Not meant to imply a human type of “answering,” this question served as an investigative tool that helped Kelly look at technology through an evolutionary lens in order to determine its “wants.” Such long-term analysis revealed that technology has tendencies toward the same evolutionary goals as living organisms, i.e., ubiquity, diversity, specialization, complexity, and socialization. Thus, insofar as technology shows similar tendencies and patterns as organisms, technology can be seen as the 7th Kingdom of life.
The key to any evolutionary methodology is “long-term,” that is, to take a span of time long enough that allows for a tracing of mutation, as well as a mapping of environmental fluctuations that activate such changes.
Manuel De Landa, whose philosophy addresses scientific and cultural concerns, grounds his thinking on dynamic systems theory in order to show that there are inherent structures to our reality. According to De Landa, our reality can be explained through emergent patterns and structures, that “everything from the static on a telephone line to the formation of mountains to the fluctuations of stock markets displays deep structural patterns and tendencies (attractors).”3 Thus, “it is these patterns that give rise to the myriad shapes and events of reality.”4 Emergences such as technology, which were previously thought of as “seemingly random forms and events in life,”5 follow these inherent patterns.