Kevin Kelly tells technology’s epic story (TED talk)

The term “technology” was not regularly used until 1952. The thinking of technology was absent until around this time. But technology has been around for a very long time. If you took out all of the technology in the world – we would not live very long. Blades and knives are technology.

We managed to make extinct 250 animals in North America just with basic tools like axes and knives. This was long before we really started with global warming and pollution. With just a small amount of technology we’ve been affecting the planet.

Technology itself is the most powerful force that has ever been released on this planet. We are intimately related to technology, it’s part of who we are.

Technology, as defined by Kelly is: anything useful invented by a mind.

The greatest amount of energy we’ve ever seen is in a computer chip – there’s more energy flowing through per gram, per second, than anything we’ve experienced. If you want to see where technology is going, you can see it’s going to be more energy dense.

Technology is also accelerating every aspect of our life. We’re seeing more diversity in the things we make.

Technology wants something, just like a cat wants to get fed, and a bacteria without any consciousness wants to move towards light, technology also has an urge to want something.

The response to a bad idea is not to have no more ideas, it’s to have a better idea. Same for technology – if we make something bad, make it better. This is the attitude we need to take, and not be afraid of what technology might do when it goes wrong.

(Part of TED a day for June)


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