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Wired Magazine Founder Kevin Kelly on the Future, Unpopular Opinions, and the Inevitability of Tech

Kevin Kelly has been the publisher of the Whole Earth Review, the executive editor at Wired magazine (which he co-founded, and where he now holds the title of Senior Maverick), and the founder of visionary nonprofits. He is also a successful writer, tackling topics such as biology, business, and “cool tools.” He’s admired for his acute perspectives on technology and its relevance to history, biology, and society.

Listen in to learn about technology and its impact on the future.

Wired Magazine Founder Kevin Kelly on the Future, Unpopular Opinions, and the Inevitability of Tech

Time stamped show notes:

[00:43] Failures that made him who he is today | Dropped out of college

[1:52] A couple of the businesses he started were started with $200 each. One he had to shut down, and one he had to sell. He got a better business education than he would have in college.

[2:52] You want to have small, steady failures that course correct instead of one catastrophic failure that wipes you out . 

[4:12] Time your IPO perfectly.

[4:31] Domesticate our failures so that they recur often, frequently, and smaller so they become ways for us to learn.

[6:36] People have a better chance to participate. Things are getting better.

[7:09] This is the best time to make things happen. There’s never been as many tools, as much money, as much knowledge.

[7:36] The future will be even better.

[9:05] The biggest AI companies today are sitting on a lot of data.

[11:20] There’s two kinds of people looking at the future: those who have to see it to believe it and those who believe it in order to make it real.

[13:33] Not everything that is strange, wonderful, or wild is going to become true.

[14:53] Doing, not thinking, is the solution to all the problems in the world.

[16:13] Kevin believes AI will become a commodity like electricity.

[21:14] One of the ways in which our economic infrastructure will shift is in the invention of new institutional forms.  

[22:31] There will be a increase in scale [economics].

[25:25] We need to have tolerance for natural monopolies (like Facebook).

[27:50] We’re constantly inventing ways to have a winner take all, new verticals. There is an infinite amount of verticals.

[28:35] His most unpopular idea that he believes is ‘the thing’: anonymity in the internet is a bad thing.

[29:35] He believes ending anonymity on the internet would end bullying, harassment, etc.

[30:05] Anonymity is like sales. In small amounts, it is harmless, but in large amounts, it is toxic.

[36:26] He believes a world government is necessary at this time (taxes, police, leadership, tackling problems at the global level).

Three key points:

  1. You want to have small, steady failures that course correct instead of one catastrophic failure that wipes you out.  
  2. This is the best time to make things happen. There’s never been as many tools, as much money, as much knowledge.
  3. Anonymity is like sales. In small amounts, it is harmless, but in large amounts, it is toxic.

Last question:

If anyone have answers, or know experts, or can recommend resources on global government, please contact him.

How to contact him:

Email: [email protected]kk dot org