Reviewing Kevin Kelly’s, “The Inevitable”

Kevin Kelly doesn’t attempt to predict any minutia, but rather large paradigm shifts. As an example, two hundred years ago, he might have foreseen the industrial revolution, but not the Ford model-T.

This high-level thinking and abstraction helps us put our current progress into perspective and allows us to understand the shifts already underway.

The Book Review my Larry Schmitt from The Inovo Group summarizes Kelly’s 12 main trends very nice:

Becoming – We are in a state of unceasing change and are continually learning and adapting (we are constant ‘newbies’) to the new that is unlike anything that was before.

Cognifying – Applied intelligence will be available just like electricity was over 100 years ago. It will be embedded into everything and change the nature of how things work.

Flowing – Stocks to flows, ownership to use. Atoms and bits are now flowing from creators to consumers who are themselves creators. We want things that flow, in time and space.

Screening – We will interact with information through screens. All information will become fluid, linked and tagged. All content and libraries will become symbols on screens we interact with.

Accessing – The availability of anything, atoms or bits, immediately without owning. Whatever you need you can get, and get the latest and best. Ownership is no longer necessary.

Sharing – Everyone creates and it’s all shared. Any idea, thought, expression or artifact can be contributed to by anyone and experienced by anyone if they so desire.

Filtering – Attention is the scare resource. Allocating it to an exponentially expanding universe requires filtering based on who we are. Future filters will both serve us and surprise us.

Remixing – Whatever is new is a remix of what exists. Remixing requires radical deconstruction and the ability to find the pieces to recombine and transform into something new.

Interacting – We will interact with our devices and with others in realistic virtual and augmented worlds. Our devices will ‘know’ us and we will know worlds and others through our devices.

Tracking – We will track and be tracked everywhere and everywhen. What we track will expand exponentially and become extra ‘senses’. ‘Coveillance’ will emerge where the watchers and the watched are transparent.

Questioning – Billions of connected people are creating a new level of organization where questioning is the norm and answers emerge from the collective. Unimagined questions beget unimaginable answers.

Beginning – Now is the time in which, 30 years hence, people will look back and say, ‘that was the dawn of the era we are living in’. These forces will shape our future and we are only at the beginning.

Attribution: Innovo Group Book Review o Inevitable”

I think this is a great way to filter and understand the current technological changes we experience. However, I like to simplify this thesis:

Over time, the human world merges with the cyber world:

  1. Technology becomes increasingly physical and human
  2. The physical world (and humans) become increasingly cyber

Although at first the above statements seem absurdly futuristic and Orewellian, I will examine how they aren’t either of those things in my next post.

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