The division of powers among the layers of civilization allows us to relax about a few of our worries. We should not deplore rapidly changing technology and business while government controls, cultural mores, and so-called wisdom change slowly; that’s their job. Also, we should not fear destabilizing positive-feedback loops (such as the Singularity) crashing the whole system. Such disruption usually can be isolated and absorbed. The total effect of the pace layers is that they provide many-leveled corrective, stabilizing negative feedback throughout the system. It is precisely in the apparent contradictions of pace that civilization finds its surest health.
- Stewart Brand, The Clock of the Long Now