Kevin Kelly, author of “The Inevitable: The 12 Technological Forces that Will Shape the Next 30 Years, talks about these technological forces and change in general. We also talk about the ones he thinks may have the longest lasting impact on education.
Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor for its first seven years. His new book for Viking/Penguin is called The Inevitable. He is also founding editor and co-publisher of the popular Cool Tools website, which has been reviewing tools daily since 2003. 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. His books include the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy, the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control, a graphic novel about robots and angels, The Silver Cord, an oversize catalog of the best of Cool Tools, and his summary theory of technology in What Technology Wants (2010).
(02:32) When you hear the word “successful,” what’s the first person, or thing that comes to mind?
(03:51) Kevin’s background
(07:59) In reading this book, we’re talking about these forces, and humans’ relationship to change, and the things that have the potential to be, not necessarily will be. I’d like to get your feedback on embracing fear versus feeling fear. And how do you expect people to be able to take away things from this book rather than be fearful of it.
(11:53) In reading the book, you got these 12 forces that you say are trajectories and not destinations. I was also thinking about the skills that we will need to develop as human beings to leverage them to our advantage, and position ourselves for success and usefulness given these forces. What do you think are the most important skills that people should be thinking about developing over the next 10, 20, 30 years?
(16:09) Because of the rate of change, it’s almost this re-emphasis on the importance of liberal arts skills that you should be learning rather than practical, technical skills, right?
(17:14) You talked about the scientific method and how that was the most important invention of the last 200 years… I never really thought about the scientific method as an invention itself. I’d like for you to elaborate on that.
(20:40) Do you think there will ever be some process that replaces the scientific method, like it did trial and error?
(22:03) I was reading your third force, which is on flowing and how it impacts how we’ll consume and read books. And I was thinking about our impact on sleep… And it made me start thinking about control. I’m interested about your thought on our ability to control the technology to use it the right way rather than having technology control us. What is your though on that, and how do you do it? How do you control your use of technology?
(26:25) One of the things that attracted me to your work is this balance, about how you always had an interest in science but you also had this artistic side… I’m curious on your deeper thoughts on books. Because you do mention in the book how physical books may, down the line, pretty much go away. How do you see that happening? Do you see that happening with art itself moving into a digital realm? How do we continue to remove ourselves from it at times?
(30:36) When you write, do you write digitally, or do you write with pen and paper?
(31:18) Do you read on Kindle, digitally?
(32:42) I’m thinking about artificial intelligence and virtual reality. I’m thinking about it in the context of education and its impact on the future of education. What do you think are the 5 to 10 year implications of artificial intelligence and virtual reality on a classroom, on how people are learning in the K-12 setting?
(37:46) If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?