Slowing Down; Keeping Up: Technology, Determinism, and Modern Heresy

Zachary Rogers

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationFeatured article


    Ideas – or more specifically, the capacity to imagine that which is not there – are the driving force of human history. This central premise of Felipe Fernández-Armesto’s 2019 Out of Our Minds: What We Think and How We Came to Think It might seem unremarkable, except that in this sweeping history of the human imagination, the author finds that most of the ideas humans have are quite wrong.

    In it, he finds most of the handful of enduringly good ideas humans have had, were had tens of thousands of years ago, when culture and thought were almost static and technology almost non-existent. These are the ideas that respond to the deepest human dilemmas: How do we tell truth from falsehood? How should we mediate the Promethean power of technology? The best responses are more like heuristics – they caution against certainty and allow humans to live with uncertainty.


    • technology
    • ideas
    • human history
    • imagination


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