... fascinating, brilliant, comprehensive, and beautiful ... What [O'Gieblyn] offers within God, Human, Animal, Machine is a deep reading of these digital metaphors to excavate the connotative implications of that rhetoric which lurks 'in the syntax of contemporary speech' ... To describe God, Human, Animal, Machine as simply being “about” technology is to greatly reduce O’Gieblyn’s book, which is able to cover an astonishing range of subjects in a relatively short page count. With a rigor and a faith in her readers’ ability to follow complex arguments and understand rarefied concepts, O’Gieblyn charts not just the evolution of religious metaphor in relation to technology, but she also examines philosophies of mind like materialism, dualism, panpsychism, and idealism ... By combining both a voracious curiosity with a deep skepticism, O’Gieblyn conveys what it’s like to live in our strange epoch, facing apocalypse with an Android phone ... O’Gieblyn’s most enduring contribution might be in diagnosing the ways in which technological change marks a rapidly shifting conception of what consciousness is ... Define our present as you will – post-modern, late capitalist – but O’Gieblyn has identified something deeper about the ways in which technological metaphors have been returned upon us, the developers of those same programs.
Instead of a cri de cœur, O’Gieblyn gathers, analyzes, and disseminates a broad swath of theological, intellectual, and technological history to offer some sense of the intellectual condition in which we find ourselves today...The strength of O’Gieblyn’s book rests on her ability to distill the arguments of a number of great thinkers on questions surrounding this technology, and she traces her ability to plumb these depths and emerge with something coherent to her time as a Christian in Bible school, when she learned to debate for hours ideas such as predestination and covenant theology ... While O’Gieblyn’s book strikes me as compellingly broad and rigorous, it’s impossible for me to read it and not ponder more imaginatively what digital heaven might be like ... offers a captivating portrait of how digital technology has fundamentally transformed both intellectual and religious thinking.
... nimble ... O’Gieblyn’s loosely linked and rigorously thoughtful meditations on technology, humanity and religion mount a convincing and occasionally moving apologia for that ineliminable wrench in the system, the element that not only browses and buys but feels: the embattled, anachronistic and indispensable self ... a hybrid beast, a remarkably erudite work of history, criticism and philosophy, but it is also, crucially, a memoir. O’Gieblyn knows that personal writing is 'often dismissed as unserious or egotistical,' but her 'I' is not the indulgent 'I' of the confessional foray, nor the strident 'I' of liberalism: It is the humble 'I' of human scale and perspective.