What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly

What Technology Wants

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly is a book that explores the history and future of technology. Kelly argues that technology is an extension of human evolution, not just of our genes but of our minds.

He calls this extension “the technium,” which encompasses everything humans have thought of and produced over time. Kelly believes that technology is an emergent system subject to natural forces, and any technology creates benefits and costs, but the benefits typically outweigh the costs, leading to human progress.

The book also discusses the importance of recognizing that not all technological development has been positive. Kelly compares the advancement of technology to the development of humans over the course of their lifetimes. Like personality, technology is shaped by a triad of forces: preordained development, technological history, and society’s free will.

Kelly provides five proactions for approaching technology, including anticipation, continual assessment, prioritization of risks, embracing voluntary simplicity, and recognizing the contradictions in our relationship with technology.

Useful takeaways from the book include the importance of understanding technology as an extension of life and nature, the need for eternal vigilance when experimenting and testing technology, and the recognition that not all technological development has been positive. The book also emphasizes the importance of recognizing the contradictions in our relationship with technology and embracing voluntary simplicity.

Overall, What Technology Wants offers a thought-provoking perspective on the role of technology in human evolution and provides useful insights for approaching technology in a responsible and mindful way.

What I Liked

I like how Kevin Kelly frames the opportunity for technology and how to properly categorize and mitigate risks.

What I Did Not Like

Nothing – solid read.

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