The Technium

Tending the Garden of Technology

Many months ago science writer Andrew Lawler made the long trek to Pacifica and conducted an interview about my book in progress. An edited version of that conversation has just appeared in the magazine Orion. Lawler gets to the heart of the book very quickly. 

Picture 65

KELLY: At a deep level, the act of discover and the act of creation are identical. The steps that you would take to find something are exactly the same steps you’d take to make something. So you can say that Edison discovered the lightbulb and Newton invented gravity.


LAWLER: Wendell Berry might say that is all well and good, but technology doesn’t change the essential nature of humanity. It doesn’t make us better people.


KELLY: I disagree with Wendell. We have created our humanity. And I think our humanity has been created by technology. Our humanity is defined by things we have invented. Like the alphabet. Our culture is one thing we’ve created. But I also think there has been an evolution of morality. Culture and cultural inventions are part of the Technium — they are technologies. 

There’s more at the digital version of Tending the Garden of Technology in Orion.


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