Most of us have a love/hate relationship with new inventions, such as the "crackberry," for example. Kevin Kelly declares this conflict as inherent to all technology. But he also argues that technology is not anti-nature, but rather the "seventh kingdom" of life; it now shares with life certain biases, urges, needs and tendencies. By adopting the principles of pro-action and engagement, we can steer technologies into their best roles.
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.
Did you know twenty-three different people around the same point in history independently invented the light bulb? Kevin Kelly, author of What Technology Wants, points to Thomas Edison's light bulb as evidence that technology has its own inevitable agenda.
Application of knowledge to the practical aims of human life or to changing and manipulating the human environment. Technology includes the use of materials, tools, techniques, and sources of power to make life easier or more pleasant and work more productive. Whereas science is concerned with how and why things happen, technology focuses on making things happen. Technology began to influence human endeavour as soon as people began using tools. It accelerated with the Industrial Revolution and the substitution of machines for animal and human labour. Accelerated technological development has also had costs, in terms of air and water pollution and other undesirable environmental effects.
1. "Geniuses who are born today who don't have the technologies available to them to express their genius." This posits "genius" as some a priori substance rather than a development within a specific cultural milieu. Mozart, by definition, could NOT have been born before the symphony was invented.
2. "Mutations are not random," but have certain patterns or predispositions. Cleft palate is cited as an example. It only looks that way because people born with cleft palates can survive with cleft palates. People born with mutations such as dysfunctional hearts, lack of organs, etc. cannot survive and be counted among the "not random" mutations.
3. Contradiction: On the one hand the speaker says "prohibition doesn't work." On the other he says "nuclear bombs should be gotten rid of."
4. Food and energy are just ASSUMED by the speaker. The sheer demand for technologies among an expanding population is simply not addressed. Like the issue of energy--fossil energy, which powers technological change, is finite--is the great big blind spot in the speaker's view.
Bloom and dieoff are also natural laws.
One thing technology "wants" is for you to sit through a stupid Honda ad...
Anyway--I'm shocked at Kelly's omission of perhaps the most important "want" in his list of what technology--like life--wants:
Without energy, there is nothing.
Technology "wants" coal, oil, and natural gas.
Thanks for feedback! More would be appreciated as I agree with need for brevity.
I'm convinced there's a core of truth that is worthwhile in my work and can only hope clarity will follow. I'm pleased that others ARE noticing... at least judging by connections developing (unsolicited) on my LinkedIn network since patent approval and increasing blog readership.
Could this be helpful to you:
1. There's potential in the political microtransaction for networked citizen lobbying if it can be harnessed.
2. Problem is the cost and hassle of the microtransaction.
3. This problem is solved by system similar to x-box points (which is how they handle microtransaction issue for certain system content).
4. Additional problem is catalyzing the network.
5. Addition of charitable potentials solves this for a variety of reasons.
6. Patent has been approved for this mechanism.
7. There are theoretical reasons for need for such a system but points 1-6 above are about a PRAGMATIC implementation.
8. Should any of the points above be in doubt (and they shouldn't be accepted without examination)... it will require some 'graphomania' which, sadly could apparently indicate a psychiatric problem. Thanks for tip-off!
P.S. Please indicate specific points of unclarity. I will either explain to YOUR satisfaction, correct my error or remove the point.
In my defense... and to give you some credit... it's been a very frustrating and difficult process of getting this concept out... and perhaps I sometimes go on too long.
Excerpt from K. Kelly Biography at kk.org:
...a nomadic photojournalist...he rode a bicycle 5,000 miles across America...most of the 1970s he was a photographer in remote parts of Asia, publishing his photographs in national magazines...wrote a monthly travel column for New Age Journal...1980s he published and edited the first magazine devoted to walking...ran a mail order catalog specializing in budget travel around the world.
Just how that translates into expertise, books and paid speaking engagements in areas that would be best addressed by the likes of people like Wolfram, Witten, et.al.
Sorry, I just don't get it.
Well...maybe not exactly, but pretty close...
Graphomania (from Greek γραφειν — writing, and μανία — insanity), also known as scribomania, refers to an obsessive impulse to write. When used in a specifically psychiatric context, it labels a morbid mental condition characterized by the writing of long successions of unconnected meaningless words.  Graphomania is near condition to typomania - obsessiveness with seeing one's name in publication or with writing for being published, excessive symbolism or typology.
I'm a great fan of Mr. Kelly's... and have made occasional comments on(and recommend) his relevant site The Technium . Thank you for this opportunity to hear him discuss his work.
Regarding the bottom-up issue as it relates to governance (from last question in video) and the importance of the choices we make with the evolution of the web...
I believe the choices we make now may be more important than any before. And for very specific reasons...
The Internet is a landscape... not a business.
Speech, association, politics, mutual assistance (charity), etc...
are transactions between humans that pre-date the commercial transaction.
There was no gatekeeper, no intermediary…
Within the hunter-gatherer world... these were strictly peer-to-peer.
The commercial transaction (and the creation of money, trade tokens, etc) arose with the need for interaction within or between larger or multiple 'social organisms'... an important and needed development. While bringing great benefits, this has not been without however bringing some severe problems.
Social Networks & The Social Organism: Healing the Breach
At its root, a civilization (or any social organism) is a product of individual and group decisions (ideas+actions) operating within the confines of the physical environment and natural law.
We then see culture as the expression of this social energy .
Money was developed originally as a technology for the allocation of excess social energy where complexity (and loss of various forms of proximity) required conventions beyond the less formalized methods of a hunter-gatherer group.
I believe this suggest some re-thinking about the nature of money and capital (and capital creation) but that's another story...
Decision Technologies: Currencies and the Social Contract
The point here is that the nature of this "social energy" in a scaled organism requires that the exchange of this social energy NOT be bound by transaction costs or other complications IN AREAS RELATED TO COMMONS-DEDICATED FUNCTIONS ESPECIALLY...
These particular areas of exchange actually pre-date the need for or existence of the commercial transaction and require special attention to address long extant problems that are becoming ever more critical with time.
This problem (which extends also into the political participation sphere especially) is directly linked to neglected scaling issues in this new landscape... and the capabilities required for Commons-oriented transactions in that space... and why that requires a viable, simple and secure MICRO-transaction.
The Commons-dedicated Account Network:
A self-supporting , Commons-owned neutral network of accounts for both political and charitable monetary contribution… which for fundamental reasons of scale must allow a viable micro-transaction. Such a network ideally should maintain its own cloud and bank. Accounts may be created and/or maintained with zero balances and/or only momentary balances during a pass-through transfer (the monetization model requires no burden on the actual transaction.)
(I note that journalism is often a for-profit enterprise and that this presents a complicating factor. I believe this is an addressable issue.)
Re-Igniting the Enlightenment: On Building Landscapes for Decision
(I feel like Ignaz Semmelweis trying to get attention for what will eventually be seen as a simple, essential innovation... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignaz_Semmelweis )
Call me a radical pragmatist.
Re An example of lost potential from an earlier technology: The opportunities originally offered by television for civic engagement, better elections at every level, etc. were thoroughly corrupted…(in the U.S. certainly) to the point that now a major root of the problem of money in politics can be attributed to MEDIA COSTS!… On what should be recognized as a critical PUBLICLY ESSENTIAL TECHNOLOGY! Choices matter... laws and legal structures are technologies.
Your own good work at FORA.tv is a direct and much needed response to that failure.
*Re the potentials of the networked political microtransaction:
"A full 90 members of Congress who voted to bailout Wall Street in 2008 failed to support financial reform reining in the banks that drove our economy off a cliff. But when you examine campaign contribution data, it's really no surprise that these particular lawmakers voted to mortgage our economic future to Big Finance: This election cycle, they've raked in over $48.8 million from the financial establishment." ("Crony Capitalism: Wall Street's Favorite Politicians", Zach Carter, ourfuture.org)
I don't like the way money is controlling politics either. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire...
$48.8 million? It's disgusting how these special interests can network their money!
$48.8 million is less than 35 cents per registered voter...
It's just a matter of implementing the technologies to harvest other sides of the debate..
Most people NEVER give to a cause or campaign. It's a hassle and unless you're giving substantial bucks you feel pretty impotent anyway.
It doesn't need to be that way. Its just a matter of catalyzing the network.
From google's blog:
Governments shouldn’t have a monopoly on Internet governance
P.S. It’s imperative that full network neutrality extend to the mobile Internet!
Only 20% of the developing world’s population has access to the web. Their connection is expanding rapidly… and its predominantly expected to come via mobile devices.
Catalyze the Network
Capability ENABLES Responsibility