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Preview — Out of Control by Kevin Kelly
Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World
So, why 10 months? Kevin Kelly is very wordy. Yes, Kelly provides fascinating insights and revelations about machine biology, "hive mind" theory, co-evolution, the evolution of computers, and the future of planet Earth. But he does all of this with about 200 pages more than are actually necessary t ...more
Reassuring in that Kelly gives us something of a method to dissect current technological trends. He offers a quirky kind of philosophical outlook towards the alarming aspects of modernism which says, "relax, just trust in science" (because, and I paraphrase) 'science is ultimately displaying an organic style of devel ...more
But despite the fascinating topic matter, "Out of Control" has a number of frustrating flaws:
- It is way too long-winded.
- It is full of weird conjecture and meta-philosophising, which may have inspired the creators of the Matrix trilogy, but wh ...more
There were a couple of pages that related to a project that I worked on back in grad school and where I know that he didn't get the material quite right, so I suspect that he was not perfectly true t ...more
This book attempts to dissect the study of the unpredictable. From biological evolution to artificial intelligence to economies, it examines how and why complex, unpredictable systems for ...more
Very dated, but thats too be expected. He got it right that new media would be a powerful, liberating force for some, what he got wrong is that the new Networks won't have Hierarchy. And neither did the dawning of the digital post industrial society bring prosperity to the ...more
This is an extended meditation on the idea that the worlds of biology and technology are converging, with consequences for both. Along the way we meet lots of interesting thinkers and doers and see what sort of crazy things some of them have been up to (Biosphere 2 anyone?).
Kelley's a pretty good writer and, while all of his theses don't ultimately mesh together, I can't recall reading another book with as many densely packed ideas as this one.
As is usually the case with books written by journalist, not a scientist, some of author's generalizations and insights are trivial, so I give the book 4 stars7
I wish I had picked it up when it first came out.
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The chameleon responding to its own shifting image is an apt analog of the human world of fashion. Taken as a whole, what are fads but the response of a hive mind to its own reflection?
In a 21st-century society wired into instantaneous networks, marketing is the mirror; the collective consumer is the chameleon.”