Andrew's Reviews > What Technology Wants

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly
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's review
Oct 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: tech-bus
Read in October, 2011

Life evolves.

Major transitions:
one rpelicating molecule -> interacting replicating molecules
replicating molecules -> stringing into chromosones
rna enymes -> dna proteans
cells w/o nucleus -> cells with nucleus
asexual reproduction -> sexual reproduction
single cell organisms -> multicellular organisms
solitary indiviuals -> colonies & super organisms
primate societies -> language based societies

Evolution of technology is a continuation of this:

primate comunication -> language
oral lore -> writing/mathematical notation
scripts -> printing
book knowledge -> scientific method
artisan production -> mas sproduction
industrial culture -> ubiquitous global communication

Technology is an extenstion of "natural evoltion"

In the beginning there wsa only H and He, other elements came later.
Typical supermaket has 30,000 varieties of items!

Convergent evolution: Some things evolved more than once. Eyes may have evolved in six different taxa. Marsupials in Australia and Old World have parallels. Frogs & chameleons independently evolved harpoon tongues. Is there an evolutionary imperative? And does technology have the same thing? Often separate people invent/discover the same thing independently.

The amish will use technology (cars, machines) but not own it. They decide which technologies they will use - and will let a few try it, then analyze the risks. They're a subgroup of the Menemites. Teens can take a few years in modern world then decide if they want to come back (most do). Their population is increasing.

What does technology want? The same thing life does: Efficiency, opportunity, emergence, complexity, diversity, specialization, ubiquity, freedom, mutualism, beauty, sentience, structure and evolvability.

The author: "technology is good because it gives more choices."

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