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Neal Stephenson Quotes
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Neal Stephenson Quote: “The ineffable talent for finding patterns in chaos cannot do its thing unless he immerses himself in the chaos first.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Arsibalt was horrified. “But how can you not be fascinated by – ” “I am fascinated,” I insisted. “That’s the problem. I am suffering from fascination burnout. Of all the things that are fascinating, I have to choose just one or two.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It would be easier,” Doob said, “if I could figure out what the hell she wanted.” “You’re assuming,” Luisa said, “that she has a plan. I doubt that she does. She is driven to seek power. She finds some way to do that and then backfills a rationalization for it afterward.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It is what you don’t expect... that most needs looking for.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Most of the people around the entrance were, of course, bellhops and taxi drivers. Guests went in and out. Some were dressed in business suits, others in casual tourist attire. He did not see any commandos in tracksuits.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Maybe that’s what a leader is, Dinah. The one person who can’t – who shouldn’t – share her problems with anyone else.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “He was forty-seven years old but in dim light could have passed for thirty.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “All of Rommel’s supplies and reinforcements come across those very straits from Italy, and land at Tunis or Bizerta. From there, Rommel can strike out east towards Egypt or west.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Some of them, out of habit, looked at him soberly; etiquette dictated that you give all sympathy to the oppressed.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Fearless for oneself, fear for others – that must be what it means to be a hero.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Moira wished she spoke better Russian so that she could talk to Tekla about her ideas regarding appearance and grooming. The facial scars put her well outside the norms of feminine beauty and she had doubled down by electing to keep the buzz cut. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, she was, to put it bluntly, kind of hot. Moira hated to say it. But hotness was a part of the human condition and it was pointless to pretend that it did not exist.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I get it,” Richard said. “But is that all we are? Just digital Crips and Bloods?”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Talking to a black-and-white on the Street is like talking to a person who has his face stuck in a xerox machine, repeatedly pounding the copy button, while you stand by the output tray pulling the sheets out one at a time and looking at them.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It registered on the mind as a blunt impression that could be talked about only by smearing it into some gray word like “complicated.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The byproduct of the lifestyle is polluted rivers, greenhouse effect, spouse abuse, televangelists, and serial killers.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “One thing Waterhouse likes about these Brits is that when they don’t know what the hell you are talking about, they are at least open to the possibility that it might be their fault.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “We can’t run this experiment a thousand times to see the range of different outcomes. We can only run it once. The human mind has trouble with situations like that. We see patterns where they don’t exist, we find meaning in randomness.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Two days later a Scout simply disappeared without explanation, possibly the victim of a micrometeoroid, or even of suicide.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Magical?” “Non.” “Magnificent?” “Don’t be absurd.” “Less bleak than anything else we have seen?” “Now truly you are speaking French,” the ambassador said approvingly.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “How could a man become a god?” Nell asked. “By living in an extremely pragmatic society,” said Constable Moore after some thought.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “And she went on in this vein for a minute or two; she could talk about alloys the way some girls talked about shoes.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Why bother to have a technical term for a religious ritual?”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “A man dressed in a radiant white uniform stands below the ragged maw of the jetway holding his hands downwards with fluorescent orange sticks in them, like Christ dispensing mercy on a world of sinners.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Of persons I will say this: it is difficult to tell when they are running aright but easy to see when something has gone awry.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Holding one of those things in your hands, cleaning the barrel and shoving the rounds into clips, really brings you face-to-face with what a desperate, last-ditch measure they really are. I mean, if it gets to the point where we are shooting at people and vice versa, then we have completely screwed up. So in the end, they only strengthened my interest in making sure we could do without them.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It wasn’t only the Lorites who said that is not a new result. People re-invented the wheel all the time. There was nothing shameful in it. If the rest of us oohed and aahed and said, “Gosh, a wheel, no one’s ever thought of that before,” just to make that person feel good, nothing would ever get done.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The mind couldn’t think about the End of the World all the time. It needed the occasional break, a romp through the trivial.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “GUIs tend to impose a large overhead on every single piece of software, even the smallest, and this overhead completely changes the programming environment. Small utility programs are no longer worth writing. Their functions, instead, tend to get swallowed up into omnibus software packages.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “People who like math. So I was trying to imagine – ” “When seven billion die, and only some thousands remain, where do the seven billion souls go?” “Yes.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “So now, when the people of Earth looked up into the night sky at the place where they ought to have seen the moon, they saw instead this slowly tumbling constellation of white boulders.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “People are my books,” Ty said. “But I did bring a couple, in case the people all go to sleep.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Just like many Popish Plotters before them, these had promptly begun to “commit suicide” in the Tower. One had even managed the heroic feat of cutting his own throat all the way to the vertebrae!”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I love the scent of a man under pressure.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “No, rebellion is what the Duke of Monmouth did, it is a petty disturbance, an aberration, predestined to fail. Revolution is like the wheeling of stars round the pole. It is driven by unseen powers, it is inexorable, it moves all things at once, and men of discrimination may understand it, predict it, benefit from it.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “To Randy the party is like any other: he shakes hands with a few people, forgets their names, finds a place to sit down, and enjoys the wine and the food in blissful solitude.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Commemorating the Holocaust is not, not not not not not, the same thing as fighting to prevent future holocausts. Most of the commemorationists are just whiners. They think that if everyone feels bad about past holocausts, human nature will magically transform, and no one will want to commit genocide in the future.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The temptation to cocoon in a microhotel pod on the slab, to eat hot noodles from a cup and watch videos, was strong.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “They have fled from the true America, the America of atomic bombs, scalpings, hip-hop, chaos theory, cement overshoes, snake handlers, spree killers, space walks, buffalo jumps, drive-bys, cruise missiles; Sherman’s March, gridlock, motorcycle gangs, and bungee jumping.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The cosmos seems oblivious to time. It only matters to us. Consciousness is time-constituting. We build time up out of instantaneous impressions that flow in through our sensory organs at each moment. Then they recede into the past. What is this thing we call the past? It is a system of records encoded in our nerve tissue – records that tell a consistent story.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It had a quaint twentieth-century feel and made Nell oddly nostalgic for the days when dangerousness was a function of mass and bulk. The passives of that era were so fun to watch, with their big, stupid cars and big, stupid guns and big, stupid people.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The Victorian system used Darwinian techniques to create killers adapted to their prey, which was elegant and effective but led to the creation of killers that were simply too bizarre to have been thought up by humans, just as humans designing a world never would have thought up the naked mole rat.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Conflict, acted out openly and publicly, was a male mode of social interaction – the foundation for patriarchal society which brought with it the usual litany of dreadful things. Regardless, Randy decided to get patriarchal with Dr. G. E. B. Kivistik.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I know,” Julia said. “It is so difficult rebuilding an intelligence community from scratch. One must make do with the materials at hand. Their youth, their inexperience, and the openness they’ve come to expect from living their whole lives on the Internet – all are inimical to doing things as they ought to be done. That is why we need more experienced hands – people who have learned the right instincts.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Maybe this was all down to some supernatural effect, such as grace, that flowed through people’s lives even if they didn’t understand why.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The West-march of the Walmart Held all the food in the world, Bottled beer by the boatload, Frost-kept food, milk and meat. Setting up for a siege behind barricades The Norsemen fetched food, collected clothing, Turkish trousers with flies in the front Kept closed with clever contraptions, Tiny.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The two forms became intermingled as they struggled and writhed at the brink; then, with the slowness of a great tree that has been cut through at the root, they toppled into the Chasm and disappeared.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “This may not however elevate your stature during the years you have remaining; for fame’s a weed, but repute is a slow-growing oak, and all we can do during our lifetimes is hop around like squirrels and plant acorns.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “And yet people went on thinking this way, kind of in the way that someone who has just been diagnosed with a terminal illness will go on getting up and going to work every morning, not so much out of habit as because the knowledge of impending doom makes them wish to assert an identity.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “His rule of thumb, after a walk, is to drink water until he begins to urinate again. Then he can consider other activities.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “What destroys it? Is it the Inquisition? Those idiot priests go chasing after innocent women, as if real witches would let themselves be caught and tortured and killed! Almost by definition, anyone who is caught and tortured, and doesn’t free themselves by magic, has no magic powers.”
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