Kevin Kelly is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review.
In this candid conversation with iconic tech thinker Kevin Kelly (founding Editor of Wired), we discuss inspirational and transformative advice for early-stage Founders reflecting on the work they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how it all adds up in the long term. Kevin and NFX General Partner James Currier talk about: “You want to work on something that nobody has a name for.” You don’t just want to be the best -- you want to be the only. This applies to the companies you start, the projects you tackle, as well as to how you live your life. “It’s fine to focus on scaling a wall, but you need to make sure your ladder is leaning against the right wall.” Transforming from short-term founder to long-term steward is a mental shift that many Founders need to start making. “If you operate on a longer term perspective you have an advantage because everyone else is completely short sighted.” Why Wired? What was the reason for it to exist? We need to listen to the technology to see how people actually use it vs. how it was invented. Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor for its first seven years. His most recent book is called The Inevitable, and is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. He is also founding editor of the popular Cool Tools website, which has been reviewing tools daily since 2003. Every Sunday, he and the Cool Tools team mail out Recomendo, a free one-page list of 6 very brief recommendations of cool stuff.
My guest today is Kevin Kelly, who co-founded Wired Magazine in 1993 and served as its Executive Editor for the first seven years. As one of the most important futurists of our generation, he's published a number of books including The Inevitable, What Technology Wants, and New Rules for the New Economy which is my favorite one. Coolest of all, he's also a founding member of the board of the Long Now Foundation, a non-profit devoted to encouraging long-term thinking. We discussed the Long Now Foundation at the end of this episode in a conversation about what it means to be a good ancestor for future generations. A couple of things stood out from this conversation. First, I like how Kevin focuses on clarity above all else whenever he writes. He sees himself as a great editor, and writing is the process by which he discovers what he's thinking. Second, we build off the ideas of Marshall McLuhan who was the founding saint of Wired Magazine. Through McLuhan, we explored Kevin's Christianity, how screens are shaping consciousness, and how our technologies have a gravitational life of their own. Please enjoy my conversation with Kevin Kelly. ____________________________ Show Notes 2:22 - Exotropic energy and how Kevin uses it to explain the negative entropy we see throughout the universe. 6:24 - Why California has become the world hub of extropy. 10:33 - The transition from the written word to text and screens and how it affects our psyche. 15:27 - What made Marshall McLuhan's writing so paradoxical and engaging. 18:34 - How science fiction has usurped religious teachings as the modern leader of theological thought. 24:06 - Why our limitation as seeing the future only "through the rearview mirror" is driven by a disease Kevin calls "thinkism". 31:25 - How the Amish have utilized an evidence-based method in their adoption of new technologies. 44:46 - Why technology that we create will always be weaponized in the end. 49:01 - Why Kevin believes that the evidence shows the increase of accessibility of and power in technology has not correlated with our ability to harm. 53:15 - How moral progress is a natural byproduct of technological progress. 57:26 - Why Kevin sees a fundamental transformation in how Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is thought about and utilized in people's lives. 1:05:25 - Why Kevin's futurology is much closer to simply noticing the present that it is divination. 1:15:20 - How moving away from improving everything's efficiency is against the very things we desire as humans. 1:23:35 - Why writing for Kevin is nothing but a means to an end to discovering his thoughts. 1:29:43 - How thinking with 'the long now' can help us become better ancestors and leave a better world for the future.
The accidental futurist Kevin Kelly on why enthusiasm beats intelligence, how to really listen, and why the solution to bad technology is more technology.
#432: Books I've Loved — Kevin Kelly | Brought to you by Audible.Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is my job to sit down with world-class performers of all different types—from startup founders and investors to chess champions to Olympic athletes. This episode, however, is an experiment and part of a shorter series I’m doing called “Books I’ve Loved.” I’ve invited some amazing past guests, close friends, and new faces to share their favorite books—the books that have influenced them, changed them, and transformed them for the better. I hope you pick up one or two new mentors—in the form of books—from this new series and apply the lessons in your own life.Kevin Kelly (@kevin2kelly) might be the real-life most interesting man in the world. Kevin is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its executive editor for its first seven years. His most recent book is The Inevitable, which is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. His other books include the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy, the classic Out of Control, and his summary theory of technology in What Technology Wants. From 1984–1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Catalog. He co-founded the Hackers’ Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. He also founded the popular Cool Tools website in 2003.Recomendo is his free, weekly newsletter that gives you six brief personal recommendations of cool stuff.Note from the editor: This episode was recorded in late 2019.“Books I’ve Loved” on The Tim Ferriss Show is brought to you by Audible! I have used Audible for many years now. I love it. Audible has the largest selection of audiobooks on the planet. I listen when I’m taking walks, I listen while I’m cooking… I listen whenever I can. Audible is offering Tim Ferriss Show listeners a free audiobook with a 30-day trial membership. Just go to and browse the unmatched selection of audio programs. Then, download your free title and start listening! It’s that easy. Simply go to or text TIM to 500500 to get started today.***If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It takes less than 60 seconds, and it really makes a difference in helping to convince hard-to-get guests.For show notes and past guests, please visit up for Tim’s email newsletter (“5-Bullet Friday”) at transcripts of episodes, go to in sponsoring the podcast? Please fill out the form at Tim’s books: Tim:Twitter: Instagram: YouTube:
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Aug 14th, 1952
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9 hours, 29 seconds
Podchaser Creator ID logo 866438