Kevin Kelly

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pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

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1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

We’re breaking through the material conditions of existence to a world where man creates his own destiny.”1 Such a vision was very congenial to many members of the Whole Earth network, and as the economic and technological whirlwinds of the late 1980s gathered speed, Brand and, later, Kevin Kelly, drew heavily on the intellectual and social resources of the group. Each created new network forums in which formerly distinct communities could come together, exchange legitimacy, and become visible, to one another and to outsiders, as a single entity. In Brand’s case, these communities included representatives of MIT’s Media Lab and the Stanford Research Institute and officers of such corporate giants as Royal Dutch/Shell, Volvo, and AT&T, as well as former New Communalists. In the late 1980s Brand helped turn these individuals into [ 175 ] [ 176 ] Chapter 6 the principals and clients of a small but highly influential consulting firm, the Global Business Network. For his part, Kevin Kelly linked computer simulation experts affiliated with Los Alamos National Laboratory and its offshoot, the Santa Fe Institute, to prairie ecologists, Biospherians, and programmers at Xerox PARC.

In its consulting, the same corporate and military institutions that the New Communalists and the New Left had condemned became homes to the transformed states of mind and leveled bureaucracies that the counterculturalists had worked so hard to create. Kevin Kelly as Network Entrepreneur For the founders of GBN, computer networks were but one in a series of overlapping systems that included member networks, meeting series, subscriptions to newsletters and book clubs, and ongoing conversations on the WELL. Computers helped sustain GBN and, to that extent, helped give its members a glimpse into the role computer networks might play in the New Economy. The metaphor of the network within GBN referred not so much to digital technologies, however, as to a series of intersecting social and informational systems. For the founders of GBN, computers were only one of several forces driving the leveling of bureaucracies and the rise of networked patterns of organization. For Kevin Kelly, in contrast, computers became the signal emblems of a new era in human development.

Rather, a close look at Wired’s first and most influential five years suggests that the magazine’s vision of the digital horizon emerged in large part from its intellectual and interpersonal affiliations with Kevin Kelly and the Whole Wired [ 209 ] Earth network and, through them, from the New Communalist embrace of the politics of consciousness.4 Although Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe founded Wired, and although Rossetto’s libertarian politics exerted a substantial influence on the magazine, Rossetto and Metcalfe also drew heavily for funds and, later, for subjects and writers, on the Whole Earth world. In 1992, while Kevin Kelly was finishing up Out of Control, Rossetto hired him to serve as executive editor of the magazine. Kelly brought with him the simultaneously cybernetic and New Communalist social vision of the Whole Earth publications and their networked style of editorial work.

 

pages: 194 words: 49,310

Clock of the Long Now by Stewart Brand

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Albert Einstein, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, Danny Hillis, Eratosthenes, Extropian, fault tolerance, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, nuclear winter, pensions crisis, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

The point, after all, is to explore whatever may be helpful for thinking, understanding, and acting responsibly over long periods of time. Manifestations of the overall project could range from fortune cookies to theme parks. For now, we will build an astonishing Clock and a unique Library and see what develops from there. Who is “we”? The Long Now Foundation was established in 1996 to foster long-term responsibility. The founding board is Daniel Hillis (co-chair), Stewart Brand (co-chair), Kevin Kelly, Douglas Carlston, Peter Schwartz, Brian Eno, Paul Saffo, Mitchell Kapor, and Esther Dyson. Hillis created Thinking Machines Inc. and its supercomputer, the Connection Machine, and is now a Fellow at Disney. Brand began the Whole Earth Catalog and co-founded Global Business Network. Kelly is executive editor of Wired magazine and author of Out of Control. Carlston co-founded Broderbund Software.

All the “peoples of the Book” adopted varieties of this approach. To caricature each of their stances: Judaism says, “The Messiah is going to come, and that’s the end of history”; Christianity says, “The Messiah is going to come back, and that’s the end of history”; Islam says, “The Messiah came; history is irrelevant.” One Sunday morning at a Long Now Foundation board retreat on Clock/Library design, Kevin Kelly, a devout Christian, spoke up: “I go to church, but why am I here and not in church? It’s because I feel that the Christian church denies the future. From year one, they have been waiting for the second coming. I think we need a story that includes the future.” CLOCK/LIBRARY “8. Provide a description of what a visitor to the clock, library, etc. would see and experience.” Alexander Rose groaned.

It would show, in briskly intuitive fashion only: the year date (Gregorian calendar, easily convertible to anything else), the position of the Sun (hence the approximate time of day), the Moon’s position and phase, the local rising and setting times of the Sun and Moon, and the locally visible star field, which rotates daily, shifts with the yearly seasonal cycle, and adjusts very gradually to the 25,784-year cycle of the precession of the equinoxes. Kevin Kelly observed that such a display would be a return to origins: “From the very beginning clocks were simulacra. The first clocks were models of the heavens—Sun and Moon rotating overhead. Later clockmakers modeled a universe of seasons and time and birth and death, displayed as marching jacks and crowing cocks. Only later, in the minimalist modern period, were clocks abstracted into the naked passage of seconds and minutes.”

 

pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

., “Testing Multiple Statistical Hypotheses Resulted in Spurious Associations: A Study of Astrological Signs and Health,” Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 59, no. 9 (September 2006): 964–969. 265 “replace astrological signs with another characteristic”: see “Charting Our Health by the Stars?,” ScienceDaily, February 28, 2007, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070218140157.htm. 265 “the more we look for patterns”: ibid. 265 “exhaustive data, the Google way of doing science”: quoted in Ethan Zuckmerman, “Kevin Kelly on Context for the Quantified Self,” My Heart’s in Accra, May 29, 2011, http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2011/05/29/kevin-kelly-on-context-for-the-quantified-self. 266 “a serious shift in our image”: David Weinberger, Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now that the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room (New York: Basic Books, 2012), 35. I’ve discussed Weinberger’s claims about Hunch in my review of his book: Evgeny Morozov, “What Lies Beneath,” The Daily, January 1, 2012, http://www.thedaily.com/page/202/01/01/010112-opinions-books-weinberger-morozov-1–3. 266 “it doesn’t have a hypothesis”: ibid., 33. 267 “We lack institutions on which people can rely”: Philip Kitcher, Science in a Democratic Society (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2011), 185. 267 “trust can be restored by untrammeled public discussion”: ibid., 185. 267 “If a marketplace of ideas model”: Robert C.

The problem with using Wikipedia as a model is that nobody—not even its founder, Jimmy Wales—really knows how it works. To assume that we can distill life-changing lessons from it and then apply them in completely different fields seems arrogant to say the least. Worst of all, Wikipedia is itself subject to many myths, which might result in Wikipedia-inspired solutions that misrepresent its spirit. “The bureaucracy of Wikipedia is relatively so small as to be invisible,” proclaims technology pundit Kevin Kelly, confessing that “much of what I believed about human nature, and the nature of knowledge, has been upended by the Wikipedia.” But what did Kelly believe before Wikipedia? Kelly writes that “everything I knew about the structure of information convinced me that knowledge would not spontaneously emerge from data, without a lot of energy and intelligence deliberately directed to transforming it.”

This view of technology as an autonomous force has its own rather long intellectual pedigree; in 1978 Langdon Winner offered perhaps the best summary in his Autonomous Technology: Technics-out-of- Control as a Theme in Political Thought. This view has been debunked hundreds of times as a lazy, unempirical approach to studying technological change, and yet it has never really left the popular discourse about technology. It has recently made a forceful appearance in Kevin Kelly’s What Technology Wants, and Kelly’s thought is not a bad place to observe technological defeatism up close, if only because he is a Silicon Valley maven and the first executive editor of Wired. Besides, very diverse thinkers about “the Internet”—from Tim Wu to Steven Johnson—cite Kelly’s What Technology Wants as an influence. Thus, it won’t be such a great stretch to say that Kelly’s theories do provide the intellectual grounds on which Internet-centrism grows and flourishes.

 

pages: 509 words: 132,327

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid

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1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

Courtesy Ken Goffman Group photo at Cyberconf. Courtesy of Michael L Benedikt. Photo of Nicole Stenger in VPL gear. Public domain. Jaron Lanier. Photo: Kevin Kelly. VPL suits and gloves. Photo: Kevin Kelly. Full-body VPL suit. Photo: Kevin Kelly. VPL diagram. Photo: Kevin Kelly. Photo of VR machine at Whole Earth Institute’s Cyberthon, Mondo 2000. Courtesy Ken Goffman. Cyberspace illustration, Mondo 2000. Courtesy Ken Goffman. Cybersex illustration, Mondo 2000. Courtesy Ken Goffman. R.U. a Cyberpunk? Mondo 2000, 1993, Nr 10, p. 30. Courtesy Ken Goffman. Photo of John Perry Barlow. Mondo 2000. Courtesy Ken Goffman. John Gilmore. Photo: Kevin Kelly. Timothy C. May. Photo: Kevin Kelly. May, Gilmore, and Hughes. Photo: Larry Dyer, WIRED Magazine. Ryan Lackey. Photo: Kim Gilmour. HavenCo platform at Roughs Tower.

Entire communities functioned like whole systems, many in the countercultural avant-garde came to understand: there was a different way of seeing things, a circular way, where everything was connected, connected by feedback, kept in balance, in touch with the environment, even with animals and plants and rocks, in unity, as one single whole, one planet, shrunk into a village by communication technology. A veritable cult emerged. Seeing communities as self-regulating feedback systems was liberating, driven by a theory of machines that was quite literally “out of control,” in the memorable phrase of the founding editor of Wired magazine, Kevin Kelly.1 The cybernetic myth had a major cultural impact. Wiener’s work, in its countercultural and highly symbolic reading, forms one of the oldest and deepest roots of that firm belief in technical solutions that would later come to characterize the culture of Silicon Valley. One of the earliest and most eminent writers roused by cybernetics was L. Ron Hubbard, then an immensely prolific science fiction author.

By 1970, cybernetics had already peaked as a serious scholarly undertaking, and it soon began to fade. Its scientific legacy is hard to evaluate. On the one hand, cybernetic ideas and terms were spectacularly successful and shaped other fields: control engineering, artificial intelligence, even game theory. On the other hand, cybernetics as a science entered a creeping demise, with therapists and sociologists increasingly filling the rolls at the American Society for Cybernetics. Kevin Kelly, the Wired magazine editor, later observed that “by the late 1970s, cybernetics had died of dry rot.”25 Yet, to the surprise of the remaining founders, cybernetics lived on—not in Boston’s scientific research labs, but in California’s counterculture communes. The rising New Age movement found the new discipline’s mystic side appealing. The most eccentric expression of this remarkable shift is an ode to cybernetics written during the Summer of Love in 1967 San Francisco by Richard Brautigan, a long-haired hippie poet, “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace”:26 I like to think (and the sooner the better!)

 

pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

Martin’s Griffin, 2000), p. 34. 16 Ibid., p. 68. 17 Cassidy, Dot.Con, p. 63. 18 Kaplan, The Silicon Boys and Their Valley of Dreams, p. 243. 19 Clark, Netscape Time, p. 261. 20 Ibid., p. 251. 21 Ibid., p. 249. 22 Ibid., p. 119. 23 Ibid., p. 67. 24 Thomson Venture Economics, special tabulations, June 2003. 25 Nicholas Negroponte, Being Digital (New York: Random House, 1996). 26 Kevin Kelly, New Rules for the New Economy (New York: Penguin, 1997). 27 Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants (New York: Viking, 2010). 28 Kelly, New Rules for the New Economy, p. 156. 29 Robert H. Frank and Philip J. Cook, The Winner-Take-All Society: How More and More Americans Compete for Ever Fewer and Bigger Prizes, Encouraging Economic Waste, Income Inequality, and an Impoverished Cultural Life (New York: Free Press, 1995). 30 Ibid., p. 47. 31 Ibid., p. 48. 32 “The Greatest Defunct Web Sites and Dotcom Disasters,” CNET, June 5, 2008. 33 Cassidy, Dot.con, pp. 242–45. 34 Stone, The Everything Store, p. 48. 35 Ibid. 36 Fred Wilson, “Platform Monopolities,” AVC.com, July 22, 2014. 37 Ibid. 38 Ibid. 39 Matthew Yglesias, “The Prophet of No Profit,” Slate, January 30, 2014. 40 Stone, The Everything Store, pp. 181–82. 41 Ibid., p. 173. 42 Jeff Bercovici, “Amazon Vs.

One influential futurist, the MIT professor of technology Nicholas Negroponte, even described the digital age in his bestselling 1995 book Being Digital as being a “force of nature.” “It has four very powerful qualities that will guarantee its ultimate triumph,” Negroponte promised about this revolution. It would be “decentralizing, globalizing, harmonizing and empowering.”25 One of the most frequently quoted books about the Internet economy published in the wake of the August 1995 IPO was Kevin Kelly’s New Rules for the New Economy.26 Kelly’s economic manifesto, which came out as a series of articles he wrote as the founding executive editor for Wired magazine, became an appropriately magical handbook for startup entrepreneurs in the surreal dot-com era. The personally very gracious and well-meaning Kelly, one of the founders of the countercultural WELL BBS and a born-again Christian techno-mystic who would later write a book about how technology has a mind of its own,27 stoked the already irrational exuberance of the late nineties with a new economy manifesto that today reads like a parody of digital utopianism.

But not everyone embraced the swarm and learned to speak this kind of gobbledygook. In 1995, two American economists published a less hyped but much more prescient book about the depressingly old rules of our new economy. In The Winner-Take-All Society,29 Robert Frank and Philip Cook argue that the defining feature of late-twentieth-century global capitalism was a growing financial chasm between a narrow elite and the rest of society. Rather than Kevin Kelly’s “thousand points of wealth,” Frank and Cook found that wealth in the winner-take-all society actually had very few points. They agreed with Tom Perkins about the enormous power and influence of this new elite. But in contrast with Perkins, Frank, and Cook—whose observations about this emerging plutocracy are supported by the later research of many distinguished economists, including Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, Robert Reich, and Thomas Piketty—didn’t celebrate this one percent, trickle-down economy.

 

pages: 411 words: 80,925

What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, out of africa, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Simon Kuznets, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, South of Market, San Francisco, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, web of trust, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Abran Sauer, “Craigslist,” Brandchannel (March 12, 2007), www.brandchannel.com/features_profile.asp?pr_id=326. 1. Carol Kaesuk Yoon, “Bacteria Seen to Evolve in Spurts,” New York Times (June 1996), www.nytimes.com/1996/06/25/science/bacteria-seen-to-evolve-in-spurts.html. 2. Arnold Toynbee, Lectures on the Industrial Revolution in England: Popular Addresses, Notes and Other Fragments (London, 1884). 3. Kevin Kelly, “Kevin Kelly on the Next 5,000 Days of the Web,” video on Ted.com (July 2008), www.ted.com/index.php/talks/kevin_kelly_on_the_next_5_000_days_of_the_web.html. 4. Clifford Stroll, “Why the Web Won’t be Nirvana,” Newsweek (February 1995), www.newsweek.com/id/106554/page/1. 5. Tim Cooper and Sian Evans, “Products to Services,” a report for Friends of the Earth, Centre for Sustainable Consumption, Sheffield Hallam University, www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/products_services.pdf. 6.

We don’t want the answering machine; we want the messages it saves. We don’t want the DVD; we want the movie it carries. In other words, we want not the stuff but the needs or experiences it fulfills. As our possessions “dematerialize” into the intangible, our preconceptions of ownership are changing, creating a dotted line between “what’s mine,” “what’s yours,” and “what’s ours.” This shift is fueling a world where usage trumps possessions, and as Kevin Kelly, a passionate conservationist and founder of Wired magazine, puts it, where “access is better than ownership.”1 We have constructed a large part of our freedom around our “right to own” and our self-identity around what we do. But for the Millennials, the first generation that writer John Palfrey describes as “born digital,” this powerful relationship with ownership is fracturing. There are new channels emerging—channels that don’t require you to own anything other than a computer or even just an iPhone—to share what we are doing (Twitter), what we are reading (Shelfari), what we are interested in (Digg), the groups we belong to (LinkedIn), and of course who our friends are (Facebook).

We regard this book as just the beginning of a phenomenon pointing toward a better collective future. We hope it sparks conversation, debate, and a swarm of positive endeavors. From Rachel Botsman For me, this is a book about the possibilities and powerful reconnections that can help reshape our future for the better. I am indebted to the brilliant thought leaders whose ideas have inspired me to think in this way. These include Yochai Benkler, Robin Chase, Jeff Howe, Kevin Kelly, Lawrence Lessig, Bill McKibben, Elinor Ostrom, Robert Putnam, Jeremy Rifkin, Clay Shirky, and James Surowiecki. Personal thanks to Gillian Blake for transforming the way I write, and to Ben Loehnen for masterfully shepherding this project. This book would not have been remotely possible without my fantastic coauthor and wonderful friend, Roo Rogers. I am deeply grateful to him for his belief in me and for continually pushing to make this the best book possible in so many different ways.

 

pages: 224 words: 64,156

You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier

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1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital Maoism, Douglas Hofstadter, Extropian, follow your passion, hive mind, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, social graph, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

Would they become trapped in it, unable to escape back to the physical world where the rest of us live? Some of the questions were silly, and others were prescient. How Politics Influences Information Technology I was part of a merry band of idealists back then. If you had dropped in on, say, me and John Perry Barlow, who would become a cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or Kevin Kelly, who would become the founding editor of Wired magazine, for lunch in the 1980s, these are the sorts of ideas we were bouncing around and arguing about. Ideals are important in the world of technology, but the mechanism by which ideals influence events is different than in other spheres of life. Technologists don’t use persuasion to influence you—or, at least, we don’t do it very well. There are a few master communicators among us (like Steve Jobs), but for the most part we aren’t particularly seductive.

You Need Culture to Even Perceive Information Technology Ever more extreme claims are routinely promoted in the new digital climate. Bits are presented as if they were alive, while humans are transient fragments. Real people must have left all those anonymous comments on blogs and video clips, but who knows where they are now, or if they are dead? The digital hive is growing at the expense of individuality. Kevin Kelly says that we don’t need authors anymore, that all the ideas of the world, all the fragments that used to be assembled into coherent books by identifiable authors, can be combined into one single, global book. Wired editor Chris Anderson proposes that science should no longer seek theories that scientists can understand, because the digital cloud will understand them better anyway.* Antihuman rhetoric is fascinating in the same way that self-destruction is fascinating: it offends us, but we cannot look away.

What these critics forget is that printing presses in themselves provide no guarantee of an enlightened outcome. People, not machines, made the Renaissance. The printing that takes place in North Korea today, for instance, is nothing more than propaganda for a personality cult. What is important about printing presses is not the mechanism, but the authors. An impenetrable tone deafness rules Silicon Valley when it comes to the idea of authorship. This was as clear as ever when John Updike and Kevin Kelly exchanged words on the question of authorship in 2006. Kevin suggested that it was not just a good thing, but a “moral imperative” that all the world’s books would soon become effectively “one book” once they were scanned, searchable, and remixable in the universal computational cloud. Updike used the metaphor of the edges of the physical paper in a physical book to communicate the importance of enshrining the edges between individual authors.

 

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lump of labour, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

I didn’t expect to be heading back in the other direction in later life. [cccxlii] https://edge.org/conversation/john_markoff-the-next-wave [cccxliii] http://uk.pcmag.com/robotics-automation-products/34778/news/will-a-robot-revolution-lead-to-mass-unemployment [cccxliv] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment [cccxlv] http://www.prisonexp.org/ [cccxlvi] http://fourhourworkweek.com/2014/08/29/kevin-kelly/ [cccxlvii] https://www.edge.org/conversation/kevin_kelly-the-technium [cccxlviii] http://history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/165acton.html [cccxlix] http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/Brito_BitcoinPrimer.pdf [cccl] http://www.dugcampbell.com/byzantine-generals-problem/ [cccli] http://www.economistinsights.com/technology-innovation/analysis/money-no-middleman/tab/1 [ccclii] : The Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) in Northern California, The Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) and the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) in England’s Oxford and Cambridge respectively, and the Future of Life Institute (FLI) in Massachussetts.

In December 2013, DeepMind demonstrated an AI system which used a deep learning technique called unsupervised learning to teach itself to play old-style Atari video games like Breakout and Pong.[xcv] These are games which previous AI systems found hard to play because they involve hand-to-eye co-ordination. The system was not given instructions for how to play the games well, or even told the rules and purpose of the games: it was simply rewarded when it played well and not rewarded when it played less well. As the writer Kevin Kelly noted, “they didn't teach it how to play video games, but how to learn to play the games. This is a profound difference.”[xcvi] The system's first attempt at each game was feeble, but by playing continuously for 24 hours or so it worked out – through trial and error – the subtleties in the gameplay and scoring system, and played the games better than the best human player. The DeepMind system showed true general learning ability.

Some people believe this phenomenon of humans teaming up with computers to form centaurs is a metaphor for how we can avoid most jobs being automated by machine intelligence. The computer will take care of those aspects of the job (or task) which are routine, logical and dull, and the human will be freed up to deploy her intuition and creativity. Engineers didn’t become redundant just because computers replaced slide rules. Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired magazine, puts it more lyrically: machines are for answers; humans are for questions.[cclxvi] The trouble is that the intuition and creativity which we humans bring to tasks and jobs is largely a matter of pattern recognition, and machines are getting better at this at an exponential rate. A doctor may be happy to delegate the routine diagnosis of a cold or a flu to a machine which can do it better than she can, if she gets to retain the more interesting and challenging diagnostic work.

 

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Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

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agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working-age population, Y2K

There will be long, impassioned arguments along the way, but this wise book is a great start.” —Jon Turney, The Guardian (London) “This is a short course on how to change your mind intelligently. Stewart Brand is the master guru of following the early warning signals of first adopters and the rough edges of science wherever it might lead. In this book he reveals how this discipline has landed him at the very front of cultural change once again.” —Kevin Kelly, author of What Technology Wants “In the face of climate change, a founding father of the greens argues the movement must embrace whatever works—even if that happens to be nuclear power, mass urbanization, or genetic modification. . . . The environmental left needs to view the world afresh. Once it has done so, Brand writes, it is likely to see that many of its most cherished notions are inconsistent with reality.”

“From essentially zero,” writes Joel Garreau at the Washington Post, “we’ve passed a watershed of more than 3.3 billion active cellphones on a planet of some 6.6 billion humans in about 26 years. This is the fastest global diffusion of any technology in human history. . . . Cellphones are the first telecommunications technology in history to have more users in the developing world than in the West.” American travelers are often shocked to find that cellphone connectivity is better in developing countries than in the United States. Technology historian Kevin Kelly draws an interesting conclusion from this:A decade ago many folks who like to worry about the advance of technology were worried about the “digital divide.” This phrase signified the unfair gap between those who had computers and the internet and those who did not. The question was usually framed in these words: “What are you going to do about the digital divide?” At the time my standard reply was, “Nothing.

Genes, he said, are nothing but “strings of bases which, in triplets, specify the amino acids that make up proteins. A lot of different organisms use similar or nearly identical genes to do the same job.” Where a gene comes from is irrelevant; the point is what it does. Genetic engineering is so much more precise, transparent, and accountable than breeding, it invites the thought experiment proposed by technology historian Kevin Kelly: “Suppose the sequence was reversed. Suppose genetic engineering is what we had been doing all along. Then some group says, ‘No, we’re going to use this new process called breeding . We’ll create all kinds of interesting recombinations, we’ll blast seeds with radiation and chemicals to get lots of mutations, and we’ll grow whatever comes up, pick the ones we like, and hope for the best.’ What would people say about the risk of doing it that way?”

 

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What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly

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Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, c2.com, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer vision, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, George Gilder, gravity well, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, life extension, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, out of africa, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, Picturephone, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England First published in 2010 by Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright © Kevin Kelly, 2010 All rights reserved LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA Kelly, Kevin, 1952- What technology wants / Kevin Kelly. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. eISBN : 978-1-101-44446-7 1. Technology’—Social aspects. 2. Technology and civilization. I. Title. T14.5.K45 2010 303.48’3—dc22 2010013915 Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

Science, 266 (5187). http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/266/5187/1021. 12 the society and culture of tools: David Nye. (2006) Technology Matters: Questions to Live With. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 12, 28. 14 one mega-scale computing platform: Kevin Kelly. (2008) “Infoporn: Tap into the 12-Million-Teraflop Handheld Megacomputer.” Wired, 16 (7). http://www.wired.com/special_multimedia/2008/st_infoporn_1607. 14 eyes (phone and webcams) plugged in: Ibid. 14 searches at the humming rate of 14 kilohertz: comScore. (2007) “61 Billion Searches Conducted Worldwide in August.” http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2007/10/Worldwide_Searches_Reach_61_Billion. Calculation based on comScore’s figure for the number of searches performed in a month. 14 5 percent of the world’s electricity: Kevin Kelly. (2007) “How Much Power Does the Internet Consume?” The Technium. http://www.k k.org/thetechnium/archives/2007/10/how_much_power.php.

San Francisco: The Long Now Foundation. http://www.longnow.org/seminars/02008/jan/11/embracing-uncertainty-the-secret-to-effective-forecasting/. 196 some kind of consequence of that: Kevin Kelly and Paula Parisi. (1997) “Beyond Star Wars: What’s Next for George Lucas.” Wired, 5 (2). http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.02/fflucas.html. 197 “they may never acknowledge the void”: Langdon Winner. (1977) Autonomous Technology: Technics-Out-of-Control as a Theme in Political Thought. Cambridge: MIT Press, p. 34. 197 “self-respecting members of the former”: Eric Brende. (2004) Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology. New York: HarperCollins, p. 229. 198 not by ideology but by technical necessity: Theodore Kaczynski. (1995) “Industrial Society and Its Future.” http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Industrial_Society_and_Its_Future. 201 civilization would collapse by 2020: Kevin Kelly. (1995) “Interview with the Luddite.” Wired, 3 (6). http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.06/saleskelly.html. 201 readings focused on the theme called Against Civilization: John Zerzan. (2005) Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections.

 

pages: 222 words: 53,317

Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension by Samuel Arbesman

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Anton Chekhov, Apple II, Benoit Mandelbrot, citation needed, combinatorial explosion, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, discovery of the americas, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, friendly AI, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, HyperCard, Inbox Zero, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, mandelbrot fractal, Minecraft, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, Parkinson's law, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, software studies, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Therac-25, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

But this design had a curious feature: parts of it were disconnected from the main circuit yet were somehow still vital to its function. The evolved circuit had taken advantage of weird physical and electromagnetic phenomena, which no engineer would ever have thought of using, to make the circuit complete its task. In another instance, an equation was evolved to solve another problem, and the result was also recognized as impenetrable. Kevin Kelly, in Out of Control, describes it thus: “Not only is it ugly, it’s incomprehensible. Even for a mathematician or computer programmer, this evolved formula is a tar baby in the briar patch.” The evolved code was eventually understood, but its way of solving the problem appeared to be “decidedly inhuman.” This evolutionary technique yields novel technological systems, but ones that we have difficulty understanding, because we would never have come up with such a thing on our own; these systems are fundamentally different from what we are good at thinking about.

These include such things as technological change and how that affects education, more on Big Data, our increasing partnership with our machines, automation and the future of jobs, and the many, many different types of systems that we see around us, including those in manufacturing, food, government, energy, and so much more. Some of the works below address these topics. • • • The Systems Bible by John Gall is a bizarre romp into how to think about large systems and how they work, or don’t. It is fascinating and much of my thinking parallels Gall’s. Out of Control by Kevin Kelly includes some of the same points about biological thinking and how technology is becoming increasingly biological and unable to be understood, though from the perspective of emergence and biological complexity and the use of biological principles to build technologies. I also recommend What Technology Wants by the same author. Autonomous Technology by Langdon Winner. The penultimate chapter is particularly salient and raises many of the same issues discussed in this book.

Quoted in Langdon Winner, Autonomous Technology: Technics-out-of-Control as a Theme in Political Thought (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1977), 13. “complicated” and “complex” systems: This is but one of likely very many distinctions between these two terms. Imagine water buoys: Thanks to Aaron Clauset for providing the example of tied-together buoys during a discussion. the infrastructure of our cities: In Kevin Kelly’s view, “Cities are technological artifacts, the largest technology we make.” What Technology Wants (New York: Viking, 2010), 81. could fill encyclopedias: David McCandless, “Codebases: Millions of Lines of Code,” infographic, v. 0.9, Information Is Beautiful, September 24, 2015, http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/million-lines-of-code/. Assuming an encyclopedia has about 30,000 pages and each page could fit 1,000 lines of code, that means that by some estimates, one version of the Macintosh operating system could fill multiple encyclopedias. 300,000 intersections with traffic signals: The number of “signalized intersections” in the United States is an estimate from the U.S.

 

pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

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Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, post scarcity, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

If you cannot answer this without resorting to the BS concept of “good timing,” the answer is simple: You’re afraid, just like the rest of the world. Measure the cost of inaction, realize the unlikelihood and repairability of most missteps, and develop the most important habit of those who excel and enjoy doing so: action. “Productivity is for robots. What humans are going to be really good at is asking questions, being creative, and experiences.” * * * Kevin Kelly Kevin Kelly (TW: @kevin2kelly, kk.org) is “senior maverick” at Wired magazine, which he co-founded in 1993. He also co-founded the All Species Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at cataloging and identifying every living species on earth. In his spare time, he writes best-selling books, co-founded the Rosetta Project, which is building an archive of all documented human languages, and serves on the board of the Long Now Foundation.

Dubner (p. 574) Dan Engle (p. 109) James Fadiman (p. 100) Jon Favreau (p. 592) Jamie Foxx (p. 604) Chris Fussell (p. 435) Cal Fussman (p. 495) Adam Gazzaley (p. 135) Malcolm Gladwell (p. 572) Seth Godin (p. 237) Evan Goldberg (p. 531) Marc Goodman (p. 424) Laird Hamilton (p. 92) Sam Harris (p. 454) Wim Hof (p. 41) Reid Hoffman (p. 228) Ryan Holiday (p. 334) Chase Jarvis (p. 280) Daymond John (p. 323) Bryan Johnson (p. 609) Sebastian Junger (p. 420) Noah Kagan (p. 325) Samy Kamkar (p. 427) Kaskade (p. 329) Sam Kass (p. 558) Kevin Kelly (p. 470) Brian Koppelman (p. 613) Tim Kreider (p. 489) Paul Levesque (p. 128) Phil Libin (p. 315) Will MacAskill (p. 446) Brian MacKenzie (p. 92) Justin Mager (p. 72) Nicholas McCarthy (p. 208) Gen. Stan McChrystal (p. 435) Jane McGonigal (p. 132) BJ Miller (p. 400) Matt Mullenweg (p. 202) Casey Neistat (p. 217) Jason Nemer (p. 46) Edward Norton (p. 561) B.J.

Novak How to Say “No” When It Matters Most * * * Part 3: Wise BJ Miller Maria Popova Jocko Willink Sebastian Junger Marc Goodman Samy Kamkar Tools of a Hacker General Stanley McChrystal & Chris Fussell Shay Carl Will MacAskill The Dickens Process—What Are Your Beliefs Costing You? Kevin Costner Sam Harris Caroline Paul My Favorite Thought Exercise: Fear-Setting Kevin Kelly Is This What I So Feared? Whitney Cummings Bryan Callen Alain de Botton Lazy: A Manifesto Cal Fussman Joshua Skenes Rick Rubin The Soundtrack of Excellence Jack Dorsey Paulo Coelho Writing Prompts from Cheryl Strayed Ed Cooke Amanda Palmer Eric Weinstein Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg 8 Tactics for Dealing with Haters Margaret Cho Andrew Zimmern Rainn Wilson Naval Ravikant Glenn Beck Tara Brach Sam Kass Edward Norton Richard Betts Mike Birbiglia The Jar of Awesome Malcolm Gladwell Stephen J.

 

pages: 184 words: 53,625

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson

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airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, WikiLeaks, working poor, X Prize

So why does the contribution get made? The return on the Kickstarter investment can’t be measured by the conventional yardstick of utilitarian economic theory. People contribute for more subtle, but just as powerful, reasons: the psychological reward of knowing that their money is helping cultivate another human’s talents; the social reward of being seen in public doing just that. Drawing on the work of Lewis Hyde, the writer Kevin Kelly calls this kind of activity the Web’s “gift economy.” Kelly described this phenomenon in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published shortly after the dot-com bubble burst in 2000: As the Internet continues to expand in volume and diversity without interruption, only a relatively small percent of its total mass will be money-making. The rest will be created and maintained out of passion, enthusiasm, a sense of civic obligation, or simply on the faith that it may later provide some economic use.

It took me a while, but eventually all these nudges came together to form Future Perfect. My thinking on these issues has been greatly expanded—if not downright borrowed—from conversations with Beth Noveck, Yochai Benkler, Fred Wilson, Brad Burnham, Larry Lessig, Denise Caruso, John Mackey, John Geraci, Paul Miller, Roo Rogers, Rachel Botsman, Reid Hoffman, Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, Clay Shirky, Stewart Brand, Howard Rheingold, Kevin Kelly, Jon Schnur, Raj Sisodia, Gordon Wheeler, Nick Grossman, Jay Haynes, Eric Liftin, John Battelle, and my mother, Bev Johnson. Special thanks to the group who were generous enough to comment on the manuscript in draft: Bill Wasik, David Sloan Wilson, Dan Hill, Henry Farrell, and my father and longtime political sparring partner, Stan Johnson. As usual, my wife, Alexa Robinson, shared her invaluable talent for improving my sentences and my arguments.

The key books and essays that have shaped my thinking on the power of peer networks and the framework of peer-progressive values include Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks; Beth Noveck’s WikiGovernment; Carne Ross’s The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century; Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs; Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations; Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom’s The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations; Tim O’Reilly’s “The Architecture of Participation”; Henry Farrell and Cosma Shalizi’s “Cognitive Democracy”; and just about everything written by Manuel Castells, starting with The Rise of the Network Society. Many of these themes are explored in my books Emergence and Where Good Ideas Come From. For more on the gift economy, see Kevin Kelly’s essay “The Web Runs on Love, Not Greed,” in the January 4, 2002, edition of The Wall Street Journal. The figure of some $1.5 billion passing through crowdfunding sites in 2011 is from Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/sites/suwcharmananderson/2012/05/11/crowdfunding-raised-1-5bn-in-2011-set-to-double-in-2012/. II. PEER NETWORKS AT WORK Communities. The Maple Syrup Event For more on 311 and other urban technology platforms, see my essay “What a Hundred Million Calls to 311 Reveal About New York,” in the November 2010 issue of Wired, and Vanessa Quirk’s essay “Can You Crowdsource a City?”

 

pages: 331 words: 60,536

The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State by James Dale Davidson, Rees Mogg

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, compound rate of return, Danny Hillis, debt deflation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Gilder, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Kevin Kelly, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, pattern recognition, phenotype, price mechanism, profit maximization, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, school vouchers, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, spice trade, statistical model, telepresence, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing, very high income

High-speed computers have facilitated many billions of times more computations in the past decade than were undertaken in all the previous history of the world. This leap in computation has allowed us for the first time to fathom some of the universal characteristics of complexity. What the computers show is that complex systems can be built and understood only from the bottom up. Multiplying prime numbers is simple. But disaggregating complexity by trying to decompose the product of large prime numbers is all but impossible. Kevin Kelly, editor of Wired, puts it this way: "To multiply several prime numbers into a larger product is easy; any elementary school kid can do it. But the world's supercomputers choke while trying to unravel a product into its simple primes." The Logic of Complex Systems The cybereconomy will inevitably be shaped by this profound mathematical truth. It already has an obvious expression in powerful encryption algorithms.

The closer computers bring us to understanding the mathematics of artificial life, the better we understand the mathematics of real life, which are those of biological complexity. These secrets of complexity, harnessed through information technology, are allowing economies to be reconfigured into more complex forms. The Internet and the World Wide Web have already taken on characteristics of an organic system, as Kevin Kelly suggests in Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems. and the Economic World.' In his words, nature is "an idea factory. Vital, postindustrial paradigms are hidden in every jungle ant hill. . . . The wholesale transfer of bio-logic into machines should fill us with awe. When the union of the born and the made is complete, our fabrications will learn, adapt, heal themselves, and evolve.

It is therefore equally obvious that any value in programs compiled by others could not have been stolen from him. This is why cries of "exploitation" by workers are now heard mainly among janitors. Information technology is making it plain that the problem faced by persons of low skill is not that their productive capacities are being unfairly taken advantage of; but rather the fear that they may lack the ability to make a real economic contribution. As Kevin Kelly suggests in Out Of Control, the "Upstart" car company of the Information Age may be the brainchild of "a dozen people," who will outsource most of their parts, and still produce cars more carefully customized and tailored to their buyer's wishes than 126 anything yet seen from Detroit or Tokyo: "Cars, each one customer-tailored, are ordered by a network of customers and shipped the minute they are done.

 

pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

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Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

., Princeton Readings in Political Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), 110–111. 28.Evgeny Morozov, To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism (New York: PublicAffairs, 2013), 323. 29.Kevin Kelly, “Better than Human: Why Robots Will—and Must—Take Our Jobs,” Wired, January 2013. 30.Kevin Drum, “Welcome, Robot Overloads. Please Don’t Fire Us?,” Mother Jones, May/June 2013. 31.Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto (New York: Verso, 1998), 43. 32.Anonymous, “Slaves to the Smartphone,” Economist, March 10, 2012. 33.Kevin Kelly, “What Technology Wants,” Cool Tools, October 18, 2010, kk.org/cooltools/archives/4749. 34.George Packer, “No Death, No Taxes,” New Yorker, November 28, 2011. 35.Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 4–5. 36.Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (New York: Harper, 1991), 80. 37.Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The American Scholar,” in Essays and Lectures (New York: Library of America, 1983), 57.

That question, in one rhetorical form or another, comes up frequently in discussions of automation. If computers are advancing so rapidly, and if people by comparison seem slow, clumsy, and error prone, why not build immaculately self-contained systems that perform flawlessly without any human oversight or intervention? Why not take the human factor out of the equation altogether? “We need to let robots take over,” declared the technology theorist Kevin Kelly in a 2013 Wired cover story. He pointed to aviation as an example: “A computerized brain known as the autopilot can fly a 787 jet unaided, but irrationally we place human pilots in the cockpit to babysit the autopilot ‘just in case.’ ”1 The news that a person was driving the Google car that crashed in 2011 prompted a writer at a prominent technology blog to exclaim, “More robo-drivers!”2 Commenting on the struggles of Chicago’s public schools, Wall Street Journal writer Andy Kessler remarked, only half-jokingly, “Why not forget the teachers and issue all 404,151 students an iPad or Android tablet?”

It informs society’s recurring dream of emancipation from toil, the one that was voiced by Marx and Wilde and Keynes and that continues to find expression in the works of technophiles and technophobes alike. “Wilde was right,” Evgeny Morozov, the technology critic, wrote in his 2013 book To Save Everything, Click Here: “mechanical slavery is the enabler of human liberation.”28 We’ll all soon have “personal workbots” at our “beck and call,” Kevin Kelly, the technology enthusiast, proclaimed in a Wired essay that same year. “They will do jobs we have been doing, and do them much better than we can.” More than that, they will free us to discover “new tasks that expand who we are. They will let us focus on becoming more human than we were.”29 Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum, also writing in 2013, declared that “a robotic paradise of leisure and contemplation eventually awaits us.”

 

pages: 284 words: 79,265

The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date by Samuel Arbesman

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Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Wiles, bioinformatics, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, David Brooks, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Galaxy Zoo, guest worker program, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index fund, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, life extension, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nicholas Carr, p-value, Paul Erdős, Pluto: dwarf planet, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, social graph, social web, text mining, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation

While they are aware that their work is by no means complete, the team has already produced thousands of scientific papers and discovered well over a thousand new species. A quote from Science Daily gives a sense of how unbelievable this is: On just two stops in the southeast Atlantic Angola Basin, they found almost 700 different copepod species (99 percent of them unfamiliar) in just 5.4 square meters (6.5 square yards), nearly twice the number of species described to date in the entire southern hemisphere. Kevin Kelly refers to this sort of distribution as the “long tail of life.” In the media world, a small fraction of movies accounts for the vast amount of success and box office take—these are the blockbusters. The same thing happens on the Internet: a tiny group of Web sites commands most of the world’s attention. In the world of urban development, a handful of cities holds a vast portion of the world’s population.

Rodney Brooks is a professor emeritus at MIT who has lived through much of the current growth in robotics and is himself a pioneer in the field. He even cofounded the company that created the Roomba. Brooks looked at how robots have improved over the years and found that their movement abilities—how far and how fast a robot can move—have gone through about thirteen doublings in twenty-six years. That means that we have had a doubling about every two years: right on schedule and similar to Moore’s Law. Kevin Kelly, in his book What Technology Wants, has cataloged a wide collection of technological growth rates that fit an exponential curve. The doubling time of each kind of technology, as shown in the following table, acts as a sort of half-life for it and is indicative of exponential growth: It’s the amount of time before what you have is out-of-date and you’re itching to upgrade. Technology Doubling Time (in months) Wireless, bits per second 10 Digital cameras, pixels per dollar 12 Pixels, per array 19 Hard-drive storage, gigabytes per dollar 20 DNA sequencing, base pairs per dollar 22 Bandwidth, kilobits per second per dollar 30 Notably, this table bears a strikingly similarity to the chart seen in chapter 2, from Price’s research.

Cosmic Variance, 2010; http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2010/09/23/the-laws-underlying-the-physics-of-everyday-life-are-completely-understood. 37 Carroll even lays down, in a single equation: This is known as the Dirac equation. Carroll, Sean. “Physics and the Immortality of the Soul.” Cosmic Variance, 2010; http://blogs.discover magazine.com/cosmicvariance/2011/05/23/physics-and-the-immortality-of-the-soul/. 37 A quote from Science Daily: Census of Marine Life. “Giant Undersea Microbial Mat Among Discoveries Revealed by Marine Life Census.” Science Daily, April 18, 2010. 38 Kevin Kelly refers to this sort of distribution: Kelly, Kevin. “The Long Tail of Life.” The Technium, 2010; http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2010/04/the_long_tail_o.php. CHAPTER 4: MOORE’S LAW OF EVERYTHING 41 The @ symbol has been on keyboards: Rawsthorn, Alice. “Why @ Is Held in Such High Design Esteem.” International Herald Tribune, March 22, 2010. 42 Moore wrote a short paper in the journal Electronics: Moore, Gordon E.

 

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Alone Together by Sherry Turkle

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Albert Einstein, Columbine, global village, Hacker Ethic, helicopter parent, Howard Rheingold, industrial robot, information retrieval, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rodney Brooks, Skype, stem cell, technoutopianism, The Great Good Place, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, women in the workforce

I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary.”7 Thoreau’s quest inspires us to ask of our life with technology: Do we live deliberately? Do we turn away from life that is not life? Do we refuse resignation? Some believe that the new connectivity culture provides a digital Walden. A fifteen-year-old girl describes her phone as her refuge. “My cell phone,” she says, “is my only individual zone, just for me.” Technology writer Kevin Kelly, the first editor of Wired, says that he finds refreshment on the Web. He is replenished in its cool shade: “At times I’ve entered the web just to get lost. In that lovely surrender, the web swallows my certitude and delivers the unknown. Despite the purposeful design of its human creators, the web is a wilderness. Its boundaries are unknown, unknowable, its mysteries uncountable. The bramble of intertwined ideas, links, documents, and images create an otherness as thick as a jungle.

These disappointments begin to make a machine’s performance of caring seem like caring enough. We are willing to put aside a program’s lack of understanding and, indeed, to work to make it seem to understand more than it does—all to create the fantasy that there is an alternative to people. This is the deeper “ELIZA effect.” Trust in ELIZA does not speak to what we think ELIZA will understand but to our lack of trust in the people who might understand. Kevin Kelly asks, “What does technology want?” and insists that, whatever it is, technology is going to get it. Accepting his premise, what if one of the things technology wants is to exploit our disappointments and emotional vulnerabilities? When this is what technology wants, it wants to be a symptom. SYMPTOMS AND DREAMS Wary of each other, the idea of a robot companion brings a sense of control, of welcome substitution.

And, of course, no matter how much “wilderness” Kelly finds on the Web, we are not in a position to let the virtual take us away from our stewardship of nature, the nature that doesn’t go away with a power outage. We let things get away from us. Even now, we are emotionally dependent on online friends and intrigued by robots that, their designers claim, are almost ready to love us.15 And brave Kevin Kelly says what others are too timid to admit: he is in love with the Web itself. It has become something both erotic and idealized. What are we missing in our lives together that leads us to prefer lives alone together? As I have said, every new technology challenges us, generation after generation, to ask whether it serves our human purposes, something that causes us to reconsider what they are. In a design seminar, master architect Louis Kahn once asked, “What does a brick want?”

 

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The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology by William Mougayar

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Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, business process, centralized clearinghouse, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, global value chain, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, market clearing, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, prediction markets, pull request, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, smart contracts, social web, software as a service, too big to fail, Turing complete, web application

Says David Shaum, the inventor of digital cash and privacy technologies: “Untraceable communication is fundamental to freedom of inquiry, freedom of expression, and increasingly to online privacy generally, including person-to-person communication. To address these needs a system should support, ideally within a combined anonymity set, the most common use cases: chat, photo/video sharing, feed following, searching, posting, payments, all with various types of potentially pseudonymous authentication.” In 1994, Kevin Kelly, author of Out of Control, wrote this: A pretty good society needs more than just anonymity. An online civilization requires online anonymity, online identification, online authentication, online reputations, online trust holders, online signatures, online privacy, and online access. All are essential ingredients of any open society. It is disheartening to realize that, as of 2016, we were still very much behind on that vision of a “pretty good, open, online society.”

He believed that the path to a functioning economy—or society—was decentralization, and asserted that a decentralized economy complements the dispersed nature of information spread throughout society.1 WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DECENTRALIZED INTERNET? Let us remember the intended vision of the Internet. It was very much about openness in decentralization and distribution of services, with minute controls at the centers. At the dawn of the Internet life in 1994, Kevin Kelly wrote in his book, Out of Control, three important comments to remember: The network is the icon of the 21st century. The net icon has no center—it is a bunch of dots connected to other dots. A decentralized, redundant organization can flex without distorting its function, and thus it can adapt. No wonder Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, started an initiative, Web We Want,2 to reclaim some of the original goals of the Web.

Notes Berners-Lee and the website’s community: We are concerned about the growing number of threats to the very existence of the open Web, such as censorship, surveillance, and concentrations of power. The Web that drives economic progress and knowledge, is the one where anyone can create websites to share culture and information. It’s the Web where new businesses bloom, where government transparency is a reality, and where citizens document injustice. Wow. What Kevin Kelly and Web We Want are saying is pure music to the ears of today’s believers that a more decentralized Internet can shepherd us into a better future. If you are content with the Web today, stop and think for a minute whether you are happy with this situation. Web We Want observes: Millions of spam blogs and websites are visited by bots to cash in on ads. Even quality websites are so overloaded with automated ads and trackers that using an ad blocker is the only responsible way to surf the Web.

 

pages: 400 words: 94,847

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen

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Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Magellanic Cloud, means of production, medical residency, Nicholas Carr, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, social web, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge

Revealing Hanny’s Voorwerp: Radio observations of IC 2497. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 500(2):L33–L36, 2009. eprint arXiv:0905.1851. [106] Garry Kasparov. The chess master and the computer. New York Review of Books, 57(2), February 11, 2010. [107] Garry Kasparov with Daniel King. Kasparov Against the World. KasparovChess Online, 2000. [108] Kevin Kelly. Speculations on the future of science. Edge: The Third Culture, 2006. http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/kelly06/kelly06_index.html. [109] Kevin Kelly. What Technology Wants. New York: Viking, 2010. [110] Richard A. Kerr. Recently discovered habitable world may not exist. Science Now, October 12, 2010. http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/10/recently-discovered-habitable-world.html. [111] A. Yu Kitaev. Fault-tolerant quantum computation by anyons. Annals of Physics, 303(1):2–30, 2003

p 2 The Polymath process was “to normal research as driving is to pushing a car”: [78]. p 3: The term collective intelligence was introduced by the philosopher Pierre Lévy [124]. A stimulating recent attempt to measure collective intelligence and to relate it to qualities of participants in the group is [243]. p 3 the process of science will . . . change more in the next twenty years than it has in the past 300 years: the author Kevin Kelly has made a similar claim in [108] (see also [109]): “There will be more change in the next 50 years of science than in the last 400 years.” There is some broad overlap in my reasoning and Kelly’s, e.g., we both emphasize the importance of collaboration and large-scale data collection. There are also some considerable differences in our reasoning, e.g., Kelly emphasizes changes such as triple-blind experiments, and more prizes in science, while I believe these will play a comparatively minor role in change, and that the following three areas are the most critical: (1) collective intelligence and data-driven science, and the way they change how science is done; (2) the changing relationship between science and society; and (3) the challenge of achieving a much more open scientific culture.

A full answer to this question is complex, but in brief, the Complexity Zoo has a much narrower scope than the qwiki, and because of this narrower scope a single dedicated person (Scott Aaronson, now of MIT) was able to build it out to the point where it became an extremely useful and well-known resource in the computer science community. The combination of its already high profile and its narrow scope has helped attract a few people to make occasional contributions to its upkeep. p 176: The term “wiki-science” seems to have been introduced in an essay by Kevin Kelly [108]. Similar ideas were proposed independently (and, in some cases, earlier) by many people. An intntere discussion involving some early contributors to wikis may be found at the Meatball wiki: [137] and [138]. p 178: The job and graduation data for physics are based on the American Institute of Physics’ “Latest Employment Data for Physicists and Related Scientists,” available at http://www.aip.org/statistics/.

 

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The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan

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1960s counterculture, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, computer age, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, social web, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, web application

For a brief description of the costly dynamic tension between anarchy and oligarchy in the digital world, see Siva Vaidhyanathan, The Anarchist in the 219 220 NOTES TO PAGES xiii–3 Library: How the Clash between Freedom and Control Is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (New York: Basic Books, 2004). 5. For examples of simplistic, naive visions of how technology works in the world, see Kevin Kelly, Out of Control: The Rise Of Neo-biological Civilization (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1994); Kevin Kelly, New Rules for the New Economy: 10 Radical Strategies for a Connected World (New York: Viking, 1998); Nicholas Negroponte, Being Digital (New York: Knopf, 1995); Ray Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence (New York: Viking, 1999). 6. For elaborations of unfounded “generational” thinking, see Jeff Gomez, Print Is Dead: Books in Our Digital Age (London: Macmillan, 2008); Neil Howe and William Strauss, Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation (New York: Vintage, 2000). 7.

We are dazzled and distracted by the new methods of transmitting and using this knowledge, but most of the best expressions of deep human thinking still rest on paper, bound with glue, nestled and protected by cloth covers, on the shelves of libraries around the world. How can we simultaneously preserve and extend that knowledge? How can we vet and judge its utility and truth? How can we connect the most people with the best knowledge? Google, of course, offers answers to those questions. It’s up to us to decide whether Google’s answers are good enough. SH UFFL IN G TH E PAGES In May 2006, the Wired magazine contributor Kevin Kelly published in the New York Times Magazine his predictive account of flux and change in the book-publishing world. That article outlined what he claimed “will” (not “might” or “could”) happen to the book business and the practices of writing and reading under a new regime fostered by Google’s plan to scan millions of books from university and public libraries and offer searchable texts to Internet users.

Seyla Benhabib, “The Liberal Imagination and the Four Dogmas of Multiculturalism,” Yale Journal of Criticism 12, no. 2 (1999): 401. 84. Peter L. Bergen, Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama Bin Laden (New York: Free Press, 2001). CH APTER 5. TH E GO O GLI ZAT I O N O F KNOWL E D G E 1. Stephen Gaukroger, Francis Bacon and the Transformation of Early-Modern Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 2. Kevin Kelly, “Scan This Book!” New York Times Magazine, May 14, 2006, 42. 3. Ibid. 4. See John Updike, “The End of Authorship,” New York Times Book Review, June 25, 2006. 5. See Neil Netanel, “Google Book Search Settlement,” Balkinization, blog, October 28, 2008, http://balkin.blogspot.com. Also see James Grimmelmann, “Author’s Guild Settlement Insta-Blogging,” The Laboratorium, blog, October 28, 2008, http://laboratorium.net; Lawrence Lessig, “On the Google Book Search agreement,” Lessig Blog, October 29, 2008, http://lessig.org/blog; Paul Courant, “The Google Settlement: From the Universal Library to the Universal Bookstore,” Au Courant, blog, October 28, 2008, http://paulcourant.net; Open Content Alliance, “Let’s Not Settle for this Settlement,” Open Content Alliance (OCA), blog, November 5, 2008, www.opencontentalliance.org. 248 NOTES TO PAGES 153–58 6.

 

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The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

Just as it is much harder to create a 100-percent self-driving car than one that merely drives in normal conditions on a highway, creating a machine-based system for covering all possible medical cases is radically more difficult than building one for the most common situations. As with chess, a partnership between Dr. Watson and a human doctor will be far more creative and robust than either of them working alone. As futurist Kevin Kelly put it “You’ll be paid in the future based on how well you work with robots.”7 Sensing Our Advantage So computers are extraordinarily good at pattern recognition within their frames, and terrible outside them. This is good news for human workers because thanks to our multiple senses, our frames are inherently broader than those of digital technologies. Computer vision, hearing, and even touch are getting exponentially better all the time, but there are still tasks where our eyes, ears, and skin, to say nothing of our noses and tongues, surpass their digital equivalents.

In the former group Susan Athey, David Autor, Zoe Baird, Nick Bloom, Tyler Cowen, Charles Fadel, Chrystia Freeland, Robert Gordon, Tom Kalil, Larry Katz, Tom Kochan, Frank Levy, James Manyika, Richard Murnane, Robert Putnam, Paul Romer, Scott Stern, Larry Summers, and Hal Varian have helped our thinking enormously. In the latter category are Chris Anderson, Rod Brooks, Peter Diamandis, Ephraim Heller, Reid Hoffman, Jeremy Howard, Kevin Kelly, Ray Kurzweil, John Leonard, Tod Loofbourrow, Hilary Mason, Tim O’Reilly, Sandy Pentland, Brad Templeton, and Vivek Wadhwa. All of them were incredibly generous with their time and tolerant of our questions. We did our best to understand the insights they shared with us, and apologize for whatever mistakes we made in trying to convey them in this book. Some members of both groups came together at an extraordinary series of lunches at MIT organized by John Leonard, Frank Levy, Daniela Rus, and Seth Teller that assembled people from the Economics Department, the Sloan School of Management, and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab to talk about exactly the topics in which we were most interested.

Garry Kasparov, “The Chess Master and the Computer,” New York Review of Books, February 11, 2010, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/feb/11/the-chess-master-and-the-computer/. 4. “Chess Quotes,” http://www.chessquotes.com/player-karpov (accessed September 12, 2013). 5. Kasparov, “The Chess Master and the Computer.” 6. Evan Esar, 20,000 Quips & Quotes (Barnes and Noble, 1995), p. 654. 7. Kevin Kelly, “Better than Human: Why Robots Will—and Must—Take Our Jobs,” Wired, December 24, 2012. 8. Zara’s approach is described in more detail in a Harvard Business Case Study by Andy and two colleagues: Andrew McAfee, Vincent Dessain, and Anders Sjöman, “Zara: IT for Fast Fashion,” Harvard Business School, 2007 (Case number 604081-PDF-ENG). 9. John Timbs, “The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction (London: John Limbird, 1825),” p. 75. 10.

 

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The Bitcoin Guidebook: How to Obtain, Invest, and Spend the World's First Decentralized Cryptocurrency by Ian Demartino

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3D printing, AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, buy low sell high, capital controls, cloud computing, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, forensic accounting, global village, GnuPG, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, Jacob Appelbaum, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, Oculus Rift, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, ransomware, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, Steven Levy, the medium is the message, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

In his 1994 book Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World, Wired magazine editor Kevin Kelly outlined what he thought was needed for an Internet economy to fully take off. Kelly argued, “A pretty good society needs more than just anonymity. An online civilization requires online anonymity, online identification, online authentication, online reputations, online trust holders, online signatures, online privacy and online access. All are essential ingredients of any open society.” What the Internet needs, according to Kelly, is both anonymity to provide privacy and identification, verification, reputation, and signatures to provide security. The two desires seem to be fundamentally at odds. How can you have both privacy and identification? The answer lies in cryptography and encryption, as Kevin Kelly and the “cypherpunks” of the time had correctly predicted: [I]t seems to me that encryption technology civilizes the grid-locking avalanche of knowledge and data that networked systems generate.

If Bitcoin doesn’t evolve any further, it will still be all of these things. It already is a global currency that is instant and, like the Internet, open for use by nearly everyone. Early Internet pioneers did not talk about the speculative possibilities that the Bitcoin ecosystem is so obsessed with today. That unfortunate aspect of the Bitcoin culture only arose after the wild price swings. Kevin Kelly, the first executive editor of Wired magazine, predicted the development of an electronic money system and the effect it would have on our world in his 1994 book Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World. Kelly wrote: By its decentralized, distributed nature, encrypted emoney has the same potential for transforming economic structure as personal computers did for overhauling management and communication structure.

See also: Coinbase, Bitcoin Exchanges] Cryptocurrency 2.0 Projects: Bit/BlackHalo, 66 Counterparty, 273, 300 Distributed Automated Corporations (DACs), 69, 324 Factom, 302 iNation, 323 Maidsafe, 302 Mastercoin (see Omni) Omni, 274, 301 OpenBazaar, 67 Storj, 71 Tether, 302 D Dark Web, 95 David Zimbeck, 310 Deep Web, 95 Digital money pioneers: David Chaum, 25 Douglas Jackson, 28 Hal Finney, 36 Nick Szabo, 30 Wei Dai, 33 Dorian Nakamoto, 37 Dread Pirate Roberts, 103 E-G GAW Miners, 148 H Halsey Minor, 239 Homero Joshua Garza, 148 I Investment and Lending Services: BTCJam, 65, 228 Bitcoinwisdom, 211 Uphold, 69, 238 J Jeb McCaleb, 119 Josh Garza; See: Homero Joshua Garza K Kevin Kelly, 11 Key Generation Software: Bit32.org, 19 L Local Wallets: Armory, 22 Bitcoin Core, 22 Lighthouse, 46 M Mark Karpeles, 119 Markus Bot, 127 Marshall McLuhan, 8 Microtransactions, 262 Mining software: CGminer, 190 BFGMiner, 190 Mt. Gox, 118 N Nathan Wosnack, 179 Nick Sullivan, 266 O Online payment systems: PayPal, 28, 173 M-Pesa, 259 P Patrick Byrne, 236 Phil Vadala, 159 Pool Mining, 189 Pre-Bitcoin Digital Currencies: bit gold, 33 Digicash, 25 E-gold, 28 Linden Dollars, 174 Pre-mine, 198 Privacy Tools: TailsOS, 90 Pretty Good Privacy, 9, 10 Private Key, 4 ProTip, 266 Proof of stake, 220 Proof of work, 23, 31 Public Key, 4 Public-Key Encryption, 11 R Remittance, 247 Ross Ulbricht, 103 S Silk Road, The, 95 Shaun Bridges, 106 Stuart Fraser, 157 Solo Mining, 189 T-Z Trading Indicators: Fibonacci Retracements, 214 Moving Average, 213 Moving Average Convergence Difference, 213 On-Balance Volume, 214 Relative Strength Index, 214 Web Wallets: Coinbase, 17 Circle, 17 Coinkite, 19 BitGo, 19 BitGold, 241 (see also: Precursors) Blockchain.info, 80 Rebit.ph, 255 Willy Bot, 127 Zen Miner, 148

 

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The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review

ALSO BY KEVIN KELLY Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World New Rules for the New Economy: 10 Radical Strategies for a Connected World Asia Grace What Technology Wants Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities VIKING An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC 375 Hudson Street New York, New York 10014 penguin.com Copyright © 2016 by Kevin Kelly Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader. ISBN 9780525428084 (hardcover) ISBN 9780698183650 (ebook) Version_1 CONTENTS Also by Kevin Kelly Title Page Copyright INTRODUCTION 1. BECOMING 2. COGNIFYING 3. FLOWING 4. SCREENING 5. ACCESSING 6. SHARING 7. FILTERING 8. REMIXING 9. INTERACTING 10. TRACKING 11. QUESTIONING 12. BEGINNING ACKNOWLEDGMENTS NOTES INDEX INTRODUCTION When I was 13, my father took me to visit a computer trade show in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was 1965 and he was excited by these room-size machines made by the smartest corporations in America, such as IBM. My father believed in progress, and these very first computers were glimpses of the future he imagined. But I was very unimpressed—a typical teenager.

first commercial light field units: Jessi Hempel, “Project HoloLens: Our Exclusive Hands-On with Microsoft’s Holographic Goggles,” Wired, January 21, 2015. 50,000 avatars are simultaneously roaming: Luppicini Rocci, Moral, Ethical, and Social Dilemmas in the Age of Technology: Theories and Practice (Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2013); and Mei Douthitt, “Why Did Second Life Fail? (Mei’s Answer),” Quora, March 18, 2015. Half of them are there for virtual sex: Frank Rose, “How Madison Avenue Is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life,” Wired, July 24, 2007. urinal in the men’s restroom: Nicholas Negroponte, “Sensor Deprived,” Wired 2(10), October 1, 1994. “not enough Africa in them”: Kevin Kelly, “Gossip Is Philosophy,” Wired 3(5), May 1995. Project Jacquard: Virginial Postre, “Google’s Project Jacquard Gets It Right,” BloombergView, May 31, 2015. prototype from Northeastern University: Brian Heater, “Northeastern University Squid Shirt Torso-On,” Engadget, June 12, 2012. Sensory Substitution Vest: Shirley Li, “The Wearable Device That Could Unlock a New Human Sense,” Atlantic, April 14, 2015.

 

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The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional

,” NYTimes.com, November 30, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/ll/30/opinion/global/maria-popova-evgeny-morozov-susan-greenfield-are-we-becoming-cyborgs.html?pagewanted=all. 43. Joe Coscarelli, “Gabriel Snyder to The Atlantic Wire: On Growing Up an Aggregator,” VillageVoice.com, January 31, 2011, http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/01/gabriel_snyder.php. 4: UNEQUAL UPTAKE 1. Kevin Kelly says the “atom is the past” and George Gilder talks of overthrowing material tyranny. Kevin Kelly, Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World (New York: Basic Books, 1994), 25. George Gilder, “Happy Birthday Wired,” Wired, June 2001. 2. Susan P. Crawford, “The New Digital Divide,” New York Times, December 4, 2011, SR1. 3. Those are examples taken from real life. For more, read these two profiles of leading figures in this field: Lisa Belkin, “Queen of the Mommy Bloggers,” New York Times Magazine, February 23, 2011; and Amanda Fortini, “O Pioneer Woman!

But when the commons are sold or traded on Wall Street, the vast disparities between us, the peasants, and them, the lords, become more obvious and more objectionable.”13 Computer scientist turned techno-skeptic Jaron Lanier has staked out the most extreme position in relation to those he calls the “lords of the computing clouds,” arguing that the only way to counteract this feudal structure is to institute a system of nanopayments, a market mechanism by which individuals are rewarded for every bit of private information gleaned by the network (an interesting thought experiment, Lanier’s proposed solution may well lead to worse outcomes than the situation we have now, due to the twisted incentives it entails). New-media cheerleaders take a different view.14 Consider the poet laureate of digital capitalism, Kevin Kelly, cofounder of Wired magazine and longtime technology commentator. It is not feudalism and exploitation that critics see, he argued in a widely circulated essay, but the emergence of a new cooperative ethos, a resurgence of collectivism—though not the kind your grandfather worried about. “The frantic global rush to connect everyone to everyone, all the time, is quietly giving rise to a revised version of socialism,” Kelly raves, pointing to sites like Wikipedia, YouTube, and Yelp.

Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf, “File-Sharing and Copyright” (working paper, Harvard Business School, May 15, 2009), http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/09-132.pdf. Dan Hunter and John Quiggin, “Money Ruins Everything,” Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal 30 (2008). 15. Clay Shirky says it is not labor if people enjoy it. Jeffrey R. Young, “The Souls of the Machine,” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 13, 2010. 16. C. Wright Mills, White Collar (New York: Oxford University Press, 1956), 224. 17. Ibid., 237. 18. Kevin Kelly, “Better Than Human: Why Robots Will—and Must—Take Our Jobs,” Wired, December 24, 2012. 19. Shirky fails to mention that many of these hours are inevitably spent filling out forms, looking at porn, watching TV online, etc. 20. Clay Shirky, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age (New York: Penguin Press, 2010), 209. Also see “Cognitive Surplus: The Great Spare-Time Revolution,” Wired, May 24, 2010. 21.

 

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The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? by David Brin

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affirmative action, airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, data acquisition, death of newspapers, Extropian, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, informal economy, Iridium satellite, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, means of production, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, open economy, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, placebo effect, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telepresence, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yogi Berra, Zimmermann PGP

At the opposite end of the “seriousness” spectrum from Adams, we find Dartmouth physicist Arthur Kantrowitz and philanthropist-investor George Soros, who have taken up the cause Karl Popper championed a generation ago and are campaigning that an “open society” is healthiest when it lives up to its name. Both men have been vigorous in promoting the notion that free speech and transparency are not only good but absolutely essential for maintaining a free, creative, and vigorous civilization. Kevin Kelly, executive editor of Wired magazine, expressed the same idea with the gritty clarity of informationage journalism: “The answer to the whole privacy question is more knowledge. More knowledge about whoʼs watching you. More knowledge about the information that flows between us—particularly the meta-information about who knows what and where itʼs going.” In other words, we may not be able to eliminate the intrusive glare shining on citizens of the next century, but the glare just might be rendered harmless through the application of more light aimed in the other direction.

But society acquired the PC and other wonders because a cohort of young minds were indoctrinated to seek novelty where standard organizations never looked. Would another culture put up with the likes of Stewart Brand, always poking at stagnant structures, from state government to the stuffy profession of architecture? Would Steve Jobs or Andrew Grove be billionaires in an economy based on inherited advantage? Where else might happy magicians like Howard Rheingold and Kevin Kelly be more influential than establishment priests or scientists? Would important power brokers hang on the words of Esther Dyson, Sherry Turkle, and Dorothy Denning if this culture did not value original minds? Listening to such remarkable individuals, one can tell they know how lucky they are. Few other cultures would reward oddball iconoclasts whose sole common attribute is a hatred of clichés.

Each summer many hold workshops, encouraging top-level managers to consult with experts, futurists, and even science fiction authors in pondering the long view. Yet the management of great enterprises ultimately comes down to the judgment (and guesswork) of directors, generals, and public officials. Things may be worse than most leaders believe. Earlier in this book we referred to modern observers who think we have entered an era of unpredictability. In Out of Control, Kevin Kelly described how chaos theory and new notions of emergent properties mean that complex systems will tend to behave in unpredictable ways as tiny perturbations propagate through time, almost as if they are taking on a life of their own. Elsewhere we discuss how open criticism can ameliorate such problems. But can it solve the basic dilemma of unpredictability? Jeff Cooper, director of the Center for Information Strategy and Policy for Science Applications International Corp., contends that the very notion of prediction may become untenable in the years ahead, forcing us to rely on developing new skills of rapid evaluation and response in real time.

 

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After the New Economy: The Binge . . . And the Hangover That Won't Go Away by Doug Henwood

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, capital controls, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, deskilling, ending welfare as we know it, feminist movement, full employment, gender pay gap, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, manufacturing employment, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, occupational segregation, pets.com, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K

Schama made fun of these concerns, but the coUapse of the bubble, and with it a $7 triUion loss in wealth, prove that it's not morahty that makes dreams of efibrtless wealth impossible to reaHze, but the structure of speculative markets themselves. Back to the present. Modern mythmaking held that new technologies overturn old hierarchies, leading to a virtual social revolution—not in the very old-fashioned world of organized politics, of course, but in 24 After the New Economy the new one of wireless web connections.^^ When I interviewed Wired's Kevin Kelly, I interrupted his effusions to ask him what relevance they had in a world where the statistics showed that the gap between rich and poor—nationally and globally—has never been so wide, a world where half the population has never even made a phone call, Kelly responded by saying that there's never been so good a time to be poor, though he didn't offer any evidence. Farther up the social ladder from absolute indigence, we hear some grand claims.

Likewise, transparency facilitates new forms ofTaylorism. As bugged computers, barcode-tracked packages and sateUite-tagged vehicles proUferate, redundant procedures and jobs can be eUminated and the extra work shifted to a core of intimidated and intensely supervised employees. If this is what productivity means, can we take a break now? 3 Income There's never been such a great time to he poor! —Kevin Kelly, ex-editor, Wired One of the supposed benefits of the New Economy is a new egalitarian-ism. Driven by dynamic markets, not stodgy old welfare states, it has reportedly given us the toppling of old hierarchies, the erosion of inherited privileges, and the democratization of wealth. In fact, the distribution of income in the U.S. in the early 2000s is about the most unequal it's ever been—and the same can be said of the distribution of world income.

As Jack Kemp once said in a very different context, if you're going to go for it, you should really go for it. Notes 1 Novelty 1. Though it's sobering to learn that, according to a Scudder Kemper Investments poll, over 80% of Americans have neither heard nor read of a New Economy (reported in Business 2.0, September 12,2000, p. 36). 2. For a classic statement, see Wired's "Encyclopedia of the New Economy" at <hotwired.lycos.com/special/ene/>. There's also former Wired editor Kevin Kelly's "New Rules of the New Economy," <www.wired.coni/5.09/networkeconomy/>, as well as his exuberant but thinly argued expansion of that article into a book. New Rules for the New Economy (Kelly 1999). Kelly—now deposed as editor of Wired, a magazine long past its prime—combines born-again Christianity, Social Darwinism, and classic American huck-sterish optimism into a single package. 3. Summers is no slouch at selective memory.

 

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Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirky

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Andrew Keen, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, citizen journalism, corporate social responsibility, Dean Kamen, experimental economics, experimental subject, fundamental attribution error, invention of movable type, invention of the telegraph, Kevin Kelly, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, social software, Steve Ballmer, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, ultimatum game

The music industry, in order to preserve its revenues, wanted (and still wants) all of us to be voluntarily spiteful to our friends. Fanning designed a system that shaped the users’ cumulative behavior away from spitefulness and toward sharing; and like all applications that rely on the cumulative participation of the users, Napster provided the means to share, but only the users could create the actual value for one another. As the visionary Kevin Kelly wrote in an essay called “Triumph of the Default,” engineers can influence the behavior of their users: Therefore the privilege of establishing what value the default is set at is an act of power and influence. Defaults are a tool not only for individuals to tame choices, but for systems designers—those who set the presets—to steer the system. The architecture of these choices can profoundly shape the culture of that system’s use.

Back in the 1990s a company called Backflip. com offered the same service; unlike Delicious, however, Backflip failed to attract a significant number of users. So what was the difference? Backflip.com assumed that the personal utility was paramount; it provided an option for users to share their bookmarks, but users had to opt into it, which few did. Delicious, by contrast, didn’t provide this option; it always shared all your bookmarks. (It later added private bookmarks, but only after it achieved success as a “public-only” service.) As Kevin Kelly noted in his piece “Triumph of the Default” (see Chapter 4), the careful use of defaults can shape how users behave, because they communicate some expectation (the expectation has to be one the users are happy to follow). Backflip concentrated on personal value and assumed social value was optional. Delicious, on the other hand, made social value the default. By assuming that users would be happy to create something of value for each other, Delicious grew quickly, since the social value attracted new users, and their subsequent use of the service created still more social value.

Ante, “Napster’s Shawn Fanning: The Teen Who Woke Up Web Music,” BusinessWeek, April 12, 2000, Bloomberg, http://www.businessweek.com/ebiz/0004/em0412.htm (accessed January 9, 2010). 120 Napster acquired tens of millions of users in less than two years : Benny Evangelista, “News Analysis: Internet Music Will Still Play on Despite Napster’s Uncertain Future,” San Francisco Chronicle, February 18, 2001, Hearst Communications, http://www.sfgate.com/c/a/2001/02/18/BU39387.DTL (accessed January 9, 2010). 124 “He who receives ideas from me”: Quoted in John Pitman, “Open Access to Professional Information,” IMS Bulletin 36.8 (2007): 13. 125 “Triumph of the Default”: Kevin Kelly, “Triumph of the Default,” The Technium, June 22, 2009, Creative Commons, http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2009/06/triumph_of_the.php (accessed January 9, 2010). 126 tired of their country’s divisive politics: Sabrina Tavernise, “Young Pakistanis Take One Problem into Their Own Hands,” The New York Times, May 18, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/world/asia/19trash.html (accessed January 9, 2010).

 

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The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Just as some Marxists believed that the economic conditions of a society would inevitably propel it through capitalism and toward a world socialist regime, it’s easy to find engineers and technodeterminist pundits who believe that technology is on a set course. Sean Parker, the cofounder of Napster and rogue early president of Facebook, tells Vanity Fair that he’s drawn to hacking because it’s about “re-architecting society. It’s technology, not business or government, that’s the real driving force behind large-scale societal shifts.” Kevin Kelly, the founding editor of Wired, wrote perhaps the boldest book articulating the technodeterminist view, What Technology Wants, in which he posits that technology is a “seventh kingdom of life,” a kind of meta-organism with desires and tendencies of its own. Kelly believes that the technium, as he calls it, is more powerful than any of us mere humans. Ultimately, technology—a force that “wants” to eat power and expand choice—will get what it wants whether we want it to or not.

At a recent meeting, Scott made an impassioned plea for the assembled group to focus on solving the problems that matter—education, health care, the environment. It didn’t get a very good reception—in fact, he was just about booed off the stage. “‘We just want to do cool stuff,’ was the attitude,” Scott told me later. “ ‘Don’t bother me with this politics stuff.’ ” Technodeterminists like to suggest that technology is inherently good. But despite what Kevin Kelly says, technology is no more benevolent than a wrench or a screwdriver. It’s only good when people make it do good things and use it in good ways. Melvin Kranzberg, a professor who studies the history of technology, put it best nearly thirty years ago, and his statement is now known as Kranzberg’s first law: “Technology is neither good or bad, nor is it neutral.” For better or worse, programmers and engineers are in a position of remarkable power to shape the future of our society.

execbios. 178 “come to Google because they choose to”: Greg Jarboe, “A ‘Fireside Chat’ with Google’s Sergey Brin,” Search Engine Watch, Oct. 16, 2003, accessed Dec. 16,2010, http://searchenginewatch.com/3081081. 178 “the future will be personalized”: Gord Hotckiss, “Just Behave: Google’s Marissa Mayer on Personalized Search,” Searchengineland, Feb. 23, 2007, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, http://searchengineland.com/just-behave-googles-marissa-mayer-on-personalized-search-10592. 179 “It’s technology, not business or government”: David Kirpatrick, “With a Little Help from his Friends,” Vanity Fair (Oct. 2010), accessed Dec. 16, 2010, www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2010/10/sean-parker-201010. 179 “seventh kingdom of life”: Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants (New York: Viking, 2010). 180 “shirt or fleece that I own”: Mark Zuckerberg, remarks to Startup School Conference, XConomy, Oct. 18, 2010, accessed Feb. 8, 2010, www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2010/10/18/mark-zuckerberg-goes-to-startup-school-video//. 181 “ ‘the rest of the world is wrong’ ”: David A. Wise and Mark Malseed, The Google Story (New York: Random House, 2005), 42. 182 “tradeoffs with success in other domains”: Jeffrey M.

 

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Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room by David Weinberger

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airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, book scanning, Cass Sunstein, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, Debian, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of journalism, Galaxy Zoo, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, linked data, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pluto: dwarf planet, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, slashdot, social graph, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

Thought is never private. Nor should it be. When Carr’s initial article came out in The Atlantic, there was some wonderful discussion of it among the elite set of thinkers—including Carr—who converse at Edge.org.14 Danny Hillis, a computing pioneer, agrees that something is making us stupid, but thinks that the “the flood of information” is the culprit. He also points to the role of politics. The writer Kevin Kelly wonders whether Nietzsche’s prose “changed from arguments to aphorisms” because he started using a typewriter, as Carr says, or if it was because “Nietzsche was ill and dying.” Larry Sanger, co-founder (and then critic) of Wikipedia, agrees that we’re becoming less able to string together thoughts, but thinks we should be blaming ourselves, not our technology. The writer Douglas Rushkoff thinks that Carr is correctly noting a change but is getting his values wrong: This is an evolutionary transformation in which the old fish think those new footed youngsters are up to no good.

Thus, the links that we all encounter in every encounter with the Web thoroughly transform the shape of knowledge, the role of authorities and credentials, and the reasons and places we allow our inquiries to stop. Permission-Free The first two characteristics of knowledge’s new infrastructure seem well-aligned with what we’ve taken to be “what knowledge wants,” to modify the title of an excellent book by Kevin Kelly.4 Who could complain about there being an overabundance of knowledge that is easily traversable via links? The Net being permission-free, on the other hand, feels like a challenge to traditional knowledge. Knowledge has been like a club that accepts new members—a book, an article, an idea—only after they’ve been examined by a credentialed board of experts. Let anyone publish whatever they want, let anyone curate a collection just by putting together a few links, and the Knowledge Club loses value.

Chapter 9: Building the New Infrastructure of Knowledge 1 Michael Barker, at the Harvard University Library, confirmed this as a ballpark figure in an email dated March 3, 2011. 2 James Crawford, “On the Future of Books,” October 14, 2010, Inside Google Books blog, http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2010/10/on-future-of-books.html. 3 Robert Darnton, “A Library Without Walls,” New York Review of Books, October 10, 2010, http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2010/oct/04/library-without-walls/. Disclosure: I am a member of the Digital Public Library of America’s “technical workstream,” and the library lab that I co-direct will have entered the DPLA’s call for project ideas before this book is printed. 4 Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants (Penguin, 2010). 5 James Aitken Wylie, The History of Protestantism with Five Hundred and Fifty Illustrations by the Best Artist, Vol. 1 (Cassell, 1899), p. 113, http://books.google.com/books?id=kFU-AAAAYAAJ. 6 See Ethan Zuckerman’s excellent post “Shortcuts in the Social Graph,” October 14, 2010, http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2010/10/14/shortcuts-in-the-social-graph/. 7 During the 2008 presidential campaign, Sarah Palin was accused of pressuring a local librarian to censor some books.

 

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Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management

Google had earlier launched a Partners Program, signing up publishers who agreed to allow snippets to be shown for certain books, along with a link to an online bookseller. But publishers did not agree to allow all books to become part of search. The gulf between Google and the publishers and authors was vast. Google wanted to push the envelope of copyright, expanding the definition of fair use to allow more extensive quotations from books. It stressed the rights of search users, echoing the views of Web pioneers like Kevin Kelly, the “senior maverick” at Wired magazine, who said that in return for government copyright protection, authors and publishers had a “copyduty” to “allow that work to be searched.” Google was offering to pay the cost of moving and scanning the books; what publisher—or library or university or author—could refuse that offer? One clue of Google’s fundamental attitude toward books—and fundamental innocence of the publishing process—is a conversation I had with Brin while reporting this book.

They fail because they often confuse brand with name recognition; they don’t recognize that brand is a synonym for trust, which is not something that can be purchased with a rich marketing budget. Most consumers trust the information in the New York Times, the Think Differentness of Apple, the taste of Coca Cola, the safety of a Volvo, the bargain prices at Wal-Mart or Southwest Airlines. If we think of the Internet as a copying machine that produces free information, as one of the founders of Wired magazine, Kevin Kelly, wrote on his blog, then “how does one make money selling free copies?” Kelly’s answer: “When copies are free, you need to sell things which cannot be copied.” The first of these, he said, was “trust,” which is not duplicable. “Trust must be earned, over time.” That trust is founded, in part, on a feeling that a company both serves noble ends and yields wealth for its shareholders. Recall the “Letter from the Founders” that was part of Google’s 2004 IPO, in which Page and Brin declared, “Google is not a conventional company.

(2004-2005) 122 a faux documentary by two young journalists: EPIC 2014 available on YouTube. 122 ”evil empire“: author interview with Sheryl Sandberg, October 10, 2007. 122 ”Did not begin until Google went public“: author interview with Eric Schmidt, April 16, 2008. 122 It took Microsoft fifteen years: time line on Microsoft.com. 123 ”There’s that same ’think big’ attitude“: Steven Lurie, quoted in Gary Rivlin, ”Relax, Bill Gates; It’s Google’s Turn as the Villain,“ New York Times, August 24, 2005. 123 their ”moon shot“: Jeffrey Toobin, ”Google’s Moon Shot,“ The New Yorker, April 18, 2007. 123 ”Google decides not to use that content“: Copies of Google library contracts with the University of Michigan and the University of California, 2006. 124 ”copyduty“: Kevin Kelly ”Scan This Book!“ New York Times Magazine, May 14, 2006. 124 ”People don’t buy books“: author interview with Sergey Brin, March 26, 2008. 125”Google went to libraries“: author interview with Richard Sarnoff, January 16, 2008. 125 He mentioned ”the huge risk“: author interview with Paul Aiken, February 14, 2008. 126 ”Fair use is as important a right as copyright infringement“: author interviews with David Drummond, September 11, 2007, and March 25, 2008. 126 ”finding a way to move forward“: author interview with John Hennessy June 9, 2008. 127 ”If they had a copyright lawyer“: author interview with Tim Wu, September 20, 2007. 127 ”Our patents, trademarks, trade secrets“: Google IPO prospectus, 2004. 127 ”I think that’s true“: author interview with Megan Smith, April 17, 2008. 128 ”We’re a technology company“: author interview with David Eun, September 18, 2007. 128 ”It’s probably both“: author interview with Paul Aitken, February 14, 2008. 128 ”The first thing he said was“: author interview with Mel Karmazin, May 13, 2008. 128 That year, Yahoo generated profits of $1.1 billion: Richard Siklos, ”When Terry Met Jerry Yahoo“ New York Times, January 29. 2006. 129 Google acquired fifteen smaller digital companies: financial results for 2005 available on Google.com. 129 The circulation of daily newspapers ... fall more steeply: Newspaper Association of America Web site. 129 falling 20 percent on average: Dick Edmonds, ”A Bad Year for Newspaper Stocks—a Worse Year for the Gray Lady“ Poynter Online, January 12, 2006. 130 U.S. content and software companies lost: Alan Cane, ”Attacking the Pirates,“ Financial Times, February 28, 2007. 130 About one billion songs per month: Ethan Smith, ”Sales of Music, Long in Decline, Plunge Sharply,“ Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2007. 130 ”I don’t believe they have any incentive“: author interview with Sir Howard Stringer, February 8, 2008. 130 three years earlier, in 2002: National Cable and Telecommunications Association. 130 The radio industry was also squeezed: ”Digitalization of the Media Industry: How Close to a Tipping Point?

 

pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

STANISLAS DEHAENE Two Cognitive Functions Machines Still Lack MATT RIDLEY Among the Machines, Not Within the Machines STEPHEN M. KOSSLYN Another Kind of Diversity LUCA DE BIASE Narratives and Our Civilization MARGARET LEVI Human Responsibility D. A. WALLACH Amplifiers/Implementers of Human Choices RORY SUTHERLAND Make the Thing Impossible to Hate BRUCE STERLING Actress Machines KEVIN KELLY Call Them Artificial Aliens MARTIN SELIGMAN Do Machines Do? TIMOTHY TAYLOR Denkraumverlust GEORGE DYSON Analog, the Revolution That Dares Not Speak Its Name S. ABBAS RAZA The Values of Artificial Intelligence BRUCE PARKER Artificial Selection and Our Grandchildren NEIL GERSHENFELD Really Good Hacks DANIEL L. EVERETT The Airbus and the Eagle DOUGLAS COUPLAND Humanness JOSH BONGARD Manipulators and Manipulanda ZIYAD MARAR Are We Thinking More Like Machines?

All these emotions were built into our nature by evolution; none of them have been designed into our computers. So the fear that computers will become evil are unfounded, because it will never occur to them to take such actions against us. As well, both utopian and dystopian visions of AI are based on a projection of the future quite unlike anything history has given us. Instead of utopia or dystopia, think protopia, a term coined by the futurist Kevin Kelly, who described it in an Edge Conversation this way: “I call myself a protopian, not a utopian. I believe in progress in an incremental way where every year it’s better than the year before but not by very much—just a micro amount.”7 Almost all progress in science and technology, including computers and artificial intelligence, is of a protopian nature. Rarely if ever do technologies lead to either utopian or dystopian societies.

What would really help would be some much improved, updated, critically informed language, fit to describe the modern weird-sister quartet of Siri, Cortana, Now, and Echo, and what their owners and engineers really want to accomplish, and how, and why, and what that might, or might not, mean to our own civil rights, feelings, and forms of governance and society. That’s today’s problem. Those are tomorrow’s problems even more so. Yesterday’s “machines that think” problem will never appear upon the public stage. The machine that thinks is not a machine. It doesn’t think. It’s not even an actress. It’s a moldy dress-up chest full of old, mouse-eaten clothes. CALL THEM ARTIFICIAL ALIENS KEVIN KELLY Senior maverick, Wired; author, Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities The most important thing about making machines that can think is that they will think differently. Because of a quirk in our evolutionary history, we are cruising as if we were the only sentient species on our planet, leaving us with the incorrect idea that human intelligence is singular. It is not. Our intelligence is a society of intelligences, and this suite occupies only a small corner of the many types of intelligences and consciousnesses possible in the universe.

 

pages: 289 words: 99,936

Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age by Virginia Eubanks

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affirmative action, Berlin Wall, call centre, cognitive dissonance, desegregation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of work, game design, global village, index card, informal economy, invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, low-wage service sector, microcredit, new economy, post-industrial society, race to the bottom, rent control, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, telemarketer, Thomas L Friedman, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban planning, web application, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor

In the popular press, accounts of the information economy posit that increased instability and volatility can offer more horizontal forms of power, free workers to retool their skills and renegotiate their work arrangements, and sweep away old forms of inequity.12 The combination of new IT and leaner, neoliberal governance, optimists argue, results in rapidly increasing wealth and flatter hierarchies, although these claims have been somewhat muted in recent years.13 The most popular of these narratives, penned by business writers, futurists, and management gurus, often make it to the bestseller lists, suggesting that they tap into widely held hopes 56 Chapter 4 and beliefs about the power of IT and the new economy to dismantle outof-date institutions, decentralize power, and create broad-based equity.14 For example, Kevin Kelly, executive editor of Wired magazine, argues in his 1998 book, New Rules for the New Economy, that the network economy is based on the principles of flux. He writes, “Change, even in its shocking forms, is rapid difference. Flux, on the other hand, is more like the Hindu god Shiva, a creative force of destruction and genesis. Flux topples the incumbent and creates a platform for more innovation and birth” (10).

High-Tech Development in an Unflat World The vulnerability of American workers, particularly those already marginalized by race, class, and gender, became increasingly clear as the global financial crisis touched more people’s lives and brought the risks of the new economy to the doorsteps of middle-class homes. There is nothing intrinsic to the information economy that delivers the level playing field, flattened hierarchies, and increased opportunity promised by writers like Kevin Kelly or Thomas Friedman. The information economy does not sweep inequality away before it in a cleansing deluge. Rather, it injects more unpredictable, explosive change into an economic field already marked by durable disparity. The information economy is not Noah’s flood, it is Hurricane Katrina. On the Gulf Coast, while the hurricane itself was not entirely predictable, its effects certainly were, if attention was paid to the existing topography of inequality.

Flatter hierarchies and more interesting work are the social payoffs; rising incomes and an end to slumps the economic payoffs. Quality replaces quantity, knowledge replaces physical capital, and flexible networks replace rigid organization charts” (Henwood 2003, 3–4). 14. Among the most popular are Daniel Bell’s The Coming of Post-Industrial Society (1976), Alvin Toffler’s The Third Wave (1980), John Naisbett’s Megatrends (1984), Peter Drucker’s Post-Capitalist Society (1993), Bill Gates’s The Road Ahead (1996), Kevin Kelly’s Out of Control (1995) and New Rules for the New Economy (1998), Esther Dyson’s Release 2.0 (1997), Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat (2005), and Don Tapscott’s Wikinomics (2006). 15. Volatility is increasingly the topic of policy discussions about inequality and development. As Joshua Aizenman and Brian Pinto argue in Managing Economic Volatility and Crises: A Practitioner’s Guide (2005), there is a significant relationship between economic volatility and inequality.

 

pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

IS THE INTERNET CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK? The Net’s Impact on Our Minds and Future Edited by John Brockman To KHM Contents Cover Title Page Preface: The Edge Question Introduction: The Dawn of Entanglement: W. Daniel Hillis The Bookless Library: Nicholas Carr The Invisible College: Clay Shirky Net Gain: Richard Dawkins Let Us Calculate: Frank Wilczek The Waking Dream: Kevin Kelly To Dream the Waking Dream in New Ways: Richard Saul Wurman Tweet Me Nice: Ian Gold and Joel Gold The Dazed State: Richard Foreman What’s Missing Here?: Matthew Ritchie Power Corrupts: Daniel C. Dennett The Rediscovery of Fire: Chris Anderson The Rise of Social Media Is Really a Reprise: June Cohen The Internet and the Loss of Tranquility: Noga Arikha The Greatest Detractor to Serious Thinking Since Television: Leo Chalupa The Large Information Collider, BDTs, and Gravity Holidays on Tuesdays: Paul Kedrosky The Web Helps Us See What Isn’t There: Eric Drexler Knowledge Without, Focus Within, People Everywhere: David Dalrymple A Level Playing Field: Martin Rees Move Aside, Sex: Seth Lloyd Rivaling Gutenberg: John Tooby The Shoulders of Giants: William Calvin Brain Candy and Bad Mathematics: Mark Pagel Publications Can Perish: Robert Shapiro Will the Great Leveler Destroy Diversity of Thought?

People respond to the rush of competition and the joy of the hunt. Some well-designed prizes for milestone achievements in the simulation of matter could have a substantial effect by focusing attention and a bit of glamour toward this tough but potentially glorious endeavor. How about, for example, a prize for calculating virtual water that boils at the same temperature as real water? The Waking Dream Kevin Kelly Editor-at-large, Wired; author, What Technology Wants We already know that our use of technology changes how our brains work. Reading and writing are cognitive tools that change the way in which the brain processes information. When psychologists use neuroimaging technology such as MRI to compare the brains of literates and illiterates working on a task, they find many differences—and not just when the subjects are reading.

The members of my guild run their own operations, and none of us reports to any other. All we do is keep close track of what the others are thinking and doing. Often we collaborate directly, but most of the time we don’t. Everyone in my guild has his or her own guild, each of which is largely different from mine. I’m probably not considered a member of some of them. My guild nowadays consists of Danny Hillis, Brian Eno, Peter Schwartz, Kevin Kelly, John Brockman, Alexander Rose, and Ryan Phelan. Occasionally we intersect institutionally via the Long Now Foundation, Global Business Network, or Edge.org. One’s guild is a conversation extending over years and decades. I hearken to my gang because we have overlapping interests, and my gang keeps surprising me. Familiar as I am with them, I can’t finish their sentences. Their constant creativity feeds my creativity, and I try to do the same for them.

 

pages: 314 words: 83,631

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum

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air freight, cable laying ship, call centre, global village, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, if you build it, they will come, inflight wifi, invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, Network effects, New Urbanism, packet switching, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, urban planning, WikiLeaks

The New York Times fretted: Ken Belson, “Senator’s Slip of the Tongue Keeps on Truckin’ Over the Web,” New York Times, July 17, 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/17/business/media/17stevens.html). “The cyborg future is here”: Clive Thompson, “Your Outboard Brain Knows All,” Wired, October 2007 (http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/15-10/st_thompson). The Silicon Valley philosopher Kevin Kelly: Kevin Kelly, “The Internet Mapping Project,” June 1, 2009 (http://www.kk.org/ct2/2009/06/the-internet-mapping-project.php). Sure enough, one stepped forward: Lic. Mara Vanina Oses “The Internet Mapping Project,” June 3, 2009 (http://psiytecnologia.wordpress.com/2009/06/03/the-internet-mapping-project/). a “hard bottom,” as Henry David Thoreau said of Walden Pond: Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings, ed.

But it must also include the network behind them—and where’s that? I’d feel better about outsourcing my life to machines if I could at least know where they were, who controls them, and who put them there. From climate change to food shortages to trash to poverty, the great global scourges of modern life are always made worse by not knowing. Yet we treat the Internet as if it were a fantasy. The Silicon Valley philosopher Kevin Kelly, faced with this chasm between the physical here and the missing virtual there, became curious if there might be a way to think of them together again. On his blog he solicited hand sketches of the “maps people have in their minds when they enter the Internet.” The goal of this “Internet Mapping Project,” as he described it, was to attempt to create a “folk cartography” that “might be useful for some semiotician or anthropologist.”

 

pages: 323 words: 95,939

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff

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algorithmic trading, Andrew Keen, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, cashless society, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, disintermediation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, Elliott wave, European colonialism, Extropian, facts on the ground, Flash crash, game design, global supply chain, global village, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, Inbox Zero, invention of agriculture, invention of hypertext, invisible hand, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, passive investing, pattern recognition, peak oil, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K

Gordon Bell, Gordon Bell home page, http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/gbell/ (accessed August 11, 2011). CHAPTER 5: APOCALYPTO 1. Mathew Barrett Gross and Mel Gilles, The Last Myth (Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2012). 2. Rocco Castoro, “Ray Kurzweil: That Singularity Guy,” Vice, April 1, 2009, www.vice.com. 3. John Brockman, “The Technium and the 7th Kingdom of Life: A Talk with Kevin Kelly,” Edge, July 19, 2007, www.edge.org/3rd_culture/kelly07/kelly07_index.html. 4. Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants (New York: Viking, 2010), 187. 5. Ibid., 188. 6. Ibid., 189. 7. Ibid., 356. 8. Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design (New York: W. W. Norton, 1986). 9. See my book Program or Be Programmed (New York: Or Books, 2010). 10. For a great chronicle and analysis of the apocalypse meme, see John Michael Greer, Apocalypse Not (Berkeley, CA: Cleis Press, 2011).

Consciousness, such as it is, is better performed by some combination of microchips and nanobots than our old carbon sacks, and what we think of as people are discontinued. Kurzweil may push the envelope on this line of thought, but a growing cadre of scientists and commentators have both wittingly and unwittingly gotten on his singularity bandwagon. Their credentials, intelligence, and persuasiveness make their arguments difficult to refute. Kevin Kelly, for instance, convincingly portrays technology as a partner in human evolution. In his book What Technology Wants, he makes the case that technology is emerging as the “seventh kingdom of life on Earth”—along with plants, insects, fungi, and so on. Although he expresses himself with greater humility and admirable self-doubt than Kurzweil, Kelly also holds that technology’s growth and development is inevitable, even desirable.

 

pages: 416 words: 106,582

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman

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23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog

Neil Gershenfeld Truth Is a Model Building models is . . . a never-ending process of discovery and refinement. Jon Kleinberg E Pluribus Unum The challenge for a distributed system is to achieve this illusion of a single unified behavior in the face of so much underlying complexity. Stefano Boeri A Proxemics of Urban Sexuality Even the warmest and most cohesive community can rapidly dissolve in the absence of erotic tension. Kevin Kelly Failure Liberates Success Failure is not something to be avoided but something to be cultivated. Nicholas A. Christakis Holism Holism takes a while to acquire and appreciate. It is a grown-up disposition. Robert R. Provine TANSTAAFL “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” [is] a universal truth having broad and deep explanatory power in science and daily life.

A Proxemics of Urban Sexuality Stefano Boeri Architect, Politecnico of Milan; visiting professor, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; editor-in-chief, Abitare magazine In every room, in every house, in every street, in every city, movements, relations, and spaces are also defined with regard to logics of sexual attraction-repulsion between individuals. Even the most insurmountable ethnic or religious barriers can suddenly disappear in the furor of intercourse; even the warmest and most cohesive community can rapidly dissolve in the absence of erotic tension. To understand how our cosmopolitan and multigendered cities work, we need a proxemics of urban sexuality. Failure Liberates Success Kevin Kelly Editor-at-large, Wired magazine; author, What Technology Wants We can learn nearly as much from an experiment that doesn’t work as from one that does. Failure is not something to be avoided but something to be cultivated. That’s a lesson from science that benefits not only laboratory research but design, sport, engineering, art, entrepreneurship, and even daily life itself. All creative avenues yield the maximum when failures are embraced.

Such mining would turn my raw data into predictive information that can anticipate my mood and improve my efficiency, make me healthier and more emotionally intuitive, reveal my scholastic weaknesses and my creative strengths. I want to find the hidden meanings, the unexpected correlations that reveal trends and risk factors of which I had been unaware. In an era of oversharing, we need to think more about data-driven self-discovery. A small but fast-growing self-tracking movement is already showing the potential of such thinking, inspired by Kevin Kelly’s quantified self and Gary Wolf’s data-driven life. With its mobile sensors and apps and visualizations, this movement is tracking and measuring exercise, sleep, alertness, productivity, pharmaceutical responses, DNA, heartbeat, diet, financial expenditure—and then sharing and displaying its findings for greater collective understanding. It is using its tools for clustering, classifying, and discovering rules in raw data, but mostly it is simply quantifying that data to extract signals—information—from the noise.

 

pages: 222 words: 54,506

One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com by Richard L. Brandt

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Amazon Web Services, automated trading system, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, Dynabook, Elon Musk, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, new economy, science of happiness, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, software patent, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

Rather than discounting the e-books, one argument says, Bezos may be considering eventually making the Kindle free. He has already dropped one version to $139—cheaper, as his TV ads say, than a good pair of designer sunglasses. In October 2009, blogger John Walkenbach graphed the declining price of the Kindle, and noticed it was on a straight-line trajectory that pointed to zero in the second half of 2011. Author and blogger Kevin Kelly asked Bezos about that trend line in August 2010. Bezos smiled and said, “Oh, you noticed that.” And then smiled again. Then Michael Arrington at TechCrunch came up with a business model that would make it possible. In January 2010, Amazon made a great offer to select customers: Buy a Kindle, but if you don’t like it, get a full refund—and keep the device. Arrington believes that it was a test run to see what the economic outcome of a free Kindle would turn out to be.

(as he wrote in: John Sargent, “A Message from Macmillan CEO John Sargent,” Macmillanspeaks.com, February 3, 2010, http://blog.macmillanspeaks.com/a-message-from-macmillan-ceo-john-sargent/. 146. John Walkenbach graphed: John Walkenbach, “Another Kindle 2 Price Reduction,” J-Walk Blog, October 7, 2009. http://j-walkblog.com/index.php?/weblog/posts/another_kindle_2_price_reduction/. 146. Bezos smiled and said: Kevin Kelly, “Free Kindle This November,” kk.org, February 2011, www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2011/02/free_kindle_thi.php. 146. He quotes “a reliable: Michael Arrington, “Amazon Wants to Give a Free Kindle to All Amazon Prime Subscribers,” TechCrunch, February 12, 2010, http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/12/amazon-wants-to-give-a-free-kindle-to-all-amazon-prime-subscribers/. Chapter 13: Is Amazon Killing the Bookstore?

 

pages: 159 words: 45,073

GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History by Diane Coyle

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Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, BRICs, clean water, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial intermediation, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, mutually assured destruction, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, new economy, Occupy movement, purchasing power parity, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, University of East Anglia, working-age population

To give another example, conventional statistics would count a musician as more productive if she gave twice as many performances by performing a Mozart concerto at double speed.10 The economist William Baumol identified this productivity challenge in the performing arts long ago, as well as its application to other services such as health care. The same phenomenon applies in the increasingly creative digital economy. The tech guru Kevin Kelly writes: Nobody ever suggested that Picasso should spend fewer hours painting per picture in order to boost his wealth or improve the economy. The value he added to the economy could not be optimized for productivity. Generally any task that can be measured by the metrics of productivity—output per hour—is a task we want automation to do. In short, productivity is for robots. Humans excel at wasting time, experimenting, playing, creating, and exploring.

Accessed 14 January 2013. 8. Andrew Walker, “UK Productivity Puzzle Baffles Economists,” BBC World Service, 17 October 2012, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19981498. 9. Diane Coyle, The Weightless World (Oxford: Capstone, 1996). 10. W. J. Baumol and W. G. Bowen, “On the Performing Arts: The Anatomy of Their Economic Problems,” American Economic Review 55, no. 1/2 (1965): 495–502. 11. Kevin Kelly, “The Post-Productive Economy,” The Technium, 1 January 2013, http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2013/01/the_post-produc.php. 12. Paul Krugman, “Robots and Robber Barons,” New York Times, 9 December 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/opinion/krugman-robots-and-robber-barons.html?_r=0. 13. Erik Brynjolfsson and Adam Saunders, “What the GDP Gets Wrong,” MIT Sloan Management Review, fall 2009, http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/what-the-gdp-gets-wrong-why-managers-should-care/.

 

pages: 55 words: 17,493

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon

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dumpster diving, Golden Gate Park, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, side project, Wunderkammern

It actually is simple but it isn’t easy: It requires incredible support and fastidious structuring.” —Russell Brand “Make no mistake: This is not your diary. You are not letting it all hang out. You are picking and choosing every single word.” —Dani Shapiro Always remember that anything you post to the Internet has now become public. “The Internet is a copy machine,” writes author Kevin Kelly. “Once anything that can be copied is brought into contact with the Internet, it will be copied, and those copies never leave.” Ideally, you want the work you post online to be copied and spread to every corner of the Internet, so don’t post things online that you’re not ready for everyone in the world to see. As publicist Lauren Cerand says, “Post as though everyone who can read it has the power to fire you.”

 

pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson

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Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

Chris Langton’s theories about the generative power of liquid networks are developed in his essay “Life at the Edge of Chaos.” Illuminating accounts of his work appear in both James Gleick’s Chaos and Kevin Kelly’s Out of Control. Wikipedia maintains an excellent “timeline of innovations,” which provided a useful starting point for the charts of historical innovation that are included in this book. On the emergence and innovations of early Renaissance towns, Braudel’s Wheels of Commerce remains the canonical text. The history of double-entry accounting is told in John Richard Edwards’s History of Financial Accounting. For more on the power of collective decision-making, see James Surowiecki’s Wisdom of Crowds, Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs, Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, and Kevin Kelly’s Out of Control. Jaron Lanier’s critique of the “hive mind” appears in his book You Are Not a Gadget, and in shorter form in the essay “Digital Maoism.”

 

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The Nature of Technology by W. Brian Arthur

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Andrew Wiles, business process, cognitive dissonance, computer age, double helix, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, haute cuisine, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, locking in a profit, Mars Rover, means of production, railway mania, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

Here we are back to the Oxford’s collection of mechanical arts, or as Webster’s puts it, “the totality of the means employed by a people to provide itself with the objects of material culture.” We use this collective meaning when we blame “technology” for speeding up our lives, or talk of “technology” as a hope for mankind. Sometimes this meaning shades off into technology as a collective activity as in “technology is what Silicon Valley is all about.” I will allow this too as a variant of technology’s collective meaning. The technology thinker Kevin Kelly calls this totality the “technium,” and I like this word. But in this book I prefer to simply use “technology” for this because that reflects common use. The reason we need three meanings is that each points to technology in a different sense, a different category, from the others. Each category comes into being differently and evolves differently. A technology-singular—the steam engine—originates as a new concept and develops by modifying its internal parts.

I have been lucky to have had as agent John Brockman and as editor Emily Loose. I am grateful to both, and to Emily’s team. A number of people read the manuscript and gave me useful feedback. Particularly valuable were Michael Heaney, Henry Lichstein, Jim Newcomb, Kate Parrot, and Jim Spohrer. For technical and definitional advice at various points I thank Giovanni Dosi, Doyne Farmer, Arnulf Grübler, John Holland, Kevin Kelly, Geoffrey Marcy, Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Richard Rhodes, and Peter Schuster. Boeing engineers Mike Trestik and Joseph Sutter commented on the aircraft material. My sons Ronan Arthur and Sean Arthur provided much needed writing criticism. Brid Arthur helped me plan the flow of the book, and Niamh Arthur helped edit the final draft. One of the joys of the project has been the company of friends and colleagues who have provided intellectual stimulation and moral support over the years.

 

pages: 235 words: 62,862

Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek by Rutger Bregman

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autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Branko Milanovic, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Graeber, Diane Coyle, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Gilder, happiness index / gross national happiness, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, income inequality, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, precariat, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wage slave, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey

“Value” and “productivity” cannot be expressed in objective figures, even if we pretend the opposite: “We have a high graduation rate, therefore we offer a good education” – “Our doctors are focused and efficient, therefore we provide good care” – “We have a high publication rate, therefore we are an excellent university” – “We have a high audience share, therefore we are producing good television” – “The economy is growing, therefore our country is doing fine…” The targets of our performance-driven society are no less absurd than the five-year plans of the former U.S.S.R. To found our political system on production figures is to turn the good life into a spreadsheet. As the writer Kevin Kelly says, “Productivity is for robots. Humans excel at wasting time, experimenting, playing, creating, and exploring.”29 Governing by numbers is the last resort of a country that no longer knows what it wants, a country with no vision of utopia. A Dashboard for Progress “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics,” a British prime minister purportedly scoffed. Nevertheless, I firmly believe in the old Enlightenment principle that decisions require a foundation of reliable information and numbers.

For example in education, with standardized testing using multiple-choice questions, online lectures, and larger classes. But these efficiency gains come at the cost of quality. 28. Susan Steed and Helen Kersley, “A Bit Rich: Calculating the Real Value to Society of Different Professions,” New Economics Foundation (December 14, 2009). http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/entry/a-bit-rich 29. Kevin Kelly, “The Post Productive Economy,” The Technium (January 1, 2013). http://kk.org/thetechnium/2013/01/the-post-produc 30. Simon Kuznets, “National Income, 1929-1932,” National Bureau of Economic Research (June 7, 1934). http://www.nber.org/chapters/c2258.pdf 31. Coyle, p. 14. 32. Simon Kuznets, “How to Judge Quality,” The New Republic (October 20, 1962). 9 Beyond the Gates of the Land of Plenty 1.

 

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The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

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3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

The organization’s pitch to prospective citizen-journalists provides a sense of the emerging and exciting relationship between journalistic professionals and amateurs: “With a team of two dozen investigative journalists, ProPublica can dig deep, burrowing down into opaque company portfolios or massive government programs. … Making sense of our new—and ever changing—landscape requires piecing together your stories neighborhood-by-neighborhood and state-by-state. That’s where you come in.”34 1,000 True Fans Pro-am journalism is not the sole completely new model for journalism now emerging. Another is the cultivation by bloggers of ardent micro-audiences. In March 2008, Wired magazine cofounder Kevin Kelly wrote a blog post arguing that in the digital era, artists can survive so long as they generate 1,000 true fans, each of whom might pay $100 a year: If you have 1,000 fans that sums up to $100,000 per year, which minus some modest expenses, is a living for most folks. One thousand is a feasible number. You could count to 1,000. If you added one fan a day, it would take only three years.

Over a thousand people uploaded recordings of themselves singing the song; Ze went on to combine the uploaded audio recordings into a single track, which sounded like it was being sung by a crowd: you’re not alone anymore. Watching A Show with Ze Frank is not passive; it can even be a lot of work. It’s television meets “cognitive surplus”—and it is a model for entertainment that encourages niche community. As we saw briefly in chapter 3, Kevin Kelly has argued that artists—be they musicians, novelists, or filmmakers—need only 1,000 true fans willing to subsidize their work if they are to survive. But the “1,000 true fans” theory doesn’t entirely play out in practice; some pursuits are big, risky, game-changing, and expensive. As of now, the online world (and YouTube in particular) seems far better equipped to support quirky, niche acts rather than the big-vision, big-impact entertainment that Hollywood at its best has put out.

 

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Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

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23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Even as we rightly worry over how digital media is altering social conceptions of privacy, a quieter, more dramatic, and more insidious revolution is taking place, one that has roots in the sort of information collection and consumer profiling that corporations have been performing for decades. Retailers, credit card companies, social networks, data brokers, and advertisers have been turning consumer privacy into the ultimate commodity. The consequence of this transformation is that we are more exposed, less in control of our public identities, than ever. HOW WE’VE GOTTEN PRIVACY WRONG Technological elites like to argue that privacy is dead or somehow superfluous. Kevin Kelly, one of the founders of Wired magazine, cleverly summarized the situation: “Privacy is mostly an illusion, but you’ll have as much of it as you want to pay for.” His remark sounds like sophistry, but he’s largely, if unfortunately, correct. Our popular conception of privacy is rooted in some fundamental misunderstandings. There’s an inherent deception in the privacy claims made by the companies collecting and managing our data.

It does, however, mean that a great deal of money and corporate and political power is now being brought to bear on figuring out how to monetize personal information as never before. Bain and the WEF are not alone in this kind of thinking. Carlos Dominguez, a senior vice president at Cisco, has written about the rise of a new “trust economy,” in which privacy is monetized but companies that act more virtuously are rewarded. It might be, as Kevin Kelly theorized, that privacy will be something for which you have to pay. But it won’t be called that—it’ll be described as more personalized service or a way to get special offers. AT&T has offered some customers of its U-verse with GigaPower Internet service two choices. A “standard” plan is $99 per month; a “premier” plan is $29 cheaper—which should be a red flag. What comes with the “premier” plan?

The argument usually goes—and is presented as the enlightened conclusion of the progressive tech set—that with the advent of social media, we are all sharing more, we are exposing more of our lives, social norms are evolving, and privacy is less important. Somehow, we’ve become more tolerant of one another, forgiving personal failings and foibles that technology, in part, plays a role in revealing. Disclosure has, per Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, become synonymous with authenticity. In the spirit of Kevin Kelly, privacy may still exist as an idea, but it is an increasingly outmoded and impractical notion. Privacy, they say, retards innovation and the formation of relationships based on the new ethic of radical transparency. The problem with this line of argument is its narrow-mindedness. It is both ahistorical and reflective of a milieu whose social standards, if they are even uniform, may not represent other areas of the country, much less the world.

 

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Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

,” Mashable, June 22, 2012; Kristin Burnham, “Facebook’s WhatsApp Buy: 10 Staggering Stats,” InformationWeek, Feb. 21, 2014. 4 Put another way, every ten minutes: Verlyn Klinkenborg, “Trying to Measure the Amount of Information That Humans Create,” New York Times, Nov. 12, 2003. 5 The cost of storing: McKinsey Global Institute, Big Data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition, and Productivity, May 2011; Kevin Kelly speaking at the Web 2.0 conference in 2011, http://​blip.​tv/​web2expo/​web-​2-​0-​expo-​sf-​2011-​kevin-​kelly-​4980011. 6 Across all industries: World Economic Forum, Personal Data: The Emergence of a New Asset Class, Jan. 2011. 7 Eventually, your personal details: Cory Doctorow, “Personal Data Is as Hot as Nuclear Waste,” Guardian, Jan. 15, 2008. 8 That’s one account: Emma Barnett, “Hackers Go After Facebook Sites 600,000 Times Every Day,” Telegraph, Oct. 29, 2011; Mike Jaccarino, “Facebook Hack Attacks Strike 600,000 Times per Day, Security Firm Reports,” New York Daily News, Oct. 29, 2011. 9 Because 75 percent of people: “Digital Security Firm Says Most People Use One Password for Multiple Websites,” GMA News Online, Aug. 9, 2013. 10 Many social media companies: “LinkedIn Hack,” Wikipedia; Jose Pagliery, “2 Million Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter Passwords Stolen in Massive Hack,” CNNMoney, Dec. 4, 2013. 11 Transnational organized crime groups: Elinor Mills, “Report: Most Data Breaches Tied to Organized Crime,” CNET, July 27, 2010. 12 Such was the case: Jason Kincaid, “Dropbox Security Bug Made Passwords Optional for Four Hours,” TeckCrunch, June 20, 2011. 13 Later, however, it was revealed: John Markoff, “Cyberattack on Google Said to Hit Password System,” New York Times, April 19, 2010; Kim Zetter, “Report: Google Hackers Stole Source Code of Global Password System,” Wired, April 20, 2010. 14 According to court documents: John Leyden, “Acxiom Database Hacker Jailed for 8 Years,” Register, Feb. 23, 2006; Damien Scott and Alex Bracetti, “The 11 Worst Online Security Breaches,” Complex.​com, May 9, 2012. 15 More recently, in 2013, the data broker Experian: Brian Krebs, “Experian Sold Customer Data to ID Theft Service,” Krebs on Security, Oct. 20, 2013. 16 Experian learned of the compromise: Byron Acohido, “Scammer Dupes Experian into Selling Social Security Nos,” USA Today, Oct. 21, 2013; Matthew J.

Without Melissa, this work simply would never have come to fruition and I will remain eternally thankful to her. To those individuals who generously agreed to review galley copies of this book and offer their comments on the work, you have my respect and considerable appreciation for taking the time out of your incredibly busy schedules to do so. In particular, I’d like to say thank you to Peter Diamandis, Ray Kurzweil, Kevin Kelly, Daniel Pink, David Eagleman, Christopher Reich, Interpol president Khoo Boon Hui, Ed Burns, Frank Abagnale, and P. W. Singer. To Sarah Stephens and Adam Kaslikowski, thank you both for the countless hours you spent reading through the earliest versions of Future Crimes and your deeply insightful comments on the work along the way. I have also benefited greatly from the wise counsel freely shared by well-established authors who selflessly agreed to help a newbie trying to figure things out for no other reason than they are generous, kind, and amazing.

,” IEEE Spectrum, May 29, 2014. 27 “it can read”: Brandon Keim, “I, Nanny,” Wired, Dec. 18, 2008. 28 To help alleviate: Mai Iida, “Robot Niche Expands in Senior Care,” Japan Times, June 19, 2013. 29 Thousands of Paro units: Anne Tergesen and Miho Inada, “It’s Not a Stuffed Animal, It’s a $6,000 Medical Device,” Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2010. 30 One of the fastest-growing: “Your Alter Ego on Wheels,” Economist, March 9, 2013. 31 Robots such as the MantaroBot: Serene Fang, “Robot Care for Aging Parents,” Al Jazeera America, Feb. 27, 2014. 32 With the push of a button: Ryan Jaslow, “RP-VITA Robot on Wheels Lets Docs Treat Patients Remotely,” CBS News, Nov. 19, 2013. 33 Already Starwood hotels: “Robots Are the New Butlers at Starwood Hotels,” CNBC, Aug. 12, 2014. 34 A 2013 study: Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, “The Future of Employment,” Oxford Martin, Sept. 17, 2013, http://​www.​oxfordmartin.​ox.​ac.​uk/. 35 Those working in the transportation field: For an excellent discussion on the future of robots, automation, and work, see Kevin Kelly, “Better Than Human: Why Robots Will—and Must—Take Our Jobs,” Wired, Dec. 24, 2012; Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: W. W. Norton, 2014). 36 News outlets such as: Francie Diep, “Associated Press Will Use Robots to Write Articles,” Popular Science, July 1, 2014. 37 Many believe that it is the growth: Paul Krugman, “Robots and Robber Barons,” New York Times, Dec. 9, 2012. 38 In mid-2014, a young woman: Lindsey Bever, “Seattle Woman Spots Drone Outside Her 26th-Floor Apartment Window, Feels ‘Violated,’ ” Washington Post, June 25, 2014. 39 “Air is a public”: Rebecca J.

 

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The new village green: living light, living local, living large by Stephen Morris

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back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cleantech, collective bargaining, Columbine, Community Supported Agriculture, computer age, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Firefox, index card, Indoor air pollution, invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, Menlo Park, Negawatt, peak oil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

The publication of the Whole Earth Catalog was fueled by new technology. The IBM Selectric typewriter now had changeable type fonts, bringing the world of typesetting, hitherto the exclusive province of printers and publishers, into the home. That was enough to convince a bunch of Berkeley counterculture mavens that the time was right to reinvent publishing. Stewart Brand enlisted family members, design instructor J. Baldwin, Kevin Kelly, and others to identify products, organizations, and services that passed the criteria of being useful as a tool, relevant to independent education, high quality or low cost, and easily available by mail. The idea was to provide “access to tools,” and the Catalog’s combination of youthful arrogance, orientation towards practicality, and haphazard (but groovy) organization were perfect for the nation’s first attention-deficit generation raised in a post-war era that had migrated to suburbia to watch television.

It was also a smash success, and it didn’t take long for the publishing business to change their definitions of what constituted a “book.” By 1972 Random House had come calling and had taken over the national distribution and the Catalog had been named winner of the National Book Award. The ripples from the original Whole Earth Catalog continue to be felt. The Catalog was published sporadically until 1998. Its alumni have been a vocal and visible lot. Kevin Kelly still publishes a weekly eZine called Cool Tools (find it at kk.org). Illegitimate step-child The Solar Living Sourcebook is in its thirteenth edition and has been continuously in print for the last twenty years. The founders of the Whole Earth Catalog cast a long collective shadow, but it was their ability to look forward that earned their niche in publishing history. Steve Jobs, no stranger to start-ups that begin with a few geeks in a garage, says this of the Whole Earth Catalog:“It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.”

 

pages: 297 words: 89,820

The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness by Steven Levy

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Apple II, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, en.wikipedia.org, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, technology bubble, Thomas L Friedman

Downloading podcasts—of commercial and public radio shows or home-brew audio concoctions—adds the intimacy of old-fashioned radio to the mix. And by offering television shows and music videos for sale, Apple has generated a gold rush of a la carte programming that has, essentially, shuffled the now-obsolete television schedule. Can prose be far behind? Just as I was finishing this book, my former Wired editor Kevin Kelly wrote in The New York Times Magazine, in a manifesto on the future of the book, "Just as the music audience jiggles and reorders songs into new albums (or playlists,' as they are called in iTunes) the universal library will encourage the creation of virtual bookshelves. ... Indeed, some authors will begin to write books ... to be remixed as pages." Early in the process of planning The Perfect Thing, I decided to organize it by aspects of the iPod, instead of in a chronological narrative.

But for this age, at this moment, the iPod was ... the perfect thing. Notes Unless otherwise cited, The Perfect Thing is based on my own reporting, primarily personal interviews with people within and outside Apple. Of course my views benefited from the journalism and commentary of the countless people who have addressed themselves to the iPod in print and on the Internet. Author's Note xii a manifesto: Kevin Kelly, "What Will Happen to Books?," The New York Times Magazine, May 14,2006. Perfect 2 quaffing beer: Associated Press report (June 8, 2006) of a survey by the Student Monitor research firm. Seventy-three percent of 1,200 students surveyed said that the iPod was the number one in thing—beating a long winning streak by the previous champion, beer. 4 "younger listeners think the way the iPod thinks": Alex Ross, "Listen to This," The New Yorker, February 16,2004. 5 "iPod of the brain": David Malakoff, "iPod of the Brain," NPR Morning Edition, March 14, 2001. 5 "Nothingfits better": William Powers, "The Happy Dance," National Journal, January 13, 2006. 5 premiums: David Bernstein, "The Free Toaster?

 

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Free Ride by Robert Levine

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Anne Wojcicki, book scanning, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Firefox, future of journalism, Googley, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, linear programming, offshore financial centre, pets.com, publish or perish, race to the bottom, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

The Beatles sold hundreds of times as many albums as Gerry and the Pacemakers—contemporaries who also worked with the manager Brian Epstein and the producer George Martin—but few music fans would call that an injustice. Can musicians make money without reaching a big audience? Some technology pundits predict a world of niche culture, but understand how tough that could be for artists. In 2008, the former Wired editor Kevin Kelly wrote a blog post titled “1,000 True Fans.”39 Assuming each dedicated fan spent $100 per year on an artist’s work, he could bring in $100,000 a year, Kelly wrote, “which minus some modest expenses, is a living for most folks.” But the products Kelly believes acts should sell, such as vinyl records and T-shirts, cost money to produce, so an artist might keep only half of that $100 after expenses.

The settlements are private, but Bertelsmann’s finance chief, Thomas Rabe, said that they would probably cost the company €393 million (about $550 million). 37. For business reasons, the manager declined to identify the band. 38. Glenn Peoples, “The Long Tale?” Billboard, November 14, 2009. Disclosure: I assigned and helped edit this article, which showed that the so-called long tail applies to sales of albums, but not individual tracks. 39. Kevin Kelly, The Technium (blog), March 4, 2008. 40. “He certainly fronted them some regular living expense money in that critical year of 1966, when they were first getting established. He’s been occasionally described as their ‘patron.’ ” Author interview with Blair Jackson, author of Garcia: An American Life (New York: Viking, 1999). Stanley, a talented audio engineer, also designed the band’s sound systems, and the album History of the Grateful Dead, Vol. 1 (Bear’s Choice) was titled after his nickname, Bear. 41.

 

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Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid

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AltaVista, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, cross-subsidies, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, Frank Gehry, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Gilder, global village, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Productivity paradox, rolodex, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Y2K

Yet in suggesting this possibility, they make you wonder why you need to travel at all. 20. Reagle, 1996. 21. Readers of Toffler's (1980) Third Wave will recognize the first three terms here, particularly the first, demassification, to which Toffler adds three subtypes: demassification of media, production, and society. Notions of disintermediation and decentralization are features, for example, in the work of George Gilder or Kevin Kelly's (1997) writing on the "new economy." There are more "Ds" that could be added, such as Kevin Kelly's displacement and devolution. 22. Downes and Mui, 1998. 23. Coase, 1937. Coase's theory should be seen not so much as an attack on neoclassical individualism as an attempt to save it from itself. We return to transaction cost theory briefly in our discussion of the future of the firm in chapter 6. There we take a "knowledge based," rather than transaction cost, view of the firm. 24.

 

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Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat

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3D printing, AI winter, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, Automated Insights, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, brain emulation, cellular automata, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, don't be evil, Extropian, finite state, Flash crash, friendly AI, friendly fire, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, lone genius, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, smart grid, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

What that will mean for our future is profound and far-reaching, and deserving of more books than have been written about it. IA, or intelligence augmentation, has a similar potential for disaster as stand-alone AI, mitigated somewhat by the fact that a human takes part, at least at first. But that advantage will quickly disappear. We’ll talk more about IA later. First, I want to pay attention to Vinge’s notion that intelligence could emerge from the Internet. Technology thinkers, including George Dyson and Kevin Kelly, have proposed that information is a life-form. The computer code that carries information replicates itself and grows according to biological rules. But intelligence, well that’s something else. It’s a feature of complex organisms, and it doesn’t come by accident. At his home in California, I had asked Eliezer Yudkowsky if intelligence could emerge from the exponentially growing hardware of the Internet, from its five trillion megabytes of data, its more than seven billion connected computers and smart phones, and its seventy-five million servers.

Good would have delighted in that kind of literary recursion. It’s a problem we face every time: Vinge, Vernor, True Names and Other Dangers (Wake Forest: Baen Books, 1987), 47. Through the sixties and seventies: Vinge, “The Coming Technological Singularity.” Good has captured the essence of the runaway: Ibid. Technology thinkers including: Kelly, Kevin, “Q&A: Hacker Historian George Dyson Sits Down With Wired’s Kevin Kelly,” WIRED, February 17, 2012, http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/02/ff_dysonqa/all/ (accessed June 5, 2012). At his home in California: Wisegeek, “How Big is the Internet?” last modified 2012, http://www.wisegeek.com/how-big-is-the-internet.htm (accessed July 5, 2012). Per dollar spent: Kurzweil, Ray, The Age of Spiritual Machines (New York: Viking Penguin, 1999), 101–105. 9: THE LAW OF ACCELERATING RETURNS Computing is undergoing: King, Rachael, “IBM training computer chip to learn like a human,” SFGate.com, November 7, 2011, http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-11-07/business/30371975_1_computers-virtual-objects-microsoft (accessed January 5, 2012).

 

pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

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Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, wages for housework, women in the workforce

The new technical and economic system will have to be built from the materials to hand. We know it will involve networks, knowledge work, the application of science and a large amount of green technology investment. The question is: can it be capitalism? Part II * * * We are now engaged in a grand scheme to augment, amplify, enhance and extend the relationships and communications between all beings and all objects. Kevin Kelly, 19971 5 The Prophets of Postcapitalism The jet engine was one of the core technologies of the post-1945 long wave. Invented during the Second World War, the turbofan – to give it its proper name – is a mature technology and should not be producing surprises. Yet it is. It works by sucking compressed air in at the front and firing a flame through it so that the air expands. This drives a set of fans at the back, which transform the heat into energy.

My workplace computer was linked only to the other computers in the building of the publishing company Reed Elsevier. When we tried to write our first web page the IT department refused to allow us to store it on ‘their’ server, which was for doing the payroll. There was no email on my workplace Mac and no web access. Computers were for processing data and were linked together for specific tasks only. What a visionary, then, was the US journalist Kevin Kelly, to write this in 1997: The grand irony of our times is that the era of computers is over. All the major consequences of stand-alone computers have already taken place. Computers have speeded up our lives a bit, and that’s it. In contrast, all the most promising technologies making their debut now are chiefly due to communication between computers that is, to connections rather than to computations.21 Kelly’s article in Wired triggered a moment of recognition for my generation.

 

pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator

An aircraft engine has as many as three thousand sensors measuring billions of data points per voyage. And as we mentioned in Chapter One, a Google car, with its lidar (light radar) scanning the surrounding environment with sixty-four lasers, collects almost a gigabyte of data per second per car. This revolution is also impacting our human bodies. In 2007, Wired magazine editors Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly created the Quantified Self (QS) movement, which focuses on self-tracking tools. The first Quantified Self conference was held in May 2011, and today the QS community has more than 32,000 members in thirty-eight countries. Many new devices have been spun out of this movement. One of them is Spire, a QS device that measures respiration. Singularity University alumnus Francesco Mosconi is the chief data officer of Spire.

In his 2005 book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price, Chris Anderson built on the lower cost positioning of the disruptor, noting that pretty much all business models, and certainly those that are information-based, will soon be offered to consumers for free. The popular “freemium” model is just such a case: many websites offer a basic level of service at no cost, while also enabling users to pay a fee to upgrade to more storage, statistics or extra features. Advertising, cross-subsidies and subscription business models are other ways of layering profit-generating operations on top of what is essentially free baseline information. Kevin Kelly expanded further on this idea in a seminal post entitled “Better than Free,” which appeared on his Technium blog in 2008. In digital networks anything can be copied and is thus “abundant.” So how do you add or extract value? What is valuable for customers? What is the new scarcity? What are the new value drivers? Kelly identified the following eight ways to build a business model when the underlying information is free: Immediacy: Immediacy is the reason people order in advance on Amazon or attend the theater on opening night.

 

pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

In a new profile of the influential technology publisher Tim O’Reilly, Wired writer Steven Levy suggests that “the idea of collective consciousness is becoming manifest in the internet.” He quotes O’Reilly: “The internet today is so much an echo of what we were talking about at Esalen in the ’70s—except we didn’t know it would be technology-mediated.” Levy then asks, rhetorically, “Could it be that the internet—or what O’Reilly calls Web 2.0—is really the successor to the human potential movement?” Levy’s article appears in the afterglow of Kevin Kelly’s ecstatic “We Are the Web” in Wired’s August issue. A Whole Earth Catalog editor before he helped launch Wired, Kelly serves as a nexus between hippie and hacker, a human fiber-optic cable beaming Northern Californian utopianism between generations. In his new article, a cover story, he surveys the recent history of the internet, from the Netscape IPO ten years ago, and concludes that the net has become a “magic window” that provides a “spookily godlike” perspective on existence.

If you read anything about Web 2.0, you’ll inevitably find praise heaped upon Wikipedia as a glorious manifestation of “the age of participation.” Wikipedia is an open-source encyclopedia; anyone who wants to contribute to its construction can add an entry or edit an existing one. Tim O’Reilly says that Wikipedia marks “a profound change in the dynamics of content creation”—a leap beyond the Web 1.0 model of Britannica Online. To Kevin Kelly, Wikipedia shows how the web is allowing us to pool our individual brains into a great collective mind. It’s a harbinger of the Machine. In theory, Wikipedia is a beautiful thing—it has to be a beautiful thing if the web is leading us to a higher consciousness. In reality, Wikipedia isn’t very good at all. Certainly, it’s useful. I consult it all the time to get a quick gloss on a subject. But at a factual level it’s unreliable, and the writing is often appalling.

 

pages: 518 words: 107,836

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) by Benjamin Peters

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, scientific mainstream, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technoutopianism, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, transaction costs, Turing machine

A sideways look at some of the discourse about online commerce today proposes the enduring relevance of the Soviet socialist revolution that was consummated a century ago. Both the Internet and the Soviet command economy promise the revolutionary realization of the means for socialist or collectivist production on a mass scale. In the rhetoric of networking collective consciousness and crowd-sourced collaboration, we see the unlikely alliance of Wired editor Kevin Kelly’s hive mind, open-source software promoter Eric Raymond’s bazaar, and Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky’s collective farm.9 Long before Internet enthusiasts were around, Soviet enthusiasts were promising that workers (users) could meet the needs of the masses (crowds) through collective modes of resource sharing and collaboration (peer-to-peer production). Few, if any, contemporary scholars recognize these concerns as fundamental to our modern network culture, and yet they persist in coloring views of both past and future.

Light, “When Computers Were Women,” Technology and Culture 40 (3) (1999): 455–483; Nathan Ensmenger, The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010); and Mette Bryld and Nina Lykke, Cosmodolphins: Feminist Cultural Studies of Technology, Animals and the Sacred (New York: Zed Books, 2000). 7. David E. Hoffmann, The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy (New York: Random House, 2009), 150–154, 364–369, 422–423, 477. 8. Ibid., 153–154. 9. For sample references, see Kevin Kelly, Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World, Fourth Edition (Reading, MA: Addison Wesley, 2004), chap. 4; Eric Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary (New York: O’Reilly, 1999); and Leon Trotsky, Platform of the Joint Opposition (1927) (London: New Park Publications, 1973), especially “The Agrarian Question and Social Construction.” 10.

 

pages: 372 words: 89,876

The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal

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A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, complexity theory, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Googley, index card, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

I also had tremendous help and support from my colleagues at Dachis Group, specifically: Jeff Dachis, Dion Hinchcliffe, Peter Kim, Ethan Farber, Brian Kotlyar, Susan Scrupski, Amanda Johnson, Lara Hendrickson, Lee Bryant, John De Oliveira, Erik Huddleston, Jen van der Meer, David Mastronardi, W. Scott Matthews, and Aric Wood. I have also had the privilege to receive help and advice from true luminaries, such as Richard Saul Wurman, Saul Kaplan, Kevin Kelly, Jared Spool, Peter Vander Auwera, Dan Roam, Thor Muller, Paul Pangaro, Lane Becker, Peter Morville, Lou Rosenfeld, Nilofer Merchant, John Hagel III, JP Rangaswami, Doc Searls, Stowe Boyd, Jay Cross, Marcia Conner, Ben Cerveny, Chris Brogan, Bob Logan, David Armano, Alex Osterwalder, and Don Norman. Although I don’t know them personally, for the ideas in this book, I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the works of Gary Hamel, Clayton Christensen, Arie de Geus, Ricardo Semler, Eric Beinhocker, Daniel Pink, Richard Florida, Stewart Brand, Bill McKelvey, Stafford Beer, Herbert Simon, John Boyd, and perhaps most of all, Dr.

The more tradeoff decisions you make, the more complex the whole structure becomes, until you get to a point where you can’t make any more changes without causing damage somewhere else in the organization. Over time, the structure gets more rigid and inflexible. Notes for Chapter Six THE PERFORMANCE OF A SYSTEM “Systems Thinking” talk by Russell Ackoff, at The Learning and Legacy of Dr. W. Edwards Deming (event), 1994. Chapter 7. Complexity changes the game Everything that we are making, we are making more and more complex. — Kevin Kelly Wired Magazine The complexity of the new networked, interdependent economy creates an ambiguous, uncertain, competitive landscape. Companies must be flexible enough to rapidly respond to changes in their environments, or risk extinction. Return on Assets is Dwindling In The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion (Basic Books), John Hagel and John Seely Brown observe that return on assets—the measure of how efficiently a company can use its assets to generate profits—has steadily dwindled to almost a quarter of what it was in 1965.

 

pages: 407 words: 103,501

The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Netwo Rking by Mark Bauerlein

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, centre right, citizen journalism, collaborative editing, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, disintermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, pets.com, Results Only Work Environment, Saturday Night Live, search engine result page, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technology bubble, Ted Nelson, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, web application

Fast-forward less than a decade, and something extraordinary occurs: exploring nonlinear document structures becomes as second nature as dialing a phone for hundreds of millions—if not billions—of people. The mass embrace of hypertext is like the Seinfeld “Betrayal” episode: a cultural form that was once exclusively limited to avant-garde sensibilities, now happily enjoyed by grandmothers and third graders worldwide. I won’t dwell on this point, because the premise that increased interactivity is good for the brain is not a new one. (A number of insightful critics—Kevin Kelly, Douglas Rushkoff, Janet Murray, Howard Rheingold, Henry Jenkins—have made variations on this argument over the past decade or so.) But let me say this much: The rise of the Internet has challenged our minds in three fundamental and related ways: by virtue of being participatory, by forcing users to learn new interfaces, and by creating new channels for social interaction. Almost all forms of sustained online activity are participatory in nature: writing e-mails, sending IMs, creating photo logs, posting two-page analyses of last night’s Apprentice episode.

Between the bookends of Jobs and Page lies the rest of Silicon Valley, including radical communitarians like Craig Newmark (of Craigslist.com), intellectual property communists such as Stanford Law professor Larry Lessig, economic cornucopians like Wired magazine editor Chris “Long Tail” Anderson, and new media moguls Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle. The ideology of the Web 2.0 movement was perfectly summarized at the Technology Education and Design (TED) show in Monterey last year, when Kevin Kelly, Silicon Valley’s über-idealist and author of the Web 1.0 Internet utopia New Rules for the New Economy , said:Imagine Mozart before the technology of the piano. Imagine Van Gogh before the technology of affordable oil paints. Imagine Hitchcock before the technology of film. We have a moral obligation to develop technology. But where Kelly sees a moral obligation to develop technology, we should actually have—if we really care about Mozart, Van Gogh, and Hitchcock—a moral obligation to question the development of technology.

 

pages: 103 words: 32,131

Program Or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age by Douglas Rushkoff

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banking crisis, big-box store, citizen journalism, cloud computing, East Village, financial innovation, Firefox, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the printing press, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, WikiLeaks

To most people, this meant a confirmation of copyright—that everything we posted on the bulletin boards belonged to us, and couldn’t be published by someone else without permission. To others, including me, You Own Your Own Words served as an ethical foundation: You, the human being on the other side of the modem, are responsible for what you say and do here. You are accountable. Given that the WELL was developed by farsighted cultural pioneers such as Stewart Brand, Larry Brilliant, Kevin Kelly, and Howard Rheingold, we shouldn’t be surprised that they sought to compensate for some of the disconnection online between people and their words. And that’s why, from the very beginning, I decided to be myself online. I’ve only used one name on the Internet: Rushkoff. I figured the only real danger was from government, corporations, or some other “big brother” out there using what I posted against me in some future McCarthy hearings.

 

pages: 102 words: 33,345

24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep by Jonathan Crary

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augmented reality, Berlin Wall, dematerialisation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invention of movable type, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, megacity, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, V2 rocket

This pseudo-historical formulation of the present as a digital age, supposedly homologous with a “bronze age” or “steam age,” perpetuates the illusion of a unifying and durable coherence to the many incommensurable constituents of contemporary experience. Of the numerous presentations of this delusion, the promotional and intellectually spurious works of futurists such as Nicholas Negroponte, Esther Dyson, Kevin Kelly, and Raymond Kurzweil can stand as flagrant examples. One of the underpinnings of this assumption is the popular truism that today’s teenagers and younger children are all now harmoniously inhabiting the inclusive and seamless intelligibility of their technological worlds. This generational characterization supposedly confirms that, within another few decades or less, a transitional phase will have ended and there will be billions of individuals with a similar level of technological competence and basic intellectual assumptions.

 

Social Capital and Civil Society by Francis Fukuyama

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Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, p-value, postindustrial economy, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, transaction costs, World Values Survey

Hayek, Law, Legislation, and Liberty (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983); T h e Fatal Conceit (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988). 13 Hayek, T h e Fatal Conceit, p . 8. 14 There is by now a huge literature on this subject. For a layman’s overview, see M. Mitchell Waldrop, Complexity: T h e Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992); and Kevin Kelly, Out of Control: The N e w Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1994). For more formal accounts of spontaneous order, see John H . Holland, Hidden Order: H o w Adaptation Builds Complexity (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1995) ; Stuart A. Kauffman, Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) ; and Stuart A .

 

pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

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23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra

This world can already be glimpsed on the web, in what John Barlow calls ‘dot-communism’: a workforce of free agents bartering their ideas and efforts barely interested in whether the barter yields ‘real’ money. The explosion of interest in the free sharing of ideas that the internet has spawned has taken everybody by surprise. ‘The online masses have an incredible willingness to share’ says Kevin Kelly. Instead of money, ‘peer producers who create the stuff gain credit, status, reputation, enjoyment, satisfaction and experience’. People are willing to share their photographs on Flickr, their thoughts on Twitter, their friends on Facebook, their knowledge on Wikipedia, their software patches on Linux, their donations on GlobalGiving, their community news on Craigslist, their pedigrees on Ancestry.com, their genomes on 23andMe, even their medical records on PatientsLikeMe.

Economics of the Singularity. IEEE Spectrum (June 2008) 45:45–50. p. 355 ‘a technological “singularity”’. This notion has been explored by Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil. See Kurzweil, R. 2005. The Singularity Is Near. Penguin. p. 355 ‘says Stephen Levy.’ Levy, S. 2009. Googlenomics. Wired, June 2009. p. 356 ‘says the author Clay Shirky’. Shirky, C. 2008. Here Comes Everybody. Penguin. p. 356 ‘Says Kevin Kelly’. Kelly, K. 2009. The new socialism. Wired, June 2009. p. 358 ‘The wrong kind of chiefs, priests and thieves could yet snuff out future prosperity on earth.’ Meir Kohn has written eloquently on this point. See www.dartmouth.edu/~mkohn/Papers/lessons% 201r3.pdf. p. 359 ‘Said Lord Macaulay’. Macaulay, T.B. 1830. Southey’s Colloquies on Society. Edinburgh Review, January 1830. p. 359 ‘In Thornton Wilder’s play The Skin of Our Teeth’.

 

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The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

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23andMe, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Anne Wojcicki, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, bioinformatics, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

With more information at their fingertips, patients can truly be in the driving seat.”96 As we reviewed in Chapter 7, we will get away from keyboards in the office, also known as “death by a thousand clicks,” and replace them with computer processing of natural language into notes.98–100 This sort of data, combined with a machine-learning powered app to turn spoken words into notes, will truly revolutionize the doctor’s visit of the future—assuming, of course, that we need the routine visits at all. Doctors Disintermediated? We’ve already seen some examples of how physicians react to the threat of being marginalized, along with their general reluctance to adapt to new technology. Now we get into the “Second Machine Age”101 question as to whether the new digital landscape will reboot the need for doctors and health professionals. Kevin Kelly, a cofounder of Wired, has asserted: “The role tasks of any information-intensive job can be automated. It doesn’t matter if you are a doctor, lawyer, architect, reporter, or even programmer: The robot takeover will be epic.”102 An emergency medicine physician likened the current practice of medicine to a Radio Shack store in his piece “Doctor Dinosaur: Physicians may not be exempt from extinction.”103 In late 2013, Korean doctors threatened to go on an all-out strike if the government went ahead with new telemedicine laws that would support clinical diagnoses to be made remotely.

On either end of it are intelligent human beings who are ready to assume quite different roles from what the history of medicine has established. Patients will always crave and need the human touch from a doctor, but that can be had on a more selective basis with the tools at hand. Instead of doctors being squeezed, resorting to computer automation can actually markedly expand their roles. As Kevin Kelly wrote, “the rote tasks of any information-intensive job can be automated. It doesn’t matter if you are a doctor, lawyer, architect, reporter, or even programmer.”102 The Economist weighed in on this too: “The machines are not just cleverer, but they also have access to far more data. The combination of big data and smart machines will take over some occupations wholesale.”153 But smart doctors need not feel threatened, for their occupation is secure.

 

pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

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23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

Keeping the fear stoked: Leaked NSA talking points specifically reference 9/11: “I much prefer to be here today explaining these programs, than explaining another 9/11 event that we were not able to prevent.” Jason Leopold (30 Oct 2013), “Revealed: NSA pushed 9/11 as key ‘sound bite’ to justify surveillance,” Al Jazeera, http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10/30/revealed-nsa-pushed911askeysoundbitetojustifysurveillance.html. Clay Shirky has noted: Clay Shirky (14 Mar 2010), Remarks at South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin, TX, quoted in Kevin Kelly (2 Apr 2010), “The Shirky principle,” Kevin Kelly, http://kk.org/thetechnium/2010/04/the-shirky-prin. And then the laws will change: Stewart Baker (24 Feb 2014), Remarks at 2014 Executive Security Action Forum Annual Meeting, RSA Conference, San Francisco, California. Jack Goldsmith again: Jack Goldsmith (9 Aug 2013), “Reflections on NSA oversight, and a prediction that NSA authorities (and oversight, and transparency) will expand,” Lawfare, http://www.lawfareblog.com/2013/08/reflections-on-nsa-oversight-and-a-prediction-that-nsa-authorities-and-oversight-and-transparency-will-expand.

 

pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Locomotives and tractors, however, didn’t make human-level decisions. Increasingly, “thinking machines” will. It is also clear that technology and humanity coevolve, which again will pose the question of who will be in control. In Silicon Valley it has become fashionable to celebrate the rise of the machines, most clearly in the emergence of organizations like the Singularity Institute and in books like Kevin Kelly’s 2010 What Technology Wants. In an earlier book in 1994, Out of Control, Kelly came down firmly on the side of the machines. He described a meeting between AI pioneer Marvin Minsky and Doug Engelbart: When the two gurus met at MIT in the 1950s, they are reputed to have had the following conversation: Minsky: We’re going to make machines intelligent. We are going to make them conscious! Engelbart: You’re going to do all that for the machines?

Humans Match Wits,” New York Times, November 9, 1991, http://www.nytimes.com/1991/11/09/us/can-machines-think-humans-match-wits.html. 6.Jonathan Grudin, “AI and HCI: Two Fields Divided by a Common Focus,” AI Magazine, Winter 2009, http://research.microsoft.com/apps/pubs/default.aspx?id=138574. 7.John McCarthy, book review of B. P. Bloomfield, The Question of Artificial Intelligence: Philosophical and Sociological Perspectives, in Annals of the History of Computing 10, no. 3 (1988): 224–229. 8.Kevin Kelly, Out of Control: The Rise of Neo-Biological Civilization (New York: Perseus, 1994), 33–34. 2|A CRASH IN THE DESERT 1.Jerry Kaplan, presentation at Stanford University Probabilistic AI lunch meeting, May 6, 2013. 2.Defense Science Board, “The Role of Autonomy in DoD Systems,” U.S. Department of Defense, July 2012, http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports/AutonomyReport.pdf. 3.James R. Hagerty, “A Roboticist’s Trip from Mines to the Moon,” Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2011, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304569504576405671616928518. 4.John Markoff, “The Creature That Lives in Pittsburgh,” New York Times, April 21, 1991, http://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/21/business/the-creature-that-lives-in-pittsburgh.html. 5.John Markoff, “Google Cars Drive Themselves, in Traffic,” New York Times, October 9, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/science/10google.html?

 

pages: 397 words: 110,130

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson

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3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, Vannevar Bush, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize, éminence grise

That includes Tricia Wang, An Xiao Mina, Debbie Chachra, Liz Lawley, Zeynep Tufekci, Clay Shirky, Brooke Gladstone, Tom Igoe, Max Whitney, Terri Senft, Misha Tepper, Fred Kaplan, Howard Rheingold, danah boyd, Liz Lawley, Nick Bilton, Gary Marcus, Heidi Siwak, Ann Blair, Eli Pariser, Ethan Zuckerman, Ian Bogost, Fred Benenson, Heather Gold, Douglas Rushkoff, Rebecca MacKinnon, Cory Menscher, Mark Belinsky, Quinn Norton, Anil Dash, Cathy Marshall, Elizabeth Stock, Philip Howard, Denise Hand, Robin Sloan, Tim Carmody, Don Tapscott, Steven Johnson, Kevin Kelly, Nina Khosla, Laura Fitton, Jillian York, Hilary Mason, Craig Mod, Bre Pettis, Glenn Kelman, Susan Cain, Noah Schachtman, Irin Carmon, Matthew Battles, Cathy Davidson, Linda Stone, Jess Kimball, Phil Libin, Kati London, Jim Marggraff, Dan Zalewski, Sasha Nemecek, Laura Miller, Brian McNely, Duncan Watts, Kenyatta Cheese, Nora Abousteit, Deanna Zandt, David Wallis, Nick Denton, Alissa Quart, Stan James, Andrew Hearst, Gary Stager, Evan Selinger, Steven Demmler, and Vint Cerf.

Slamecka and Peter Graf, “The Generation Effect: Delineation of a Phenomenon,” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory 4, no. 6 (1978): 592–604. it was famously documented in 1922: William F. Ogburn and Dorothy Thomas, “Are Inventions Inevitable? A Note on Social Evolution,” Political Science Quarterly 37, no. 1 (March 1922): 83–98. It’s worth noting that the discussion of multiples is itself, as you might expect, a multiple; many writers today who write about creativity discuss the phenomenon. Some of my favorite analyses include Kevin Kelly in What Technology Wants (New York: Penguin, 2010), Kindle edition; Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation (New York: Penguin, 2010), 34–35; and Malcolm Gladwell, “In the Air,” The New Yorker, May 12, 2008, accessed March 22, 2013, www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05/12/080512fa_fact_gladwell. Robert Merton took up the question of multiples: Robert K.

 

pages: 239 words: 45,926

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Work, Health & Wealth by Juan Enriquez

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Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, double helix, global village, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, personalized medicine, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, spice trade, stem cell

Kenichi Ohmae has done a series of studies of this phenomenon. 6. One of the great minds on competitive analysis is Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter. He has looked at flowers as well as a myriad of other industries in various books, including The Competitive Advantage of Nations, Competitive Advantage, and Competitive Strategy. 7. A lot of people have written on this phenomenon of a new economy; one of my favorites is Wired editor Kevin Kelly. Many of the ideas in this chapter come from his book New Rules for the New Economy (New York: Viking, 1998). Peter F. Drucker has also been detailing these changes for decades, starting with The End of the Economic Man (1939). See also his Post-Capitalist Society (1993). 8. Robert Metcalf, founder of 3Com, argues the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of people in it. 9.

 

pages: 171 words: 54,334

Barefoot Into Cyberspace: Adventures in Search of Techno-Utopia by Becky Hogge, Damien Morris, Christopher Scally

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

Wiener is described by the reviewer – presumably Brand – as “one of the founders of an n-dimensional world whose nature we’ve yet to learn. He is also one of the all-time nice men.” In a talk he gave in 2005, Apple CEO Steve Jobs called the Whole Earth Catalog “one of the bibles of my generation”, describing it as a Google in paperback form, idealistic and overflowing with incredible tools. Wired founder Kevin Kelly compared it to the modern-day blogosphere, calling it “a great example of user-generated content” thanks to Brand’s habit of encouraging readers to submit their own reviews and earn themselves a fee of $10. It won a National Book Award – the first, and probably only time, a catalogue ever won such a plaudit. The Whole Earth Catalog came out about a dozen times in full editions and updates between 1968 and 1972.

 

pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

To download the full interview with Derek Sivers about how he turned a side project, CD Baby, into a 75 person business and the qualities of musicians that are successful selling online (and how those lessons transfer to other industries), go to http://taylorpearson.me/eoj 31. To download an interview with Dan on how he turned a $40,000 per year web design agency Into a $40,000 per month recurring revenue service, go to http://taylorpearson.me/eoj Chapter 8 32. Kevin Kelly, write about his the phenomenon in more detail at http://kk.org/thetechnium/2008/03/1000-true-fans/ 33. To hear more from Andrew about the lifestyle and business possibilities enabled by the eCommerce drop shipping model and why individuals with hard skills and ambition has more opportunity than ever and why those without are screwed, download his interview at http://taylorpearson.me/eoj 34. http://www.innosight.com/innovation-resources/strategy-innovation/upload/creative-destruction-whips-through-corporate-america_final2012.pdf Chapter 9 35. http://www.softwarebyrob.com/ and http://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/ 36.

 

pages: 200 words: 60,987

The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America by Steven Johnson

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Albert Einstein, Chance favours the prepared mind, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, Danny Hillis, discovery of DNA, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kevin Kelly, planetary scale, side project, South Sea Bubble, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I’m grateful to several institutions for their willingness to let me work through the major themes of this book in public. First, NYU’s School of Journalism, for letting me teach a graduate seminar on Cultural Ecosystems, and my students there who contributed so many helpful ideas (and who, I’m thankful to report, shot down more than a few of my less helpful ones). My friends at the Long Now Foundation—Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly, Brian Eno, Danny Hillis, and Alexander Rose—were kind enough to invite me to discuss the “long zoom” approach to cultural history at one of their seminars in long-term thinking in 2007. I was also lucky enough to be invited to discuss these issues onstage with Brian at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. I’m also indebted to Larry Lessig for the Jefferson quote at the beginning of this book, an early link that led me to one of the book’s major themes.

 

pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E

Consumers have access to staggering amounts of information about skincare, and many of them want to know how each product they might use would affect their overall regime. In a world of savvy consumers, the manufacturer which provides the most concise, easy-to-navigate advice is going to win market share. From supermarket supply chains to consumer goods to construction to exploring for minerals and oil, the ability to crunch bigger and bigger data sets and make sense of them is improving pretty much every type of human endeavour. Kevin Kelly, the founder of Wired magazine, said the business plans of the next 10,000 startups are easy to predict: “Take X and add AI.” (15) To coin a phrase, blessed are the geeks, for they shall inherit the Earth. Healthcare is an interesting industry in this respect, because it has so far appeared to lag behind the general trend to improved performance from better information. It has been observed that our healthcare systems are really sick-care systems, often spending 90% of the amount they ever spend on an individual during the final year of their lives.

 

pages: 248 words: 72,174

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

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big-box store, clean water, follow your passion, if you build it, they will come, index card, informal economy, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, late fees, price anchoring, Ralph Waldo Emerson, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, web application

You are forced to improvise, innovate, and stay close to reality. You can’t buy solutions, so you have to create your own. Suddenly you have the first part of success—something of value. I got all this from The $100 Startup, which is full of practical advice about inventing your own livelihood. I’ve done a handful of $100 startups myself, several of which I later sold. Chris Guillebeau knows what he is talking about. Listen to this book! —Kevin Kelly, author of What Technology Wants “This book is more than a ‘how to’ guide, it’s a ‘how they did it’ guide that should persuade anyone thinking about starting a business that they don’t need a fortune to make one.” —John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine “Is that giant knot in your stomach keeping you from starting your own business or pursuing the career of your dreams?

 

pages: 267 words: 78,857

Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff by Dinah Sanders

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Atul Gawande, big-box store, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, credit crunch, endowment effect, Firefox, game design, Inbox Zero, income per capita, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Merlin Mann, side project, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand

Celebrate the simple miracles in your life and give yourself the best opportunities and surroundings to enjoy them. How many excellent things can you allow to fall into your life in the next 24 hours? Start counting the delights. Carpe diem! Symptom #26: Plugged into the Wrong Connections Solution #26: Unfollow-Unsubscribe-Cancel-Delete-Donate-Discard It used to be you define yourself by what you use; now you define yourself by what you don’t use. —Kevin Kelly, editor What’s coming at you? As you shift your habits to spend more time on what is truly important to you, it will also be necessary to adjust how much of that important stuff you can actually take on without creating new stresses for yourself. Even though you’re doing the right things to reduce your load, it can seem as if you’re still only able to make so much progress before you get that drowning feeling again.

 

pages: 259 words: 73,193

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection by Michael Harris

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4chan, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Google Glasses, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test

The fidelity of our earliest memetic acts would have improved significantly with the advent of writing, of course, and then again thanks to the printing press, which might (like us) be called a meme machine. But we now have near perfect replication online. We are now becoming, by Blackmore’s estimation, teme machines—servants to the evolution of our own technologies. The power shifts very quickly from the spark of human intention to the absorption of human will by a technology that seems to have intentions of its own. Kevin Kelly takes this notion to the nth degree in his 2010 book, What Technology Wants, where he anthropomorphizes technologies and asks what they would like us to do. “The evolution of technology converges in much the same manner as biological evolution,” he argues. He sees parallels to bioevolution in the fact that the number of lines of code in Microsoft Windows, for example, multiplied ten times since 1993, becoming more complex as time goes on just as biological organisms tend to do.

 

pages: 268 words: 75,850

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems-And Create More by Luke Dormehl

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, computer age, death of newspapers, deferred acceptance, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Earth, Google Glasses, High speed trading, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, upwardly mobile, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

Not everyone is an expert in supercomputing and not everyone has the ability, nor the resources (his regimen costs between $5,000 and $10,000 each year) to capture huge amounts of personal data, or to make sense of it in the event that they do. But Smarr is not alone. As a data junkie, he is a valued member of the so-called Quantified Self movement: an ever-expanding group of similar individuals who enthusiastically take part in a form of self-tracking, somatic surveillance. Founded by Wired magazine editors Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly in the mid-2000s, the Quantified Self movement casts its aspirations in bold philosophical terms, promising devotees “self-knowledge through numbers.”4 Taking the Positivist view of verification and empiricism, and combining this with a liberal dose of technological determinism, the Quantified Self movement begs the existential question of what kind of self can possibly exist that is unable to be number-crunched using the right algorithms?

 

pages: 294 words: 80,084

Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler

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Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, epigenetics, gravity well, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Kevin Kelly, life extension, Louis Pasteur, North Sea oil, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, theory of mind, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

I couldn’t duck. No matter what I did, there was no way to get out of the way of the future. And so it is for all of us. These are exponential times. The far frontier is no longer a distant dream. It is there today and here tomorrow, and that’s the thing: Luddite revolutions don’t seem to hold for long. Resisting the lure of technology isn’t really in us. In What Technology Wants, Wired cofounder Kevin Kelly argues that this is because technology is actually another form of life — a living, natural system with ancient origins and deep desires. And while Kelly has a point, I also think there’s simpler truth at work. Life is tricky sport. It can be hard here, often harder than we want it to be, sometimes harder than we can take. And that strikes me as the emotional core of the story, the real reason we can’t put Pandora back in the box.

 

pages: 741 words: 179,454

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

By 2020, average household income in the United States would triple to $150,000, and families would be served by their very own household chefs.24 The Dow would be at least 50,000, probably on its way to 100,000. The arithmetic behind the forecasts was vague. In the summer of 1999, James Glassman, enjoying the attention that Dow 36,000 was receiving, faced off against Barton Biggs, Morgan Stanley’s skeptical equity strategist, in a debate on the new economy. Glassman argued that the Internet was the most important invention of the twentieth century. He was mirroring the views of Kevin Kelly, executive editor of Wired: How many times in the history of mankind have we wired up the planet to create a single marketplace? How often have entire new channels of commerce been created by digital technology? When has money itself been transformed into thousands of instruments of investment?25 Biggs argued that the entire reasoning was fatuous but lost the debate 180 votes to 2 on a show of hands.

Journal of Portfolio Management 14: 74–6; Jess Beltz and Robert Jennings (1997) “Recommendations: trading activity and performance: ‘Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser,”’ Review of Financial Economics 6: 15–27. 19. William J. Bernstein (1996) “The basics of investing and portfolio theory” (www.efficientfrontier.com). 20. Devin Leonard “Treasury’s got Bill Gross on speed dial” (20 June 2009) New York Times. 21. Ibid. 22. Louis Rukeyser (26 July 2002) Wall Street Week, CNBC. 23. Peter Applebome “Contemplating the boobs we were” (27 December 2008) New York Times. 24. Kevin Kelly “Prophets of boom” (September 1999) Wired. 25. Ibid: 151. 26. John Cassidy (2002) dot.con, Perennial, New York: 254–5. Chapter 7—Los Cee-Ca-Go Boys 1. Milton Friedman “Schools: Chicago” (Autumn 1974) University of Chicago Magazine 11–16: 11. 2. P.J. O’Rourke (1998) Eat The Rich, Atlantic Monthly Press, New York: 123. 3. Adam Smith (1776) An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations: Book 1 Chapter 2 (http://geolib.com/smith.adam/won1-02.html). 4.

 

pages: 287 words: 86,919

Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway

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Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

Media historians Randall Packer and Ken Jordan gleefully proclaim that “[m]ultimedia, by its very nature, is open, democratic, nonhierarchical, fluid, varied, inclusive.”5 Their claim is essentially true, but for completely opposite reasons than they might hope for. I aim here to answer the question: How is a technology able to establish real-world control when it lacks certain fundamental tools such as hierarchy, centralization, and violence? Why does technology seem, as Kevin Kelly likes to put it, so “out of control” yet still function so flawlessly? There must be some machine that, at the end of the day, sorts it all out. Protocol is that machine, that massive control apparatus that guides distributed networks, creates cultural objects, and engenders life forms. This book is not meant to be a history of protocol or protocols. Protocol has its own extensive history in diplomacy, the military, the government, and the private sector.

 

pages: 297 words: 103,910

Free culture: how big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity by Lawrence Lessig

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Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, future of journalism, George Akerlof, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Louis Daguerre, new economy, prediction markets, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, software patent, transaction costs

When the issue is copyright terms for the Mickey Mouses of the world, it is possible still to understand why the law favors Hollywood: Most people don't recognize the reasons for limiting copyright terms; it is thus still possible to see good faith within the resistance. But when the copyright owners oppose a proposal such as the Eldred Act, then, finally, there is an example that lays bare the naked selfinterest driving this war. This act would free an extraordinary range of content that is otherwise unused. It wouldn't interfere with any copyright owner's desire to exercise continued control over his content. It would simply liberate what Kevin Kelly calls the "Dark Content" that fills archives around the world. So when the warriors oppose a change like this, we should ask one simple question: What does this industry really want? With very little effort, the warriors could protect their content. So the effort to block something like the Eldred Act is not really about protecting their content. The effort to block the Eldred Act is an effort to assure that nothing more passes into the public domain.

 

pages: 341 words: 84,752

All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson

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Kevin Kelly, telepresence

He goes to get the coffee. 277 Thanks TO even one who waited for this one with even greater patience than usual, particularly my publishers, as personally and wonderfully represented by Susan Allison and Tony Lacey. To Deb and Graeme and Claire, with love, for putting up with far more than the ordinary basement-dwelling. To Julia Witwer. for being this text's first reader and more. The following are special friends of this book: Gordon Begg, Judith Beale, Jessica Eastman, Karl Taro Greenfeld, Mark Halyk, Richard Kadrev, Kevin Kelly, Lueza Jean Lamb, Roger Trilling, Jack Womack. Thank you all. And to the post-cyberpunk contingent in Mexico City, who, though I declined their thoughtful offer of the definitive alternative tour, encouraged me, with their warm enthusiasm, through the writing of a crucial chapter in the Hotel Camino Real. William Gibson MAY 10. 1999 VANCOUVER, B.C. This file was created with BookDesigner program bookdesigner@the-ebook.org 6/7/2007 LRS to LRF parser v.0.9; Mikhail Sharonov, 2006; msh-tools.com/ebook/ Table of Contents 1.CARDBOARD CITY 3 5 7 9 10 11 13 14 15 19 20 21 22 24 26 27 28 29 30 32 33 35 37 38 40 42 45 ALL TOMORROW~S PARTIES 47 49 51 52 13.SECONDHAND DAYLIGHT 56 57 59 61 63 66 67 69 71 74 77 79 80 82 84 85 86 87 88 89 92 94 96 98 102 104 105 1~ 108 110 112 114 116 118 120 121 123 124 125 127 129 130 132 134 136 138 139 141 142 143 146 148 149 ALL TOMORROW~S PARTIES 152 153 154 I 156 158 160 161 163 164 165 167 169 170 A 173 174 177 179 180 181 182 184 185 186 187 189 190 191 193 194 196 198 200 202 204 20S 207 208 210 211 212 214 216 218 220 222 223 224 225 227 229 231 233 235 236 238 239 241 243 245 248 24.8 250 252 253 255 256 258 259 261 263 264 266 268 270 272 274 276 MAY 10. 1999

 

pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

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23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar

They can be searched, linked, and updated. They can live forever and find new audiences anywhere. Conversations can grow around ideas in books, exposing them to new readers. Writing in Library Journal, Ben Vershbow of the Institute for the Future of the Book envisioned a digital ecology in which “parts of books will reference parts of other books. Books will be woven together out of components in remote databases and servers.” Kevin Kelly wrote in The New York Times Magazine: “In the new world of books, every bit informs another; every page reads all the other pages.” When an idea is spread among people, it can grow and adapt and live on past the page. Before a convention of booksellers in 2006, author John Updike called Kelly’s vision of “relationships, links, connection and sharing” Marxist and “a pretty grisly scenario.” There’s just one problem with these visions of digital publishing paradise (including mine): money.

 

pages: 313 words: 84,312

We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

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1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

All too quickly We-Think can become group-think as people blindly follow the herd. The web could enforce conformity rather than encouraging individuality. Jaron Lanier, in a widely read online essay published in May 2006, alleged that ‘digital Maoism’ was promoting collective stupidity. People were taking their lead, Lanier argued, from the all-wise ‘collective’ rather than bothering to think for themselves. His case is only strengthened by web advocates, such as Kevin Kelly, the original editor of Wired, who claim that the web is creating a ‘hive mind’, that of an anonymous collective in which individuals are like bees or ants. The American sociologist Sherry Turkle has echoed these fears, questioning whether young people will form a sharp sense of individual identity if they are tethered to their phone and social relationships, unable to be alone and to reflect on what matters to them because they are acting up to the online audience that constantly accompanies them.

 

pages: 335 words: 107,779

Some Remarks by Neal Stephenson

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airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, British Empire, cable laying ship, call centre, cellular automata, edge city, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, music of the spheres, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, packet switching, pirate software, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, X Prize

Finally, the book contains two original, previously unpublished pieces: an essay about sitting entitled “Arsebestos,” and a one-sentence work of fiction, unfinished, and, for very sound artistic and legal reasons, never to be finished, which I will allow the reader to discover in due course. It only remains for me to thank the people who helped these pieces come into being: as always, my supernaturally patient and understanding wife, and my agent, Liz Darhansoff, who has been a fount of infallible advice for thirty years; Kevin Kelly at WIRED, who talked me past my initial skepticism that an article about cables could ever be any good and turned a blind eye to some rather odd expense reports; the readers/members of Slashdot; the Royal Society and Gresham College for inviting me to take part in forums where I would never have expected to find myself in any capacity above the level of bootblack; and the editorial page staff of the New York Times for randomly entering my life every few years and asking me to write short pieces on odd topics.

 

pages: 394 words: 108,215

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff

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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, El Camino Real, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

More recently, Steven was kind enough to dig through his old boxes to share transcripts from his original interviews. Also, I have to give special thanks to friends who were willing to listen to me chatter endlessly about what my reporting had dug up. Paul Saffo has been one of the sharpest thinkers in Silicon Valley for more than two decades, with a wonderful critical eye. Michael Schrage was once upon a time a competitor at The Washington Post but was one of the first people to give me encouragement. Kevin Kelly helped me explore the idea of what was special about a certain time and place. Gregg Zachary has taught journalism with me at the University of California at Berkeley, and at Stanford, and when he covered Silicon Valley for The Wall Street Journal during the 1990s he was the competitor I dreaded most. Steve Lohr preceded me on a New York Times–sanctioned book leave and filled me with fear, trepidation, and ultimately hope, as from a safe distance I watched him labor on his own book.

 

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig

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Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, recommendation engine, revision control, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, transaction costs, VA Linux

It did so by adding not a taxonomy but, as Thomas Vander Wal puts it, a “folksonomy to this RW culture.”11 Tags and ranking systems, such as del.icio.us, Reddit, and Digg, enabled readers of a blog or news article to mark it for others to find or ignore. These marks added meaning to the post or story. They would help it get organized among the millions of others that were out there. Together these tools added a metalayer to the blogosphere, by providing, as Wired cofounder Kevin Kelly puts it, “a public annotation—like a keyword or category name that you hang on a file, Web page or picture.”12 And as readers explore the Web, users leave marks that help others understand or find the same stuff. 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 59 8/12/08 1:54:50 AM 60 REMI X So, for example, if you read an article about Barack Obama, you can tag it with a short description: “Obama” or “Obama_environment.”

 

pages: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

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23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

‘Parts of it become inaccessible, parts are under attack, information disappears because somebody shut down the website, or disappears because we don’t know how to interpret the bits any more, pieces of it peel away and disappear,’ he says. ‘But I don’t think you could stop the whole thing very easily.’ The reason for this is that the Internet isn’t a machine, it’s billions of machines. There is no ‘off’ switch. Its very architecture, its decentralised, nonzero-sum collaborative fabric means that the Internet is a bit like the planet’s population. Or as Kevin Kelly, one of the founders of Wired magazine, calls it: ‘the largest, most complex and most dependable machine we have ever built’. Short of an apocalypse you couldn’t kill all of it, any more than you could wipe out everyone on Earth. ‘Is there anything that could shut down the Internet?’ I ask. Vint considers. ‘If every internet service provider in the world decided one day just to shut down the routers, that would pretty much screw the Internet,’ he says.

 

pages: 378 words: 94,468

Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power

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air freight, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, double helix, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, frictionless, Haight Ashbury, Kevin Kelly, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, Zimmermann PGP

Its esoteric and wide-ranging content, from poetry to construction plans for geodesic domes by physicist Buckminster Fuller, from car repair tips to trout-fishing guides and the fundamentals of yoga and the I-ching, was hacked together using Polaroid cameras, Letraset and the highest of low-tech. It now reads much like a printed blog; it was a paper website, in the words of blogger and author Kevin Kelly, that was sprinting before the web even took its first shaky steps.3 Its statement of intent in its launch issue reads like a manifesto that has been realized by today’s web users: ‘A realm of intimate personal power is developing – the power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested.

 

pages: 329 words: 95,309

Digital Bank: Strategies for Launching or Becoming a Digital Bank by Chris Skinner

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algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, bank run, Basel III, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, demand response, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Google Glasses, high net worth, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, margin call, mass affluent, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ransomware, reserve currency, RFID, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart cities, software as a service, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Stuxnet, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, web application, Y2K

Do banks own the data or should the partner? Do banks provide the core processing or are banks sitting on top of someone else’s core processing? The culture of the bank is actually more important than the technology and, at the core of the culture, is the question: do you understand the customer and their needs in this new digital age? The New Economics of Digital Banking Back in the 1990s, Kevin Kelly, senior maverick and launch editor of Wired Magazine, told me that everything would become free thanks to the internet. I thought he was nuts at the time, but how wrong was I? Kevin has 12 lessons about how to think about the internet, and they were difficult to absorb as, bearing in mind this was back in 1997, he was far too ahead of his time. I went back to these lessons recently and realised rather rapidly that banking will soon cost nothing.

 

pages: 330 words: 88,445

The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler

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Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Clayton Christensen, data acquisition, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Google Earth, haute couture, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, life extension, Maui Hawaii, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, risk tolerance, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, X Prize

eISBN: 9781477850831 Cover design by Dave Stanton Author photograph © Ryan Heffernan Cover art © Scott Serfas Contents Start Reading Preface: The Why of Flow Introduction: Before the Flow PART ONE HE IS THIS FRENZY 1 The Way of Flow 2 The Wave of Flow 3 The Where of Flow 4 The What of Flow 5 The Flow Shortcut PART TWO FLOW HACKER NATION 6 Outer Flow 7 Inner Flow 8 The We of Flow 9 The Flow of Imagination PART THREE TIME TO RISE 10 The Dark Side of Flow 11 The Flow of Next 12 Flow to Abundance Afterword Author’s Note Notes About the Author Index The tools for managing paradox are still undeveloped. – KEVIN KELLY Preface: The Why of Flow This is a book about the impossible, but it starts with the invisible. Over the past three decades, an unlikely collection of men and women have pushed human performance farther and faster than at any other point in the 150,000-year history of our species. In this evolutionary eyeblink, they have completely redefined the limits of the possible. But here’s the stranger part: this unprecedented flowering of human potential has taken place in plain sight, occasionally with millions of people watching–yet almost no one has noticed.

 

pages: 352 words: 96,532

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner, Matthew Lyon

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air freight, Bill Duvall, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, fault tolerance, Hush-A-Phone, information retrieval, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, natural language processing, packet switching, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy

Helen Samuels and the folks at MIT archives were immensely helpful, as was Kevin Corbitt, assistant archivist at the Charles Babbage Institute, Center for the History of Information Processing, at the University of Minnesota. We are grateful to John Day, Larry Roberts, Al Vezza, and John Shoch for digging around in old boxes for us. Deborah Melone and Bob Menk sent photographs and archives from BBN. Kevin Kelly and Martha Baer at Wired magazine got us focused on the history of e-mail. Noel Chiappa, good-natured tutor, spent hours on the telephone explaining, among other technical points, how routing tables and RFNMs work. The following people allowed us to interview them at length: Wes Clark, Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn, Severo Ornstein, Bob Taylor, Larry Roberts, Jon Postel, Frank Heart, Alex McKenzie, Dave Walden, Ben Barker, Donald Davies, Paul Baran, Len Kleinrock, Steve Lukasik, Steve Crocker, and Bob Metcalfe.

 

pages: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

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4chan, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, pets.com, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, WikiLeaks

Marin, Ryan Block, Tom Bodkin, Danah Boyd, Matt Buchanan, David Carr, Brian Chen, Mathias Crawford, Tony and Mary Conrad, Tom Conrad, Paddy Cosgrave, Dennis Crowley, Damon Darlin, Anil Dash, Mike Driscoll, Aaron Durand, Josh Felser, Tim Ferris, Brady Forrest, David Gallhager, Michael Galpert, John Geddes, Shelly Gerrish, Ashley Khaleesi Granata, Mark Hansen, Quentin Hardy, Leland Hayward, Erica Hintergardt, Mat Honan, Arianna Huffington, Kate Imbach, Larry Ingrassia, Walter Isaccson, Mike Issac, Joel Johnson, Andrei Kallaur, Paul Kedrosky, Kevin Kelly, Jeff Koyen, Brian Lam, Jeremy LaTrasse, Steven Levy, Allen Loeb, Kati London, Om Malik, John Markoff, Hubert McCabe, Christopher Michel, Claire Cain Miller, Trudy Muller, Tim O’Reilly, Carolyn Penner, Nicole Perlroth, Megan Quinn, Narendra Rocherolle, Jennifer Rodriguez, Evelyn Rusli, Naveen Selvadurai, Ryan and Devon Sarver, Elliot Schrage, Mari Sheibley, MG Siegler, Courtney Skott, Robin Sloan, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Suzanne Spector, Brad Stone, David Streitfeld, Gabriel Stricker, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Kara Swisher, Clive Thompson, Deep Throat, Baratunde Thurston, Mark Trammell, Sara Morishige Williams, Nick Wingfield, Jenna Wortham, Aaron Zamost, Edith Zimmerman.

 

pages: 366 words: 87,916

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner

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card file, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, index card, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Skype, spaced repetition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Yogi Berra

If you’ve ever wanted to become fluent in another language, do yourself a favor and start reading Fluent Forever now.” —Melanie Pinola, contributor writer for Lifehacker.com and author of LinkedIn in 30 Minutes “This is the book I’d use next time I want to learn a new language. It employs an intelligent mix of the latest methods for learning a language on your own using the Web, apps, and voice-training tips in an accelerated time frame.” —Kevin Kelly, senior maverick at Wired and author of What Technology Wants “I know what you’re thinking: But learning a new language is soooo hard! The solution? Stop being a whiner and start reading Wyner. This book is a winner! Guaranteed to rewire your brain in as many languages as you’d like.” —Joel Saltzman, author of Shake That Brain!: How to Create Winning Solutions and Have Fun While You’re at It “An excellent book … Wyner writes in an engaging and accessible way, weaving in his personal language journey.

 

pages: 264 words: 90,379

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

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affirmative action, airport security, Albert Einstein, complexity theory, David Brooks, East Village, haute couture, Kevin Kelly, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, new economy, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, theory of mind, young professional

The danger in calling is that they’ll tell you anything to get you off their backs, and if you act on that and take it at face value, you could make a mistake. Plus you are diverting them. Now they are looking upward instead of downward. You’re preventing them from resolving the situation.” Van Riper carried this lesson with him when he took over the helm of Red Team. “The first thing I told our staff is that we would be in command and out of control,” Van Riper says, echoing the words of the management guru Kevin Kelly. “By that, I mean that the overall guidance and the intent were provided by me and the senior leadership, but the forces in the field wouldn’t depend on intricate orders coming from the top. They were to use their own initiative and be innovative as they went forward. Almost every day, the commander of the Red air forces came up with different ideas of how he was going to pull this together, using these general techniques of trying to overwhelm Blue Team from different directions.

 

pages: 385 words: 103,561

Pinpoint: How GPS Is Changing Our World by Greg Milner

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Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, experimental subject, Flash crash, friendly fire, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, land tenure, lone genius, Mars Rover, Mercator projection, place-making, polynesian navigation, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, smart grid, the map is not the territory

Many thanks to everyone else who unhesitatingly extended a helping hand for this book, taking the time to tell me their stories, explaining the history and technological intricacies of GPS: Claudio Aporta, Michael Barclay, Beth Bartel, Ben Bartolome, Ron Beard, Eric Beaton, Michael Bevis, Steve Bradford, Justin Brookman, Nolan Bushnell, Robert Cheetham, Ann Ciganer, Hervé Clauss, Steve Coast, Dan Cole, Peggy Conway, Chuck Counselman, Jim Davis, Loren De Groot, Jim Dempsey, Deborah Dennard, George Drake, Ryan Driscoll, Per Enge, Ralph Eschenbach, John Fischer, Sean Fitzpatrick, Julia Frankenstein, Gary Freeland, Robert Gable, Nunzio Gambale, Amy Gilroy, Buster Glosson, Allen Goldstein, Gaylord Green, Liz Groff, Anurag Gupta, Tim Hall, Rick Hamilton, Debbie Henderson, Jim Higgins, Kirk Holub, Chuck Horner, Joseph Hoshen, Jiung-Yao Huang, Ken Hudnut, Aaron Huff, Eric Hunsader, Michael E. Jackson, Kevin Kelly, Josh Khani, Jay Dee Krull, Gilly Leshed, Judah Levine, Sam Liang, Rich Maher, Mani Mahjouri, Steve Malys, Hans Mark, Susan Marshall, Tom McHugh, Jules McNeff, Donald Mitchell, Richard Nimer, Scott Pace, Dave Paddock, Ganesh Pattabiraman, Stig Pedersen, Bruce Peetz, Arun Phadke, Sam Pullen, Logan Scott, Edwin Stear, Sam Stein, Ron Stewart, Mike Swiek, Dave Van Dusseldorp, John Warburton, Jim White, Pete Wilhelm, Ronald Yates.

 

pages: 320 words: 87,853

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks

Vaidhyanathan, The Googlization of Everything, 183. 119. Danny Sullivan, “Google Now Personalizes Everyone’s Search Results” (Dec. 2009). Search Engine Land. Available at http://searchengineland.com /google-now-personalizes-everyones-search-results-31195. 120. We should also entertain reconceptualizing our participation in digital platforms as work, since it is often unavoidable, laborious, and value generating. Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants (New York: Viking, 2010), 331 (“each time we click a link we strengthen a node somewhere in the supercomputer’s mind, thereby programming . . . it”); Trebor Scholz, ed., Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory (New York: Routledge, 2013); Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013); Jessica Weisberg, “Should Facebook Pay Its Users?

 

pages: 380 words: 118,675

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

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3D printing, airport security, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, call centre, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, game design, housing crisis, invention of movable type, inventory management, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, late fees, loose coupling, low skilled workers, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Rodney Brooks, search inside the book, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Skype, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, why are manhole covers round?

He carefully monitored efforts to filter the kinds of messages that could be sent to customers and he tried to think about the challenge of e-mail outreach in fresh ways. Then, in late 2011, he had what he considered to be a significant new idea. Bezos is a fan of e-mail newsletters such as VSL.com, a daily assortment of cultural tidbits from the Web, and Cool Tools, a compendium of technology tips and product reviews written by Kevin Kelly, a founding editor of Wired. Both e-mails are short, well written, and informative. Perhaps, Bezos reasoned, Amazon should be sending a single well-crafted e-mail every week—a short digital magazine—instead of a succession of bland, algorithm-generated marketing pitches. He asked marketing vice president Steve Shure to explore the idea. Shure formed a team and they spent two months coming up with trial concepts.

 

pages: 396 words: 117,149

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos

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3D printing, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Arthur Eddington, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, Black Swan, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, constrained optimization, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, future of work, global village, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information retrieval, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, NP-complete, P = NP, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, planetary scale, pre–internet, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight

A Brief History of Life, by Richard Hawking (Random Penguin, 1982), summarizes the quantum leaps of evolution in the eons BC. (Before Computers. Just kidding.) The Singularity Is Near, by Ray Kurzweil (Penguin, 2005), is your guide to the transhuman future. Joel Garreau considers three different scenarios for how human-directed evolution will unfold in Radical Evolution (Broadway Books, 2005). In What Technology Wants (Penguin, 2010), Kevin Kelly argues that technology is the continuation of evolution by other means. Darwin Among the Machines, by George Dyson (Basic Books, 1997), chronicles the evolution of technology and speculates on where it will lead. Craig Venter explains how his team synthesized a living cell in Life at the Speed of Light (Viking, 2013). Index Abagnale, Frank, Jr., 177, 306 aboutthedata.com, 272 A/B testing, 227, 309 Accuracy, 75–79, 87, 241, 243 Ackley, David, 103 Action potentials, 95–96, 104–105 Acxiom, 272 Adam, the robot scientist, 16, 84, 299 Adaptive systems, 8.

 

pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

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3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

Complaint Is Not Enough 1. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/mzuckerman/articles/2012/04/06/mort-zuckerman-no-easy-solutions-for-big-money-in-politics. 2. http://sloanreview.mit.edu/improvisations/2012/06/20/big-data-and-the-u-s-presidential-campaign/ Sixth Interlude: The Pocket Protector in the Saffron Robe 1. “The Trickster Guru,” in The Essential Alan Watts (Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1977). 2. http://cafegratitude.com/menu. 3. http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/i-am-annoyed-and-disappointed/Content?oid=1370662. Chapter 18. First Thought, Best Thought 1. Kevin Kelly in his Technium blog, January 31, 2008. Chapter 20. We Need to Do Better than Ad Hoc Levees 1. http://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-data-team/rethinking-information-diversity-in-networks/10150503499618859. Chapter 22. Who Will Do What? 1. http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2012/05/facebook_ipo_has_social_networking_supplanted_real_innovation_in_silicon_valley_.html. Chapter 26.

 

pages: 422 words: 131,666

Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff

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affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, car-free, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, easy for humans, difficult for computers, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, global village, Google Earth, greed is good, Howard Rheingold, income per capita, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, market bubble, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, peak oil, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, private military company, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social software, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Victor Gruen, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, young professional

The infinite growth and expansion required by credit-fueled corporate capitalism found a new frontier in the theoretically endless realm of cyberspace. The myth was enough to fuel the speculative dot-com bubble, which Alan Greenspan belatedly called “irrational exuberance,” but which went on long enough to convince investors to lift high-tech issues on the NASDAQ_ stock exchange beyond even the most optimistically speculative valuations. This was a “new economy,” according to Wired’s editor Kevin Kelly. A “tsunami,” echoed its publisher, Louis Rossetto—one that would rage over culture and markets like a tidal wave. More than simply costing millions of investors their savings, the movement of the Internet from the newspaper’s technology section to the business pages changed the way the public perceived what had once been a public space—a commons. The truly unlimited potential for the creation of value outside the centralized realm of Wall Street had been all but forgotten.

 

pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

This bold reframing is an exciting addition to our ongoing debate about geopolitics and the future of globalization.” —Dominic Barton, global managing director, McKinsey & Company “This is probably the most global book ever written. It is intensely specific while remaining broad and wide. Its takeaway is that infrastructure is destiny: Follow the supply lines outlined in this book to see where the future flows.” —Kevin Kelly, co-founder, Wired “Parag Khanna takes our knowledge of connectivity into virgin territory, providing an entire atlas on how old and new connections are reshaping our physical, social, and mental worlds. This is a deep and highly informative reflection on the meaning of a rapidly developing borderless world. Connectography proves why the past is no longer prologue to the future. There’s no better guide than Parag Khanna to show us all the possibilities of this new hyperconnected world.”

 

pages: 479 words: 144,453

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

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23andMe, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, European colonialism, experimental subject, falling living standards, Flash crash, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, glass ceiling, global village, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Kevin Kelly, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, mutually assured destruction, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, too big to fail, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, ultimatum game, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Turnbull and Solms, The Brain and the Inner World, 136–59; Kelly Bulkeley, Visions of the Night: Dreams, Religion and Psychology (New York: State University of New York Press, 1999); Andreas Mavrematis, Hypnogogia: The Unique State of Consciousness Between Wakefulness and Sleep (London: Routledge, 1987); Brigitte Holzinger, Stephen LaBerge and Lynn Levitan, ‘Psychophysiological Correlates of Lucid Dreaming’, American Psychological Association 16:2 (2006), 88–95; Watanabe Tsuneo, ‘Lucid Dreaming: Its Experimental Proof and Psychological Conditions’, Journal of International Society of Life Information Science 21:1 (2003), 159–62; Victor I. Spoormaker and Jan van den Bout, ‘Lucid Dreaming Treatment for Nightmares: A Pilot Study’, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 75:6 (2006), 389–94. 11 The Data Religion 1. See, for example, Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants (New York: Viking Press, 2010); César Hidalgo, Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies (New York: Basic Books, 2015); Howard Bloom, Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century (Hoboken: Wiley, 2001); DuBravac, Digital Destiny. 2. Friedrich Hayek, ‘The Use of Knowledge in Society’, American Economic Review 35:4 (1945), 519–30. 3.

 

The Fugitive Game: Online With Kevin Mitnick by Jonathan Littman

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Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, centre right, computer age, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, profit motive, Silicon Valley, Steven Levy, telemarketer

"John estimated he would go to the cheapest possible place and he wouldn't worry about" the quality of the food, Menapace said. Markoff acknowledged trading information with Shimomura, but denied being a member of the team. "I wasn't involved. I am a reporter. Tsutomu and Julia call me a member of their team, and that's fine if they want to call me that. But I was a reporter," Markoff said. By Sunday afternoon, Markoff's new Times story is what's raising eyebrows on the Well. Kevin Kelly, executive editor of red-hot Wired magazine, a respected author, friend of John Markoff, and Well board member, begins posting some intriguing questions about Shimomura and the image created by the New York Times. #621 Having had "inside" knowledge about this event for the past two weeks (as a member of the Well board and as a friend of Markoff) the thing that I still don't get is: How did the ultimate Genuine Smart Guy, the real hacker, let himself get hacked by the challenger Mitnick?

 

Culture and Prosperity: The Truth About Markets - Why Some Nations Are Rich but Most Remain Poor by John Kay

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Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, California gold rush, complexity theory, computer age, constrained optimization, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, equity premium, Ernest Rutherford, European colonialism, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, George Gilder, greed is good, haute couture, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pets.com, popular electronics, price discrimination, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, urban decay, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, yield curve, yield management

The central message-that economics provides at best little support for conventional political wisdom about market efficiency and the simplifications of the American business model-was lost. Stiglitz was cheered by anti globalization protesters with little appreciation of what the argument was really about. The stock market bubble confronted economists with different challenges. The public debate was dominated by pundits: George Gilder of Forbes ASAP, Kevin Kelly of Wired and New Rules for the New Economy) James Glassman and Kevin Hassett of Dow 36)000. These people were not credentialed economists, but they announced the irrelevance of traditional principles of business economics and market valuation in the face of new technology and a changed political environment. Few serious economists made public pronouncements on the bubble, perhaps wisely. Bob Shiller, whose observations in 1996 had given rise to Alan Greenspan's famous remarks about "irrational exuberance," was savaged by commentator George Will, 24 for whom the continued rise of the stock market demonstrated the error of Shiller's claim that valuations were unsustainable.

 

pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman

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Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, loose coupling, loss aversion, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

How times have changed. This book was written only once, but via the wonder of large-scale printing equipment, it can be reproduced quickly, reliably, and inexpensively. As a result, tens of millions of copies can be made and distributed all over the world and can be purchased for a few dollars. That’s the magic of Duplication. The Internet has made Duplication of some forms of value even easier. As Kevin Kelly remarked in his essay “Better Than Free,”3 the Internet is essentially an enormous, inexpensive copy machine. When I write a post for my Web site, it can be Duplicated by my Web server for next to nothing, and delivered to a reader on the other side of the world almost instantly. Duplication of information—text, images, music, video—is essentially free. The value of this information, however, can be quite significant.

 

pages: 1,396 words: 245,647

The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom by Graham Farmelo

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, gravity well, Henri Poincaré, invention of radio, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, strikebreaker, University of East Anglia

The library facilities at the institute are peerless, and I should like to thank all the staff there who were unstinting in their support: Karen Downing, Momota Ganguli, Gabriella Hoskin, Erica Mosner, Marcia Tucker, Kirstie Venanzi and Judy Wilson-Smith. Among the other colleagues who made my stays there so rewarding: Linda Arntzenius, Alan Cheng, Karen Cuozzo, Jennifer Hansen, Beatrice Jessen, Kevin Kelly, Camille Merger, Nadine Thompson, Sharon Tozzi-Goff and Sarah Zantua. Also in Princeton, I should like to thank Gillett Griffin, Lily Harish-Chandra, Louise Morse (mère et soeur) and Terri Nelson. I should like to give my special thanks to Peter Goddard, formerly Master of St John’s, now Director of the Institute for Advanced Study. No one has been more supportive of the project or shown more interest in its progress.

 

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

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additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Yet its claims are so outrageous that if true, it would mean ... well ... the end of the world as we know it, and the beginning of utopia. Ray Kurzweil has taken all the strands of the Singularity meme circulating in the last decades and has united them into a single tome which he has nailed on our front door. I suspect this will be one of the most cited books of the decade. Like Paul Ehrlich's upsetting 1972 book Population Bomb, fan or foe, it's the wave at the epicenter you have to start with." —KEVIN KELLY, founder of Wired "Really, really out there. Delightfully so." —Businessweek.com "Stunning, utopian vision of the near future when machine intelligence outpaces the biological brain and what things may look like when that happens....Approachable and engaging." —The Unofficial Microsoft Blog "One of the most important thinkers of our time, Kurzweil has followed up his earlier works ... with a work of startling breadth and audacious scope."

 

pages: 666 words: 181,495

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

My friend Lynnea Johnson proved a lifesaver when she offered the Palo Alto cottage she co-owns with Carolyn Rose as my base camp for the project. The actual writing of the book accelerated because of a fantastic uncluttering of my office by Erin Rooney Doland. My fact-checking team included Deborah Branscum, Victoria Wright, Stacy Horn, Teresa Carpenter, and Andrew Levy. (Though, as always, the buck stops with the author.) I got wisdom and advice along the way from John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, and Brad Stone. My first and most enthusiastic reader, of course, was my wife, Teresa Carpenter. (Having a Pulitzer Prize winner in the house is pretty useful.) As always, my agent Flip Brophy was invaluable at every stage of the perilous publishing process. At Simon & Schuster, Bob Bender was again my sharp-eyed editor, with Johanna Li assisting. The meticulous copyeditor at Simon & Schuster was Nancy Inglis.

 

pages: 654 words: 204,260

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

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Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Arthur Eddington, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Brownian motion, California gold rush, Cepheid variable, clean water, Copley Medal, cosmological constant, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Attenborough, double helix, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, out of africa, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, supervolcano, Thomas Malthus, Wilhelm Olbers

Many, according to Godfray, “spend most of their career trying to interpret the work of nineteenth-century systematicists: deconstructing their often inadequate published descriptions or scouring the world's museums for type material that is often in very poor condition.” Godfray particularly stresses the absence of attention being paid to the systematizing possibilities of the Internet. The fact is that taxonomy by and large is still quaintly wedded to paper. In an attempt to haul things into the modern age, in 2001 Kevin Kelly, cofounder of Wired magazine, launched an enterprise called the All Species Foundation with the aim of finding every living organism and recording it on a database. The cost of such an exercise has been estimated at anywhere from $2 billion to as much as $50 billion. As of the spring of 2002, the foundation had just $1.2 million in funds and four full-time employees. If, as the numbers suggest, we have perhaps 100 million species of insects yet to find, and if our rates of discovery continue at the present pace, we should have a definitive total for insects in a little over fifteen thousand years.

 

pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marshall McLuhan, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

The average number of authors per scientific paper is up too, increasing steadily over the past sixty years from an average of slightly over 1 to averages of 2.22 in computer science, 2.66 for condensed-matter physics, 3.35 for astrophysics, 3.75 for biomedicine, and 8.96 authors for high-energy physics. See: M.E.J. Newman. “Who is the best connected scientist? A study of scientific co-authorship networks,” Working Paper, Santa Fe Institute (2000). 5. Kevin Kelly, “Speculation on the Future of Science,” Edge, vol. 179 (April 7, 2006). 6. Fred Pearce, “Climate Wars,” The Guardian (February 9, 2010). 7. As data sets continue to grow, scientists will need to hand off more and more of the routine tasks to machines. The problem in the interim is that machines won’t necessarily spot the unusual or the unexpected, the kind of one-offs that can lead to game-changing breakthroughs.

 

pages: 836 words: 158,284

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss

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23andMe, airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Dean Kamen, game design, Gary Taubes, index card, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, microbiome, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, placebo effect, Productivity paradox, publish or perish, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, wage slave, William of Occam

TOOLS AND TRICKS Seth Roberts, “Self-Experimentation as a Source of New Ideas: Ten Examples Involving Sleep, Mood, Health, and Weight,” Behavioral and Brain Science 27 (2004): 227–88 (www.fourhourbody.com/new-ideas) This 61-page document about self-experimentation provides an overview of some of Seth’s findings, including actionable sleep examples. The Quantified Self (www.quantifiedself.com) Curated by Wired cofounding editor Kevin Kelly and Gary Wolf, a managing editor of Wired, this is the perfect home for all self-experimenters. The resources section alone is worth a trip to this site, which provides the most comprehensive list of data-tracking tools and services on the web (www.fourhourbody.com/quantified). Alexandra Carmichael, “How to Run a Successful Self-Experiment” (www.fourhourbody.com/self-experiment) Most people have never systematically done a self-experiment.

 

pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More

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23andMe, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, data acquisition, discovery of DNA, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Extropian, fault tolerance, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, friendly AI, game design, germ theory of disease, hypertext link, impulse control, index fund, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, P = NP, pattern recognition, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, stem cell, stochastic process, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, the built environment, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce

In conclusion, I find the Singularity idea appealing and a wonderful plot device, but I doubt it describes our likely future. I expect a Surge, not a Singularity. But in case I’m wrong, I’ll tighten my seatbelt, keeping taking the smart drugs, and treat all computers with the greatest of respect. I’m their friend! Comment by Michael Nielsen What is the Singularity? The following excerpts from Kevin Kelly’s Wired interview with Vinge sum it up succinctly: if we ever succeed in making machines as smart as humans, then it’s only a small leap to imagine that we would soon thereafter make – or cause to be made – machines that are even smarter than any human. And that’s it. That’s the end of the human era … The reason for calling this a “singularity” is that things are completely unknowable beyond that point.