Kevin Kelly on the future of progress and prosperity

Here’s a dose of optimism from KK – part of his excellent series of videos on The Future of X. It’s well worth checking out. I believe there are going to be another two decades of increased productivity, increased prosperity, around the world on average. That doesn’t mean everywhere, it doesn’t mean every person, but taken as a whole, the…

Amy Orben on tech panics of the past

In 1941 Mary Preston published “Children’s Reactions to Movie Horrors and Radio Crime” in The Journal of Pediatrics … The American paediatrician had studied hundreds of six to sixteen-year-old children and concluded that over half were severely addicted to radio and movie crime dramas, having given themselves “over to a habit-forming practice very difficult to overcome, no matter how the aftereffects are…

Recommendation: Econtalk with Matt Ridley on How Innovation Works

I highly recommend this episode of Econtalk with Matt Ridley talking about how innovation makes inventions useful by making them available, affordable and reliable. The Academy of Ideas podcast is a good overview of the book’s key points about how innovation works and made me feel that I probably didn’t need to read it. This excellent interview with Russ Roberts…

Recommendation: Kevin Kelly on the future of…

Kevin Kelly is reliably insightful and thought-provoking and often fascinating. I don’t think I’ve ever read or listened to something of his that hasn’t made me see the world (particularly technology) in a new way, and with my curiosity piqued to find out more. Today’s recommendation is for a new series of 36 short lectures he’s sharing on YouTube about…

Matt Ridley: invention vs innovation

[Public service announcement for email subscribers: sorry for the unfinished post you may have received out of the weekend – I was having issues with the WordPress app.] Innovation is different from invention. Invention means coming up with a new thing; innovation means making that new thing available, affordable and reliable in such a way that people actually go out…

Deirdre McCloskey on liberty and human flourishing

The real ability of the poorest to buy goods and services rose, 1800 to the present, by 3,000 percent. Literally. A factor of thirty. … I take it you value human liberty and human flourishing. (If you do not, we have nothing to discuss, and can go straight to fighting it out in the streets.) You will know that the…

John Riccitiello on technological changes in video games and the power of platforms

A decade or two ago all games were 2D because you couldn’t power a 3D game. You couldn’t do online gaming: you couldn’t connect to another live player. And for the most part you were strapped to a device cparked under your TV or to a large desktop PC. That’s not true any longer. Networks work better than they’ve ever…

On Jean Valjean’s carriage, technological progress and interchangeable parts

Jean Valjean – in a desperate hurry to save an innocent man from being condemned – has stopped to rest his horse and discovered that his carriage has a broken wheel: This excellent beast had covered twelve and a half miles in two hours and had not a drop of sweat on its rump. … “Can you repair the wheel…

Podcast recommendation: Starting Greatness, with Mike Maples Jr

With the proviso that I’m not at all convinced by the premise that scaling fast and making billions of dollars are worthy ends in themselves, I highly recommend this podcast featuring great interviews with key figures from tech and tech entrepreneurship, including favourites like Marc Andreessen and Steve Blank. (Entrepreneur and VC) Mike Maples Jr looks for lessons to help…

Tom Peters on the dull old days / life before “disruption”

“It is the conceit of every age to say that we live in confusing times compared to the placid age the prior generation experienced.” Henry Mintzberg While we’re on the topic of perpetual and accelerating change, here’s a helpful reminder from Tom Peters: I like to laugh at myself as I huff and puff and proclaim these to be times…