The Inevitable Genius of Kevin Kelly

The Forrest Four-Cast: August 31, 2016

My bandwidth to read jumps tremendously during the summer. Over the last few months, I’ve plowed through a number of wonderful books, covering everything from the 1936 Olympics to self-improvement to forward-thinking entrepreneurial hacks. I strongly believe that spending time with a book that stretches your intellect immediately empowers you to bring much more creativity to whatever it is that you do.

Which explains why I am such a fan of “The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future,” the newest title from Kevin Kelly. This book provides a fantastic in-depth review of how “technological life in the future will be a series of endless upgrades.” While his simple writing style helps to explain the details of our future selves to even the most non-technical reader, you can also access a lot of the content from “The Inevitable” by listening / watching the content he produced to promote this book (in outlets ranging from Boing Boing to the Huffington Post). I’m proud that one such video was recorded when Kelly spoke at SXSW 2016 — his solo presentation was one of the most popular sessions of the entire event.

Beyond this book, there are numerous other aspects of Kevin Kelly’s life that fascinate me. I love his involvement with the Long Now Foundation, which seeks to reframe the way we humans interact with time. Similarly, I enjoy contemplating how he balances his drive to understand technology with a very strong spiritual framework. Drive to understand technology, you ask? Remember that Kelly was one of the co-founders of the monthly geek bible that is Wired magazine and he still contributes regularly to this publication (check out his cover story on Magic Leap from April 2016).

“The Inevitable” is something that I’ve decided to read slowly, mainly so that I can have more time to process all the intriguing ideas and insights and well-conceived conclusions within each chapter of this 336-page volume. I look forward to leisurely digesting another 20–30 pages in the next few hours as the long flight back from China to the US continues — then finishing in September when summer turns to fall.