Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Inevitable

It seems to me that a disproportionate number of people are pessimistic about our ability to continue to innovate towards better standards of living. This view is in contrast to what has actually happened over the last several hundred years, and since I view the causes of these innovations as unlikely to change, I don't subscribe to that view. So it was refreshing for me to read The Inevitable, which takes an optimistic view of the future and goes so far as to make some bold predictions about what it will look like.

Long-time readers of this site know that I don't put much stock in predictions. The book's author, Kevin Kelly, mentioned several examples where he himself had erred in making predictions about the future. For example, he was bewildered that Google chose to focus on internet search...where's the money in that?!

So in a way it's kind of silly that he would write a book full of predictions. But Kelly appears so knowledgeable about the frontiers of today's knowledge, that I don't actually think he went too far out on a limb with any of his predictions. They are all not far at all from what is already currently possible. And yet some of what may be coming is remarkable!

I think this is a book that anyone who thinks human innovation has come to a standstill needs to read, if only for a differing viewpoint and for expanding one's opinion of what's possible! It's also a fun read for those interested in surmising about what may be coming, even if some of these turn out to be way off the mark.


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