Kevin Kelly • Anything You Buy You Must M...


 Catagories: Quotes

Kevin Kelly in 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice
  • Anything you buy, you must maintain. A purchase is just the beginning. You can expect to devote as much money/time in maintaining a technology as you did in acquiring and installing it.
  • Acquire at the last possible moment. Technologies improve so fast you should postpone getting anything until 5 minutes before you need it. Then accept the fact that anything you buy is already obsolete.
  • You will be newbie forever. Get good at the beginner mode: learning new programs, asking dumb questions, making stupid mistakes, soliciting help.
  • Often learning a new tool requires unlearning old ones. The habits of using a land line phone don’t work in email or cell phone. The habits of email don’t work in twitter. The habits of twitter won’t work in what is next. Try to leave the old habits behind when venturing to new forms.
  • Take sabbaticals. Once a week let go of your tools. Once a year take a break from the whole system gracefully. Once in your life step back completely and turn everything off until your soul says to turn it back on. You’ll return with renewed enthusiasm and perspective.
  • Keep it easy to switch. You will leave the tool you are using today at some time in the near future. How easy will it be to leave? If leaving forces you to leave all your data behind, or to learn a new way of typing, or to surrender four other technologies you were still using, then maybe this is not the best one to start.
  • Quality is not always related to price. Sometimes expensive gear is better, sometimes the least expensive is best for you. Most folks don’t ever use the premium features they paid for. And 95% of most tools are abandoned before they wear out. Quality is related to your personal use.
  • For every expert opinion that you find online, seek out an equal but opposite expert opinion somewhere else. Don’t rely on raves only. If you have not heard any negatives, you have not yet found all the opinions.
  • You don’t need to understand the mechanics of a new technology before you start using it. The best way to understand it is to use it.
  • Tools are metaphors that shape how you think. What embedded assumptions does the new tool make? Does it assume right-handedness, or literacy, or a password, or a place to throw it away? Where the defaults are set can reflect a tool’s bias. You should ask yourself what does this technology assume?
  • What other thing do you give up? This one has taken me a long time to learn. The only way to take up a new technology is to reduce an old one in my life already. Social media, for instance, must come at the expense of something else I was doing – even if it just daydreaming.
  • Every new technology will bite back. The more powerful its gifts, the more powerfully it can be abused. Look for its costs.
  • Risks are relative. The risks of a new technology can’t be evaluation alone; they must be compared to the risks of the older technology, or no technology. For instance the risks of a new dental MRI must be compared to the risks of an old x-ray, or to the risks of no x-ray and getting cavities. The costs of the new must be compared to costs of the old.
  • Be suspicious of any technology that requires walls to prevent access. If you can’t fix it, modify it or hack it yourself, that is a sign. * Teaching others what you learn (like posting solutions to things you figured out) is the best way to keep learning about a technology yourself.
  • The proper response to a stupid technology is not to outlaw it but to make a better one yourself, just as the proper response to a stupid idea is not to outlaw it but to replace it with a better idea.
  • Nobody has any idea of what a new invention will really be good for, including its inventors. You can’t evaluate new things by merely thinking about them. To evaluate, try it, then think.
  • The second order effects of technology usually only arrive when everyone has one, or it is present everywhere. Drones are cool, but what if everyone has one hovering over their shoulder?
  • The older the technology, the more likely it will continue to be useful. It may need to find a more limited new job, but don’t dismiss it. Some of the best new things are old things re-imagined.
  • Find the minimum amount of technology that will maximize your options.

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