Motherboard – The Economy Needs to Be More Human: A Chat With Douglas Rushkoff

“When I first heard digital,” Douglas Rushkoff said at a book event in May, launching into a thought stream, a gyroscopic, physical whirligig of economic theories, history, and emphatic hand gestures, “this is what I thought of as the digits,” and he flitted his fingers. The professor of media studies was there in the early days of the Web, when social networking was message boards and chatrooms, and initially he thought “that the digital age was for people to get back into human creation, human production. For people to have their hands back on the—it’s a terrible metaphor, I was going to say the steering wheel, the dashboard—back on the green engines of creation.”   read more »

CNN – Wells Fargo Scam Exemplifies “Extreme Capitalism”

It's not hackers breaking into your bank account that should scare you; it's the banks themselves. Details are now surfacing about more than 1.5 million unauthorized Wells Fargo bank and credit card accounts created on behalf of unwitting customers by bank employees hoping to cash in on new account bonuses. I'm finding it hard to take comfort in the fact that more than 5,300 employees have just been fired for engaging in the practice. 5,300 employees? That's not a few bad actors, but an indication of the systemic, institutionalized extraction that has been guiding banking for the past several decades, if not longer.   read more »

The Real Impact Of Your Phone

In this excerpt from the Team Human podcast, Maxwell talks about the impact our electronics have in the planet. It’s a topic Motherboard has explored a lot, and it’s an especially poignant one as the new iPhone comes out this week. By certain standards, it's going to be the most environmentally friendly iPhone yet, I suspect. And yet, as as Maxwell points out, the most environmentally friendly phone is probably the one you're holding right now.   read more »

Douglas Rushkoff’s New Podcast Explores The Future Of Humans In A Digital World

After Douglas Rushkoff wrote Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, a book talking about how the digital economy can be reshaped so that everyone can prosper, he started getting dozens of emails a day asking practical questions—how to create a worker co-op, how to design an app that isn't "extractive" of users, how to use technology in a way that doesn't destroy the environment. In a new podcast called Team Human, he gets into those details.   read more »

Team Human: Our Last Best Hope for Peeps

I’m not a one-stop shop for new social and economic strategies. But I know a heck of a lot of the people who have the answers - people who understand we have to stop optimizing human lives for economic growth, and start optimizing the economy for human prosperity. People who want to stop programming people for technology, and start programming technology for people. The people I’ve come to call Team Human. So I’m going back on the air with a new audio show - my first since doing The Media Squat on WFMU a decade ago. It’s a weekly podcast called Team Human.   read more »

Reinvent: Bringing People and Places to the Table

In terms of regulating what we are referring to in this series as the sharing economy, Rushkoff believes that first and foremost, people and places need to have a seat at the table. “The city should be a shareholder in a company that’s using its infrastructure to run itself,” said Rushkoff. He believes we need to do a better job of requiring cooperation between parties that are incentivized differently. His advice to individuals? “Invest locally, if you can…Share with other people. Do ring on your neighbor’s doorbell, and say, ‘Do we both need to have snow blowers here? Can I use yours and you use my lawn mower?’ Create ways to actually cooperate. It sounds socialist, I’m sure it sounds really foreign, but the fewer lawn mowers we have, the less pollution we have.”   read more »

Digital Trends – No Secrets, No Shame: How Technology Forces Honesty

I once saw a human lie detector perform at a conference – one of those guys who can call a dozen people up on stage and match them up with the objects that belong to them, or even “deduce ” their email passwords. He wasn’t doing magic, of course, but simply reading the cues and tells we all give one another all the time. As any gate investigator on Israel’s national airline knows – and its security record attests – our bodies give us away.   read more »

The New Nationalism Of Brexit And Trump Is A Product Of The Digital Age

Most of us thought digital technology would connect the whole world in new ways. The Internet was supposed to break down those last boundaries between what are essentially synthetic nation states and herald a new, global community of peers. National governments were considered extinct. Internet evangelist (and Grateful Dead lyricist) John Barlow dismissed them in his Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace 20 years ago: "I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us." But the Internet age has actually heralded the opposite result. We are not advancing toward some new global society, but instead retreating back to nationalism. Instead of moving toward a colors of Benetton racial intermingling, we find many yearning for a fictional past when people like to think our races were distinct, and all was well.   read more »