The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future , Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 175 customer reviews

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ISBN-13: 978-0525428084
ISBN-10: 0525428089
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Inevitable

"Anyone can claim to be a prophet, a fortune teller, or a futurist, and plenty of people do. What makes Kevin Kelly different is that he's right. In this book, you're swept along by his clear prose and unassailable arguments until it finally hits you: The technological, cultural, and societal changes he’s foreseeing really are inevitable. It’s like having a crystal ball, only without the risk of shattering."
David Pogue, Yahoo Tech

"This book offers profound insight into what happens (soon!) when intelligence flows as easily into objects as electricity."
Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail

“How will the future be made? Kevin Kelly argues that the sequence of events ensuing from technical innovation has its own momentum . . . and that our best strategy is to understand and embrace it. Whether you find this prospect wonderful or terrifying, you will want to read this extremely thought-provoking book.”
Brian Eno, musician and composer

"Kevin Kelly has been predicting our technological future with uncanny prescience for years. Now he's given us a glimpse of how the next three decades will unfold with The Inevitable, a book jam-packed with insight, ideas, and optimism."
Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One

 
"As exhilarating as the most outlandish science fiction novel, but based on very real trends. Kevin Kelly is the perfect tour guide for this life-changing future."
Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing

"Creating a fictional future is easy; Kevin Kelly makes a habit of doing the difficult by showing us where we're actually going. The Inevitable is an eye-opening roadmap for what lies ahead. Science fiction is on its way to becoming science fact."  
Hugh Howey, author of Wool

“Automatic must-read.”                             
—Marc Andreessen, co-founder Andreessen Horowitz


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Kevin Kelly helped launch Wired magazine and was its executive editor for its first seven years. He has written for The New York Times, The Economist, Science, Time, and The Wall Street Journal among many other publications. His previous books include Out of Control, New Rules for the New Economy, Cool Tools, and What Technology Wants. Currently Senior Maverick at Wired, Kelly lives in Pacifica, California.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1229 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0143110373
  • Publisher: Viking (June 7, 2016)
  • Publication Date: June 7, 2016
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B016JPTOUG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,754 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bassocantor TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 7, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
THE INEVITABLE is not a simple book to read. The author is obviously a "Big Picture" thinker, rather than a detailed, programming type of analyst. The theme of THE INEVITABLE is not so much the mechanism of how technoogy works, but rather, how it has been (and will) impact society.

The subject matter in this book is profound, and can't easily be grasped with just a quick "once over" read. (At least, I certainly could not grasp it that quickly.) In fact, each of the 12 Chapters could actually have been an entire book all alone. This book can be a tough slog, but I hit upon a useful tactic, below.

**SUGGESTION FOR READING**
Read the first page from each of the 12 main chapters. You will get a feel for what Mr. Kelly is suggesting in that chapter. This will give you an outline of where the author is headed, and make reading the full book a lot easier."

Here's one meaty idea: The author quotes an economist at New York University, who suggests that creativity is now more a matter of "remixing" rather than creating truly new things. "Modern technologies are combinations of earlier primitive technologies that have been rearranged and remixed." Plus, we're doing it with less material: "The trend in the past 30 years has been to make better stuff using fewer materials."

The ideas are also a little bit scary. Mr. Kelly suggests that future generations will look back at ours as the first race that "linked themselves together into one very large thing." Well, I'm pretty sure I don't like the sound of that. I don't like the idea of being linked with everybody into a big "thing."

Another scary chapter is the one on "Tracking.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When one picks up a book with the striking title "Inevitable", one may be misled to think that the author is trying to say, "Ready or not, like it or not, here it comes!" Now that I have read the book, I can see that the author's sentiment is in fact:"Wonderful development in the past three decades! Can't wait for what is to come!"

This is a very informative book about the great deal that has happened over the past three decades, as well as latest developments and trends in IT, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and the whole range of such new technologies. The reader is also taken on a trip to see what the author thinks is likely to follow in the next three decades. For those of us who may find it difficult to follow the developments that have surged ahead at lightning speed, this is a very useful book that helps us to start catching up.

The author is evidently a huge fan of the many possibilities that the use of IT has opened up. There is a lot of hype and hoopla in the account that he sets out. That is all good. However, noting his intimate knowledge of the subject, I am rather disappointed that he has not tried to look more into issues (personal, social, between generations, etc) that may arise, or have arisen, as we try to adjust to the dramatic changes that are taking place at such enormous speeds.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
BUY IT! (How's that for signal to noise?)

This is the REAL DEAL - another magnum opus from Kevin Kelly (KK) - as crucial as his previous work, What Technology Wants. The many endorsements from the likes of Marc Andressen, David Pogue, and Chris Anderson are fully justified (and not just giving the Senior Maverick at WIRED his obeisance.)

KK is fully in sync with all the current developments in cloud computing and AI and reports on these with his usual WIRED clarity. He brings you all the cutting edge tech that's flowing from the entrepreneurs to the VCs in Cambridge and in Silicon Valley (and also in Munich, Seoul, Mumbai, and Shenzhen.)

But, this is no mere recitation of the tens of billions of dollars in AI deals that have pulsed through the Valley recently. He eloquently captures the big picture - he calls it the HOLOS - the combination of internet and web with all those borged human intelligences + all our tech.

Expanding on the early portraits of the Global Mind supplied presciently by H G Wells, Teilhard de Chardin, Vannevar Bush, and Ted Nelson (and more recently by Hans Moravec (Mind Children) Greg Stock (Metaman) and by Ben Goertzel (OpenCog)), KK presents an awe-inspiringly accurate picture of Earth's civilization and its heading.

Kevin lives near the seashore - perhaps it's the ocean's vastness that infuses his spirit with the transcendent perspective of (Stewart Brand's Whole Earthly) Long Now. We too (as Newton also remarked) are as children playing with bright pebbles on the edge of a vast ocean of knowledge (Teilhard's noosphere.)

10**21 transistors in tens of billions of always-on devices. This IS a phase change, something brand new, and it takes a hard-working seer to perceive the forest for the trees.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is completely substanceless. Every trend he cites is something that is already happening and obvious to anyone paying attention. The Cloud? Really? We're going to get more of that, are we?

More importantly though, the book is peppered with mild inaccuracies that demonstrate how little the author knows about his subject matter. He refers to Tor as a 'ubiquitous file sharing site'. Really man!? You're the editor of Wired and you don't know what Tor is? Or similarly, on Bitcoin 'Six years ago some shady characters who wanted to sell drugs online...and some admirable characters championing human rights...came up with Bitcoin'. Wildly inaccurate on both counts. Bitcoin was created by a single person who is completely anonymous and his motives mostly unknown - though we can say with reasonable certainty they had nothing to do with selling drugs.

This book is a joke.
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