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Prey Prey by Michael Crichton
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Prey Quotes Showing 1-20 of 20
“We think we know what we are doing. We have always thought so.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“They didn't understand what they were doing.
I'm afraid that will be on the tombstone of the human race.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“Kids didn't have huge backpacks when I was their age. We didn't have backpacks at all. Now it seemed all the kids had them. You saw little second-graders bent over like sherpas, dragging themselves through the school doors under the weight of their packs. Some of the kids had their packs on rollers, hauling them like luggage at the airport. I didn't understand any of this. The world was becoming digital; everything was smaller and lighter. But kids at school lugged more weight than ever.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“The fact that the biosphere responds unpredictably to our actions is not an argument for inaction. It is, however, a powerful argument for caution, and for adopting a tentative attitude toward all we believe, and all we do. Unfortunately, our species has demonstrated a striking lack of caution in the past. It is hard to imagine that we will behave differently in the future.

We think we know what we are doing. We have always thought so. We never seem to acknowledge that we have been wrong in the past, and so might be wrong in the future. Instead, each generation writes off earlier errors as the result of bad thinking by less able minds--and then confidently embarks on fresh errors of its own.

We are one of only three species on our planet that can claim to be self-aware, yet self-delusion may be a more significant characteristic of our kind.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“Considering that we live in an era of evolutionary everything---evolutionary biology, evolutionary medicine, evolutionary ecology, evolutionary psychology, evolutionary economics, evolutionary computing---it was surprising how rarely people thought in evolutionary terms. It was a human blind spot. We look at the world around us as a snapshot when it was really a movie, constantly changing.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“At forty, I was too old to work as a programmer myself anymore; writing code is a young person’s job.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“There's one problem with all psychological knowledge - nobody can apply it to themselves. People can be incredibly astute about the shortcomings of their friends, spouses, children. But they have no insight into themselves at all. The same people who are coldly clear-eyed about the world around them have nothing but fantasies about themselves. Psychological knowledge doesn't work if you look in a mirror. This bizarre fact is, as far as I know, unexplained.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“Kids are more advanced these days. The teenage years now start at 11.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“Like everything else I'd seen at Xymos, it was jerry-built, half-baked, concocted in a hurry to solve present problems and never a thought to the future.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“But it was one thing to release a population of virtual agents inside a computer's memory to solve a problem. It was another thing to set real agents free in the real world.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“We are one of only three species on our planet that can claim to be self-aware, yet self-delusion may be a more significant characteristic of our kind.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“In any case, this was a deep human prejudice. Human beings to find a central command in any organization. States had governments. Corporations had CEOs. Schools had principals. Armies had generals. Human beings tended to believe that without central command, chaos would overwhelm the organization and nothing significant could be accomplished.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“Sometimes agents were so influenced by one another that they lost track of their goal and did something else instead. In that sense, the program was very childlike, unpredictable and easily distracted. As one programmer put it - trying to program distributed intelligence is like telling a five year old kid to go to his room and change his clothes. He may do that, but he is equally likely to do something else and never return.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“obsequious”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“Parasitism and symbiosis were the true basis for evolutionary change. These processes lay at the heart of all evolution, and had been present from the very beginning. Lynn Margulis was famous for demonstrating that bacteria had originally developed nuclei by swallowing other bacteria.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“thrumming”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“We think we know what we are doing. We have always thought so. We never seem to acknowledge that we have been wrong in the past, and so might be wrong in the future. Instead, each generation writes off earlier errors as the result of bad thinking by less able minds—and then confidently embarks on fresh errors of its own.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“There are many people, including myself, who are quite queasy about the consequences of this technology for the future. —K. Eric Drexler, 1992”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“But then, things never turn out the way you think they will.”
Michael Crichton, Prey
“Unable to construct genuine nanoassemblers, Xymos was using bacteria to crank out their molecules. This was genetic engineering, not nanotechnology.”
Michael Crichton, Prey