Review of "What Technology Wants"

What Technology WantsWhat Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very clever premise.

Kevin Kelly defines technology as everything that living things do to alter their environment. This includes language, civilization, law, art, bird's nests, and yes, gadgets.

Technology with this broad definition is simply an extension of biological evolution. It tends to evolve toward certain things such as autonomy, sentience, complexity, and diversity. Technology "wants" these things in the same way that genes "want" to perpetuate themselves.

Technology makes life better because it is always increasing our options. The author even argues that technology makes us better people, which means that we have a moral obligation to develop and increase new technologies. I find his argument very convincing.

He thoroughly examines antagonistic views of technology from the Amish and the Ted Kazinsky.

Highly recommended. 4.5 stars


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