In many Tällberg conversations, the question of technology often emerges as central – and difficult. What is technology in its nature, in its deepest essence? With his new book “The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves”, long-time Tällberg friend W. Brian Arthur provides us with a powerful framework that helps us understand and talk about technology. His starting point is, correctly, that “Technology creates our world […] Technology is what separates us from the Middle Ages…, from the way we lived 50,000 or more years ago.” But we know that technology is not only a force for good. It can too often become a far too powerful weapon in our conflict with nature. He writes: “Our deepest hopes as humans lies in technology; but our deepest trust lies in nature. These forces are like tectonic plates grinding inexorably into each other in one long, slow collision.”
Brian is now an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute and a visiting researcher at PARC. He is one of the pioneers of complexity theory, and his work in economic theory was groundbreaking (making him a candidate to the Nobel Prize in Economics).