We know, we know, we know...our last book club post was almost a year ago. You probably think that since NextPoint IT is a technology firm that we're a bunch of techies who find books archaic, and we've probably just been playing video games, watching TED Talks, and listening to podcasts. Well, you'd be right that we were doing all those things...
But at NextPoint IT, we're actually appreciative of books, even the ones that aren't about computer support, and we particularly enjoy books that shake our presuppositions and paradigms. We love to be challenged and questioned because that's how we:
May's book of the month is What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly.
Kevin Kelly certainly presents a unique and sometimes bizarre vision of technology and how it interacts with humans. He makes a case for what he calls the technium, where he views technology as a living, growing organism. The technium utilizes (and at times compels) humans to help it evolve through a symbiotic relationship where humans gain benefits by evolving technology and technology improves itself. Think of how humans helped dogs evolve into different breeds to help us do things like hunting, shepherding, protection, etc. In the same way, people help technology evolve because of what it does for us. In Kelly's book, computers were a natural result of their material properties and human need for technology. And computers continue to evolve through a continuous process of trial and error until a single "best path" is identified which then again branches out into multiple paths.
While Kelly pushes the boundaries of defining technology and computers and somewhat overstates and exaggerates to make points, he did make us think a little deeper about the relationship of humans and technology. How does technology evolve and what should people do to adapt to its evolution? And this made us consider how computer support will look in the future since that's the lifeblood of our business.
This is particularly relevant as AI increasingly disrupts our daily lives. How do we best utilize AI to make human lives better without putting half the population out of a job or automate all basic tasks and, thereby, remove opportunities for young workers to build their understanding and skills? Kelly's book is less of an answer and more a bigger invitation for discussion about better understanding how technology shapes humans and how to best adapt to it.
Share your thoughts below on how you feel about the relationship between technology's evolution and people.
And if you own a small business in Fishers, Carmel, Westfield, or Indianapolis Indiana, we'd love to do a free computer assessment and consultation!
Credit: Tim Ludden