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Seidenberg, Roderick

Entry updated 21 May 2019. Tagged: Author.

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(1889-1973) German-born architect and author, in USA from 1910 or earlier; imprisoned 1918-1920 as a World War One conscientious objector. In the 1930s, while designing several buildings in New York, he also contributed essays to various journals. His first book, Posthistoric Man: An Inquiry (1950), incisively if adamantly argues that human history in the large scale is essentially predetermined, and can be graphed as a three-part sequence: prehistory, a long plateau, with instinct dominant over Intelligence (his definitions of these two terms are sophisticated); history, a brief period during which intelligence vies against and conquers instinct; and posthistory, an "icy fixity" with intelligence (at points almost synonymous with Technology) indefinitely in control (see Far Future; Singularity); Genetic Engineering (see also Eugenics) will mandatorily co-ordinate the human race with its instruments. Anatomy of the Future (1961) argues for the legitimacy of the kind of speculations that shape the earlier book (see End of the World; Futures Studies; Prediction). [JC]

Roderick Seidenberg

born Heidelberg, Germany: 20 October 1889

died Doylestown, Pennsylvania: 27 August 1973

works

  • Posthistoric Man: An Inquiry (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press, 1950) [nonfiction: dust jacket gives "post-historic": hb/nonpictorial]
  • Anatomy of the Future (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press, 1961) [nonfiction: hb/]

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