Kevin Kelly is a writer and a founding executive editor of Wired Magazine. He is the author of What Technology Wants, Out of Control and The Inevitable: Understanding the Twelve Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future.

“I always try to write about the future—and it became harder and harder because things would catch up so fast. If you read Out of Control now, I’ve heard that people say, ‘well, this is obvious.’ I have to tell you, it was dismissed as entirely pie-in-the-sky, wild-eyed craziness twenty-five years ago.”

Thanks to Mailchimp and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode.

Letter from Birmingham Jail

On the moral responsibility to break unjust laws.

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“There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’”

Katherine Eban is an investigative journalist and contributing writer at Fortune Magazine. Her new book is Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom.

“I am not known for my optimism. I think it’s hard to do this work and retain a sunny view of humankind. I hate to say that. On the other hand, I do believe there will always be whistleblowers. And it’s interesting to me that even in the darkest spaces, even when it looks like everything is arrayed against them, there are people who will say: ‘This just isn’t right, and I must do something.’ Which is kind of extraordinary.”

Thanks to Mailchimp and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode.