101. “Rife’s key realization was that there’s no difference between modern culture and Sumerian. We have a huge workforce that is illiterate or alliterate and relies on TV-which is sort of an oral tradition. And we have a small, extremely literate power elite-the people who go into the Meatverse, basically-who understand that information is power, and who control society because they have this semimystical ability to speak magic computer languages.”
103. “There is something new: A globe about the size of a grapefruit, a perfectly detailed rendition of Planet Earth, hanging in space at arm’s length in front of his eyes. Hiro has heard about this but never seen it. It is a piece of CIC software called, simply, Earth. It is the user interface that CIC uses to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns – all the maps, weather data, architectural plans, and satellite surveillance stuff.”
113. “Didn’t happen anymore. Pizza delivery is a major industry. A managed industry. People went to CosaNostra Pizza University four years just to learn it. Came in its doors unable to write an English sentence, from Abkhazia, Rwanda, Guanajuato, South Jersey, and came out knowing more about pizza than a Bedouin knows about sand.”
119. “Hollywood was all about. Hollywood was merely a specialized bank – a consortium of large financial entities that hired talent, almost always for a flat rate, ordered that talent to create a product, and then marketed that product to death, all over the world, in every conceivable medium. The goal was to find products that would keep on making money forever, long after the talent had been paid off and sent packing.”
121. “He could have kept his money in The Black Sun and made ten million dollars about a year later when it went public, but his mother would have been a street person. So when his mother visits him in the Metaverse, looking tan and happy in her golfing duds, Hiro views that as his personal fortune. It won’t pay the rent, but that’s okay – when you live in a shithole, there’s always the Metaverse, and in the Metaverse, Hiro Protagonist is a warrior prince.”
124. “One of the great virtues of Confucianism was its suppleness. Western political thought tended to be rather brittle; as soon as the state became corrupt, everything ceased to make sense. Confucianism always retained its equilibrium, like a cork that could float as well in spring water or raw sewage.”
125. “There is one universe, by the definition of universe. It is not the cosmos we see through our eyes and our telescopes – that is but a single Narrative, a thread winding through a Hemn space shared by many other Narratives besides ours. Each Narrative looks like a cosmos alone, to any consciousness that partakes of it. The Geometers came from other Narratives – until they came here, and joined ours.”
127. “My lady,” Percival began. He had called her that yesterday, and she had guessed it was some kind of elaborate sarcasm. But this didn’t seem like the time for unpleasant jibes. Maybe it was just the way he’d been raised. Cnan wished she could meet Percival’s mother. “I cannot recommend that you remain in that position,” he said, “considering that hostile archers, in large numbers, are about to surround you.”
133. “What do you think Orolo saw, when he looked out thus?” Fraa Jad asked. “He was a great appreciator of beauty and loved to look at the mountains from the starhenge,” I said. “You think he saw beauty? That is a safe answer, since it is beautiful. But what was he thinking about? What connections did the beauty enable him to perceive?” “I couldn’t possibly answer that.” “Don’t answer it. Ask it.”
135. “The moon had broken up into seven large pieces, which inevitably became known as the Seven Sisters, and an uncountable number of smaller ones. Gradually the big ones acquired names. Doc Dubois was responsible for many of these. He gave them descriptive names that wouldn’t scare people. It wouldn’t do to call them Nemesis or Thor or Grond. So instead it was Potatohead, Mr. Spinny, Acorn, Peach Pit, Scoop, Big Boy, and Kidney Bean.”
146. “Parking lots and chaos.”
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