Books Kevin Kelly Living

The Magical World of Kevin Kelly

One of my favorite writers, Kevin Kelly, is out with a new book titled “Excellent Advice for Living: Wisdom I Wish I Knew Earlier“. This book is based on several of his earlier annual blog posts that he began writing on his 68th birthday about “some things he had learned about life that he wished he had known earlier.”

On my morning walk this morning I began listening to Tim Ferriss’ recent interview of Kelly and it immediately triggered a bunch of ideas in my mind – even before they began discussing his new book! Among them (just during the first 15 minutes) were:

  • The bet he made 20 years ago about the decline of world population by the year 2060. He had observed that modern people, on average, are not having more than two kids per couple which is below the replacement rate required to maintain, let alone grow, population. Google Bard notes that “the global fertility rate has been declining for decades. In 1960, the global fertility rate was 5.0 births per woman. Today, it is 2.5 births per woman. This decline in fertility rates is due to a number of factors, including improved education and healthcare, as well as the increasing availability of contraception.
  • His notion that if you can find 1,000 people who are passionate about your work (1,000 true fans), you can make a living as a creator. Ferriss wrote about this idea in one of his books and helped popularize the notion. Kelly comments that “every day people write to me, and meet me, and say, “Yes, I have been able to do that,” inspired someone by hearing of that possibility.
  • The Whole Earth Catalog and his friendship with Stewart Brand. He described the Catalog this way: Steve Jobs famously called it “the internet before there was an internet.” It was internet printed on newsprint because it was reader generated. It was one of those big books that you could get lost in – analogous to how you can get lost on the Internet while looking up some piece of information.

Kelly has such a creative mind! He has been a joy for me to follow and enjoy for many years. My listen on my morning walk to this interview just highlighted that again for me. He’s just fun (and stimulating) to listen to (and read!).

He continues to blog regularly and to write as Senior Maverick for Wired which he helped co-found many years ago. He writes one article per year for Wired – his most recent being about generative AI image tools: Picture Limitless Creativity at Your Fingertips. Even though I read several of his earlier birthday blog posts of advice, I look forward to reading his new book when it is published later this week. Oh by the way, it appears that today is his birthday!

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