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Neal Stephenson Quotes
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Neal Stephenson Quote: “The Templar and Hospitaller commanders had argued with Calpurnius, the master of the Shield-Brethren company, as to the membership of the team that would lead the upper-floor assault. Calpurnius had listened calmly to both men’s arguments and then asked one question. “There will be no horses on this boat. How will your knights fight?”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Edzard screamed at the men on the starboard side, threatening to throw them overboard if they didn’t match the pace of the port team.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Now there are many Shaftoes – mostly in Tennessee – but the Shaftoe family tree still fits on a cross-stitch sampler.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It is easy to be eyes and ears. It is harder to be fists and feet.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Due diligence people are easy to manipulate. You just have to act really diligent. They eat it up.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “In the wilderness, only the most terrible beasts of prey cavort and gambol. Deer and rabbits play no games.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “They wanted to carry her, but she jumped to the stones of the plaza and strode away from the building, toward her ranks, which parted to make way for her. The streets of Pudong were filled with hungry and terrified refugees, and through them, in simple peasant clothes streaked with the blood of herself and of others, broken shackles dangling from her wrists, followed by her generals and ministers, walked the barbarian Princess with her book and her sword.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Okay, so divers have mastered a large body of occult knowledge. That explains their general resemblance to hackers, albeit physically fit hackers.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “One of the funny things about it, in retrospect, was its slowness, the lack of any dramatic Moment When It Had Happened. It was a little bit like the world’s adoption of the Internet, which had started with a few nerds and within decades become so ubiquitous that no person under thirty could really grasp what life had been like before you could Google everything.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Mt. Rainier: the stupendous volcanic shotgun pointed at Seattle’s head.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Anyone who made it through the screening and the training required to become an Arkie” – which doesn’t include you, Julia – “will understand exactly what we are trying to do from an orbital mechanics standpoint.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Y’know, watching government regulators trying to keep up with the world is my favorite sport.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Donald Cameron has his own character in the world now!?” Skeletor exclaimed, in somewhat the same tone of voice as a tribune might have said, Hannibal has crossed the Alps with elephants!?”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Dr. Harris was now wishing that the late Doc Dubois had never opened his big fat mouth.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It wasn’t just a matter of hiding what you really felt. If you hid your feelings well enough, it actually changed you. A.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Modern people are calibrated for a whole different level of danger acceptance.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It’s daytime. A wall of billowing orange flame grows up silently from the tank farm a mile away, like a time-lapse chrysanthemum. It is so vast and complicated in its blooming, uncontrolled growth that Rife stops halfway up the stairs to watch.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The damn bells kept ringing through the fog. Bud mumbled a command to his music system, a phased acoustical array splayed across both eardrums like the seeds on a strawberry. The volume went up but couldn’t scour away the deep tones of the carillon, which.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “They have parallel-parked their bimbo boxes in identical computer-designed Burbclave street patterns and secreted themselves in symmetrical sheetrock shitholes with vinyl floors and ill-fitting woodwork and no sidewalks, vast house farms out in the loglo wilderness, a culture medium for a medium culture.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Then he reminded himself that he was already part of the biggest adventure ever, and that, so far, it had been altogether miserable.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “A straightforward way of defining metaphysics is as the set of assumptions and practices present in the scientist’s mind before he or she begins to do science.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “That merely glimpsing three good wooden boxes on a baggage-wain could lead to such broodings made Daniel wonder that he could get out of bed in the morning. Once, he had feared that old age would bring senility; now, he was certain it would slowly paralyze him by encumbering each tiny thing with all sorts of significations.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “This was governed entirely by Newtonian mechanics. Each piece of the moon attracted every other piece more or less strongly depending on its mass and its distance. It could be simulated on a computer quite easily. The whole rubble cloud was gravitationally bound. Any shrapnel fast enough to escape had done so already. The rest was drifting around in a loose huddle of rocks. Sometimes they banged into one another. Eventually they would stick together and the moon would begin to re-form.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Their morning training was interrupted by the unexpected arrival of a plainly dressed man. Lugo, the youngest initiate at the chapter house, noticed him first and nearly received a blow to the head as a result of his inattention. Shouting at the rest of the men to stop their drill, Andreas glared at the man who was standing inside the chapter house gate. “How might we assist you?” he called across the yard, more than a little annoyed at the interruption.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “As your demeanor has been nonaggressive and you carry no visible weapons, we are not authorized to employ heroic measures to ensure your cooperation,” the first MetaCop says. “You stay cool and we’ll stay cool,” the second MetaCop says.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “A more down-to-earth project run by the Soviets had determined that eight square meters of algae – an expanse of pond scum about the size of two ping-pong tables – was needed to keep a single human supplied with oxygen.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “For a fraction of a second he was a yellow blossom of flame in the stream of light, and then he was one with it. All that remained of what he’d been was a wisp of steam coiling above the torrent of fire.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Leibniz’s most fundamental assumption, namely that the universe makes sense and that the human has the power to make sense of it and that, consequently, pure metaphysics is no waste of time, remains perhaps the central question of all science.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Einstein followed her as if his eyes were connected to her butt cheeks with fishhooks.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The place was empty ‘cause of the Hanging. I didn’t want to stay and – ” “And what?” “Get more ahead of the others than I was already.” “If you are ahead, the correct thing is to get used to it – not to make yourself into an imbecile. Come, you belong in school.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “My son, in the eyes of Heaven, we are all as little children. No one of us is more important than another. In fact, the more important we think we are, the less we stand out in the eyes of the Lord.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Has anyone you know ever been ritually mutilated because they were seen reading a book?”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “And this all fits very well with the modern way of thinking about stuff in which all you need to do, in order to attain a sense of personal accomplishment and earn the accolades of your peers, is to demonstrate an ability to slot new examples of things into the proper intellectual pigeon-holes.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Bach’s Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “There’s a bed, a little fold-out table, and cabinets made of actual wood. These in combination with the photographs of family and friends give it a cozy, domestic flavor which is, however, completely ruined by the framed picture of Adolf Hitler on the wall. Waterhouse finds this to be shockingly poor taste until he remembers it’s a German boat.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Your ability to have empathy with the Geometer – to imagine what it would be like to be someone else – isn’t a mere courtesy. It is an innate process of consciousness.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Crying loudly is childish, in that it reflects a belief, on the cryer’s part, that someone is around to hear the noise, and come a-running to make it all better. Crying in absolute silence, as Daniel does this morning, is the mark of the mature sufferer who no longer nurses, nor is nursed by, any such comfortable delusions.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “That was his youngest. Hadley, the girl in the middle, was in Berkeley; she’d been doing volunteer work for an organization in Oakland and had a lot of free time.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The cathedral as a whole is awesome and stirring in spite, and possibly because, of the fact that we have no idea who built it. When we walk through it, we are communing not with individual stone carvers but with an entire culture.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Don Donald was clearly accustomed to addressing people whose only way of responding was to nod worshipfully and take notes.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Eventually the visitors were treated to a thoroughly non-ironic dinner at an Applebee’s.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Never been here before. It’s like something on the top floor of a luxury high-rise casino in Atlantic City, where they put semi-retarded adults from South Philly after they’ve blundered into the mega-jackpot. It’s got everything that a dimwitted pathological gambler would identify with luxury: gold-plated fixtures, lots of injection-molded pseudomarble, velvet drapes, and a butler.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “As nightmarishly lethal, memetically programmed death-machines went, these were the nicest you could ever hope to meet.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The imperative to develop new technologies and implement them on a heroic scale no longer seems like the childish preoccupation of a few nerds with slide rulers – It’s the only way for the human race to escape from its current predicaments – Too bad we’ve forgotten how to do it.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Passing through the utility section she considered getting herself a cup of coffee. Then she felt shock and shame over the fact that she was thinking about coffee while her planet was being set on fire. Then she poured herself a cup of coffee anyway and stepped into the Farm.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “For one of the toxic things about Lineages was that rich avout could get not-so-rich ones to do things for them in exchange for better food, better drink, and better lodging.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “No one thought about the big picture for a few thousand years. We were all scrambling to survive.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “In a sword-fighting drill, where one participant is going to mount an attack and the other is to respond in some way, the attacker is known as the agent and the respondent is known as the patient.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “He arouses violent controversy among a loose flock of chickens that is straggling across his path, none of whom can seem to figure out how to get out of his way; they’re scared of him, but not mentally organized enough to translate that fear into a coherent plan of action.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I doubt you even know what duty is,” she retorted. A risky response – such flippancy of the tongue – and it might provoke them, but showing fear would invite a response. Half of combat is causing your opponent to think you are stronger than you are, Gansukh had told her. Scarface.”
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