Team Human: New Episodes! The Big Bang, Patterns of Meaning, and Architectural Intelligence

Three great new episodes are posted at

Grounding digital in the physical…

On Episode 83, Rushkoff opens with a monologue on the value of the humanities. Is education just job training, or should it be something more?

Rushkoff is then joined by designer, technology historian, and author of the new book Architectural Intelligence, Professor Molly Wright Steenson. Molly and Douglas share a wide-ranging conversation that begins by looking at the “weirdness” of AI. How do design metaphors such as “awesome mouth feel” and “uncanny valley” provoke deeper questions of human imagination, play, and meaning. Molly’s background in architecture and history offers listeners a unique grounding of digital in the physical.

How did this all begin? Listening to the noise of the cosmos…

“Everyone wants to be a cowboy, but no one wants to ride the range.” A dream of unraveling the mystery of the birth of universe led astrophysicist and author Brian Keating to “saddle up” and head to a frozen ocean of snow at the bottom of the world. Keating joins Rushkoff to talk about science, religion, questions that lead to more questions, and the “background noise” of the cosmos that may just be the key to a greater understanding of how this all began.

Rushkoff begins the show commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Are we suffering the effects of HAL computer-like programming on Facebook? “I know everything hasn’t been quite right with me, but I can assure you now, very confidently, that it’s going to be all right again. I feel much better now. I really do.” HAL 9000 or Mark Zuckerberg?

And finding the patterns, making meaning…

And finally, playing for Team Human is Jeremy Lent, author of The Patterning Instinct.

Lent’s expansive research looks at the variety of ways cultures throughout history have patterned meaning into the cosmos. In excavating these patterns, Lent shares how humans might retrieve those metaphors that amplify altruism and shared intentionality. Together, Rushkoff and Lent explore the question of what makes humans unique and how we might leverage our patterning instinct to foster a future characterized by deeper connection rather than alienation.

Douglas begins this show with a monologue on cultural immunity. He questions the impulse to solve the problems of democracy by simply building better tech. How might we build resilience in people rather than just in our gadgets and algorithms?