“We should become the time-zombies…”
[…] the temporal reality of nonhuman life is limited almost entirely to the present. In the worlds of the most advanced species there are slight extensions of that press to the immediate future and past. Chimps, for instance, can play hide-and-seek. But even for apes, time is always “banana now.” It is never “banana for my grandchildren yet to be born” or “banana last month.” […]
Members of our species were able to conceive and create the great cultural continuities of humankind – the arts, letters, and sciences – because the mind’s reality embraced the immensity of time from the distant pasts to distant futures […]
If in our individual and collective behavior we were to let our mental present deteriorate to a “banana-now” present – which is as close to the nanosecond world as we can get in practical terms – then we should lose the very capacity that built human civilizations. We should become the time-zombies of a banana-now republic.
Could this happen?
Yes, it could.
~Fraser, J. T. “Contemplating Nanoseconds: Preface to the Tempus Editions.” Time, the Familiar Stranger, 1987