KEVIN KELLY -- What Technology Wants
Most of us have a love / hate
relationship with new inventions—take the “crackberry,” for example. In WHAT
TECHNOLOGY WANTS, Kevin Kelly declares this conflict as inherent to
all technology. But he also argues that technology is an extension of
life -- and an acceleration of the mind. Technology is not anti-nature,
but rather the “seventh kingdom” of life: it now shares with life certain
biases, urges, needs and tendencies.
The system of technology, which Kelly dubs the “technium,” “wants” in an unconscious way to head in certain directions, just as do life and evolution. The technium functions as a living, natural system. Just as evolution has tendencies, urges, trajectories, established forms, and a direction, so too does the technium.
So what is technology’s agenda? Where is it headed? What is the true nature of its increasing presence in our society? And how do the goals of the technological agenda relate to humanity’s goals? These are the questions Kelly examines as he uncovers three practical lessons: 1) by listening to what technology wants we can better prepare ourselves and our children for the inevitable technologies to come. 2) by adopting the principles of pro-action and engagement, we can steer technologies into their best roles. 3) and by aligning ourselves with the long-term imperatives of this near-living system, we can capture its full gifts.
Kevin Kelly is one of the true visionaries of our time. He was editor and publisher of Whole Earth Review, helped launch Wired magazine and was its editor for nearly six years, and has been involved in such cultural innovations as The Hacker’s Conference, the early online community The Well, and the All Species Inventory. His last book, New Rules for the New Economy, sold over 100,000 copies in hardcover and paperback and hit the New York Times Business, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week bestseller lists. Kelly writes for publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Time, Harpers, Science, GQ, and Esquire, and he is currently editor and publisher of the popular Cool Tools, True Films, and Street Use websites.