Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired, espouses technological determinism—the perspective that certain technologies have inherent qualities that are destined to become increasingly manifest, evoking a technological entropy of sorts. But we play an active role in this process; new technologies are made by us and for us, to modulate our interactions with each other within systems of power that are also of our own making. So, while Kelly deserves our scepticism for ignoring the social dimension of the politics he invokes, he does crystallize an important lesson. Some technologies make it easier to achieve or imagine certain features, and these biases are signs of changes to come. The internet’s proclivity for copying forced changes to the music industry, and now the proclivity for tracking will have a similarly deep impact.
DateMay 11, 2015TitleInquiring Minds: 75 Kevin Kelly – What Technology WantsSegment00:23:54 – 00:25:26Kevin Kelly:
I take the view that not only does technology have its own culture but it also has its own agenda—has its own bias. My writings are trying to uncover: what are those biases in technology? How does it sort of bend things toward itself? The easiest example that I can think of is that technology wants to copy. The internet wants to copy—it’s this huge bias to copy anything that can be copied. And anything that can be copied, if it touches it, it will be copied. You can’t stop the copying of it—you can’t have copy protections, none of those are going to work because it wants to copy so you have to kind of work with its predisposition, its inherent bias to copy things. You have to work with that and if you want to make money on the internet you have to sell things that can’t be easily copied, like trust, immediacy, personalization, or embodiment—stuff like that. So I’m on the lookout for other aspects of this technological world that are biased and there are tendencies or things that are inevitable. These days I’ve come, very reluctantly, to the conclusion that the internet wants to track us.