Vernor Vinges' Zones

You could study your whole life, and not know. How long must a fish study to understand human motivation? It’s not a good analogy, but it’s the only safe one; we are like dumb animals to the Powers of the Transcend. Think of all the different things people do to animals—ingenious, sadistic, charitable, genocidal—each has a million elaborations in the Transcend. The Zones are a natural protection; without them, human-equivalent intelligence would probably not exist.” She waved at the misty star swarms. “The Beyond and below are like a deep of ocean, and we the creatures that swim in the abyss. We’re so far down that the beings on the surface—superior though they are—can’t effectively reach us. Oh, they fish, and they sometimes blight the upper levels with poisons we don’t even understand. But the abyss remains a relatively safe place.” She paused. There was more to the analogy. “And just as with an ocean, there is a constant drift of flotsam from the top. There are things that can only be made at the Top, that need close-to-sentient factories—but which can still work down here.


We are like fish in an aquarium attempting to understand the godlike intelligences in the Transcend, whose motives are beyond us and whose perspective on us is impossible to fathom.

Folksonomies: god singularity transcendence

/pets/large animals (0.533060)
/science/medicine/psychology and psychiatry (0.497502)
/society/crime/personal offense/torture (0.490459)

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Vernor Vinges:Person (0.756058 (neutral:0.000000))

Fish (0.881630): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Ocean (0.858762): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Motivation (0.799777): dbpedia | freebase
The Abyss (0.747600): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Intelligence (0.724878): dbpedia | freebase

 Fire Upon the Deep
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Vinge , Vernor (2011-08-01), Fire Upon the Deep, Tor Books, Retrieved on 2012-01-03
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: fiction science fictino