What Technology Wants and Where Good Ideas Come From
The prolific authors Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson discuss their latest works at a talk hosted by the New York Public Library.
Last week, the New York Public Library hosted a conversation featuring the new works of Kevin Kelly (What Technology Wants) and Steven Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come From). Moderated by Robert Krulwich of NPR Science and WNYC’s Radiolab, the three had a discussion around the nature of innovation and how it impacts societies and culture.
PSFK was able to capture some key notes below:There are underlying patters that appear in the story of all innovations – things like environments that allow for serendipitous discovery, ideas that are made possible because of the manifestation of others’ ideas, and stories of insights that develop over strikingly long periods of time. Innovators have friends with remarkably diverse backgrounds and expertise. This allows for outside perspectives – people who can tell you that maybe something you’re looking at is actually a signal, not noise. Kevin Kelly is being intentionally provocative by saying there are things that technology “wants,” but he uses the term in the way we might say a plant “wants” sunlight – these things display certain tendencies that they naturally gravitate towards. There is a significant pattern of technologies of the same sort appearing at the same time across the world, even within groups that are culturally isolated from each other. Living things go extinct, but tools dont. You can find nearly any tool throughout the history of technology being made new, today.
Watch a full video of the talk below: