Kevin Kelly is Executive Editor of Wired, the new bible of the techno-culture. Formerly Publisher and Editor of Whole Earth Review, he has been instrumental in helping launch a number of cultural innovations: The Hacker¢â‚¬â„¢s Conference; Cyberthon; the first virtual-reality jamboree; and the WELL, model way station on the information superhighway.
Kelly has written a new book called What Technology Wants, which I am reading now. This provocative book introduces a brand-new view of technology. It suggests that technology as a whole is not a jumble of wires and metal but a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies. Kevin Kelly looks out through the eyes of this global technological system to discover “what it wants.” He uses vivid examples from the past to trace technology’s long course and then follows a dozen trajectories of technology into the near future to project where technology is headed. This new theory of technology offers three practical lessons: By listening to what technology wants we can better prepare ourselves and our children for the inevitable technologies to come. By adopting the principles of pro-action and engagement, we can steer technologies into their best roles. And by aligning ourselves with the long-term imperatives of this near-living system, we can capture its full gifts. Written in intelligent and accessible language, this is a fascinating, innovative, and optimistic look at how humanity and technology join to produce increasing opportunities in the world and how technology can give our lives greater meaning.
Below is a playlist of youtube videos of Kelly talking about this subject. Fascinating, whether you agree with his premise or not.
- “What Technology Wants”: Could technology take over the world? (salon.com)
- Kevin Kelly’s WHAT TECHNOLOGY WANTS: how technology changes us and vice-versa (boingboing.net)