We reported yesterday on a deep but scathing review of Kevin Kelly's What Technology Wants by Stanford fellow and tech thinker Evgeny Morozov. At the end of the essay, Morozov made the claim that Kelly merely wanted to hit the speakers' circuit, profiting from his ideas by speaking to corporations. Through a correspondence with Kelly, he copied us on the letter he sent to The New Republic, taking issue with that claim. The letter is reproduced below:
I am honored by TNR's deep, thoughtful review of my book, What Technology Wants, by Evgeny Morozov, which ran in the March 3 issue. It is rare in this twitter-span era when a reviewer reads a book as closely and thoroughly as Morozov did mine. I am grateful for the wonderful scholarly context he added to my popular work. I hope he publishes the details as a history of the idea of technology, a story that is sorely needed.
The only correction I must append to Morozov's review is his conclusion. He writes:The main reason why Kelly wrote What Technology Wants became clear to me only after I looked at his review of his own book, which was conveniently published on one of his blogs:As Morozov is well aware (he wrote a book on it!), the trouble with depending on blogs for facts is that blog entries are fleeting, partial and fragmentary. If he had searched a bit more he would have found the other blog entry where I announced the actual details, which said that I was eager to talk about this book at as many companies and organizations as possible, and would do so for FREE. I had a lot of companies and organizations take me up on the offer. In fact I did about 100 talks on the book and not one was a paid talk. I paid my travel expenses for most of these talks out of my own pocket. My motivation as an author would be familiar to Morozov as author of his own book: to disseminate ideas as widely as possible. If the state of my generosity is an important point in Morozov's review (and it seems to be), he or TNR may want to add an update and correction to reflect the facts.Taken together these giga-trends inform the development of technology investment and the choice technological expressions today. These "wants" of technology provide a long-horizon framework for business -- your business. I'll be doing as many talks at companies and organizations about "what technology wants" as I can in the coming months.Kelly is not the first technology guru to make a living by selling advice to corporations.
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