Douglas Adams: Looking at adaption

One of his last public appearances was a talk given at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Parrots, the universe and everything, recorded days before his death.

It is a sad thing that perhaps what he saw as the demise of the species like the blind dolphin and others was just a mirror of what we always face. We must adapt and act and change to survive. It is always going to be true that what does not, or cannot, adapt will suffer when situations change. In this world the technology is upon us and we must adapt or suffer the same maladroit hell of incompetence to live in the environment as it evolves and ultimately the species will collapse under the weight of the new universe that is imposed or simply arrives.

Humanity has more in common with the flightless birds of New Zealand than I care to think about. A period of time when people are masters of the world and no major calamity has made us unprepared for what must surely be coming. There is no social memory of calamity as it wipes out virtually everybody and everything, and so there is none to tell the story except the crazy family that was hiding from ghosts in a cave and came out to find an empty world and assumed the ghosts ate everybody and so that would be the history from that point.

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