Kevin Kelly attempts to summarize his new book What Technology Wants. A snippet:

But of course technology includes old inventions, like clocks and levers, and ancient materials that work very well, like concrete and bricks. The bulk of technology in our lives was invented long before we were born. Ordinary technology also contains intangible “stuff” that we usually don’t see such as calendars, bookkeeping principles, law, and software. It includes large complex things like social organizations and cities. Technology is all this, the old, the invisible, the large and the new — the accumulated usefulness that our minds invent.

More importantly the sum of all these technologies form an interacting whole much like a technological ecosystem. I call this super system of codependent inventions the technium. Like life itself, this whole system exhibits behavior that its parts do not. Just as we cannot detect any “hiveness” in an individual honeybee (only in the total system of the hive), we cannot see the behavior of the technium in a lone iPhone, knife, or refrigerator. The true influence of technology is felt in its whole system.

Much to our surprise the technium follows many of the same patterns that Darwin figured out life as a whole followed: a pattern he called evolution. The patterns of our inventions are not random. They are not just one thing after another.

The patterns by which living organisms mutate and diversify in evolution so resembles the way technological varieties transform over time, that we can think of the technium as the “seventh kingdom of life.” Technology is an extension and acceleration of the same forces of evolution that crafted the other six kingdoms of life.