Gentofte Hovedbibliotek
Ahlmanns Allé 6,
DK - 2900 Hellerup

“Gud skabte mennesket i sit billede; i Guds billede skabte han det, som mand og kvinde skabte han dem. Og Gud velsignede dem og sagde til dem: »Bliv frugtbare og talrige, opfyld jorden, og underlæg jer den; hersk over havets fisk, himlens fugle og alle dyr, der rører sig på jorden!”

Første Mosebog, 1:27-28

“Technology helped people survive and reproduce, and humans increasingly invested their efforts in inventing, fabricating and protecting as possessions their technological implements. Humans and technology became interdependent. Eventually, technology allowed regional populations to grow beyond the individual survival capabilities of their members, and as global population growth accelerated local networks became connected to form a complex system of planetary scale. This system can be conceived as one in which the huge population of humans is embedded within an intricate and increasingly necessary network of supporting technological parts that has been termed the technosphere.”

Williams et al, The Anthropocene Review, "The Anthropocene biosphere", 2015

“The extreme limits of life in the biosphere probably represent absolute conditions for all organisms (…) Establishing such limits on the basis of known adaptations of life requires guesswork, always a hazardous and uncertain undertaking. Man, in particular, being endowed with understanding and the ability to direct his will, can reach places that are inaccessible to any other living organisms. Given the indissoluble unity of all living beings, an insight flashes upon us. When we view life as a planetary phenomenon, this capacity of Homo sapiens cannot be regarded as accidental. It follows that the question of unchanging limits of life in the biosphere must be treated with caution.”

Vladimir Vernadsky, The Biosphere, 1926

“It took hundreds of millions of years to produce the life that now inhabits the earth—aeons of time, in which that developing and evolving and diversifying life reached a state of adjustment to its surroundings. To be sure, the environment, rigorously shaping and directing the life it supported, contained hostile elements. Certain rocks gave out dangerous radiation; even within the light of the sun, from which all life draws its energy, there were short-wave radiations with power to injure. But given time—time not in years but in millennia—life adjusted, and a balance was reached. Time was the essential ingredient. Now, in the modern world, there is no time.”

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, 1962

“What many of us fail to realize is that the last four hundred years are a highly special period in the history of the world. The pace at which changes during these years have taken place is unexampled in earlier history, as is the very nature of these changes. This is partly the results of increased communication, but also of an increased mastery over nature, which on a limited planet like the earth, may prove in the long run to be an increased slavery to nature. For the more we get out of the world the less we leave, and in the long run we shall have to pay our debts at a time that may be very inconvenient for our own survival.”

Norbert Wiener, The Human Use of Human Beings, 1950

“May we not fancy that if, in the remotest geological period, some early form of vegetable life had been endowed with the power of reflecting upon the dawning life of animals which was coming into existence alongside of its own, it would have thought itself exceedingly acute if it had surmised that animals would one day become real vegetables? Yet would this be more mistaken than it would be on our part to imagine that because the life of machines is a very different one to our own, there is therefore no higher possible development of life than ours; or that because mechanical life is a very different thing from ours, therefore that it is not life at all?”

Samuel Butler, Erewhon: or, Over the Range, 1872

“Evolution works through indirection: evolution created humans, humans created technology, humans are now working with increasingly advanced technology to create new generations of technology. By the time of the Singularity, there won't be a distinction between humans and technology. This is not because humans will have become what we think of as machines today, but rather machines will have progressed to be like humans and beyond.”

Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, 2005

“At best, we ourselves are already become or are becoming some cooperative part in a vast machinery. It is, with us, as though we were controlled by some great crystallizing principle going on in nature all around us and going on, in spite of ourselves, even in our very own natures. If you would see how interwoven it is, this thing we call the machine, with the warp and woof of civilization, if indeed it is not now the very basis of civilization itself, go at night-fall to the top of one of the down-town steel giants and you may see how in the image of material man, at once his glory and his menace, is this thing we call a city. There beneath you is the monster, stretching acre upon acre into the far distance (…) Thousands of acres of cellular tissue, the city’s flesh outspreads layer upon layer, enmeshed by an intricate network of veins and arteries radiating into the gloom, and in them, with muffled, persistent roar, circulating as the blood circulates in your veins, is the almost ceaseless beat of the activity to whose necessities it all conforms. ”

Frank Lloyd Wright, Lecture to the Chicago chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (1904); later published as "The Art and Craft of the Machine" in On Architecture: Selected Writings (1894-1940) (1941)

“The invention of our artefacts takes place much more quickly than the appearance of new species by evolution, and I drew this conclusion by comparing the time taken for the evolution of a modern airliner from the Wright brothers’ first construction, with the time taken for the efficient and streamlined birds of today, the seagull and the swallow, to evolve from their feathered, lizard-like ancestors. The ratio is about 1 million to 1 (…) it seems to me unlikely that the larger forms of life will ever catch up with the rate of evolution of robots, simply because of the difference between the speeds that messages travel with ionic conduction (animals) and with electronic conduction (computers and robots). Electronic conduction is limited only by the speed of light (300,000 kilometres per second), but ionic conduction along neurons is at best about 300 metres a second – hence about 1 million times slower.”

James Lovelock, A Rough Ride to the Future, 2014

““The nauseating fear that machine technology will replace all living species has subsided in my mind. We'll keep other species, I believe (…) life is a technology. Life is the ultimate technology. Machine technology is a temporary surrogate for life technology. As we improve our machines they will become more organic, more biological, more like life, because life is the best technology for living.””

Kevin Kelly, Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World, 1994

“Ingenious and powerful biologically based tools are coming our way: viruses that can self-assemble into batteries, proteins that can clean water, nanoparticles that can detect and knock out cancer, prosthetic limbs that can read minds, computer systems that can increase crop yield. These new technologies may sound like science fiction, but they are not. Many of them are already well along in their development, and each of them has emerged from the same source: a revolutionary convergence of biology and engineering.”

Susan Hockfield, The Age of Living Machines, How Biology Will Build the Next Technology Revolution, 2019

“In 2004, the National Geographic Channel launched a series of TV shows called Crittercam (…) “Anything can happen when an animal is your cameraman,” declaimed a brochure for the series that I picked up at the Hearst Castle gift shop on the California coast in February 2004. National Geographic Channel’s Web site whetted the audience’s appetite for dis- and reembodiment through identification: “Meet our camera crews—they’re all animals! . . . Sit back and imagine you are taking a ride on the back of the world’s greatest mammal, or seeing life from the point of view of a penguin. The new Crittercam series takes you as close as you can get to the animal world.” The camera is both physical “high technology” and immaterial channel to the interior reaches of another.”

Donna Haraway, When Species Meet, 2008

“The analytic techniques coming to bear on neuroscience, on Big Data theory, on interoperability studies, on simulations with robot avatars, and on other comparable enterprises will find applications in biodiversity studies. They are ecology’s sister disciplines. It is past time to broaden the discussion of the human future and connect it to the rest of life. The Silicon Valley dreamers of a digitized humanity have not done that, not yet. They have failed to give much thought at all to the biosphere. With the human condition changing so swiftly, we are losing or degrading to uselessness ever more quickly the millions of species that have run the world independently of us and free of cost. If humanity continues its suicidal ways to change the global climate, eliminate ecosystems, and exhaust Earth’s natural resources, our species will very soon find itself forced into making a choice, this time engaging the conscious part of our brain. It is as follows: Shall we be existential conservatives, keeping our genetically based human nature while tapering off the activities inimical to ourselves and the rest of the biosphere? Or shall we use our new technology to accommodate the changes important solely to our own species, while letting the rest of life slip away? We have only a short time to decide.”

Edward O. Wilson, Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life, 2016

“Man vil, som det hedder, være ‘teknikkens herre’. Man vil mestre den. Denne vilje til at mestre bliver desto mere påtrængende, jo mere teknikken truer med at glide bort fra menneskets herredømme.”

Martin Heidegger, Spørgsmålet om teknikken, 1957