20 June 2014

Review: What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly (2010)

.@Kevin2Kelly .#Book .#Review .#Futurism .#SciFi.

From now on, ClubOfINFO will be sending its readers a mini book review every week. These will be focusing on important and current events and the crucial debates of the century, aiming to broaden our readers' understandings of the crossroads of politics and technology.

Wired cofounder Kevin Kelly's What Technology Wants (2010) is a revolutionary book presenting the theory of the technium - a term Kelly uses to describe the ever expanding sphere of advanced technology and all that could potentially emerge from it.

Kelly's book gives rise to an unprecedented radical vision of humanity's future with profound social, economic and political implications: the technium is not just what the engineers and scientists have made it to be, but a lot more. The technium has a will of its own - a powerful and enduring instinct to expand the bounds of the possible and liberate every human individual.

Like the natural environment before it, the technium is growing into a vast jungle of infinite resources and possibilities. Kelly sees the growing emergence of this complexity and glory as "extropy" - the progressive transformation away from a simple and barren universe towards a vastly sentient and populated universe exploding with intelligence.

The arms of the technium that are currently transforming the world, whether biotechnology or digital technology, lead endlessly towards liberation and the empowerment of the individual. No matter what the designs of the technology's owners were, all things that make the individual more powerful lead to the empowerment of the masses and the instruments of popular power and resistance.

In the promise of the technium, there is an ultimate solution to oppression and inequality in the world. As the technium leads humanity towards greater levels of freedom and individual empowerment, Kevin Kelly's work nods undeniably in the direction of the triumph of individuals over states. The future is not a bleak one of degeneration and extinction, but an unbelievably glorious one of enhancement, cultural enrichment and the supremacy of intelligence. This is what humanity has to work for.

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