- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (June 6, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143110373
- ISBN-13: 978-0143110378
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 230 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future Paperback – June 6, 2017
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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
—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.
Top customer reviews
This is a book that whose ideas are meant to be slowly pondered on, not to be gobbled up quickly. As in his previous works there is an underlying sense that technology has a will of its own, it wants to go in a certain direction which we would do well to align with. What I found most illustrative were the scenarios at the end of each chapter where he shows what life in the future looks like after the technological force described in it has had enough time to play out, a positive take on what popular TV shows like Black Mirror paint in a very dark way.
The optimism that pervades the book requires the reader to take the long view, to look beyond the present state. At a time when we are bombarded with news stories about the disappearance of privacy, the surveillance state, cyberwarfare, and the automation of millions of jobs out of existence Kelly can come across as a hopeless Pollyanna, and when he claims that "propaganda is less effective in a world of screens, because while misinformation travels as fast as electrons corrections do too" calling this naive is too soft a word after a US election where fake news played a big role and traditional fact checking could not penetrate the social media bubbles we now live in. But like Kelly says when describing the Becoming force, technology is still evolving and just because we don't have a solution today to these problems doesn't mean that they will not eventually arise after these forces have run their course. With that confidence we can best appreciate what Kelly has to say.
What I like about Kevin Kelly is his worldly wisdom. Here is a man in his mid-sixties who still travels and explores new lands, new peoples and new ideas. If ever we need a role-model for lifelong learning, we need look no further.
Kelly outlines twelve domains of the future. None is exhaustively explored, but all are tantalisingly prised open just far enough for the reader to gaze upon the treasures therein. The author invites us to look and to wonder and to dream. He sees technology not as the enemy, but as the key which will free us from baser physical and psychological requirements. Technology beckons us to contemplate the question, "What does it really mean to be human?" For, says Kelly, machines can liberate us from the mundane, setting us free to gaze upon the myriad futures with open hearts and open minds.
If this all sounds "utopian," don't tell Kevin Kelly. He hates that word.
It is undoubtedly true that the world is in need of visionaries who can point us towards desirable and abundant futures. We need permission to dream again. So much of our media and popular discourse is pessimistic. Perhaps we have been too down on ourselves. Kevin Kelly believes so.
I strongly recommend you read The Inevitable. You just might just change your mind about what is to come.
Marcus T Anthony, PhD, author.
As content goes, anyone curious about technology and the future in general will be amply rewarded by Kelly's thoughts on such. If you are reading this review, you have likely experienced much of the technology Kelly references, and will appreciate his insight.
Kelly also excels in book structure. This is a succinct distillation of elaborate thought, complete with friendly, illustrative examples of his visions where necessary. All chapters delve directly and promptly to their points, with no extraneous words.
All books change your life somehow, but this one will provoke many more significant questions about how to align yourself with the inevitable future. A must read.