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What Technology Wants

by Kevin Kelly

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6972128,717 (3.69)5
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.
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English (19)  French (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Was a bit disappointed in this book since Kevin Kelly is one of my favorite authors, going back to "Out of Control". Felt like there were some interesting thoughts and even some insights here, but it felt mostly like speculation. For my tastes, there wasn't enough science to back up those speculations. ( )
  tgraettinger | Mar 12, 2021 |
This book presents a mind-blowing suggestion: technology is actually the next stage of evolution, one that extends our life and our minds. Without ignoring or downplaying the problems technology creates, the author believes that technology is a force for good. He also greatly expands what constitutes technology. While I'm not sure I buy his argument wholesale, I did make me reconsider what technology is and what it could constitute in our lives. ( )
  Colleen5096 | Oct 29, 2020 |
The best case I've seen for technology optimism as well as inevitability. ( )
  richardSprague | Mar 22, 2020 |
Too techy for me plus author does too much fortune-telling I do not expect to come to pass. Did not finish. ( )
  JeanetteSkwor | Apr 22, 2018 |
review from World Cat:
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.
  COREEducation | Jun 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Because Kelly’s theory lacks a solid foundation, his predictions and prescriptions for technology are inevitably somewhat of a letdown. We learn, for instance, that our products will get “faster, cheaper, better,” but we hardly need either biology or sophisticated theory to tell us that. Nor, according to Kelly, need we worry too much about overpopulation, pollution or the depletion of fossil fuels: Kelly assures us that technology will deal with those problems just, I suppose, as biological evolution helped the dinosaurs deal with that meteorite. Indeed, Kelly sees it as our moral duty to promulgate technology, since it increases the choices of our fellow humans. Standing in its way is futile: Kelly gives many instances of ultimately failed attempts to ban technologies like the crossbow (the assault rifle of its time), printing and silk-spinning.
 
Last week, my computer crashed. Without it, I felt helpless — and foolish. How could I have gotten so dependent on a machine? Why did I feel like I'd just lost a body part?

Because, according to Kevin Kelly, I had.

His provocative new book, What Technology Wants, claims that technology is an extension of the human body — not "of our genes, but of our minds." Everything that humans have thought of and produced over time — which Kelly dubs "the technium" — has followed, shaped and become integrated into human evolution — so much so, in fact, that it's now a part of evolution itself.

As such, Kelly argues, the goal of the technium — its "want," if you will — is to foster progress ... human betterment ... and even a portrait of God.

While Kelly stops short of arguing that a MacBook, an opera or Hammurabi's Code are the equivalent of, say, a live chicken, he comes close. "However you define life, its essence does not reside in material forms like DNA, tissue or flesh," he writes, "but in the intangible organization of energy and information contained in those material forms." Because the technium is all about organizing energy and information, it, too, is an evolving form of life — beholden to the forces of the cosmos. . . .
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kevin Kellyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Scherpenisse, WimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.

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An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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