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Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor from its inception until 1999. He is currently completing a book for Viking/Penguin publishers called “What Technology Wants,” due out in the Fall 2010. He is also editor and publisher of the “Cool tools” website, which gets half a million unique visitors per month. From 1984-1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers’ Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. He authored the best-selling “New rules for the new economy” and the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, “Out of control”.

From 1984 to 1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. The non-profit Whole Earth Review (formerly called Co-Evolution Quarterly) is a small, yet influential, journal that consistently published trend-making topics years before other publications noticed them. Under Kelly’s direction and editorship, Whole Earth was the first consumer magazine to report on virtual reality, ecological restoration, the global teenager, Internet culture and artificial life (to name just a few early trends).

Kelly was a founding board member of the WELL, a Sausalito-based teleconferencing system. The WELL is a pioneering online service started in 1985 by the Point Foundation (Kelly was director of Point from 1985-1990). The WELL is considered by the growing Internet population to be a model of online culture, and a pioneer in developing online communities. It currently has 10,000 members.

Before taking up the consequences of technology, Kelly was a nomadic photojournalist. One summer he rode a bicycle 5,000 miles across America. For most of the 1970s he was a photographer in remote parts of Asia, publishing his photographs in national magazines. He wrote a monthly travel column for New Age Journal. In the early 1980s he published and edited the first magazine devoted to walking, and ran a mail order catalog specializing in budget travel around the world.

As Kelly mentions in his speech, if we had been told about the internet 10 years ago, we would have thought that person was as nutty as a fruitcake. In fact, according to Kelly, to explain the internet we should “get better in believing in the impossible”. An obvious example of the big development achieved is “Wikipedia”, which consists of a collection of articles from people all around the world. The importance of the web is exemplified by the 100 billion clicks done every day, by the 2 million e-emails sent every second and by the amount of electricity that the internet uses per year, which is the 5% of the global amount. Besides, in Kelly’s view, by the year 2040, the web will exceed humanity in processing power.

In short, and as Kelly mentions in one o his articles, “no one can escape the transforming fire of machines”.

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