In a world of rapidly accelerating change, from iPads to eBooks to genetic mapping to MagLev trains, we can't help but wonder if technology is our servant or our master, and whether it is taking us in a healthy direction as a society.
* What forces drive the steady march of innovation? * How can we build environments in our schools, our businesses, and in our private lives that encourage the creation of new ideas--ideas that build on the new technology platforms in socially responsible ways?
Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson look at where technology is taking us. One of the co-founders of Wired Magazine, Kelly's new book, What Technology Wants, makes the argument 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. Johnson's new book, Where Good Ideas Come From, explains why certain spaces, from 18th-century coffeehouses to the World Wide Web, have an uncanny talent for encouraging innovative thinking.
Steven Johnson is the author of The Ghost Map, Everything Bad Is Good for You, Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life, Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Cities, Software and Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate and The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America. Johnson’s book Where Good Ideas Come From was a finalist for the 800CEORead award for best business book of 2010, and was ranked as one of the year’s best books by The Economist.
He is also the founder of several influential websites, including FEED, Plastic, and, currently, outside.in. His most recent book is Where Good Ideas Come From.
Kevin Kelly cofounded WIRED in 1993 and served as executive editor of the magazine from its inception until 1999. He currently holds the unique title of senior maverick. Kelly’s most recent book is What Technology Wants (2010), about long-term trends in what he calls the technium. He is also editor and publisher of the Cool Tools website, which gets half a million unique visitors per month. From 1984 to 1990, Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He cofounded the Quantified Self movement and the ongoing Hackers’ Conference, and he helped launch the pioneering online service the WELL in 1985. He is the author of the best-selling book New Rules for the New Economy and the classic 1994 work on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control.
Robert Krulwich covers science for National Public Radio and is Co-host of NPR's "Radiolab." His specialty is explaining complex subjects—science, technology, economics – in a style that is clear, compelling and entertaining. For several decades he was a correspondent at ABC and CBS News plus he hosted PBS’ Frontline, Nova Science Now and a BBC cultural show, "The Edge." TV Guide called him "the most inventive network reporter in television." He has explored the structure of DNA with a banana, created his own Italian Opera "Ratto Interesso" to explain how the Federal Reserve regulates interest rates, he pioneered the use of new animation on ABC's Nightline, World News, and on NPR's Internet site to explore cellular biology and subprime lending.
Kevin Kelly, author of What Technology Wants, and Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From, talk with Robert Krulwich about artificial intelligence, the singularity, and the possibility of a technological apocalypse.
Publicly accessible computer network connecting many smaller networks from around the world. It grew out of a U.S. Defense Department program called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), established in 1969 with connections between computers at the University of California at Los Angeles, Stanford Research Institute, the University of California-Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. ARPANET's purpose was to conduct research into computer networking in order to provide a secure and survivable communications system in case of war. As the network quickly expanded, academics and researchers in other fields began to use it as well. In 1971 the first program for sending e-mail over a distributed network was developed; by 1973, the year international connections to ARPANET were made (from Britain and Norway), e-mail represented most of the traffic on ARPANET. The 1970s also saw the development of mailing lists, newsgroups and bulletin-board systems, and the TCP/IP communications protocols, which were adopted as standard protocols for ARPANET in 198283, leading to the widespread use of the term Internet. In 1984 the domain name addressing system was introduced. In 1986 the National Science Foundation established the NSFNET, a distributed network of networks capable of handling far greater traffic, and within a year more than 10,000 hosts were connected to the Internet. In 1988 real-time conversation over the network became possible with the development of Internet Relay Chat protocols (seechat). In 1990 ARPANET ceased to exist, leaving behind the NSFNET, and the first commercial dial-up access to the Internet became available. In 1991 the World Wide Web was released to the public (via FTP). The Mosaic browser was released in 1993, and its popularity led to the proliferation of World Wide Web sites and users. In 1995 the NSFNET reverted to the role of a research network, leaving Internet traffic to be routed through network providers rather than NSF supercomputers. That year the Web became the most popular part of the Internet, surpassing the FTP protocols in traffic volume. By 1997 there were more than 10 million hosts on the Internet and more than 1 million registered domain names. Internet access can now be gained via radio signals, cable-television lines, satellites, and fibre-optic connections, though most traffic still uses a part of the public telecommunications (telephone) network. The Internet is widely regarded as a development of vast significance that will affect nearly every aspect of human culture and commerce in ways still only dimly discernible.