Dispatches

On this week’s episode of Team Human, Douglas is joined by Pixar animator Michael Frederickson for a conversation about the power of awe. What role does awe play in human evolution? And what distinguishes awe from spectacle–or terror even? Frederickson shares his insights as an artist and storyteller on the deeply human experience of “having […]

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Can currency be understood as something more than just money? Can we retrieve multiple dimensions of value in our exchanges? Social hacker and currency designer Art Brock thinks so and is hard at work designing currencies to amplify connection, sharing, and social good. Check out this week’s episode of Team Human as we explore this and […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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