Tag Archives: Social Systems

Kevin Kelly: Technology is good for the world

Kevin Kelly is a force of nature. He spoke at the West Coast Wiki Conference yesterday.

From my Seminal Documents page:

Out of Control, The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World . Kevin Kelly. “The world of our own making has become so complicated that we must turn to the world of the born to understand how to manage it.””The central act of the coming era is to connect everything to everything.””Complexity must be grown from simple systems that already work.” Also New Rules for the New Economy. “The tricks of the intangible trade will become the tricks of your trade.””The aim of swarm power is superior performance in a turbulent environment.””To prosper, feed the web first.” Also, read We are the Web.

Kevin’s thesis is that we need a theory of technology. He thinks he’s found it. Lo and behold, evolution is it. And evolution is nothing more that information processing.

West Coast Wiki Conference 10

Technology is a cosmic force. What does tech want?

West Coast Wiki Conference 10

Technology has its own agenda. This is parallel to Richard Dawkins’ looking at the world from the vantage point of genes. Everything’s a struggle for procreation and replication.

West Coast Wiki Conference 10

Technology is inevitable. You could think of it as a seventh natural kingdom:

West Coast Wiki Conference 10

Kevin thinks big. There’s wisdom in his viewpoint. It’s in humanity’s best interest to pay attention to the biggest picture.

Nonetheless, I still can’t wrap my head around what Kevin’s saying. It sounds like an alternative religion.

West Coast Wiki Conference 10

Kevin traces the march of technology all the way back to the Big Bang. How could this be? It’s like the fall of the tree not making a sound when there’s no one there to hear it. Absent people, technology does not exist.

Kevin’s logic would make more sense if he just labeled his Technium tools. Or perhaps nature. Or stuck to the positive impact of evolution.


More photos of Kevin’s presentation.

Adobe Digital Editions

Adobe Digital Editions is a free app for reading and annotating pdf files as well as maintaining them in an attractive bookshelf format. Sounds dull as dishwater, doesn’t it? That’s what I thought. And then I tried it. Adobe Digital Editions has a great feel to it. It’s intuitive.

Kevin Kelly has released a new edition of Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World.  It is a free download. I first read Out of Control a dozen years ago while on vacation in Switzerland. It shakes up how I think about things to this day. Out of Control is profound.

Bringing the pdf of Out of Control into Adobe Digital Editions transformed my reading experience. I immediately started hopping around from one section to another, annotating as I went. I’m doing the same with my own books, Learnscaping and Informal Learning. I am flying through the material.

Thanks to my pal Urs Frei in Zurich for turning me on to Digital Editions.