Wednesday, 22 September 2010



Leon Trotsky once said: ‘You may not be interested in technology, but technology is most certainly interested in you.’ Thus, does technology have it’s own agenda?

Well Kevin Kelly's new book 'What Technology Wants' makes clear technos has a path with a teleological force (are you listening Trotsky!).

Clearly, technology not only give us evermore choice, it gives us more time, and increased productivity to invent more technology. In fact, a major milestone in human cultural evolution - and a consequence of Kelly’s hypothesis - is (was) the very moment we invented the first ‘Toy!’

Perhaps human civilisation didn’t begin with the struggle with ‘Tools’, but begun with the pleasure of ‘Toys!’

In fact we humans have only ever produced 2 technological archetypes: the ‘Tool’ and the ‘Toy‘.

1) Tools: language, the controlled production of fire, flint knife, clothing, shelter, mega-dumper trucks.

2) Toys: rhythmical chants, fire walking, fashioned stones on string, iPODs.

It was only when man had a little time on his hands that he could 'chose' to play; suddenly entertainment arrived. And that only happened through the evolution of more productive tools.

Kelly's 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 concept of technology offers 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.

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.

His new book comes out this October!
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