June 7, 2016
It’s 2046. You don’t own a car, or much of anything else, paying instead to subscribe to items as soon as you need them. Virtual reality is as commonplace as cell phones. You talk to your devices with a common set of hand gestures. Practically all surfaces have become a screen, and each screen watches you back. Every aspect of your daily life is tracked by you or someone else. Advertisers pay you to watch their ads. Robots and AI took over your old job but also created a new one for you, doing work you could not have imagined back in 2016.
In The Inevitable, Kevin Kelly, the visionary thinker who foresaw the scope of the Internet revolution, provides a plausible, optimistic road map for the next 30 years. He shows how the coming changes can be understood as the result of a few long-term forces that are already in motion. Kelly both describes these 12 deep trends – which include cognitive finding our surroundings, valuing access over ownership, tracking everything – and demonstrates how they are co-dependent on one another. These larger forces will completely revolutionize the way we work, play, learn, buy, and communicate with each other. By understanding and embracing these accelerating principles, says Kelly, it will be easier for us to arrange our day-to-day relationships in ways that bring forth maximum benefits from this new technology.
Ultimately, predicts Kelly, all humans and all machines will be linked up into a global matrix, a convergence that will be seen as the largest, most complex, and most surprising event ever up to this time. The Inevitable will be indispensable to anyone who seeks guidance on where to position themselves as this new world emerges.
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 he is senior maverick at Wired and lives in Pacifica, California.