Kevin Kelly offers some principles for “Achieving Techno-Literacy” in the New York Times (16 Sep. 2010):
- Every new technology will bite back. The more powerful its gifts, the more powerfully it can be abused. Look for its costs.
- Technologies improve so fast you should postpone getting anything you need until the last second. Get comfortable with the fact that anything you buy is already obsolete.
- Before you can master a device, program or invention, it will be superseded; you will always be a beginner. Get good at it.
- Be suspicious of any technology that requires walls. If you can fix it, modify it or hack it yourself, that is a good sign.
- The proper response to a stupid technology is to make a better one, just as the proper response to a stupid idea is not to outlaw it but to replace it with a better idea.
- Every technology is biased by its embedded defaults: what does it assume?
- Nobody has any idea of what a new invention will really be good for. The crucial question is, what happens when everyone has one?
- The older the technology, the more likely it will continue to be useful.
- Find the minimum amount of technology that will maximize your options.