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Neal Stephenson Quotes
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Neal Stephenson Quote: “I apologize if my limbic system has misinterpreted your gesture of emotional support.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Time, tide, and comets waited for no man.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “At the entrance of this street, a Janissary was pinned to a wooden door by an eight-foot-long spear, which Jack looked on as proving that Yevgeny had passed by there recently.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Technically, of course, he was right. Socially, he was annoying us.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “RESUMES: Just recall the opening reel of The Magnificent Seven and you won’t have to bother with this part; you should crawl to us on hands and knees and beg us for the privilege of paying our salaries.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The expenditure of paper and printer ink had been somewhat lavish. Two generations from now, if any humans survived, they would look on this heap of documents with some combination of disgust and amazement. Because paper was going to be scarce by then, and they would view its use for such purposes in roughly the same way as Americans of the twenty-first century had viewed the use of sperm whale oil to fuel streetlamps.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Fraa Jad took the garment from me and discovered how the fly worked. “Topology is destiny,” he said, and put the drawers on.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The rule of thumb we’ve been using is that Deolaters are welcome as long as they’re not certain they’re right,” I said. “As soon as you’re sure you’re right, there’s no point in your being here.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It being the 1970s, and Chet being a high school dropout with a damaged brain, he could not help but perceive something huge in this discovery. Nor could he avoid coming to the conclusion that the mistake he had made on that beautiful moonlit night had been a sort of message from above, a warning that, during the grubby, day-to-day work of small-town pot dealing, he had been failing to attend to larger and more cosmic matters.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “She was just in the process of proving them all desperately wrong. But at this phase, the all-male society of bitheads that made up the power structure of Black Sun Systems said that the face problem was trivial and superficial. It was, of course, nothing more than sexism, the especially virulent type espoused by male techies who sincerely believe that they are too smart to be sexists.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I hadn’t known that,′ I said. ‘I always tend to assume there’s an infinite amount of money out there.’ ‘There might as well be,’ Arsibalt said, ’but most of it gets spent on pornography, sugar water, and bombs.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Scholars of economic history have worked up numbers suggesting that Britain spent more on maintaining its empire than it gained from exploiting it.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I am what I am,” Ty said. “And what is that?” Ariane asked. “A bartender. Always happy to make new acquaintances.” He nodded at Bard. “Or to provide guests with drinks. Anyone thirsty?”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “But the Owners really valued the Crow’s Nest partly as a cultural institution and partly because it gave them access to the sort of information about the lives, thoughts, and deeds of important persons that could only be had in a bar.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The cloud, in other words, became not just a physical cloud of flying objects in space but a computational cloud as well, a free-floating, self-regulating Internet.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “If this all seems ambiguous, that’s because it is; and if that troubles you, you’d hate it here; but if it gives you a feeling of relief, then you are in the right place and might consider staying.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “When you just wing it, you are aware of the risk and the uncertainty, and inclined to be more cautious. When you have a high-tech tool giving you an illusion of omniscience, I am concerned that it will lead to greater risk-taking. LYONS:.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “She had grown tired of the pouffy floating hair of zero gravity and, after a few weeks of clamping it down with baseball caps, had figured out how to make this shorter cut work for her. The haircut had spawned terabytes of Internet commentary from men, and a few women, who apparently had nothing else to do with their time.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Yur heaved a sigh, then continued in a more moderate tone: “Never mind. I see it now. It’s some kind of Purpose thing. Above my pay grade. You should have just told me.” He drew himself up and saluted. “What are my orders, sir?”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Randy grinds his teeth for about a mile, and then says, “If there is any generalization at all that you can draw about how men think versus how women think, I believe it is that men can narrow themselves down to this incredibly narrow laser-beam focus on one tiny little subject and think about nothing else.” “Whereas women can’t?” “I suppose women can. They rarely seem to want to. What I’m characterizing here, as the female approach, is essentially saner and healthier.” “Hmmmm.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Now he had learned that a machine, simple in its design, could produce results of infinite complexity.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “His real job – the job that the Owners paid him for – was to be an observer of the human condition as it was so richly displayed from day to day within these walls.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Ty got the feeling, from cues in the Teklan’s physique and general style of movement, that he was some manner of Snake Eater.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Felt-tip markers, always a scarce resource even on Earth, became objects of great value as people used them to mark directions on the walls of hamster tubes and habitat modules.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “This made him a grad student, and grad students existed not to learn things but to relieve the tenured faculty members of tiresome burdens such as educating people and doing research.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “He had always admired his colleagues in the life and earth sciences who could hit the road on short notice with a fully stocked backpack and live rugged adventuresome lives in exotic locales. But he had admired them from a distance.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Leibniz is at the disadvantage of not having seen it. Or perhaps we should count this as an advantage, for anyone who sees it is dumbfounded by the brilliance of the geometry, and it is difficult to criticize a man’s work when you are down on your knees shielding your eyes.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Consciousness amplifies the weak signals that, like cobwebs spun between trees, web Narratives together. Moreover, it amplifies them selectively and in that way creates feedback loops that steer the Narratives.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Hiro looks up, focuses his gaze on Earth, zooms in for a look. As he gets closer, the imagery he’s looking at shifts from the long-range pictures coming in from the geosynchronous satellites to the good stuff being spewed into the CIC computer from a whole fleet of low-flying spy birds. The view he’s looking at is a mosaic of images shot no more than a few hours ago.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It was a smart cane. When he grabbed the handlebars it would help him stand up. It would then steady his locomotion even on the roughest terrain, adding its six legs to his two.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “In a manner familiar to anyone who had ever packed a car for a family trip, genial confusion gave way to impatience, then furious ultimatums, then ill-advised snap decisions.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Later, he was to decide that Andrew’s life had been fractally weird. That is, you could take any small piece of it and examine it in detail and it, in and of itself, would turn out to be just as complicated and weird as the whole thing in its entirety.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The Police Minister’s toilet chided him.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “In any soul, the Condemned Man argued, was the ability to create a whole world, as big and variegated as the one that he and the Magistrate lived in. But if this was true of the Innocent, it was true of the Condemned Man as well, and so he should not – no one should ever – be put to death.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “What’s a Klettersteig?” Dinah asked, trying to move on. “It is a mountain climb that is preengineered with cables, ladders, and so on.” “To make it easier,” Dinah guessed. “Oh, no. It is not easy. It is a way to take a climb that would be impossible, and make it merely extremely difficult.” “Okay,” Dinah said. “A good metaphor for what we are trying to do up here, then.” “Yes, I suppose so!” Markus said, cheerfully enough.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Every true heart needed a pragmatic counterweight, and every cynic an idealist to lift his spirits.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Zipper the Fatlanders called it. Cock-catcher it was to Hunfast, the hapless.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Maybe we should go back and get their guns,” Marlon suggested. “That’s how it would work in a video game,” Csongor said, which was his way of agreeing.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “SF does possess at least two of the classic markers of genrehood, namely intellectual disreputability and moral salaciousness. SF thrives because it is idea porn.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The roads shed lanes, then insensibly narrowed, grew rougher and more tortuous, until without having noticed any sudden transitions we found ourselves driving on endless one-lane tracks and stopping to avoid flocks of livestock so tough and emaciated they looked like jerky on the hoof.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “He was tempted to park the SUV illegally, since, according to his calculations, the authorities were not likely to catch up with him and demand payment of the parking ticket before the end of the world, but it seemed that most of the people of Seattle were still obeying the rules and so he did likewise.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I was in Mexico a couple of weeks ago,” Avi says. “They have plastic forests there!” “What does that mean?” “Downwind of the city, the trees sort of comb the plastic shopping bags out of the air. They get totally covered with them. The trees die because light and air can’t get through to the leaves. But they remain standing, totally encased in fluttering, ragged plastic, all different colors.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Research on the long-term effects of spaceflight suggested that women were less susceptible to radiation damage than men. They were smaller on average, requiring less space, less food, less air. And sociological studies pointed to the idea that they did better when crammed together in tight spaces for long periods of time. This.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The social structure of any nation-state is ultimately determined by its security arrangements.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “At any rate the total number of persons at the table was not enormously larger than the number of categories, meaning that nearly everyone present was reacting in an altogether different way, and in most cases doing so rather strongly, leading to a pandemonium of fainting, screaming, knife waving, malicious glaring, furious remonstration, hand-clapping delight, dismay, judicious beard stroking, etc. to say nothing of secondary interactions, as when a knife waver collided with a screamer.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “If the gathering had included more veterans of that elongated state of low-intensity warfare known as Society, this observation would have been keenly made by those soi-disant sentries who stood upon the battlements, keeping vigil against bounders who would struggle their way up the vast glacis separating wage slaves from Equity Participants.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “You work harder because everything is on the line. Your name, your honor, your family, your life. Those burger flippers might have a better life expectancy – but what kind of life is it anyway, you have to ask yourself.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “A long fall. Dinah had ceased to even think in terms of up and down. The concept of falling had become meaningless to her.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Spiders can tell from the vibrations what sort of insect they have caught, and home in on it. There is a reason why the webs are radial, and the spider plants itself at the convergence of the radii. The strands are an extension of its nervous system. Information propagates down the gossamer and into the spider, where it is processed by some kind of internal Turing machine.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Much depended on how rapidly it would prove feasible to mass-produce inflatable structures; these made it possible to create much more spacious volumes by housing people in what amounted to thick-skinned balloons. But making balloons that could withstand atmospheric pressure indefinitely while also standing up to solar radiation, thermal swings, and micrometeoroids was no small project.”
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