Technology Wants To Be Free

The best read of the day, week or maybe even month:

In particular I’ve concluded the free is deeply entwined into the very foundation of technology. I was sharing some of those emerging half-baked thoughts with Chris in the lobby of TED. Since that conversation I’ve discovered that the tie between technology and the free goes even further than I thought. My current conclusion can be summarized simply: Technology wants to be free.

Let me state it more precisely: Over time the cost per fixed technological function will decrease. If that function persists long enough its costs begin to approach (but never reach) zero. In the goodness of time any particular technological function will exist as if it were free.

This seems to be true for almost anything we make: basic things like food stuffs and materials (often called commodities), and complicated stuff like appliances, as well as services and intangibles. The costs of all these (per fixed unit) has been dropping over time, particularly since the industrial revolution.

From Technology Wants To Be Free by Kevin Kelly.

As a bonus, a semi-follow-up called Better Than Free is also a great read.

And another bonus, in similar tune, by the same author Where Music: Will Be Coming From.

Published by

Paweł Gościcki

Ruby/Rails programmer.