Team 3 Keywords

Information—the communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence (Merriam-Webster). “We use information to mean (1) a bunch of bits or (2) a meaningful signal…Until we clarify our language, the term information is more a metaphor than anything else. I try to use it in the second meaning here (not always consistently):Information is a signal of bits that makes a difference” (Kevin Kelly p.63).

In class, we have stated that the one thing technology wants from us is information. Kevin Kelly says the same thing. As we look at this book, it is important to see information as a living, breathing and changing organism. Kelly states, “Once nature was described as a body, then a clock in the age of clocks, then a machine in the industrial age. Now, in the “digital age,” we apply the computational metaphor” (64). A modern metaphor for how information works is the computer and the bits of information that it processes. Throughout chapter 4, Kelly gives complex examples of the progression of technology throughout human existence and the evolution of information. The complexity of what Kelly is saying can be boiled down to the fact that technology’s importance to humanity stems from the same organization that built the universe and the life that came after.
(David Kistler)

Energy—the potential-the difference needed-to cool. Kelly states, “Energy can only flow from greater to lesser, so without a differential no energy can flow” (61). Most dictionaries define Energy as a “dynamic quality”.

Kevin Kelly discusses the evolution of energy and how it has played a role in every aspect of the earth’s existence and the existence of all things on earth. There are four fundamental forces operating in reality today—gravity, electromagnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces. All of these forces were compressed into a single unified force at the beginning of time, Energy. According to Kelly, “the universe expanded faster than matter itself could cool and gel, which means the potential for cooling kept increasing. The faster the universe expanded, the greater was its potential to cool and the greater were the potential differences within its boundaries” (61). He suggests that due to this process, over the course of time,** powered evolution, life, intelligence, and eventually the acceleration of technology. This idea of Energy and how everything throughout time has been powered by it cannot really be argued against, but it can be an integral part of our studies of Kelly and how he thinks it affects technology. Going forward we should keep in mind that Technology requires energy, but what kind of energy is it and how does it affect what technology wants.
(David Kistler)

Genes— genes plural of gene (Noun) (in informal use) A unit of heredity that is transferred from a parent to offspring and is held to determine some characteristic of the…: "proteins coded directly by genes"
(in technical use) A distinct sequence of nucleotides forming part of a chromosome.

Kevin Kelley talks a lot about genes and evolutionary biology and how shelter of animals is an extension of the species' genetic makeup. According to Kelley, technology also evolves like a living and breathing organism but that it is not exactly an extension of human genes. Kelley says that the human equivalent of a snail's shell "spring[s] from our minds, which may spontaneously create something none of our ancestors ever made or even imagined," which makes it seems that technology is an organism itself that evolves rather than being an extension of our genetic makeup.
(Anne Cunha)

Idea — Noun: 1) A thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action: "the idea of linking pay to performance".
2) A concept or mental impression.

Instead of technology being an extension of human genetic makeup, Kelley says that technology is the "extended body for ideas." "The way that a species of technology changes over time fits a pattern similar to a genealogical tree of species evolution. But instead of expressing the work of genes, technology expresses ideas." In class we have been discussing the possibility of technology gaining consciousness and this seems to be the direction Kevin Kelley is taking when he speaks about technology evolving like other organisms and becoming part of it's own form of the animal kingdom or actually adding another level to it.
(Anne Cunha)

Contradictions: Assertion of the contrary or opposite; denial (dictionary.com).

Kelly explains in the very first chapter how his “relationship with technology is full of contradictions” (p5). Then he goes on to say how we have our own contradictions as well. It’s fascinating to think about, especially when certain people (such as the Amish) choose to simply live without as much technology as possible. Since technology is such a big part of our world, it is a foreign concept when someone chooses simply not to have a smart phone, or a car. In class we talk about how connected we are to our technology, and we briefly discussed how we felt when trying to get away from it. Kevin tries to tell us that although we have our contradictions it is still possible to separate from technology.
(Juliane Preisser)

Art: The quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance (dictionary.com)

Art has a very broad definition, ranging from actual paintings to musical talent. Kelly brings a new idea into the equation, explaining how things such as tools and machines are coined as “useful arts” (p7). It’s interesting to think about how these “useful arts” fit into our lives, and perhaps if there are any “non-useful” arts. We mention how important technology is to our everyday lives, but we haven’t really touched on if we think they are works of art or not.
(Juliane Preisser)

Coevolution: the simultaneous development of the human and its technology over the course of time.

Kelly uses this term in a way that suggests a codependence between humans and technology. It describes the influence of each on the other. We shape our tools for a specific environment, and the tools help us to adapt to the new environment. By remaking our tools, we remake ourselves. Kelly says that this coevolution has occurred in a way that “we are now symbiotic with technology.” We have touched on this briefly in class. Technologies are made for the user, but the user also adapts themselves to the technology. Take an iPhone for example. Apple designed it with improving the lives the users in mind, but the users had to learn how to become skilled at using a touchscreen, which they did very quickly.
(Sarah Groat)