158. “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.”
159. “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 The tick-tock curriculum had dissolved and been replaced by activities improvised from day to day by teachers and parents:.”
162. “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.”
165. “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.”
170. “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.”
175. “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.”
176. “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.”
186. “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.”
189. “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.”
193. “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.”
198. “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.”
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