The Inevitable

Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

by Kevin Kelly

Number of pages: 336

Publisher: Viking

BBB Library: Technology and Globalization

ISBN: 978-0143110378

About the Author

Kevin Kelly is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review. He has also been a writer,photographer, conservationist, and student of Asian and digital culture.


Editorial Review

“Inevitable” is a strong word. It sends up red flags for some people because they object that nothing is inevitable. They claim that human willpower can deflect and control any mechanical trend. And when the notion of the inevitable is forged with fancy technology, the objections to a preordained destiny are even more fierce. But the kind of inevitability we’re speaking of here in the digital realm is the result of the momentum of an ongoing technological shift. The strong tides that shaped digital technologies for the past 30 years will continue to expand and harden in the next 30 years.

Book Reviews

“While readers will encounter hints of robotic doctors and clothes that give the washing machine cleaning instructions, the author’s 12 ingenious chapters eschew high-tech spectaculars in favor of their driving forces. All the chapter titles are verbs in the present participle form: flowing, cognifying, tracking, accessing, sharing, etc. “Sharing” and instant “Accessing” will make possession irrelevant.” — Kirkus Review

“Nevertheless, Kelly writes so well, one is drawn into the flow. The book is like a gentle bath in the future. It is comforting and refreshing. There is little that will startle and much that will seem familiar—and, yet, one steps out feeling renewed.” — New York Journal of Books

Books on Related Topics

Wisdom to Share

“Inevitable” is a strong word. It sends up red flags for some people because they object that nothing is inevitable.

Banning the inevitable usually backfires. Prohibition is at best temporary, and at worst counterproductive.

The problem with constant becoming is that unceasing change can blind us to its incremental changes.

The problems of today were caused by yesterday’s technological successes, and the technological solutions to today’s problems will cause the problems of tomorrow.

Today truly is a wide-open frontier. We’re all becoming. It’s the best time ever in human history to begin.

Technological life in the future will be a series of endless upgrades. Features shift, defaults disappear, and menus morph.

It’s hard to imagine anything that would change everything as much as cheap, powerful, ubiquitous artificial intelligence (AI).

It may be hard to believe, but before the end of this century, 70 percent of today’s occupations will be replaced by automation.

Many of the jobs that politicians are fighting to keep away from robots are jobs that no one wakes up in the morning really wanting to do.

Trust must be earned over time. It cannot be reproduced, faked, stored, or downloaded.