57. “As Hiro crests the pass on his motorcycle at five in the morning, the town of Port Sherman, Oregon, is suddenly laid out before him: a flash of yellow loglo wrapped into a vast U-shaped valley that was ground out of the rock, a long time ago, by a big tongue of ice in an epochal period of geological cunnilingus.”
63. “Moral reforms and deteriorations are moved by large forces, and they are mostly caused by reactions from the habits of a preceding period. Backwards and forwards swings the great pendulum, and its alternations are not determined by a few distinguished folk clinging to the end of it. – Sir Charles Petrie, THE VICTORIANS.”
65. “There is a remarkably close parallel between the problems of the physicist and those of the cryptographer. The system on which a message is enciphered corresponds to the laws of the universe, the intercepted messages to the evidence available, the keys for a day or a message to important constants which have to be determined. The correspondence is very close, but the subject matter of cryptography is very easily dealt with by discrete machinery, physics not so easily.” – Alan Turing.”
67. “Julia Bliss Flaherty, as Ivy now realized, was of the same stripe. Pinned down and obliged to justify herself, she would explain her actions in terms of some altruistic plan. And she might even believe it. But it wasn’t that at all. She was like Ivy’s grandmother. If you paid fealty to her, she would favor you, and your reputation and power would grow among all the others who did likewise.”
72. “My men think you are dead now, and won’t waste balls on you,” Jack said. “In fact I have let you live, but for one purpose only: so that you can make your way back to Paris and tell them the following: that the deed you are about to witness was done for a woman, whose name I will not say, for she knows who she is; and that it was done by ‘Half-Cocked’ Jack Shaftoe, L’Emmerdeur, the King of the Vagabonds, Ali Zaybak: Quicksilver!”
80. “The number 65,536 is an awkward figure to everyone except a hacker, who recognizes it more readily than his own mother’s date of birth: It happens to be a power of 2 – 216 power to be exact – and even the exponent 16 is equal to 24, and 4 is equal to 22. Along with 256; 32,768; and 2,147,483,648; 65,536 is one of the foundation stones of the hacker universe, in which 2 is the only really important number because that’s how many digits a computer can recognize.”
89. “Intuition, like a flash of lightning, lasts only for a second. It generally comes when one is tormented by a difficult decipherment and when one reviews in his mind the fruitless experiments already tried. Suddenly the light breaks through and one finds after a few minutes what previous days of labor were unable to reveal.”
92. “The old neighborhoods of Shanghai, Feedless or with overhead Feeds kludged in on bamboo stilts, seemed frighteningly inert, like an opium addict squatting in the middle of a frenetic downtown street, blowing a reed of sweet smoke out between his teeth, staring into some ancient dream that all the bustling pedestrians had banished to unfrequented parts of their minds.”
94. “The answer was that it was about twenty degrees west of their projected apogee, encircling a large new habitat called Akureyri, and heading generally in the direction of the Cape Verde boneyard that separated the Greenwich segment from the Rio segment. Which meant that it would soon be in the predominantly Ivyn part of the ring.”
96. “Every parent of a teenager gets used to it: the moment in a child’s life when he or she decides that certain facts are just too much trouble to explain to Mom or Dad. The parents can’t, and needn’t, know every last little thing. They just have to accept this, be content with what they can glean on their own, and move on.”
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