The Inevitable

  • by Kevin Kelly
  • Narrated by George Newbern
  • 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From one of our leading technology thinkers and writers, a guide through the 12 technological imperatives that will shape the next 30 years and transform our lives.
Much of what will happen in the next 30 years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. In this fascinating, provocative new book, Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives - from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to artificial intelligence embedded in everything we manufacture - can be understood as the result of a few long-term accelerating forces. Kelly both describes these deep trends - flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking, and questioning - and demonstrates how they overlap and are codependent on one another. These larger forces will completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other. By understanding and embracing them, says Kelly, it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits.
Kelly's bright, hopeful book will be indispensable to anyone who seeks guidance on where their business, industry, or life is heading - what to invent, where to work, in what to invest, how to better reach customers, and what to begin to put into place - as this new world emerges.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Predicting is hard, especially about the future

The author uses twelve verbs to frame the inevitable forces shaping our future.
These are:
Becoming: Things will change faster
Cognifying: Things will have intelligence
Flowing: Things will be streamed
Screening: Things will be on screens
Accessing: Things will be on the cloud
Sharing: Things will be Shared and collaboratively created
Filtering: Things will be personalized
Remixing: Things will be edited and remixed
Interacting: Virtual Reality will increase
Tracking: Things will be tracked
Questioning: Questions will be more important than answers
Beginning: Things will continue changing

This is largely just a survey of current and cutting edge technologies and predicts these trends will continue and accelerate. I think history shows this is the easiest. most common, and most commonly wrong, form of prediction. The author has a quite positive outlook on the future, but it is not clear this optimum is well founded.

The author puts a lot into the cognifying verb. This includes robots and all of Artificial Intelligence. Yes this will continue, but the specifics and consequences are difficult to predict.

The best chapter was the last which makes clear just how much we don't know.

My main takeaway from this was we really don't know what is Inevitable plus ONE interesting idea. One of my concerns about the future has been that throughout history insulated societies have become somewhat stagnant until they came in contact with a quite different culture than a period of transformation occurs. With global information sharing, I feared this pattern might come to an end (unless we bump into some aliens). Instead Kelly points out we don't need aliens. We will build them in the form of AI, and the pattern will not only continue, but accelerate. I was chagrined that I did not think of this myself.

The narration is quite good but most of the ideas seem a bit trite.
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- Michael

Most Important Book I'll Read This Year

This book was written at a level where it could be accessible to anyone, and that's perfect, because everyone should read it. I am absolutely blown away by what I've learned, and feel that I'd be very much in the dark moving into the future if I hadn't read it. Technological shifts are about to irreversibly alter the way humanity exists, and Kevin gives a brilliant and informative glimpse into that coming world. Highly recommend.
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- George J. Peacock

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-07-2016
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio