THE INEVITABLE is not a simple book to read. The author is obviously a "Big Picture" thinker, rather than a detailed, programming type of analyst. The theme of THE INEVITABLE is not so much the mechanism of how technoogy works, but rather, how it has been (and will) impact society.
The subject matter in this book is profound, and can't easily be grasped with just a quick "once over" read. (At least, I certainly could not grasp it that quickly.) In fact, each of the 12 Chapters could actually have been an entire book all alone. This book can be a tough slog, but I hit upon a useful tactic, below.
**SUGGESTION FOR READING**
Read the first page from each of the 12 main chapters. You will get a feel for what Mr. Kelly is suggesting in that chapter. This will give you an outline of where the author is headed, and make reading the full book a lot easier."
Here's one meaty idea: The author quotes an economist at New York University, who suggests that creativity is now more a matter of "remixing" rather than creating truly new things. "Modern technologies are combinations of earlier primitive technologies that have been rearranged and remixed." Plus, we're doing it with less material: "The trend in the past 30 years has been to make better stuff using fewer materials."
The ideas are also a little bit scary. Mr. Kelly suggests that future generations will look back at ours as the first race that "linked themselves together into one very large thing." Well, I'm pretty sure I don't like the sound of that. I don't like the idea of being linked with everybody into a big "thing."
Another scary chapter is the one on "Tracking." I thought at first the author would emphasize loss of privacy--but he's really pointing at something else. There is a huge industry in the simple act of just creating sensors. "We are on our way to manufacturing 54 billion sensors every year by 2020."
So all in all, I thought THE INEVITABLE was a profund read--but also a tough read. Honestly, the ideas are so big, that I will need to mull over them quite a while.
But I still don't like that idea about everybody being connected to a "Big Thing."