I re-read Kevin Kelly’s What Technology Wants and then decided to revisit The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future. The books make sense as ideal companions for each other, despite some overlap in terms of proof points.
On the face of it The Inevitable is a less ambitious book than What Technology Wants. And when I started reading the book I didn’t get the kind of electrifying feeling that a big idea can bring, like when I read What Technology Wants.
In the book Kevin Kelly touches on the kind of areas one would expect in typical presentation given by an innovation team at an advertising agency. He is an unashamed techno-optimist, but the key difference in his thinking is two-fold:
- Kelly pulls it together as a coherent idea rather than 12 slivers. He provides in-depth cogent arguments that bind the trends together
- Kelly argues that transparency in governments will compensate for the erosion of privacy. While I understand where the idea has come from, I don’t agree with this particular viewpoint at least as it would manifest itself in the west. I certainly don’t think that would be the case in the East either. The Nazis use of IBM technology damn near destroyed the world as we know it. The level of trust between the government and the governed is in decline
There is a clear line of progression in Kevin Kelly’s works from Out of Control written at the start of the modern internet age through to The Inevitable. If you are interested in how technology is shaping our world buy What Technology Wants; if you are still hungry for more follow it up with The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future.
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