“There is a positive charge to technology’s path…”


Kevin Kelly has come out with a short introduction to some of the ideas in his new book – What Technology Wants.  It’s an interesting read, and I look forward to reading the whole book later in the year (never enough time…!)

Here are some quotes and a talk he gave recently:


We tend to view our technological world as an endless collection of new stuff on view. For most of us, technology is simply “one thing after another.

…we have a warped idea of what technology is…

But of course technology includes old inventions, like clocks and levers…

Ordinary technology also contains intangible “stuff” that we usually don’t see such as calendars, bookkeeping principles, law, and software…

Technology is all this, the old, the invisible, the large and the new — the accumulated usefulness that our minds invent…

…the sum of all these technologies form an interacting whole… [a] super system of codependent inventions…

The patterns of our inventions are not random. They are not just one thing after another…

Just as we observe increasing complexity, diversity, and specialization over the course of life’s evolution, we see these same long-term trends in technology…

In fact most of the problems in the world today have been created by previous technologies. I would suggest that most of the problems in the world tomorrow will be caused by technologies that we are still inventing today.

…if we use technology to create only one percent more than we destroy a year, that one percent difference (or even one tenth of a percent difference), compounded year by year over centuries will make civilization.

…when we make new technology, we are also increasing the possibilities and choices and differences in the world…

We benefit from people in the past who bestowed on us the possibilities inherent in the alphabet, in printing, the book and newspapers, so we too should be inventing as much technology as we can in the hope that in the future more people will have the option, the possibility of using their fullest talents for us all.


• The Technium:  The Positive Balance of Technology



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