Freakonomics interviews Kevin Kelly about his “68 bits of unsolicited recommendation”


Picture: Christopher Michel

When my good friend and Cool Instruments associate Kevin Kelly turned 68 just a few weeks in the past, he posted an essay to his web site titled “68 little bit of unsolicited recommendation.” (I posted it to Boing Boing.) Kevin’s recommendation rapidly went viral, and this week he was the visitor on the Freakonomics podcast, the place he talked concerning the record, amongst different issues.

KELLY (studying from 68 Bits of Unsolicited Recommendation): Learn to be taught from those that disagree with you, and even offend you. See if yow will discover reality in what they consider.

DUBNER: So the worth of doing this one appears apparent, particularly in a second the place so many individuals are so fast to take offense, and to be offensive. Are you able to give me an instance of the place you’ve truly completed this?

KELLY: There are elements of my books the place I’ve written one thing, and any individual will say one thing very robust, about, “That’s dumb,” or it’s silly, or mistaken. And that’s fairly harsh. However my take is to say, “Let me see if there’s any reality to that.” Typically there’s not. Typically there could also be some sliver of one thing. And what I’ve realized to do is to reply to that little sliver. To attempt to get beneath why they’re saying it and the place is it they’re coming from. I don’t must essentially at all times agree with them or change it, however I’ve to concentrate to that sign. And so I’ve realized to deal with these items as indicators reasonably than as insults.

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DUBNER: And is the objective there to be taught extra concerning the thought you have been writing about? Is the problem to mollify a possible enemy? Is the objective to make your self really feel extra proper, maybe?

KELLY: That’s a good query. I want to be proper. I ought to add this to this record, however Esther Dyson says it so nicely, she says, “Maintain making new errors.” So, yeah, I would love to not make that mistake once more. It’s to not mollify my critics, as a result of I’ve realized that’s a no-win sport. It’s extra of, I need my argument to be higher. I need it to be proper, however for the fitting cause. And it’s about educating myself, primarily.

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