I was so excited when I got a reply from Kevin Kelly saying yes to the podcast. For those of you who do not know who Kevin is, he is easily considered the wise oracle and elder of technology. Anyone in the tech space will pay attention to what Kevin says. He was one of the founders of Wired Mag, and is now its senior maverick.

I have been following the work of Kevin for many years now. He has such a whole systems view of technology. He is also a keen photographer, a hiker, father, world traveler and uses technology with great consideration. Plus he is a maker.

I particularly loved the close of this podcast where he talks about cool and useless tools, about humans being less efficient.

I do hope you enjoy this episode.



Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor from its inception until 1999. He is also editor and publisher of the popular Cool Tools website, which has been running for 11 years. 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. He authored the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy, the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control, as well as a new theory of technology, What Technology Wants. His most recent book is the self-published best-seller Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities.

Show notes

*On the optimist chart he is a 10 out of 11, as to where we are headed as a people and society

*Small concerns about us not having a very good consensus around cyber conflict, we do not have rules for that. Concerned about species loss from our increasing technium.

*The technium has a behaviour of its own and has a developmental trajectory where some things are inevitable, such as robots.

*Technology is not as far from life and humans as he thought

*Was part of the internet in 1981, one of the first 10 people

*We have engineered ourselves as humans, we have domesticated ourselves as humans, changed our genes through our choice of food.

*We are not separate from the technium, but have created it, so we are both the creators and at effect of it. The parent and the child. This means we will always have conflicted feelings with the technium.

*Whole Earth catalog was the web on news print.

*The web is not good at curating. So many choices.

*Cool Tools – You can rent a bulldozer, build a log cabin, run for local office and win, etc..

*The internet is an amplifier and it amplifies both good and bad

*”What is an act of aggression? What is a border? What is national sovereignty? All the basic assumptions are all up for question.”

*Focus on opportunities rather than fears.

*Exotrophy the opposite of entropy. Increase order due to the rate of entropy.

* When we invent things we are part of the great arc of evolution.

*Cool an useless tools = art.

*Big believer in doing things that aren’t productive, that are done out of love and passion, because more things are invented during this time.

*Artists in residence are a great asset.

*Sometimes it is better to be inefficient.

*Productivity is for robots.



Cool Tools The Book

Cool Tool website

New Rules for the New Economy

Out of Control, the book

What Technology Wants, the book

Stephen J Gould

Kevin’s latest article in Wired Mag. The Future of Artificial Intelligence

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