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Neal Stephenson Quotes
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Neal Stephenson Quote: “Ninety-nine percent of everything that goes on in most Christian churches has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual religion.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Got what?” Pete Starling asked, over the video link. “Am I missing something?” “No,” Dinah said. “We are just proceeding adaptively to leverage our core competencies.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “In order to stay alive, you have to spend all day every day doing stupid meaningless work. And the only way to get out of it is to quit, cut loose, take a flyer, and go off into the wicked world, where you will be swallowed up and never heard from again.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Reader, if you don’t know what a database is, rest assured that an explanation of the concept would in no way increase your enjoyment in reading this account.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “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.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “In trying to understand the Linux phenomenon, then, we have to look not at a single innovator but to a sort of bizarre Trinity : Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, and Bill Gates. Take away any of these three and Linux would not exist.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The rough-and-ready intellectual consensus of the mid-Twentieth Century is being pushed out by a New Superstition whose victims can find testimony on the Internet for anything they choose to believe. The only cure for it is reading books, and lots of them.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “But what you learn, as you get older, is that there are a few billion other people in the world all trying to be clever at the same time, and whatever you do with your life will certainly be lost – swallowed up in the ocean – unless you are doing it along with like-minded people who will remember your contributions and carry them forward.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “They’d never take the standardized tests that they were prepping for. In a way, Amelia had said, this had led to a kind of renaissance in pedagogy. Free from the constraints of racking up high test scores or getting into colleges, students could learn for learning’s sake – which was how it ought to be. The tick-tock curriculum had dissolved and been replaced by activities improvised from day to day by teachers and parents:.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The sand was hard-packed and solid and wet, speckled all over with cockle shells in colors and patterns of such profusion and variety that they must have given the first Dutchmen the idea to go out into the sea and bring back precious things from afar.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Do you reject the glamor of Evil, and refuse to be mastered by it?”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Like a horseman who reins in a wild stallion that has borne him, will he, nill he, across several counties; or a ship’s captain who, after scudding before a gale through a bad night, hoists sail, and gets underway once more, navigating through unfamiliar seas- thus Dr. Daniel Waterhouse, anno domini 1685, watching King Charles II die at Whitehall Palace.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The commentary came from millions of idiots on the Internet.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The curt maneuver forced hearty laughter from all of the fathers in the ballroom, who were delighted by the illusion of danger and the impotence of Nature.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “In your Primer you have a resource that will make you highly educated, but it will never make you intelligent. That comes from life. Your life up to this point has given you all the experience you need to be intelligent, but you have to think about those experiences. If you don’t think about them, you’ll be psychologically unwell. If you do think about them, you will become not merely educated but intelligent.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “For members of the general public might not care about Wolf-Rayet stars in the Quintuplet Cluster, but they definitely saw why having hot rocks fall on one’s head was a good thing to avoid.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Many set themselves the aim of rescuing the indifferent and the lazy – and end up lost themselves. The flame within them gets dim with the passage of time. So, if you have the fire, run, since you never know when it may be doused, leaving you stranded in darkness. –.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It was humanly impossible to extend to seven billion people the full sympathy that each of them deserved.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I made it into Wikipedia,” sang Erszebet. “I’ll bet none of my enemies ever made it into Wikipedia.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Most of their children had reached the age when they were no longer naturally endearing to anyone save their own parents; the size when their energy was more a menace than a wonder; and the level of intelligence when what would have been called innocence in a smaller child was infuriating rudeness. 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: “I feared he might be trying to grow a beard again.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “But Raz, you are educable, you can learn ‘this kind of thing,’ if by that you mean how to maneuver an S2-35B and how to assemble a Cold Black Mirror. You’ve spent your whole life, ever since you were Collected, becoming educable.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “He raised his eyebrows briefly. Since this was the only plausible way of moving something that huge, he didn’t consider it worthy of an extended answer.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I think that this vein is close to being mined out already, but I’ll say that my knowledge of and talent for linguistics are quite limited and I’m not aware of being a hell of a lot more interested in that topic than I am in others.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “If he lived by a simple code of ethics, it was not an end in itself, but a way to get something done without selling his soul or destroying his reputation. It was a tool to be wielded like a shovel or a stick of dynamite. Tools were for building things; and pride was something you could feel after the fact, when you stood back, looked at what you had built, and passed it on to your children. Dinah.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I hate e-mail,” John says. Harvard Li stares him in the eye for a while. “What do you mean?” “The concept is good. The execution is poor. People don’t observe any security precautions. A message arrives claiming to be from Harvard Li, they believe it’s really from Harvard Li. But this message is just a pattern of magnetized spots on a spinning disk somewhere. Anyone could forge it.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “And then there’s The Enforcers – but they cost a lot and don’t take well to supervision. It is rumored that, under their uniforms, they wear T-shirts bearing the unofficial Enforcer coat of arms: a fist holding a nightstick, emblazoned with the words SUE ME.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “But the basic premise of Eutropianism is that technology has made us post-human. That Homo sapiens plus technology is effectively a whole new species: immortal, omnipresent because of the Net, and headed towards omnipotence.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “In war, no matter how much you plan and prepare and practice, when the big day actually arrives, you still can’t find your ass with both hands.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “What is the moral of your play, Jack?” “Oh, it could be a number of things: stay the hell out of Europe, for example. Or: when the men with swords come, run away! Especially if they’ve got Bibles, too.” “Sound advice.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “This Land was made wrong. All of his efforts to make it right only spread the wrongness about in new ways. It is left to souls like me to decide what to do about it; and though I cannot see all the answers, I can guess that adding more wrongness will not help matters.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “A lot of secular, modern people claim to be disillusioned whenever they learn that any smart person is religious. That’s applicable to Newton as it is to any other religious smart person.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Hiro watches the large, radioactive, spear-throwing killer drug lord ride his motorcycle into Chinatown. Which is the same as riding it into China, as far as chasing him down is concerned.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “We’re all nerds now. We might as well get good at it.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “This is a terrible country for old people. You put them away in horrible buildings that are completely shut off from life, and then do everything possible to keep them alive. It is a very stupid system. You.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “When Hiro learned how to do this, way back fifteen years ago, a hacker could sit down and write an entire piece of software by himself. Now, that’s no longer possible. Software comes out of factories, and hackers are, to a greater or lesser extent, assembly-line workers. Worse yet, they may become managers who never get to write any code themselves.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Crappy old OSes have value in the basically negative sense that changing to new ones makes us wish we’d never been born.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I feel that I am entitled to trample all other considerations into the dirt in my pursuit of a satisfying pun.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Ares always reemerges from the chaos. It will never go away. Athenian civilization defends itself from the forces of Ares with metis, or technology. Technology is built on science. Science is like the alchemists’ uroburos, continually eating its own tail. The process of science doesn’t work unless young scientists have the freedom to attack and tear down old dogmas, to engage in an ongoing Titanomachia. Science flourishes where art and free speech flourish.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “If you did enough traveling, you’d never feel at home anywhere.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I have been ranting and raving about this ever since the idea of the Cloud Ark was announced. So far all I get in return, from the powers that be, are vague answers and hand-wavy happy talk.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The FBI hates and fears strong crypto.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Americans’ preference for mediated experiences is obvious enough, and I’m not going to keep pounding it into the ground. I’m not even going to make snotty comments about it – after all, I was at Disney World as a paying customer. But it clearly relates to the colossal success of GUIs, and so I have to talk about it some. Disney does mediated experiences better than anyone. If they understood what OSes are, and why people use them, they could crush Microsoft in a year or two.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The problem with those honorable men,” Avi says, “is that they expect everyone else to be honorable in the same way.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “This is one of the two great labyrinths into which human minds are drawn: the question of free will versus predestination.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “A few dud universes can really clutter up your basement.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I don’t like sewing machines. I don’t understand how a needle with a thread going through the tip of it can interlock the thread by jamming itself into a little goddamn spool. It’s contrary to nature and it irritates me.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “He closed his eyes and shook his head. “I am not one of those who believes that God made the world and walked away from it, that He has no further choices to make, no ongoing presence in the world. I believe that He is everywhere, making choices all the time.” “But only because there are certain things you have not explained yet with geometric proofs.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Sir, if you ask a Marine if he wants another cigarette, or if he’s ready, the answer is always the same, sir!”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Old Earthers had focused their intelligence on the small and the soft, not the big and the hard, and built a civilization that was puny and crumbling where physical infrastructure was concerned, but astonishingly sophisticated when it came to networked communications and software.”
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