Kevin Kelly: Technology Doesn’t Want A Singularity

Today’s edition of Singularity 1 on 1 features prominent author, maverick technologist, and regular TED speaker Kevin Kelly. Kevin just published a new book called What Technology Wants. Seth Godin blogged about it and called it The Book Of The Year because in Seth’s opinion “if there’s justice it will win the Pulitzer Prize.” Steven Johnson called it the anti-Unabomber manifesto.

After such endorsements, I could not help but buy and read the book myself. Having done so I have to say that I agree with both of the above ratings. In my opinion What Technology Wants is perhaps the most optimistic, coherent, beautiful, and poetic defense of technology. It provides unique depth and breadth of its techno-analysis together with an altogether new theory of the evolution and interplay of both technology and biology (and Homo Sapiens). (In some ways it may arguably serve as the unofficial prequel to Ray Kurzweil‘s The Singularity Is Near.)

During our 45 min conversation, I got Kevin to share his thoughts on technology in general and his book in particular but also other topics such as religion, the Unabomber, artificial intelligence, the technological singularity, and the omega point. You can listen to or download the audio podcast above or scroll down and watch the YouTube videos of our conversation below. Unfortunately, after the 6th minute of our conversation, our Skype video feed gets interrupted and the video becomes choppy and out-of-sync with the audio. While this problem persists until the end of the interview the sound is excellent and I do believe that there is a lot of value in listening to or watching what Kevin has to say, even while the Technium is trying to sabotage his message. The good news here is that in due time I may use this technical issue as an excuse to get Kevin for another interview for Singularity 1 on 1.

Who is Kevin Kelly?

Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993 and served as its Executive Editor from its inception until 1999. His most recent book called What Technology Wants was published on October 18, 2010. Kevin is also editor and publisher of the Cool Tools website, which gets half a million unique visitors per month. From 1984-1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers’ Conference and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. He authored the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy and the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control.

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