Amphibians

Stewart Brand, interviewed by Kevin Kelly, referencing George Dyson…

I take my cue from technology historian George Dyson, who argues that, from the perspective of the real world, the digital universe is accelerating rapidly but, from the view of the digital universe, the biological world is slllllooooowwwwwiiing doooowwwwn. Since we humans are amphibians and live in both universes, we are being torn by acceleration on one side and deceleration on the other. That sounds rough, but it’s actually pretty exciting.

2 comments
  1. My suspicion is that the phrasing “amphibian” is a C.S. Lewis reference. Specifically, to Letter 8 of The Screwtape Letters.

    “Humans are amphibians– half spirit and half animal. (The Enemy’s determination to produce such a revolting hybrid was one of the things that determined Our Father to withdraw his support from Him.) As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for to be in time means to change. Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation– the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall back, a series of troughs and peaks.”

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