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Neal Stephenson Quotes
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Neal Stephenson Quote: “He had spoken with such absolute confidence that I knew he had to be blowing this out of his rectal orifice.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The qualifications for being a Scout seemed to be a shocking level of physical endurance, a complete disregard for mortal danger, and some knowledge of how to exist in a space suit. All of them were Russian.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “We’re like meridians, all beginning and ending in the same place. We spread out from the beginning and go our separate ways, over seas and mountains and islands and deserts, each telling our own story, as different as they could possibly be. But in the end we all converge and our ends are as much the same as our beginnings.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Why would that cause him to pack up his bolt, chord, and sphere, and hurry to Ecba, of all places?”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Ng blows out more smoke, thinking. “As we learned in Vietnam, high-powered weapons are so sensorily overwhelming that they are similar to psychoactive drugs. Like LSD, which can convince people they can fly – causing them to jump out of windows – weapons can make people overconfident. Skewing their tactical judgment. As in the case of Fisheye.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The ocean is a Turing machine, the sand is its tape; the water reads the marks in the sand and sometimes erases them and sometimes carves new ones with tiny currents that are themselves a response to the marks.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Actually, I’ve been thinking about that,” Tristan said, and finally sat down again. “It’s the dog that didn’t bark.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “When later generations come to read about our history they will think they are reading a romance, and not believe a word of it.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “He did not seem to grasp something that was clear enough to me and Cord: namely, that there were extras who would beat up avout simply because it was more entertaining than not beating them up – not because they subscribed to some ridiculous theory of what we were. He was assuming that rapscallions bothered to have theories.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I locked him out of the reticule,” Esma said. “He was speaking incoherently of cheese.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “One of the soldiers slapped Gansukh on the legs with the shaft of his spear, and the Mongol warrior rolled away from the blow, getting his legs under him. Even though Gansukh didn’t understand a word of what was being said, the message was clear. Clenching his teeth, Gansukh wobbled to his feet, and as he stood upright, one of the other soldiers whacked him across the back, causing him to stumble and nearly fall.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “That, as far as she could tell, was the purpose of the religion she had been brought up in: it made people feel better when really horrible things happened, and it offered a repertoire of ceremonies that were used to add a touch of class to such goings-on as shacking up with someone and throwing dirt on a corpse. None of which especially bothered Zula or made her doubt its worthwhileness. Making sad people feel better was a fine thing to do.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I’m ready to commit to her at any time. But for god’s sake, I’m not even sure she’s heterosexual. It’d be madness to put a lesbian in charge of my ejaculatory functions.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It is miserably clear that the video has been shot by a third conspirator who is burdened with a consumer-grade camcorder and reeling from some kind of inner-ear disease that he or she would like to share with others.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “These people are as happy as, say, Fraa Orolo. They get what they want: naked ladies on their wheels. He gets what he wants: upsight to the mysteries of the universe.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Dinah could spend the rest of her life living by her word, giving everyone a fair shake, and all of that. Rufus would no doubt approve of all those things. But it was not the charge he had given her. He had told her, though not in so many words, to get busy building a future.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It gave them something to do and it took their mind off the way Yuxia was driving, which, had they paid attention to it, might have been the most frightening thing they had seen all day.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “That man behaves so much like the villain in a work of literature, it’s almost funny,” Arsibalt observed.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “BMW drivers take evasive action at the drop of a hat, emulating the drivers in the BMW advertisements – this is how they convince themselves they didn’t get ripped off.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Sergeant Major,” Arjun said quietly, “there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Yur snorted. “Is that a fancy way of saying it’s above my pay grade, sir?”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “But I have to warn you that this is the word – ‘politics’ – that nerds use whenever they feel impatient about the human realities of an organization.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Those of us who are going to live,” Dinah Said, “have to start living by our own lights.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “But this is how history is done now. People wait until they have a need for some history and then they customize it to suit their purposes.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The narration had lasted for the better part of an hour despite Markus’s increasingly frequent and obvious glances at his Swiss watch, and left all the others in a strange combination of spellbound, bored, horrified, and bemused.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The streets of Pudong were filled with hungry and terrified refugees, and through them, in simple peasant clothes streaked with the blood of herself and of others, broken shackles dangling from her wrists, followed by her generals and ministers, walked the barbarian Princess with her book and her sword.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “When the gangplanks are drawn in from the stone edge of the Bund, they are cut off from a whole world that they’ll never see again, a world where they were kings. Now they are Marines again.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The four-day elevator ride might be nothing more than a prelude to further journeys, some of which might take her to places with little to no bandwidth, and nothing was worse than getting stuck in a situation like that with nothing to read.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “He meant rather that the evolution of our minds from bits of inanimate matter was more beautiful and more extraordinary than any of the miracles cataloged down through the ages by the religions of our world.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “From the Son of Heaven down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Juanita refused to analyze this process, insisted that it was something ineffable, something you couldn’t explain with words. A radical, rosary-toting Catholic, she has no problem with that kind of thing. But the bitheads didn’t like it. Said it was irrational mysticism. So she quit and took a job with some Nipponese company. They don’t have any problem with irrational mysticism as long as it makes money.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “They were like three-year olds who shove pencils in their ears, discover that it hurts, and stop doing it. Lawrence’s first year went by almost instantly. Time just blazed by. Nowhere could be sunnier, more relaxing, than Hawaii.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “To be in a habitat – even a quite large and cosmopolitan one – when the Eye came around was, in pre-Zero terms, a little bit like being in a small town on the prairie and having a mobile Manhattan suddenly roll over the horizon, surround you, have a hundred kinds of intercourse with you, and then move on.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Lewis Carroll and J. M. Barrie were very strange men, and such is the nature of the written word that their personal strangeness shines straight through all the layers of Disneyfication like X-rays through a wall. Probably.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It didn’t matter whether “football” for you was soccer or the American sport played by men in helmets.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The people who know the most are not allowed to ask questions – or even to make suggestions. The least common denominator sets the standards. Just wait until you see Washington, Betsy – these goddamn car salesmen and small-town lawyers come into town every two years not knowing their ass from a hole in the ground, and this enormously sophisticated and powerful and dangerous system is at their mercy. The Agency distorts information to fit the half-assed policies they scheme up.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Of course, the underlying structure of everything in England is posh. There is no in between with these people. You have to walk a mile to find a telephone booth, but when you find it, it is built as if the senseless dynamiting of pay phones had been a serious problem at some time in the past. And a British mailbox can presumably stop a German tank.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Maybe that’s how great warriors do it. Carelessly, not wracking their minds with the consequences.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “His father was a sergeant major, his mother was a Korean woman whose people had been mine slaves in Nippon, and Hiro didn’t know whether he was black or Asian or just plain Army, whether he was rich or poor, educated or ignorant, talented or lucky. He didn’t even have a part of the country to call home until he moved to California, which is about as specific as saying that you live in the Northern Hemisphere. In the end, it was probably his general disorientation that did them in.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It irritates the hell out of me to be in a situation where I’m forced to do exactly what’s expected.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The wind here is a glinting abrasive thing, a perpetual, face-shredding, eyeball-poking tendency in the fabric of spacetime, inhabited by vast platinum-blond arcs of fire that are centered on the low winter sun. Crystalline.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Apparently the part of the brain that identified things as funny kept running as a background process even when its contributions were useless.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Virtually all political discourse in the days of my youth was devoted to the ferreting out of hypocrisy... Because they were hypocrites, the Victorians were despised in the late twentieth century. Many of the persons who held such opinions were, of course, guilty of the most nefarious conduct themselves, and yet saw no paradox in holding such views because they were not hypocrites themselves-they took no moral stances and lived by none.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “As it turned out, imagining the fate of seven billion people was far less emotionally affecting than imagining the fate of one.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Kids who are obsessed with locks frequently turn into adults who are obsessed with crypto.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “If no one is barfing, then none of us is likely to die, at least over a time span of weeks.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I don’t hold it against you that you turned out Irish, either. I wasn’t there to make Englishmen of you, and so it’s Irish you are, by default.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “So through no rational process whatsoever I was the leader, And I had no idea what I was going to say.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “If it weren’t for the obvious drawbacks, I would recommend that everyone go crazy at least once in their lifetime,” El said. “It’s the most fascinating thing I’ve ever done. Going about it mindfully requires diligent effort. A.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “A honeybee cruising for nectar is pretty despite its implicit threat, but the same behavior in a hornet three times larger makes one glance about for some handy swatting material.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “My colleague Bruce Sterling has defined a thriller as a science fiction novel that includes the President of the United States.”
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