In a world of rapidly accelerating change, from iPads to eBooks to genetic mapping to MagLev trains, we can't help but wonder if technology is our servant or our master, and whether it is taking us in a healthy direction as a society.
* What forces drive the steady march of innovation? * How can we build environments in our schools, our businesses, and in our private lives that encourage the creation of new ideas--ideas that build on the new technology platforms in socially responsible ways?
Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson look at where technology is taking us. One of the co-founders of Wired Magazine, Kelly's new book, What Technology Wants, makes the argument that technology as a whole is not a jumble of wires and metal but a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies. Johnson's new book, Where Good Ideas Come From, explains why certain spaces, from 18th-century coffeehouses to the World Wide Web, have an uncanny talent for encouraging innovative thinking.
Steven Johnson is the author of The Ghost Map, Everything Bad Is Good for You, Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life, Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Cities, Software and Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate and The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America. Johnson’s book Where Good Ideas Come From was a finalist for the 800CEORead award for best business book of 2010, and was ranked as one of the year’s best books by The Economist.
He is also the founder of several influential websites, including FEED, Plastic, and, currently, outside.in. His most recent book is Where Good Ideas Come From.
Kevin Kelly cofounded WIRED in 1993 and served as executive editor of the magazine from its inception until 1999. He currently holds the unique title of senior maverick. Kelly’s most recent book is What Technology Wants (2010), about long-term trends in what he calls the technium. He is also editor and publisher of the Cool Tools website, which gets half a million unique visitors per month. From 1984 to 1990, Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He cofounded the Quantified Self movement and the ongoing Hackers’ Conference, and he helped launch the pioneering online service the WELL in 1985. He is the author of the best-selling book New Rules for the New Economy and the classic 1994 work on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control.
Robert Krulwich covers science for National Public Radio and is Co-host of NPR's "Radiolab." His specialty is explaining complex subjects—science, technology, economics – in a style that is clear, compelling and entertaining. For several decades he was a correspondent at ABC and CBS News plus he hosted PBS’ Frontline, Nova Science Now and a BBC cultural show, "The Edge." TV Guide called him "the most inventive network reporter in television." He has explored the structure of DNA with a banana, created his own Italian Opera "Ratto Interesso" to explain how the Federal Reserve regulates interest rates, he pioneered the use of new animation on ABC's Nightline, World News, and on NPR's Internet site to explore cellular biology and subprime lending.
Kevin Kelly, author of What Technology Wants, and Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From, talk with Robert Krulwich about artificial intelligence, the singularity, and the possibility of a technological apocalypse.