What Technology Wants

Category: Economics
Author: Kevin Kelly
This Month Hacker News 1


by lostphilosopher   2018-12-14
Kevin Kelly has an interesting take on this in _What Technology Wants_ [1]. Essentially - that these sort of works were inevitable. If Kubrick, Gates, or Bezos hadn't made 2001, MS, or AMZ - someone else would have. Not _exactly_ the same thing of course, but something so similar as to fill the same spot in history. 2001 happened because 1968 was, in a sense, "ripe" for it. The book undoubtably explains it better. :-)

(Weird. This is the second book recommendation I've made on HN today... I swear I'm not a bot!)

1. https://www.amazon.com/What-Technology-Wants-Kevin-Kelly/dp/...

by lostphilosopher   2018-08-17
Re: backwards compatibility - Kevin Kelly writes in _What Technology Wants_[0] that Romans impacted the space shuttle - Roman roads were the model for most European roads, and were themselves based on the width of two horses walking next to each other, per "lane" (main use case of the time). Europeans brought this notion of roads with them to the US and built similar roads. Early cars had to fit on these roads, and early car roads were built on top of these horse roads. Eventually, when the space shuttle was designed, shipping its parts from factories across the company (on roads) had to be factored in. Therefore there were size/shape constraints on the shuttle that have their origins in Roman horse drawn carts.

(I'm recalling from memory, Kelly's explanation was probably better. Not something I've researched beyond finding that anecdote interesting.)

0. https://www.amazon.com/What-Technology-Wants-Kevin-Kelly/dp/...

by lostphilosopher   2017-08-19
If you thought the scientist A and scientist B discovering X at the same time phenomenon was neat you'll probably like Kevin Kelly's take on it (https://www.amazon.com/What-Technology-Wants-Kevin-Kelly/dp/...). More or less he claims that not only does that sort of pattern occur, but that that's the norm, and that all human advancement, biological, social, technical etc. is a part of evolution.