352. “There was little work left of a routine, mechanical nature. Men’s minds were too valuable to waste on tasks that a few thousand transistors, some photo-electric cells, and a cubic meter of printed circuits could perform. There were factories that ran for weeks without being visited by a single human being. Men were needed for trouble-shooting, for making decisions, for planning new enterprises. The robots did the rest.”
356. “Any man who had ever worked in a hardened missile site would have felt at home in Clavius. Here on the Moon were the same arts and hardware of underground living, and of protection against a hostile environment; but here they had been turned to the purposes of peace. After ten thousand years, Man had at last found something as exciting as war.”
370. “Men had sought beauty in many forms – in sequences of sound, in lines upon paper, in surfaces of stone, in the movements of the human body, in colours ranged through space. All these media still survived in Diaspar and down the ages others had been added to them. No one was yet certain if all the possibilities of art had been discovered, or if it had any meaning outside the mind of Man. And the same was true of love.”
386. “That suggested two possibilities. It was either too unintelligent to understand him – or it was very intelligent indeed, with its own powers of choice and volition. In that case, he must treat it as an equal. Even then he might underestimate it – but it would bear him no resentment, for conceit was not a vice from which robots often suffered.”
388. “The eruption had hurled the thing out of its normal environment, deep down in the flaming atmosphere of the sun. It was a miracle that it had survived its journey through space; already it must be dying, as the forces that controlled its huge, invisible body lost their hold over the electrified gas which was the only substance it possessed.”
390. “Apart from the jet-black sky, the photo might have been taken almost anywhere in the polar regions of Earth; there was nothing in the least alien about the sea of wrinkled ice that stretched all the way out to the horizon. Only the five space-suited figures in the foreground proclaimed that the panorama was of another world.”
391. “He might himself be putting on a superb act, following the performance by logic alone and with his own strange emotions completely untouched, as an anthropologist might take part in some primitive rite. The fact that he uttered the appropriate sounds, and made the expected responses, really proved nothing at all.”
397. “This had not endeared him to exobiologists such as Dr Perera, who took exactly the opposite view. To them, the only purpose of the Universe was the production of intelligence, and they were apt to talk sneeringly about purely astronomical phenomena, ‘Mere dead matter’ was one of their favourite phrases.”
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