Team Human: It’s Capitalism, Mate

When I first met Labor Party activist and technology/economics historian Richard Barbrook, he chided me for the “damage” my books had inflicted on his students, and how much energy he had to spend rehabilitating them. From Barbrook, I eventually realized, this is a compliment. Please enjoy this wonderful installment of Team Human, where Richard schools […]   read more »

Team Human: Best Friends, Part 2

This week on Team Human, the soul-searching conclusion of my journey into the heart of darkness with author and friend Walter Kirn. We explore how disingenuously promoted concepts such as “creative destruction” are used to replace human civilization with a business plan. What would it mean to maximize human virtues of compassion or intelligence instead […]   read more »

Team Human: Best Friends

We’re posting a very special Team Human this week – a conversation with my best friend from college, fellow writer and social critic Walter Kirn. Walter is most famous for his books Up in the Air (which became a George Clooney movie) and Blood Will Out (about a guy that fooled everyone into thinking he […]   read more »

Team Human: Leaving the World Better Than You Found It

Social Permaculture designer Adam Brock asks us to consider whether human beings may not really be the global environment’s greatest enemy. No, he’s not a climate denier so much as a cultural engineer whose step-by-step approach to everything from agriculture to economics suggests that we really can make the planet better instead of just extracting […]   read more »

Fast Company: Amazon Eats the World

With its mega-acquisition of Whole Foods, the retail behemoth moves to suck the value out of yet another market. “Amazon just bought Whole Foods,” my friend texted me seconds after the announcement of the proposed acquisition. “It’s over. The world.” This unease is widespread, and has raised new calls for breaking up Jeff Bezos’s impending monopoly […]   read more »

Team Human: Whose Global Village?

In the good old days, the big ethical conversation online centered on the “digital divide.”If only every African child had a laptop, the thinking went, then we’d get the universal equality promised by the Enlightenment. But that logic has also been consistently challenged by those of us who see more than a little bit of […]   read more »

Team Human: There is no Enemy Team

Just as some Americans fear anyone in a hijab, some progressives now shudder when they go by a house with an American flag over the door. Worse, our knee-jerk reactions to our president’s twitter posts and misdirections makes us so predictable as to be ineffectual: we become utterly incapable of reconciling with the poor confused […]   read more »

Team Human: Reveling in the Unspoken

Computers are great at resolving things; human beings, on the other hand, can contend with sustained paradox. Filmmaker and Alternate Reality Game designer Kevin McLeod reconnects us with what once made movies so special: they didn’t make sense, forcing us into a state of awe and ambiguity that is uniquely human. Meanwhile, I use my […]   read more »

Team Human: Fighting for a Human Agenda

This week’s TeamHuman guest, communications architect Dan Berninger, suggests we are optimizing people for technology instead of the other way around. Everyone gets dehumanized in the process, but maybe that’s the point. And speaking of humans, I tried listening to Donald Trump as if he were a human being. Strangely enough, I was able to […]   read more »

Team Human: The Play is the Thing

Just getting a thousand humans into a room together to sit and watch other humans act out something on stage is the miracle. Playwright J.T. Rogers understands why the very act of doing live theater is so hopeful, and applies this hope to intractable problems like the Middle East conflict – with surprising, and Tony-nominated […]   read more »