Culture Making is now archived. Enjoy five years of reflections on culture worth celebrating.
For more about the book and Andy Crouch, please visit

from "13 Generations," by Kevin Kelly, The Technium, 24 September 2008 :: via Nate

I could form a human bridge between me and Jesus, or Caesar, or Hero of Alexandria with only 26 people reaching out finger tip to finger tip across time.  Those 26 people could fit into one room.

Calculated this way 1,000, or even 2,000 years doesn’t seem so distant. To span 1,000 years we need only 13 lifespans. We can hold a list of 13 names connecting us to the year 1000 AD in our head, and many people in the past have done so.

Going in the opposite direction we can imagine only 13 lives (and perhaps fewer if longevity increases), linking us and the year 3000 AD. Between you and the year 3000 AD stand only 13 lifetimes. In terms of lifetimes — which are steadily increasing due to medical progress — 10 centuries is just next door.