Monday, January 4, 2010

Kevin Kelly on how Technology evolves.

He starts his lecture with a question. What is technology? How does it affect and/or influence your life? Would you give up technology?

When you really come to think of it, this is a really hard question. We are so attached to technology, it surrounds our every day lives. Would I give it up? I don’t know if I really could; there are days were I don’t use my computer, the Internet, no cell phone, and it could be surprisingly relaxing; but that’s just a temporary feeling, because sooner or later it seems like you NEED those things in order to function the way we are used to.

Technology is constantly evolving, we find ourselves discovering new things that one-day will provide us with even newer things. Kelly compares it to the evolution of organisms; technology goes through the same process of Ubiquity, diversity, specialization, complexity, and socialization.

It is infinite; Kelly says that we take part in the infinite game, a game that is played to be kept playing; Meaning that there always has been, and always will be technology. It never dies.

He shows some examples of pieces from a steam car that are still being produced. Also an 1895 Montgomery Awards catalogue with appliances that are also still being produced.

He says it’s even hard to get rid of technology; it can be delayed, but not terminated. It is an accumulation of ideas, and these ideas are also evolving. It is also said that technology is accelerating evolution, the way in which we search for ideas.

Technology is about better ways to evolve, that’s way he calls it the infinite game, we will always be playing it. His theory is that technology appeared with the Big Bang; the whole universe was compressed, there was no difference between anything. Once it expanded there was a potential for difference. Technology brings us this difference: Choices, possibilities, freedoms. It gives us room to make differences, and that is what we all want, more opportunities to make even more opportunities.

At the end he leaves us with an interesting assignment. Spend your life discovering what your assignment is; explore possibilities and opportunities. That is the infinite game, and if we play it well we involve more people and it becomes like a chain reaction. He urges us to embrace technology, claiming it is the medium in which we play this infinite game.

It’s the essential part of our journey to finding out who we are.

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