Kevin Kelly


American Digital Visionary, Publisher of the Whole Earth Review, Founding Executive Editor of WIRED, Founder of Visionary Nonprofits, Writer

Author Quotes

The network economy has moved from change to flux.

The work of managing a natural environment is inescapably a work of local knowledge.

We cannot import evolution and learning without exporting control.

The network economy is founded on technology, but can only be built on relationships. It starts with chips and ends with trust.

The world of our own making has become so complicated that we must turn to the world of the born to understand how to manage it.

We don't have a word for learning and teaching at the same time, but our schooling would improve if we did.

The only factor becoming scarce in a world of abundance is human attention.

There can be no expertise in innovation unless there is also expertise in demolishing the ensconced.

We should not be surprised that life, having subjugated the bulk of inert matter on Earth, would go on to subjugate technology, and bring it also under its reign of constant evolution.

The only organization capable of unprejudiced growth, or unguided learning, is a network.

There is more to be gained by producing more opportunities than by optimizing existing ones.

We tend to think of the mind of an organization residing in the CEO and the organization's top managers, perhaps with the help of outside consultants that they call in. But that is not really how an organization thinks.

The organization and the environment are in concert.

There is nothing to be found in a beehive that is not submerged in a bee. And yet you can search a bee forever with cyclotron and fluoroscope, and you will never find a hive.

We want a machine that is constantly remaking itself.

The problem with trying to measure productivity is that it measures only how well people can do the wrong jobs. Any job that can be measured for productivity probably should be eliminated from the list of jobs that people do.

There's nothing more addictive than being a god.

?What color is a chameleon placed on a mirror? ... The chameleon responding to its own shifting image is an apt analog of the human world of fashion. Taken as a whole, what are fads but the response of a hive mind to its own reflection? In a 21st-century society wired into instantaneous networks, marketing is the mirror; the collective consumer is the chameleon.

The proper response to a lousy idea is not to stop thinking. It is to come up with a better idea.

This is actually a very important principle that science is learning about large systems like evolution and that futurists are learning about anticipating human society: just because a future scenario is plausible doesn't mean we can get there from here.

What humans can't engineer, evolution can.

The quickest route to describing a seed's output is to sprout it.

To achieve sustainable innovation you need to seek persistent disequilibrium. To seek persistent disequilibrium means that one must chase after disruption without succumbing to it, or retreating from it.

What little time left is in this century is rehearsal time for the chief psychological chore of the 21st century: letting go, with dignity.

The story of automation is the story of a one-way shift from human control to automatic control.

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American Digital Visionary, Publisher of the Whole Earth Review, Founding Executive Editor of WIRED, Founder of Visionary Nonprofits, Writer