Kevin Kelly’s Talk at TED

By Deane Barker on October 3, 2008

Kevin Kelly on the next 5,000 days of the web: There are so many amazing ideas crammed into this 18-minute talk, it’s hard to list them all.

At the 2007 EG conference, Kevin Kelly shares a fun stat: The World Wide Web, as we know it, is only 5,000 days old. Now, Kelly asks, how can we predict what’s coming in the next 5,000 days?

I’ll try:

  1. The Web is only 5,000 days old (not sure how he’s calculating this…)
  2. We are building one big Machine on the Web.
  3. All our devices are just windows into The Machine
  4. We are progressing to the point when individual data points are linking to other individual data points, like brain synapses.
  5. Just like we can’t imagine living without the technologies of writing and the alphabet, we will soon not be able to imagine living without The Machine.

In the end, this is a mind-expanding video, worth of being watched once a year, at least. I put it on the same level as EPIC 2014 and Teaching the Machine as videos that will really make you step back and take a long view of just what we’re all doing here, and how we may just all be cogs in The Machine.

Kevin Kelly is a remarkable guy. He was one of the original editors of Wired and has gone on to edit the Whole Earth Review. He’s also a born-again Christian, which is increasingly rare in the world of digital celebrities.

In fact, about a year ago, Kevin and I were standing on the north lawn of The Golden Gate Club in The Presidio. We were looking out on a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and discussing how seductively logical atheism was and how stressful I found that. Actually, I think I was talking and he was just listening…but I appreciated it all the same.

Shortly after, he gave me a tour of the Internet Archive, which was just a couple buildings over. Later, Merlin Mann showed me the original hipster PDA, and everything went downhill from there.

The next CM Summit is in two weeks. Joe and Karla are going, while I’m off to Prince Edward Island for Zap Your Pram 2008.

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