A couple of years ago, Robert Krulwich, one of the affable, avuncular hosts of WNYC’s Radiolab, interviewed a very leading-edge guy named Kevin Kelly and another writer, Steven Johnson – also very interesting but it’s Mr. Kelly I’ll focus on here. Kevin Kelly can include in his resumé that he was an editor of the Whole Earth Catalog and is the founding executive director of Wired magazine. I thought I should listen.
In his book (which I’m just now reading) What Technology Wants, Mr. Kelly proposes that the ” . . . global, massively interconnected system of technology vibrating around us . . . has some degree of autonomy. “ To my great relief he names this agitated entity The Technium and not The Matrix. And he tempers the notion by saying, “I don’t believe the technium is conscious (at this point).” OK, the tempering is tagged with foreboding but let’s not go there right now, Mr. Anderson. He fleshes this out with the idea that technology has “ . . . needs, a compulsion toward something . . . The technium wants what we design it to want and what we try to direct it to do.” More provocation . . . Continue reading