas at a time, much like Rushkoff’s NPR podcast of the same name. This book will be a catalyst for conversations on what it means to be human.