David E. Nye reviews the book 'what technology wants,' by Kevin Kelly. Kelly has been thinking about technology for most of his life, first as a backpacker wandering the Third World, later as one of the pioneers of what became the Internet, and finally as one of the founders and editors of Wired magazine. A bird's nest and a wooden shack, a beaver's dam and a dam built by engineers are all manipulations of natural materials to gain an environmental advantage. It was manifested first in the conquest of the habitable world by Homo sapiens and second in the continual addition of new inventions. He thinks the rough sequence of major inventions is largely invariant, and that such devices as the electric light bulb were inevitable, even if the specific details of their form were not.