The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly

Change is inevitable. Author Kevin Kelly lists the 12 “inevitable” forces that he believes will shape our future. He uses the word “inevitable” to mean forces rooted in the nature of technology, rather than in the nature of society. He chose twelve verbs that convey continuous actions that will inevitably continue for at least three more decades.

Those verbs are: becoming, cognifying, flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, interacting, tracking, questioning, and beginning. This summary will describe each of the twelve.

Becoming

Upgrading has become a type of hygiene to our technology: you do it regularly to keep your devices healthy. The machines slowly change their features over time – they are “becoming.”

Technological life in the future will be a series of endless upgrades. This “becoming” era will make everyone a newbie. The most important technologies that will dominate in the future haven’t even been invented yet, so of course we’ll be newbies to them. Also, they will be in a constant cycle of upgrades, so the users will be in a constant cycle of returning to being a newbie. We won’t have time to master anything before the next update comes out.

Instead of a utopia or dystopia, technology is taking us to protopia – the state of becoming, rather than a destination. It is a process. It is incremental improvement or mild progress.

The future will be the product of a process – a becoming. The innovation of the last thirty years has set us up for success, but the future is going to be different. The things we make will constantly and relentlessly becoming something else. Today is a wide open frontier.