Dear Commons Community,
I have just finished reading What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly. Those of us interested in broader issues such as technological determinism and technological pessimism will find it interesting. Kelly covers a lot of ground especially when establishing a relationship between technological development and biological evolution. He uses a term “technium” to refer to a larger technological entity that has driven technological development throughout millennia. In what is probably the most controversial aspect of Kelly’s thesis, he refers to the technium as a “living organism” that permeates the universe.
Kelly is surely a technophile who sees much of what is good in technological development. I believe he is on fairly firm ground when discussing the evolution of technology and especially on how it has expanded humankind’s choices and options. Although interesting and provocative, I don’t accept his comparison of the technium to biological evolution. I think this is a reach that I am sure anthropologists and others can easily refute.
In sum, if technology is your thing and especially if you see the “good” in its application, you will probably enjoy this book.