The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly [Source: Amazon]
This week’s selection is “The Inevitable” by futurist Kevin Kelly.
Many years ago I read a book called “Future Shock”, by Alvin Toffler. This 1970 book, now almost 50 years old, foretold of a future in which change happened much more rapidly than it had in the past. The implication was that people would be faced with these changes and it might not be pretty.
Indeed, if you look back in history, either well-known or within your own family, you will see previous generations, at least up until the 20th century, could literally live their entire lives in more or less the same operational state. Perhaps every generation or two there might be a notable change to deal with.
Toffler’s book proposed that society would soon have to undergo additional changes, perhaps many, even within a single lifetime. That, of course, has been a prediction that has come to pass. Everyone alive today has witnessed some form of technological or societal change of significant form.
Toffler was quite prescient in this notion, but having passed away in 2016, he will not see what will inevitably come next. That’s what Kevin Kelly’s book, “The Inevitable” is about.
While Toffler merely proposed the idea of continuous change, Kelly writes from within that universe.
What are really the implications of continuous change? How will people think and act differently because of that?
Kelly’s book explores twelve abstract dimensions of the “inevitable” future, as he labels them:
Kelly explores recent and expected developments in technology, but you’ll likely have heard of many of them before. However, what is different is how he knits them together into a coherent vision of how society might evolve over the next few decades.
You no doubt see some of these technologies already; some may be in your pocket as you read this post. However, Kelly is able to connect the dots between these seemingly unimportant technological developments and form a larger theme of the trajectory of society.
If you have any interest in understanding how the future may unfold, as I suspect many Fabbaloo readers do, then this book is for you.