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O fodástico Kevin Kelly juntou alguns provérbios do Marshall McLuhan. O que eu mais gostei é a frase aí do lado, que dá título ao post.

In this electric age we see ourselves being translated more and more into the form of information, moving toward the technological extension of consciousness.

Man the food-gatherer reappears incongruously as information-gatherer. In this role, electronic man is no less a nomad than his paleolithic ancestors.

It is a principal aspect of the electric age that it establishes a global network that has much of the character of our central nervous system.

By putting our physical bodies inside our extended nervous systems, by means of electric media, we set up a dynamic by which all previous technologies — including cities — will be translated into information systems.

Man becomes, as it were, the sex organs of the machine world…enabling it to evolve ever new forms.

Might not our current translation of our entire lives into the spiritual form of information seem to make of the entire globe, and of the human family, a single consciousness?

What would happen if art were suddenly seen for what it is, namely, exact information of how to rearrange one’s psyche in order to anticipate the next blow from our own extended faculties?

The world of the ear is more embracing and inclusive than that of the eye can ever be.

Ads are news. What is wrong with them is that they are always good news. In order to balance off the effect and to sell good news, it is necessary for newspapers and television to have a lot of bad news.

There is a desperate need for games in a highly specialized industrial culture, since they are the only forms of art accessible to many minds.

The telephone: speech without walls. The phonograph: music hall without walls. The photograph: museum without walls. The electric light: space without walls. The movie, radio, and TV: classroom without walls.

Just as we now try to control atom-bomb fallout, so we will one day try to control media fallout. Education will become recognized as civil defense against media fallout.

With TV the viewer is the screen.

Privacy invasion is now one of our biggest knowledge industries.

Essa frase aqui fala bem sobre modelos políticos e por que ditaduras sempre fracassarão:

Under electric technology the entire business of man becomes learning and knowing…and all forms of wealth result from the movement of information.

Os dois cabeçudos trocaram uma idéia sobre inovação nas páginas da Wired:

Steven Johnson: We share a fascination with the long history of simultaneous invention: cases where several people come up with the same idea at almost exactly the same time. Calculus, the electrical battery, the telephone, the steam engine, the radio—all these groundbreaking innovations were hit upon by multiple inventors working in parallel with no knowledge of one another.

Kelly: It’s amazing that the myth of the lone genius has persisted for so long, since simultaneous invention has always been the norm, not the exception. Anthropologists have shown that the same inventions tended to crop up in prehistory at roughly similar times, in roughly the same order, among cultures on different continents that couldn’t possibly have contacted one another.

Johnson: Also, there’s a related myth—that innovation comes primarily from the profit motive, from the competitive pressures of a market society. If you look at history, innovation doesn’t come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect.

Kelly: Really, we should think of ideas as connections,in our brains and among people. Ideas aren’t self-contained things; they’re more like ecologies and networks. They travel in clusters.

Kelly: In part, that’s because ideas that leap too far ahead are almost never implemented—they aren’t even valuable. People can absorb only one advance, one small hop, at a time. Gregor Mendel’s ideas about genetics, for example: He formulated them in 1865, but they were ignored for 35 years because they were too advanced. Nobody could incorporate them. Then, when the collective mind was ready and his idea was only one hop away, three different scientists independently rediscovered his work within roughly a year of one another.

Johnson: Charles Babbage is another great case study. His “analytical engine,” which he started designing in the 1830s, was an incredibly detailed vision of what would become the modern computer, with a CPU, RAM, and so on. But it couldn’t possibly have been built at the time, and his ideas had to be rediscovered a hundred years later.

Kelly: I think there are a lot of ideas today that are ahead of their time. Human cloning, autopilot cars, patent-free law—all are close technically but too many steps ahead culturally. Innovating is about more than just having the idea yourself; you also have to bring everyone else to where your idea is. And that becomes really difficult if you’re too many steps ahead.

Johnson: The scientist Stuart Kauffman calls this the “adjacent possible.” At any given moment in evolution—of life, of natural systems, or of cultural systems—there’s a space of possibility that surrounds any current configuration of things. Change happens when you take that configuration and arrange it in a new way. But there are limits to how much you can change in a single move.

Kelly: Both of us have written books on this idea, on the primacy of the evolutionary model for understanding the world. But in What Technology Wants, I’ve actually gone a bit further and come to see technology as an alternative great story, as a different source for understanding where we are in the cosmos. I think technology is something that can give meaning to our lives, particularly in a secular world.

Johnson: I was particularly taken with your idea that technology wants increasing diversity—which is what I think also happens in biological systems, as the adjacent possible becomes larger with each innovation. As tech critics, I think we have to keep this in mind, because when you expand the diversity of a system, that leads to an increase in great things and an increase in crap.

Kelly: Right. This is a big theme in your book, too—the idea that the most creative environments allow for repeated failure.

Johnson: And for wastes of time and resources. If you knew nothing about the Internet and were trying to figure it out from the data, you would reasonably conclude that it was designed for the transmission of spam and porn. And yet at the same time, there’s more amazing stuff available to us than ever before, thanks to the Internet.

Kelly: Ten years ago, I was arguing that the problem with TV was that there wasn’t enough bad TV. Making TV was so expensive that accountants prevented it from becoming really crappy—or really great. It was all mediocre. But that was before YouTube. Now there is great TV!

Johnson: This is another idea with a clear evolutionary parallel, right? If we didn’t have genetic mutations, we wouldn’t have us. You need error to open the door to the adjacent possible.

Johnson: Life seems to gravitate toward these complex states where there’s just enough disorder to create new things. There’s a rate of mutation just high enough to let interesting new innovations happen, but not so many mutations that every new generation dies off immediately.

Kelly: In this way and many others, technology is an extension of life. Both life and technology are faces of the same larger system.

O cara é parceiro do kevin kelly. Preciso dizer mais alguma coisa?

At TED@Cannes, Gary Wolf gives a 5-min intro to an intriguing new pastime: using mobile apps and always-on gadgets to track and analyze your body, mood, diet, spending — just about everything in daily life you can measure — in gloriously geeky detail.

Clay Shirky:

“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.”

Kevin Kelly:

The Shirky Principle declares that complex solutions (like a company, or an industry) can become so dedicated to the problem they are the solution to, that often they inadvertently perpetuate the problem.

In effect problems and solutions tend become a single system.

In a strong sense we are defined by the problems we are solving. Yin/Yang, problem/solution, both sides form one unit. Because of the Shirky Principle, which says that every entity tends to prolong the problem it is solving, progress sometimes demands that we let go of problems. We can then look to marginal solutions and ask ourselves, what marginal problem is this solving that might be a more appreciated problem later on?

Puta que pariu, uma palestra desse nível só poderia ser ministrada pelo Kevin Kelly. O TED usou a palavra épica para definir a apresentação, e eu concordo em gênero, número e grau. O que dizer que uma palestra que fala sobre tecnologia a partir de um entendimento cósmico? E não tem nada a ver com o fato da apresentação ter sido gravada em Amsterdan.

Dê o play e sinta-se um completo estúpido.

É difícil destacar uma parte do que o cara falou, mas a importância dos avôs como engrenagem de transmissão é sensacional.

Idéia de Kevin Kelly, coisa fina pois.

The internet is vast. Bigger than a city, bigger than a country, maybe as big as the universe. It’s expanding by the second. No one has seen its borders.

And the internet is intangible, like spirits and angels. The web is an immense ghost land of disembodied places. Who knows if you are even there, there.

Yet everyday we navigate through this ethereal realm for hours on end and return alive. We must have some map in our head.

I’ve become very curious about the maps people have in their minds when they enter the internet. So I’ve been asking people to draw me a map of the internet as they see it. That’s all.

E ainda tem uma análise interessante sobre o perfil dos participantes, que tinham que responder quantas horas passavam na internet por dia:

Those who spend the most time online, for instance, have the most abstract of drawings — perhaps an indication that a truly rich understanding lives in the realm of the abstract and conceptual, not the concrete, providing a big-picture view not of what the Internet does or offers, but of what it is: An infinite loop of possibility.

At the same time, those who spend the least amount of time tend to put themselves at the center of the Internet — a sign of the “developmental psychology” of the web, wherein “web toddlers,” just like real 1-4-year-olds, adopt an egocentric worldview, while “web adults” are better able to shift perspectives and see the collective context of it all.

Kevin Kelly escreveu um texto ridiculamente grande – sério, é ridículo – e foda pra caralho. Toma uma parte, que descobri no Noah Brier.

Inventions are culturally determined. Such a statement must not be given a mystical connotation. It does not mean, for instance, that it was predetermined from the beginning of time that type printing would be discovered in Germany about 1450, or the telephone in the United States in 1876,” warns Kroeber. It means only that when all the required conditions generated by previous technologies are in place, the next technology can precipitate. “Discoveries become virtually inevitable when prerequisite kinds of knowledge and tools accumulate,” says sociologist Robert Merton, who studied simultaneous inventions in history. The ever thickening mix of existing technologies in a society create a supersaturated matrix, charged with restless potential. When the right idea is seeded within, the inevitable invention practically explodes into existence, like an ice crystal freezing out of water. Yet, as convention and science have shown, even though water is destined to become ice crystals when it is cold enough, no two snowflakes are the same. The path of freezing water is predetermined, but there is great leeway, freedom and beauty in the individual expression of its predestined state. The actual pattern of each snowflake is unpredictable. For such a simple molecule, its variations upon a theme are endless. That’s even truer for extremely complex inventions today. The crystalline form of the incandescent light bulb or the telephone, or the internet, will vary in a million possible formations, depending on the conditions evolving it. In practice, its appearance is unpredictable.

Sabe o que é mais foda? Tenho duas janelas de firefox abertas, cada uma com no mínimo 10 abas, e olha que são textos grandes. Sem falar no meu chrome, com no mínimo 30 outros sites que eu preciso ler.

Kevin Kelly e sua sabedoria.

We know from mathematics that systems containing very, very large numbers of parts behave significantly different from systems with fewer than a million parts. Zillionics is the state of supreme abundance, of parts in the many millions. The network economy promises zillions of parts, zillions of artifacts, zillions of documents, zillions of bots, zillions of network nodes, zillions of connections, and zillions of combinations. Zillionics is a realm much more at home in biology–where there have been zillions of genes and organisms for a long time–than in our recent manufactured world. Living systems know how to handle zillionics. Our own methods of dealing with zillionic plentitude will mimic biology.

Faço minhas as palavras do Noah, de quem copiei o título do post:

I often get in arguments about how some new thing is actually not any different than some old thing. This seems like a major distinction and a good explanation for the extreme interest in networks and other biological systems.

Sensacional palestra do Kevin  Kelly no TED de alguns anos atrás. Não sei exatamente de que ano, e tenho certeza de que alguns de vocês já devem ter visto. Kevin pergunta não só o que é tecnologia, mas o que ela quer. Coloca-a como o 7º reino da natureza e compara sua evolução à de qualquer outro ser vivo, sempre caminhando para estruturas mais sociais, complexas e diversificadas. Assista e exploda sua cabeça.

E pra quem quiser, o site do TED disponibiliza o vídeo com legendas em inglês e romeno.

O Merigo, do Brainstorm9, fez um post foda sobre Matrix. Dentre muitas coisas interessantes, descobri que uma das inspirações dos irmãos Wachowski foi o livro Out of Control, escrito pelo Kevin Kelly.


Como o kevin Kelly é bolado, fui atrás do livro e descobri que você pode ler online, de graça. Vai aí uma resenha para entender um pouco do que se trata:

Out Of Control is the breakthrough concept of contemporary science and technology. It links the best of cutting-edge biology, computer science, economics, organizational theory, art, and much more. No longer just the best journalist on the subject, Kevin Kelly with this book is actively shaping the intellectual implosion – Stewart Brand”

Bem, um que bagulho junta ciência, tecnologia, sociedade e economia é absolutamente irresistível. Divirta-se.