Electronic Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Electronic. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles called electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been drinking.
Dave Barry
People believe, thought Shadow. It's what people do. They believe, and then they do not take responsibility for their beliefs; they conjure things, and do not trust the conjuration. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe; and it is that rock solid belief, that makes things happen.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups... So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.
Philip K. Dick
Protons give an atom its identity, electrons its personality.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
We have to create culture, don't watch TV, don't read magazines, don't even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you're worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you're giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told 'no', we're unimportant, we're peripheral. 'Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.' And then you're a player, you don't want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.
Terence McKenna
I bet," said Mulch, "that you would set the world on fire just to watch it burn." Opal tapped the suggestion into a small electronic notepad on her pocket computer. Thanks for that. Now, tell me everything.
Eoin Colfer (The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl, #6))
If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.
Marcus Brigstocke
I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange.
David Arnold (Mosquitoland)
Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us. Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
One of the many things I love about bound books is their sheer physicality. Electronic books live out of sight and out of mind. But printed books have body, presence. ... I often seek electronic books, but they never come after me. They may make me feel, but I can't feel them. They are all soul with no flesh, no texture, and no weight.
Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club)
As we curve around into the loop of the City Circle, I can see that a couple of other stylists have tried to steal Cinna and Portia's idea of illuminating their tributes. The electric-light-studded outfits from District 3, where they make electronics, at least make sense. But what are the livestock keepers from Distric 10, who are dressed as cows, doing with flaming belts? Broiling themselves? Pathetic.
Suzanne Collins
The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.
Richard Dawkins (River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life)
Everyday it gets easier to connect with an electronic device that it is to connect with real people.
A book, being a physical object, engenders a certain respect that zipping electrons cannot. Because you cannot turn a book off, because you have to hold it in your hands, because a book sits there, waiting for you, whether you think you want it or not, because of all these things, a book is a friend. It’s not just the content, but the physical being of a book that is there for you always and unconditionally.
Mo Willems
Q: What’s hard for you? A: Mostly I straddle reality and the imagination. My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket. My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane. Math is hard. Reading a map. Following orders. Carpentry. Electronics. Plumbing. Remembering things correctly. Straight lines. Sheet rock. Finding a safety pin. Patience with others. Ordering in Chinese. Stereo instructions in German.
Tom Waits
I promise you that the same stuff galaxies are made of, you are. The same energy that swings planets around stars makes electrons dance in your heart. It is in you, outside you, you are it. It is beautiful. Trust in this. And you your life will be grand.
Kamal Ravikant (Live Your Truth)
[08:31] JPL: Good, keep us posted on any mechanical or electronic problems. By the way, the name of the probe we’re sending is Iris. Named after the Greek goddess who traveled the heavens with the speed of wind. She’s also the goddess of rainbows. [08:47] WATNEY: Gay probe coming to save me. Got it.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
As for the age of electronics, Selena, I really don't want to get personal with something that comes with a warning label and batteries. (Grace)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Fantasy Lover (Hunter Legends, #1))
A duet in code and electron. Age and youth and cynicism and hope.
Amie Kaufman (Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1))
This song came on that sounded unlike anything I had ever heard: an aggressive drum machine pattern, unusual-sounding electronic noises, and of course, on top of it all, that voice. It struck me immediately, so warm and beautiful: The song was “Running Up that Hill (A Deal with God).” It was like a soundtrack to the evening. 
Scott Heim (The First Time I Heard Kate Bush)
What is beauty? Beauty is no more than a trick; a delusion; the influence of excited particles and electrons colliding in your eyes, jostling in your brain like a bunch of overeager school children, about to be released on break. Will you let yourself be deluded? Will you let yourself be decieved? -"On Beauty and Falsehood," The New Philosophy, by Ellen Dorpshire
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
Like people would ever want to read books on an electronic screen.
Blake Crouch (Serial Uncut: Extended Edition)
When you sit in a chair, you are not actually sitting there, but levitating above it at a height of one angstrom (a hundred millionth of a centimetre), your electrons and its electrons implacably opposed to any closer intimacy.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Electronic communities build nothing. You wind up with nothing. We are dancing animals. How beautiful it is to get up and go out and do something. We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
Great numbers of children will be born who understand electronics and atomic power as well as other forms of energy. They will grow into scientists and engineers of a new age which has the power to destroy civilization unless we learn to live by spiritual laws.
Edgar Cayce
We don’t need your pity. We get along just fine without it and them other things too. You don’t need electronic crap to live. You know, people lived for thousands of years without it. There’s a big difference between stuff you want and stuff you need. (Nick)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, #1))
You see? Size defeats us. For the fish, the lake in which he lives is the universe. What does the fish think when he is jerked up by the mouth through the silver limits of existence and into a new universe where the air drowns him and the light is blue madness? Where huge bipeds with no gills stuff it into a suffocating box abd cover it with wet weeds to die? Or one might take the tip of the pencil and magnify it. One reaches the point where a stunning realization strikes home: The pencil tip is not solid; it is composed of atoms which whirl and revolve like a trillion demon planets. What seems solid to us is actually only a loose net held together by gravity. Viewed at their actual size, the distances between these atoms might become league, gulfs, aeons. The atoms themselves are composed of nuclei and revolving protons and electrons. One may step down further to subatomic particles. And then to what? Tachyons? Nothing? Of course not. Everything in the universe denies nothing; to suggest an ending is the one absurdity.
Stephen King (The Gunslinger)
When we read, we decide when, where, how long, and about what. One of the few places on earth that it is still possible to experience an instant sense of freedom and privacy is anywhere you open up a good book and begin to read. When we read silently, we are alone with our own thoughts and one other voice. We can take our time, consider, evaluate, and digest what we read—with no commercial interruptions, no emotional music or special effects manipulation. And in spite of the advances in electronic information exchange, the book is still the most important medium for presenting ideas of substance and value, still the only real home of literature.
Andrew Clements
Rule #1: You may bring only what fits in your backpack. Don’t try to fake it with a purse or a carry-on. Rule #2: You may not bring guidebooks, phrase books, or any kind of foreign language aid. And no journals. Rule #3: You cannot bring extra money or credit/debit cards, travelers’ checks, etc. I’ll take care of all that. Rule #4: No electronic crutches. This means no laptop, no cell phone, no music, and no camera. You can’t call home or communicate with people in the U.S. by Internet or telephone. Postcards and letters are acceptable and encouraged. That’s all you need to know for now.
Maureen Johnson (13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1))
I often find that a novel, even a well-written and compelling novel, can become a blur to me soon after I've finished reading it. I recollect perfectly the feeling of reading it, the mood I occupied, but I am less sure about the narrative details. It is almost as if the book were, as Wittgenstein said of his propositions, a ladder to be climbed and then discarded after it has served its purpose.
Sven Birkerts (The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age)
Don't be stupid, privacy is an illusion in today's electronic world. And i always investigate the people who interest me
Shannon McKenna (Edge of Midnight (McClouds & Friends #4))
Red and raw like my brain, unable to shut down, thoughts crashing like electrons orbiting a nucleus of deuling emotions.
Ellen Hopkins (Crank (Crank, #1))
Those who live by electronics, die by electronics. Sic semper tyrannis.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Player Piano)
Yes, Jenna, I love you with all my heart. And with my atoms and molecules and electrons and whatever further breakdown you require.
Sharon Shinn (Jenna Starborn)
He let his mind wander slightly closer to his present. Electronic music bled into his awareness, reminding him that his body was actually in Ronan’s car. In this other place, it was easy to tell that the music was the sound of Ronan’s soul. Hungry and prayerful, it whispered of dark places, old places, fire and sex.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
To use an electronics analogy, closing a book on a bookmark is like pressing the Stop button, whereas when you leave the book facedown, you've only pressed Pause.
Anne Fadiman (Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader)
My generation was secretive, brooding, ambitious, show-offy, and this generation is congenial. Totally. I imagine them walking around with GPS chips that notify them when a friend is in the vicinity, and their GPSes guide them to each other in clipped electronic lady voices and they sit down side by side in a coffee shop and text-message each other while checking their e-mail and hopping and skipping around Facebook to see who has posted pictures of their weekend.
Garrison Keillor
Once he'd even reprogrammed the electronic billboards in Time Square to read: ALL DA LADIES LUV LEO... accidentally, of course.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
Your eyes are not really windows through which you look out into the world. Your eyes are cameras that send electronic images of the world into you.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
Each crewman had their own laptop. So I have six at my disposal. Rather, I had six. I now have five. I thought a laptop would be fine outside. It’s just electronics, right? It’ll keep warm enough to operate in the short term, and it doesn’t need air for anything. It died instantly. The screen went black before I was out of the airlock. Turns out the “L” in “LCD” stands for “Liquid.” I guess it either froze or boiled off. Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
What about e-mail? It is e-mail, yes?" Morley asked, leaning even closer. "E-mail is a kind of electronic letter. It travels through the air." He seemed very smug that he knew that. "Well, not exactly, and would you please either BACK OFF or go find a shower?
Rachel Caine (Kiss of Death (The Morganville Vampires, #8))
The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again. There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
The fantastic advances in the field of electronic communication constitute a greater danger to the privacy of the individual.
Earl Warren
Electronic books are ideal for people who value the information contained in them, or who have vision problems, or who like to read on the subway, or who do not want other people to see how they are amusing themselves, or who have storage and clutter issues, but they are useless for people who are engaged in an intense, lifelong love affair with books. Books that we can touch; books that we can smell; books that we can depend on.
Joe Queenan (One for the Books)
Like people would ever want to read books on an electronic screen.
Jack Kilborn (Serial Uncut: Extended Edition)
A hundred years from now, people will look back on us and laugh. They'll say, 'You know what people used to believe? They believed in photons and electrons. Can you imagine anything so silly?' They'll have a good laugh, because by then there will be newer better fantasies... And meanwhile, you feel the way the boat moves? That's the sea. That's real. You smell the salt in the air? You feel the sunlight on your skin? That's all real. Life is wonderful. It's a gift to be alive, to see the sun and breathe the air. And there isn't really anything else.
Michael Crichton (The Lost World (Jurassic Park #2))
Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be, whether a long string of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness, the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city, the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light, the distributions of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, the position of the electron, or the occurrence of one astonishing frigid winter after another. Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, are tame and obsequious little creatures that rush around at the speed of light, going precisely where they are supposed to go. They make faint whistling sounds that when apprehended in varying combinations are as pleasant as the wind flying through a forest, and they do exactly as they are told. Of this, one is certain. And yet, there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will? The answer to that is simple. Nothing is predetermined, it is determined, or was determined, or will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas that we have been given - so we track it, in linear fashion piece by piece. Time however can be easily overcome; not by chasing the light, but by standing back far enough to see it all at once. The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was is; everything that ever will be is - and so on, in all possible combinations. Though in perceiving it we image that it is in motion, and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly beautiful. In the end, or rather, as things really are, any event, no matter how small, is intimately and sensibly tied to all others. All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible; and, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but something that is.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
Electronic books are a bad thing because they cannot be accumulated on shelves to remind you of your past, to impress your neighbors and colleagues, and to help prevent divorces thanks to the sheer bother of arguing over who owns what.
J.P. Donleavy
Touching is just electrons repelling. Nothing can touch. Ever.
David David Katzman (A Greater Monster)
The electron is first of all your concept of the electron.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Being Peace (Being Peace, #1))
The only way to look at men is like they're electrons. They have all these charges sticking out, and they're always looking for a hole where they can put those charges.
Candace Bushnell (The Carrie Diaries (The Carrie Diaries, #1))
Electronic aids, particularly domestic computers, will help the inner migration, the opting out of reality. Reality is no longer going to be the stuff out there, but the stuff inside your head. It's going to be commercial and nasty at the same time.
J.G. Ballard
Understanding human nature must be the basis of any real improvement in human life. Science has done wonders in mastering the laws of the physical world, but our own nature is much less understood, as yet, than the nature of stars and electrons. When science learns to understand human nature, it will be able to bring a happiness into our lives which machines and the physical sciences have failed to create.
Bertrand Russell (Sceptical Essays)
So odd a pair, she and he. A duet in code and electron. Age and youth and cynicism and hope. He is quicker than her - more learned by far. But she. She is unafraid. Too young to know failure and the fear it brings. She takes him places he would not have explored by himself. She is catalyst. She is chaos. I can see why he loves her.
Jay Kristoff (Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1))
Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree on what they are made of, where they come from, or how often they should appear. Some people say that a sunrise is a miracle, because it is somewhat mysterious and often very beautiful, but other people say it is simply a fact of life, because it happens every day and far too early in the morning. Some people say that a telephone is a miracle, because it sometimes seems wondrous that you can talk with somebody who is thousands of miles away, and other people say it is merely a manufactured device fashioned out of metal parts, electronic circuitry, and wires that are very easily cut. And some people say that sneaking out of a hotel is a miracle, particularly if the lobby is swarming with policemen, and other people say it is simply a fact of life, because it happens every day and far too early in the morning. So you might think that there are so many miracles in the world that you can scarcely count them, or that there are so few that they are scarcely worth mentioning, depending on whether you spend your mornings gazing at a beautiful sunset or lowering yourself into a back alley with a rope made of matching towels.
Lemony Snicket (The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #9))
Now I'm just like everybody else, and it's so funny, the way monogamy is funny, the way someone falling down in the street is funny. I entered a revolving door and emerged as a human being. When you think of me is my face electronically blurred?
Jeffrey McDaniel
Because you are my sister in every fiber of my being....but there are aother strands that link us, that wouldn't be seen by even the strongest electron microscope.......We are conjoined by hundreds os thousands of memories that silt down into you and stop being memories and become a part of who you are.
Rosamund Lupton (Sister)
In our new age of terrifying, lethal gadgets, which supplanted so swiftly the old one, the first great aggressive war, if it should come, will be launched by suicidal little madmen pressing an electronic button. Such a war will not last long and none will ever follow it. There will be no conquerors and no conquests, but only the charred bones of the dead on and uninhabited planet.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Right, my phone. When these things first appeared, they were so cool. Only when it was too late did people realize they are as cool as electronic tags on remand prisoners.
David Mitchell (Ghostwritten)
The machine-like behavior of people chained to electronics constitutes a degradation of their well-being and of their dignity which, for most people in the long run, becomes intolerable. Observations of the sickening effect of programmed environments show that people in them become indolent, impotent, narcissistic and apolitical. The political process breaks down because people cease to be able to govern themselves; they demand to be managed.
Ivan Illich (In the Mirror of the Past: Lectures and Adresses, 1978-1990)
The world, the human world, is bound together not by protons and electrons, but by stories. Nothing has meaning in itself: all the objects in the world would be shards of bare mute blankness, spinning wildly out of orbit, if we didn't bind them together with stories.
Brian Morton
...remember the dangers of the New Groupthink. If it's creativity you're after, ask your employees to solve problems alone before sharing their ideas. If you want the wisdom of the crowd, gather it electronically, or in writing, and make sure people can't see each other's ideas until everyone has had a chance to contribute.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
But they can rule by fraud, and by fraud eventually acquire access to the tools they need to finish the job of killing off the Constitution.' 'What sort of tools?' 'More stringent security measures. Universal electronic surveillance. No-knock laws. Stop and frisk laws. Government inspection of first-class mail. Automatic fingerprinting, photographing, blood tests, and urinalysis of any person arrested before he is charged with a crime. A law making it unlawful to resist even unlawful arrest. Laws establishing detention camps for potential subversives. Gun control laws. Restrictions on travel. The assassinations, you see, establish the need for such laws in the public mind. Instead of realizing that there is a conspiracy, conducted by a handful of men, the people reason—or are manipulated into reasoning—that the entire population must have its freedom restricted in order to protect the leaders. The people agree that they themselves can't be trusted.
Robert Anton Wilson (The Eye in the Pyramid (Illuminatus, #1))
Now that we all have partners, all husbands should come pick up their projects." Pick up our project? Shrugging, I stand up and stretch my arms. Henry also stands. "No way, dude," I say. "I'm the man in this relationship." "Oh yeah, absolutely," he says, grinning. He sits back down as I walk to the closet to see this project, which turns out to be one of those fake electronic babies. Oh good God. Ms. Bonner hands me a fake baby boy. The doll has these creepy glass eyes that look like they’re staring straight into my soul. I hold the doll out in front of me like it's a flaming bag of poo and carry it back to Henry. "Congratulations, Mommy," I say, dropping the doll into his hands. You could've told me I knocked you up.
Miranda Kenneally (Catching Jordan)
Hit it! You have to hit it harder than that. Electrons are timid little things but notional; you have to let them know who’s boss.
Robert A. Heinlein (The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (The World As Myth))
Then what are you? An electronic Hannibal Lector? You can't eat my liver with fava beans through a modem, you know.
Dean Koontz (Demon Seed)
The only way to gain power in a world that is moving too fast is to learn to slow down. And the only way to spread one’s influence wide to learn how to go deep. The world we want for ourselves and our children will not emerge from electronic speed but rather from a spiritual stillness that takes root in our souls. Then, and only then, will we create a world that reflects the heart instead of shattering it.
Marianne Williamson (The Gift of Change: Spiritual Guidance for a Radically New Life)
Sometimes in life confusion tends to arise and only dialogue of dance seems to make sense.
Shah Asad Rizvi
At the end of the day, no amount of investing, no amount of clean electrons, no amount of energy efficiency will save the natural world if we are not paying attention to it - if we are not paying attention to all the things that nature give us for free: clean air, clean water, breathtaking vistas, mountains for skiing, rivers for fishing, oceans for sailing, sunsets for poets, and landscapes for painters. What good is it to have wind-powered lights to brighten the night if you can't see anything green during the day? Just because we can't sell shares in nature doesn't mean it has no value.
Thomas L. Friedman (Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How It Can Renew America)
I think we’re part of a greater wisdom that we will ever understand; a higher order, call it what you want. Know what I call it? The Big Electron. It doesn’t punish, it doesn’t reward, it doesn’t judge at all. It just is.
George Carlin
Duct tape is man’s answer to electrons and protons. It’s how we keep matter together.
Penny Reid (Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1))
You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ''It happened overnight.'' But of course it didn't. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can't remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people's other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.
Colson Whitehead (The Colossus of New York)
Theophilus Crowe's mobile phone played eight bars of "Tangled Up in Blue" in an irritating electronic voice that sounded like a choir of suffering houseflies, or Jiminy Cricket huffing helium, or, well, you know, Bob Dylan.
Christopher Moore (The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror (Pine Cove, #3))
books are the most powerful tool in the human arsenal, that reading all kinds of books, in whatever format you choose - electronic (even though that wasn't for her) or printed, or audio - is the grandest entertainment, and also is how you take part in human conversation.
Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club)
The level of intelligence has been tremendously increased, because people are thinking and communicating in terms of screens, and not in lettered books. Much of the real action is taking place in what is called cyberspace. People have learned how to boot up, activate, and transmit their brains. Essentially, there’s a universe inside your brain. The number of connections possible inside your brain is limitless. And as people have learned to have more managerial and direct creative access to their brains, they have also developed matrices or networks of people that communicate electronically. There are direct brain/computer link-ups. You can just jack yourself in and pilot your brain around in cyberspace-electronic space.
Timothy Leary (Chaos & Cyber Culture)
A stock is not just a ticker symbol or an electronic blip; it is an ownership interest in an actual business, with an underlying value that does not depend on its share price.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
A seductive female voice added, “Hello Henry, I’m the deputy director. But you can call me Samantha.” Henry’s response was accusing. “You’re a droid!” “I’m an R9054, one of the most powerful robotic systems devised by Ingermann-Verex, my makers. And I prefer the term humanoid if you don’t mind.” Locking onto her image, Henry noted the strange wrap-round view panel enshrouding the top part of the body shell. Inside, there was a human face seemingly trapped inside an electronic body. Although he’d seen a number of droids with similar face screens, Samantha’s was the most realistic, so he guessed her claims of being top of her range were probably right.
Andrew R. Williams (Samantha's Revenge (Arcadia's Children #1))
...I think apparatus burned out all over the ward trying to adjust to her come busting in like she did-took electronic readings on her and calculated they weren't built to handle something like this on the ward, and just burned out, like machines committing suicide.
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
Dance as the narration of a magical story; that recites on lips, illuminates imaginations and embraces the most sacred depths of souls.
Shah Asad Rizvi
People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine and people believe: and it is that belief, that rock-solid belief, that makes things happen.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Books are completely disappearing. Remember in Fahrenheit 451 where the fireman's wife was addicted to interactive television and they sent fireman crews out to burn books? That mission has been largely accomplished in middle-class America and they didn't need the firemen. The interactive electronics took care of it without the violence,
Finn Murphy (The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road)
pity this busy monster, manunkind' pity this busy monster, manunkind, not. Progress is a comfortable disease: your victim (death and life safely beyond) plays with the bigness of his littleness --- electrons deify one razorblade into a mountainrange; lenses extend unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish returns on its unself. A world of made is not a world of born --- pity poor flesh and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this fine specimen of hypermagical ultraomnipotence. We doctors know a hopeless case if --- listen: there's a hell of a good universe next door; let's go
E.E. Cummings
I’m with you on measuring this week in letters and the two-day drought we are about to experience. If only there was a way to transport letters faster, through some sort of electronic device that codes messages and sends them through the air. But that’s just crazy talk. Friday from me: Sending letters through the sky? Like when airplanes attach notes to their tails? I thought they only advertised for going-out-of-business sales. But perhaps our letters would be okay up there as well. I wonder how much they charge per word.
Kasie West (P.S. I Like You)
Was there anything else? asked the centaur. Did Artemis say or do anything else? Holly shook her head miserably. No. He got a little sentimental, which is unusual for him, but understandable. He told me to kiss you. She stood on tiptoes and kissed Foaly’s forehead. “Just in case, I suppose.” Foaly was suddenly upset, and almost overwhelmed, but he coughed and swallowed it down for another time. He said, Kiss Foaly. Those exact words? No, said Holly, thinking back. He kissed me, and said, Give him that from me. The centaur grinned, then cackled, then dragged her across the lab. We need to get your forehead under an electron microscope, he said.
Eoin Colfer (The Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl #8))
Scientists are slowly waking up to an inconvenient truth - the universe looks suspiciously like a fix. The issue concerns the very laws of nature themselves. For 40 years, physicists and cosmologists have been quietly collecting examples of all too convenient "coincidences" and special features in the underlying laws of the universe that seem to be necessary in order for life, and hence conscious beings, to exist. Change any one of them and the consequences would be lethal. Fred Hoyle, the distinguished cosmologist, once said it was as if "a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics". To see the problem, imagine playing God with the cosmos. Before you is a designer machine that lets you tinker with the basics of physics. Twiddle this knob and you make all electrons a bit lighter, twiddle that one and you make gravity a bit stronger, and so on. It happens that you need to set thirtysomething knobs to fully describe the world about us. The crucial point is that some of those metaphorical knobs must be tuned very precisely, or the universe would be sterile. Example: neutrons are just a tad heavier than protons. If it were the other way around, atoms couldn't exist, because all the protons in the universe would have decayed into neutrons shortly after the big bang. No protons, then no atomic nucleuses and no atoms. No atoms, no chemistry, no life. Like Baby Bear's porridge in the story of Goldilocks, the universe seems to be just right for life.
Paul C.W. Davies
If spirit is the seed, dance is the water of its evolution.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Electronic books live out of sight and out of mind. But printed books have body, presence.
Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club)
can thinking and feeling emerge from patterns of activity in different sorts of substrate – organic, electronic, or otherwise?
Andrew Hodges (Alan Turing: The Enigma)
It isn't just that Bohr's atom with its electron "orbits" is a false picture; all pictures are false, and there is no physical analogy we can make to understand what goes on inside atoms. Atoms behave like atoms, nothing else.
John Gribbin (In Search of Schrödinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality)
People don't need enormous cars; they need admiration and respect. They don't need a constant stream of new clothes; they need to feel that others consider them to be attractive, and they need excitement and variety and beauty. People don't need electronic entertainment; they need something interesting to occupy their minds and emotions. And so forth. Trying to fill real but nonmaterial needs-for identity, community, self-esteem, challenge, love, joy-with material things is to set up an unquenchable appetite for false solutions to never-satisfied longings. A society that allows itself to admit and articulate its nonmaterial human needs, and to find nonmaterial ways to satisfy them, world require much lower material and energy throughputs and would provide much higher levels of human fulfillment.
Donella H. Meadows (The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update)
If movements were a spark every dancer would desire to light up in flames.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Dance is the timeless interpretation of life.
Shah Asad Rizvi
And yet he kept sticking to her life like gum on the sole of her shoe, either on the Net or in real life. On the Net was OK. There he was no more than electrons and words. In real life, standing on her doorstep, he was still fucking attractive. And he knew her secrets just as she knew all of his.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3))
Is that a scanning electron microscope? “This’ll do, pig, this’ll do,” I murmur. “Excuse me?” “Sorry. Film reference, wasn’t meant as an insult.” “Ah. I see.” His tone tells me he clearly doesn’t. I briefly consider educating him, but explaining a movie about a talking pig who wants to be a sheepdog to a Japanese vampire just isn’t all that high on my to-do list.
D.D. Barant (Dying Bites (The Bloodhound Files, #1))
I firmly believe if you want to be a guitar player, you better start on acoustic and then graduate to electric. Don’t think you’re going to be Townshend or Hendrix just because you can go wee wee wah wah, and all the electronic tricks of the trade. First you’ve got to know that fucker. And you go to bed with it. If there’s no babe around, you sleep with it. She’s just the right shape.
Keith Richards (Life)
When he put the old-fashioned mechanical toy on her palm, she stopped breathing. It was a tiny representation of an atom, complete with colored ball bearings standing in for neutrons, protons, and on the outside, arranged on arcs of fine wire, electrons. Turning the key on the side made the electrons move, what she’d thought were ball bearings actually finely crafted spheres of glass that sparked with color. A brilliant, thoughtful, wonderful gift for a physics major. “Why magnesium?” she asked, identifying the atomic number of the light metal. His hand on her jaw, his mouth on her own. “Because it’s beautifully explosive, just like my X.
Nalini Singh (Tangle of Need (Psy-Changeling, #11))
Mom taught me not to look away from the worst but to believe that we can all do better. She never wavered in her conviction that books are the most powerful tool in the human arsenal, that reading all kinds of books, in whatever format you choose - electronic (even though that wasn't for her) or printed, or audio - is the grandest entertainment, and also is how you take part in human conversation. Mom taught me that you can make a difference in the world and that books really do matter: they're how we know what we need to do in life, and how we tell others. Mom also showed me, over the course of two years and dozens of books and hundreds of hours in hospitals, that books can be how we get closer to each other, and stay close, even in the case of a mother and son who were very close to begin with, and even after one of them has died.
Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club)
The Goddess falls in love with Herself, drawing forth her own emanation, which takes on a life of its own. Love of self for self is the creative force of the universe. Desire is the primal energy, and that energy is erotic: the attraction of lover to beloved, of planet to star, the lust of electron for proton. Love is the glue that holds the world together.
Starhawk (The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religions of the Great Goddess)
It is exciting to discover electrons and figure out the equations that govern their movement; it is boring to use those principles to design electric can openers. From here on out, it's all can openers.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
i am against electronic books. they make real books obsolete, denying the poor and economically challenged freedom.
Darnell Lamont Walker
I will tell you what is poetry... It is a remote electronic claw picking up a stuffed bunny rabbit...
Chelsey Minnis (Bad Bad)
Choice, is what presents us with a multitude of paths, because choice creates a flow of electrons through the brain in a manner that inexorably leads to quantum superposition, and the many-worlds that are the inevitable result.
Kevin Michel (Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams)
If the world’s going to end someday, I was kind of hoping the soundtrack wouldn’t suck so fucking bad. But when the melodies are electronically corrected and the humanity has been sucked clean, it makes me beg for the apocalypse.
Corey Taylor (You're Making Me Hate You: A Cantankerous Look at the Common Misconception That Humans Have Any Common Sense Left)
I don’t know about you driving. What if your beast comes out? I don’t think he’s got a driver’s permit.” In a weird voice, she said, “He don’t even have his license, Lisa.” “Who’s Lisa?” She blinked at him. “Weird Science? Never mind, crypt keeper. I’ll shoot you a YouTube sometime, through this thing we youngsters like to call ‘electronic mail.
Kresley Cole (MacRieve (Immortals After Dark, #13))
Food security is not in the supermarket. It's not in the government. It's not at the emergency services division. True food security is the historical normalcy of packing it in during the abundant times, building that in-house larder, and resting easy knowing that our little ones are not dependent on next week's farmers' market or the electronic cashiers at the supermarket.
Joel Salatin (Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World)
13 NOTES She hesitated. For two years she had kept as far away from Mikael Blomkvist as she could. And yet he kept sticking to her life like gum on the sole of her shoe, either on the Net or in real life. On the Net it was O.K. There he was no more than electrons and words. In real life, standing on her doorstep, he was still fucking attractive. And he knew her secrets just as she knew all of his. She looked at him for a moment and realized that she now had no feelings for him. At least not those kinds of feelings. He had in fact been a good friend to her over the past year. She trusted him. Maybe. It was troubling that one of the few people she trusted was a man she spent so much time avoiding. Then she made up her mind. It was absurd to pretend that he did not exist. It no longer hurt her to see him. She opened the door wide and let him into her life again.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3))
If you opened the dictionary and searched for the meaning of a Goddess, you would find the reflection of a dancing lady.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Caution not spirit, let it roam wild; for in that natural state dance embraces divine frequency.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Show me a person who found love in his life and did not celebrate it with a dance.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Words have no single fixed meaning. Like wayward electrons, they can spin away from their initial orbits and enter a wider magnetic field. No one owns them or has a proprietary right to dictate how they will be used.
David Lehman (Signs of the Times: Deconstruction and the Fall of Paul de Man)
Medicine, electronic communications, space travel, genetic manipulation . . . these are the miracles about which we now tell our children. These are the miracles we herald as proof that science will bring us the answers. The ancient stories of immaculate conceptions, burning bushes, and parting seas are no longer relevant. God has become obsolete. Science has won the battle.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
Memory runs along deep, fixed channels in the brain, like electricity along its conduits; only a cataclysm can make the electrons rear up in shock and slide over into another channel. The human mind seems doomed to believe, as simply as a rooster believes, that where we are now is the only possibility
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
Don't breathe to survive; dance and feel alive.
Shah Asad Rizvi
I try to congure, to raise my own spirits, from wherever they are. I need to remember what they look like. I try to hold them still behind my eyes, their faces, like pictures in an album. But they won't stay still for me, they move, there's a smile and it's gone, their features curl and bend as if the paper's burning, blackness eats them. A glimpse, a pale shimmer on the air; a glow, aurora, dance of electrons, then a face again, faces. But they fade, though I stretch out my arms towards them, they slip away from me, ghosts at daybreak. Back to wherever they are. Stay with me, I want to say. But they won't. It's my fault. I am forgetting too much.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
The paradigms were shifting. He could feel it. The old world, a world of infinite vastness and illimitable resources and future, was being confronted by something else—a web of energy, of opinions, of gulfs. People believe, thought Shadow. It’s what people do. They believe. And then they will not take responsibility for their beliefs; they conjure things, and do not trust the conjurations. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe: and it is that belief, that rock-solid belief, that makes things happen.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Adam relented. As they kept walking and the Orphan Girl kept piping her song and the fish kept darting through the air around them, he threw out intention of his own. The volume of the resulting boom surprised even him; he heard it in one ear and felt it in both feet. The others all startled as another bass-heavy boom sounded at the beginning of the next measure of the tune. By the time the third thud came, it was obviously pounding in time with the music. Each of the trees they passed sounded with a processed thud, until the sound around them was the pulsing electronic beat that invariably played in Ronan’s car or headphones. “Oh God,” Gansey said, but he was laughing. “Do we have to endure that here, too? Ronan! ” “It wasn’t me,” Ronan said. He looked to Blue, who shrugged. He caught Adam’s eye. When Adam’s mouth quirked, Ronan’s expression stilled for a moment before turning to the loose smile he ordinarily reserved for Matthew’s silliness. Adam felt a surge of both accomplishment and nerves. He skated an edge here. Making Ronan Lynch smile felt as charged as making a bargain with Cabeswater. These weren’t forces to play with.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
Four years with no sex? Don’t tell me that you’ve forgotten this is the Age of Electronics? I mean, really, do any of your patients know how long you’ve gone without sex? (Selena) Keep your voice down. I don’t think it’s the business of my patients whether or not I’m a born-again virgin. And as for the Age of Electronics, I really don’t want to get personal with something that comes with a warning label and batteries. (Grace)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Fantasy Lover (Hunter Legends, #1))
Have it compose a poem- a poem about a haircut! But lofty, tragic, timeless, full of love, treachery, retribution, quiet heroism in the face of certain doom! Six lines, cleverly rhymed, and every word beginning with the letter S!!” [sic]…. Seduced, shaggy Samson snored. She scissored short. Sorely shorn, Soon shackled slave, Samson sighed, Silently scheming Sightlessly seeking Some savage, spectacular suicide." ("The First Sally (A) or The Electronic Bard" THE CYBERIAD)
Stanisław Lem
Picture a thirteen-year-old boy sitting in the living room of his family home doing his math assignment while wearing his Walkman headphones or watching MTV. He enjoys the liberties hard won over centuries by the alliance of philosophic genius and political heroism, consecrated by the blood of martyrs; he is provided with comfort and leisure by the most productive economy ever known to mankind; science has penetrated the secrets of nature in order to provide him with the marvelous, lifelike electronic sound and image reproduction he is enjoying. And in what does progress culminate? A pubescent child whose body throbs with orgasmic rhythms; whose feelings are made articulate in hymns to the joys of onanism or the killing of parents; whose ambition is to win fame and wealth in imitating the drag-queen who makes the music. In short, life is made into a nonstop, commercially prepackaged masturbational fantasy.
Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind)
Why give a robot an order to obey orders—why aren't the original orders enough? Why command a robot not to do harm—wouldn't it be easier never to command it to do harm in the first place? Does the universe contain a mysterious force pulling entities toward malevolence, so that a positronic brain must be programmed to withstand it? Do intelligent beings inevitably develop an attitude problem? (…) Now that computers really have become smarter and more powerful, the anxiety has waned. Today's ubiquitous, networked computers have an unprecedented ability to do mischief should they ever go to the bad. But the only mayhem comes from unpredictable chaos or from human malice in the form of viruses. We no longer worry about electronic serial killers or subversive silicon cabals because we are beginning to appreciate that malevolence—like vision, motor coordination, and common sense—does not come free with computation but has to be programmed in. (…) Aggression, like every other part of human behavior we take for granted, is a challenging engineering problem!
Steven Pinker (How the Mind Works)
As Feministing.com commenter electron-Blue noted in response to the 2008 New York Times Magazine article “Students of Virginity,” on abstinence clubs at Ivy League colleges, “There were a WHOLE LOTTA us not having sex at Harvard . . . but none of us thought that that was special enough to start a club about it, for pete’s sake.
Jessica Valenti (The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women)
Dance to inspire, dance to freedom, life is about experiences so dance and let yourself become free.
Shah Asad Rizvi
The electrons in a carbon atom in the human brain are connected to the subatomic particles that comprise every salmon that swims, every heart that beats, and every star that shimmers in the sky. Everything interpenetrates everything, and although human nature may seek to categorize and pigeonhole and subdivide the various phenomena of the universe, all apportionments are of necessity artificial and all of nature is ultimately a seamless web.
Michael Talbot
When two people talk, they don’t just fall into physical and aural harmony. They also engage in what is called motor mimicry. If you show people pictures of a smiling face or a frowning face, they’ll smile or frown back, although perhaps only in muscular changes so fleeting that they can only be captured with electronic sensors. If I hit my thumb with a hammer, most people watching will grimace: they’ll mimic my emotional state. This is what is meant, in the technical sense, by empathy. We imitate each other’s emotions as a way of expressing support and caring and, even more basically, as a way of communicating with each other.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference)
Sir Arthur Eddington summed up the situation brilliantly in his book The Nature of the Physical World, published in 1929. "No familiar conceptions can be woven around the electron," he said, and our best description of the atom boils down to "something unknown is doing we don't know what".
John Gribbin (In Search of Schrödinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality)
To the Technocrats: Have mercy on us. Relax a bit, take time out for simple pleasures. For example, the luxuries of electricity, indoor plumbing, central heating, instant electronic communication and such, have taught me to relearn and enjoy the basic human satisfactions of dipping water from a cold clear mountain stream; of building a wood fire in a cast-iron stove; of using long winter nights for making music, making things, making love; of writing long letters, in longhand with a fountain pen, to the few people on this earth I truly care about.
Edward Abbey (Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast)
If the human race develops an electronic nervous system, outside the bodies of individual people, thus giving us all one mind and one global body, this is almost precisely what has happened in the organization of cells which compose our own bodies. We have already done it. [...] If all this ends with the human race leaving no more trace of itself in the universe than a system of electronic patterns, why should that trouble us? For that is exactly what we are now!
Alan W. Watts (The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are)
We need the slower and more lasting stimulus of solitary reading as a relief from the pressure on eye, ear and nerves of the torrent of information and entertainment pouring from ever-open electronic jaws. It could end by stupefying us.
Storm Jameson
Your poor heart, in which God put appreciation for everlastingness, will not take electronic gadgets in lieu of eternal life. Something inside of you is too big for that, too terrible, too wonderful. God has set everlastingness in your heart. All the things of this world are here for but a moment and then are gone. None can satisfy the longing for that eternal ragging in the soul of every man.
A.W. Tozer (And He Dwelt Among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John)
Eliminating herself was a sort of aesthetic project. One can't go on anymore, she said, electronics seems so clean and yet it dirties, dirties tremendously, and it obliges you to leave traces of yourself everywhere as if you were shitting and peeing on yourself continuously: I want to leave nothing, my favorite key is the one that deletes.
Elena Ferrante (The Story of the Lost Child)
The greatest mystery the universe offers is not life but size. Size encompasses life, and the Tower encompasses size. The child, who is most at home with wonder, says: Daddy, what is above the sky? And the father says: The darkness of space. The child: What is beyond space? The father: The galaxy. The child: Beyond the galaxy? The father: Another galaxy. The child: Beyond the other galaxies? The father: No one knows. You see? Size defeats us. For the fish, the lake in which he lives is the universe. What does the fish think when he is jerked up by the mouth through the silver limits of existence and into a new universe where the air drowns him and the light is blue madness? Where huge bipeds with no gills stuff it into a suffocating box and cover it with wet weeds to die? Or one might take the tip of the pencil and magnify it. One reaches the point where a stunning realization strikes home: The pencil tip is not solid; it is composed of atoms which whirl and revolve like a trillion demon planets. What seems solid to us is actually only a loose net held together by gravity. Viewed at their actual size, the distances between these atoms might become league, gulfs, aeons. The atoms themselves are composed of nuclei and revolving protons and electrons. One may step down further to subatomic particles. And then to what? Tachyons? Nothing? Of course not. Everything in the universe denies nothing; to suggest an ending is the one absurdity. If you fell outward to the limit of the universe, would you find a board fence and signs reading DEAD END? No. You might find something hard and rounded, as the chick must see the egg from the inside. And if you should peck through the shell (or find a door), what great and torrential light might shine through your opening at the end of space? Might you look through and discover our entire universe is but part of one atom on a blade of grass? Might you be forced to think that by burning a twig you incinerate an eternity of eternities? That existence rises not to one infinite but to an infinity of them?
Stephen King (The Gunslinger)
It is remarkable that mind enters into our awareness of nature on two separate levels. At the highest level, the level of human consciousness, our minds are somehow directly aware of the complicated flow of electrical and chemical patterns in our brains. At the lowest level, the level of single atoms and electrons, the mind of an observer is again involved in the description of events. Between lies the level of molecular biology, where mechanical models are adequate and mind appears to be irrelevant. But I, as a physicist, cannot help suspecting that there is a logical connection between the two ways in which mind appears in my universe. I cannot help thinking that our awareness of our own brains has something to do with the process which we call "observation" in atomic physics. That is to say, I think our consciousness is not just a passive epiphenomenon carried along by the chemical events in our brains, but is an active agent forcing the molecular complexes to make choices between one quantum state and another. In other words, mind is already inherent in every electron, and the processes of human consciousness differ only in degree but not in kind from the processes of choice between quantum states which we call "chance" when they are made by electrons.
Freeman Dyson
Technologies of the soul tend to be simple, bodily, slow and related to the heart as much as the mind. Everything around us tells us we should be mechanically sophisticated, electronic, quick, and informational in our expressiveness - an exact antipode to the virtues of the soul. It is no wonder, then, that in an age of telecommunications - which, by the way, literally means "distant connections" - we suffer symptoms of the loss of soul. We are being urged from every side to become efficient rather than intimate.
Thomas Moore
One of the many things I love about bound books is their sheer physicality. Electronic books live out of sight and out of mind. But printed books have body, presence. Sure, sometimes they'll elude you by hiding in improbable places... But at other times they'll confront you, and you'll literally stumble over some tomes you hadn't thought about in weeks or years. I often seek electronic books, but they never come after me. They may make me feel, but I can't feel them. They are all soul with no flesh, no texture, and no weight. They can get in your head but can't whack you upside it.
Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club)
DANCE – Defeat All Negativity (via) Creative Expression.
Shah Asad Rizvi
designing a secret passage, where would I put it? He could sometimes figure out how a machine worked by putting his hand on it. He’d learned to fly a helicopter that way. He’d fixed Festus the dragon that way (before Festus crashed and burned). Once he’d even reprogrammed the electronic billboards in Times Square to read: ALL DA LADIES LUV LEO…accidentally, of course.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
As Heinz Pagels has said, The challenge to our civilization which has come from our knowledge of the cosmic energies that fuels the stars, the movement of light and electrons through matter, the intricate molecular order which is the biological basis of life, must be met by the creation of a moral and political order which will accommodate these forces or we shall be destroyed. It will try our deepest resources of reason and compassion.
Michio Kaku (Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension)
Back then, things were plainer: less money, no electronic devices, little fashion tyranny, no girlfriends. There was nothing to distract us from our human and filial duty which was to study, pass exams, use those qualifications to find a job, and then put together a way of life unthreateningly fuller than that of our parents, who would approve, while privately comparing it to their own earlier lives, which had been simpler, and therefore superior.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
She who is a dancer can only sway the silk of her hair like the summer breeze.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Life is an affair of mystery; shared with companions of music, dance and poetry.
Shah Asad Rizvi
It is one of the unexpected disasters of the modern age that our new unparalleled access to information has come at the price of our capacity to concentrate on anything much. The deep, immersive thinking which produced many of civilization's most important achievements has come under unprecedented assault. We are almost never far from a machine that guarantees us a mesmerizing and libidinous escape from reality. The feelings and thoughts which we have omitted to experience while looking at our screens are left to find their revenge in involuntary twitches and our ever-decreasing ability to fall asleep when we should.
Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion)
So if we're all quarks and electrons ..." he begins. What?" We could make love and it would be nothing more than quarks and electrons rubbing together." Better than that," I say. "Nothing really 'rubs together' in the microscopic world. Matter never really touches other matter, so we could make love without any of our atoms touching at all. Remember that electrons sit on the outside of atoms, repelling other electrons. So we could make love and actually repel each other at the same time.
Scarlett Thomas (The End of Mr. Y)
And here are trees and I know their gnarled surface, water and I feel its taste. These scents of grass and stars at night, certain evenings when the heart relaxes-how shall I negate this world whose power and strength I feel? Yet all the knowledge on earth will give me nothing to assure me that this world is mine. You describe it to me and you teach me to classify it. You enumerate its laws and in my thirst for knowledge I admit that they are true. You take apart its mechanism and my hope increases. At the final stage you teach me that this wondrous and multicolored universe can be reduced to the atom and that the atom itself can be reduced to the electron. All this is good and I wait for you to continue. But you tell me of an invisible planetary system in which electrons gravitate around a nucleus. You explain this world to me with an image. I realize then that you have been reduced to poetry: I shall never know.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus)
It is well known that stone can think, because the whole of electronics is based on that fact, but in some universes men spend ages looking for other intelligences in the sky without once looking under their feet. That is because they've got the time-span all wrong. From stone's point of view the universe is hardly created and mountain ranges are bouncing up and down like organ-stops while continents zip backward and forward in general high spirits, crashing into each other from the sheer joy of momentum and getting their rocks off. It is going to be quite some time before stone notices its disfiguring skin disease and starts to scratch, which is just as well.
Terry Pratchett (Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches, #1))
And worst of all, we knew this could happen. We've been impotently worrying about what a solar flare could do to electronic infrastructure since the 1900s. But my generation was so preoccupied with fixing the mess left by the unaddressed-and-fully-known-about environmental disaster of the previous generation that we committed the same sin of criminal procrastination against yours. I ask no forgiveness for this, because we deserve none.
Becky Chambers (To Be Taught, If Fortunate)
It would all be done with keys on alphanumeric keyboards that stood for weightless, invisible chains of electronic presence or absence. If patterns of ones and zeroes were "like" patterns of human lives and deaths, if everything about an individual could be represented in a computer record by a long strings of ones and zeroes, then what kind of creature could be represented by a long string of lives and deaths? It would have to be up one level, at least -- an angel, a minor god, something in a UFO. It would take eight human lives and deaths just to form one character in this being's name -- its complete dossier might take up a considerable piece of history of the world. We are digits in God's computer, she not so much thought as hummed to herself to sort of a standard gospel tune, And the only thing we're good for, to be dead or to be living, is the only thing He sees. What we cry, what we contend for, in our world of toil and blood, it all lies beneath the notice of the hacker we call God.
Thomas Pynchon (Vineland)
Last December I saw an advertisement outside an electronics store. There was a little boy, delirious with delight, surrounded by computers, stereos, and other gadgets. The text read: “We know what your child wants for Christmas.” I stared at the poster, then said to no one in particular, “What your child wants for Christmas is your love, but if he can’t get that, he’ll settle for a bunch of electronic crap.
Derrick Jensen (A Language Older Than Words)
Sam hauled open the library door. "There you are!" Whit pushed up from the desk he'd been hunched over. "We thought you two had given up on us." "Unlike some people I know," I said, removing my mittens and scarf, "we don't live here." "She says that now." Sam followed me toward Whit's and Orrin's desks, where they worked over flat electronic screens. "But the first thing she said when I showed her the library was that we should move in." Orrin lifted an eyebrow, oddly delicate for someone so large. "The acoustics would be terrible.
Jodi Meadows (Incarnate (Newsoul, #1))
Many aspects of our screen-bound lives are bad for our social skills simply because we get accustomed to controlling the information that comes in, managing our relationships electronically, deleting stuff that doesn't interest us. We edit the world; we select from menus; we pick and choose; our social 'group' focuses on us and disintegrates without us. This makes it rather confusing for us when we step outdoors and discover that other people's behaviour can't be deleted with a simple one-stroke command or dragged to the trash icon.
Lynne Truss (Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door)
When you ask what are electrons and protons I ought to answer that this question is not a profitable one to ask and does not really have a meaning. The important thing about electrons and protons is not what they are but how they behave, how they move. I can describe the situation by comparing it to the game of chess. In chess, we have various chessmen, kings, knights, pawns and so on. If you ask what chessman is, the answer would be that it is a piece of wood, or a piece of ivory, or perhaps just a sign written on paper, or anything whatever. It does not matter. Each chessman has a characteristic way of moving and this is all that matters about it. The whole game os chess follows from this way of moving the various chessmen.
Paul A.M. Dirac
The creepiest thing is the silence. The Hum is gone. You remember the Hum. Unless you grew up on top of a mountain or lived in a cave your whole life, the Hum was always around you. That’s what life was. It was the sea we swam in. The constant sound of all the things we built to make life easy and a little less boring. The mechanical song. The electronic symphony. The Hum of all our things and all of us. Gone. This is the sound of the Earth before we conquered it.
Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
Three days later, Mrs. Dalloway was in the hall, blocking the classroom door. 'Hi there, Dick. Are you prone to seizures?' 'Uh, no.' Thirty minutes later I was wishing I'd said 'Uh, yes,' because then she's have had to turn off the strobe light. Then again, it might not have made a difference; the loud electronic music and Mrs. D's yelling probably would have been enough to do me in anyway.
Mindi Scott (Freefall)
What reading does, ultimately, is keep alive the dangerous and exhilarating idea that a life is not a sequence of lived moments, but a destiny...the time of reading, the time defined by the author's language resonating in the self, is not the world's time, but the soul's. The energies that otherwise tend to stream outward through a thousand channels of distraction are marshaled by the cadences of the prose; they are brought into focus by the fact that it is an ulterior, and entirely new, world that the reader has entered. The free-floating self--the self we diffusely commune with while driving or walking or puttering in the kitchen--is enlisted in the work of bringing the narrative to life. In the process, we are able to shake off the habitual burden of insufficient meaning and flex our deeper natures.
Sven Birkerts (The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age)
Although we credit God with designing man, it turns out He's not sufficiently skilled to have done so. In point of fact, He unintentionally knocked over the first domino by creating a palette of atoms with different shapes. Electron clouds bonded, molecules bloomed, proteins embraced, and eventually cells formed and learned how to hang on to one another like lovebirds. He discovered that by simmering the Earth at the proper distance from the Sun, it instinctively sprouted with life. He's not so much a creator as a molecule tinkerer who enjoyed a stroke of luck: He simply set the ball rolling by creating a smorgasbord of matter, and creation ensued.
David Eagleman (Sum: forty tales from the afterlives)
I surrendered my identity in your eyes. Now I'm just like everybody else, and it's so funny, the way monogamy is funny, the way someone falling down in the street is funny. I entered a revolving door and emerged as a human being. When you think of me is my face electronically blurred? I remember your collarbone, forming the tiniest satellite dish in the universe, your smile as the place where parallel lines inevitably crossed. Now dinosaurs freeze to death on your shoulder. I remember your eyes: fifty attack dogs on a single leash, how I once held the soft audience of your hand. I've been ignored by prettier women than you, but none who carried the heavy pitchers of silence so far, without spilling a drop.
Jeffrey McDaniel
And in her ears the little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and talk coming in, coming in on the shore of her unsleeping mind. The room was indeed empty. Every night the waves came in and bore her off on their great tides of sound, floating her, wide-eyed, toward morning. There had been no night in the last two years that Mildred had not swum that sea, had not gladly gone down in it for the third time.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore... and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge... and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias... and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals. Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
The Mentor
At this moment, in this place, the shifting action potential in my neurons cascade into certain arrangements, patterns, thoughts; they flow down my spine, branch into my arms, my fingers, until muscles twitch and thought is translated into motion; mechanical levers are pressed; electrons are rearranged; marks are made on paper. At another time, in another place, light strikes the marks, reflects into a pair of high-precision optical instruments sculpted by nature after billions of years of random mutations; upside-down images are formed against two screens made up of millions of light-sensitive cells, which translate light into electrical pulses that go up the optic nerves, cross the chiasm, down the optic tracts, and into the visual cortex, where the pulses are reassembled into letters, punctuation marks, words, sentences, vehicles, tenors, thoughts. The entire system seems fragile, preposterous, science fictional.
Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories)
Theirs is the customary human reaction when confronted with innovation: to flounder about attempting to adapt old responses to new situations or to simply condemn or ignore the harbingers of change--a practice refined by the Chinese emperors, who used to execute messengers bringing bad news. The new technological environments generate the most pain among those least prepared to alter their old value structures. The literati find the new electronic environment far more threatening than do those less committed to literacy as a way of life. When an individual or social group feels that its whole identity is jeopardized by social or psychic change, its natural reaction is to lash out in defensive fury. But for all their lamentations, the revolution has already taken place.
Marshall McLuhan
My name is Parker Black. I sometimes work as BlackDawn. My employer is Titan, and my training is from both the Marines and MIT.” “I know.” “But you don’t know what that means. I will kill to protect you. I will hunt what follows you,” he said through clenched teeth. “I will seek out anything that has its sights on you, and I will destroy it. I’m not a muscle hound with a hard-on for electronics. I’m a mercenary for the good guys, an analyst of life-and-death situations, and I will, I swear to Christ, maim, harm, and kill anything that wants what I care about.
Cristin Harber (Black Dawn (Titan, #6))
I turned and beheld seven rows of plasma screens, each bearing seven vivid scenes, each flickering, each pulsing with a light revealing distant terrors, conflagrations, sufferings - and all thereby brought so close, and all thereby kept far away.
Scott Cairns (Compass of Affection: Poems New and Selected)
A storyteller who provided us with such a profusion of details would rapidly grow maddening. Unfortunately, life itself often subscribes to this mode of storytelling, wearing us out with repetition, misleading emphases and inconsequential plot lines. It insists on showing us Bardak Electronics, the saftey handle in the car, a stray dog, a Christmas card and a fly that lands first on the rim and then in the centre of the ashtray. Which explains how the curious phenomenon whereby valuable elements may be easier to experience in art and in anticipation than in reality. The anticipatory and artistic imaginations omit and compress; they cut away the periods of boredom and direct our attention to critical moments, and thus, without either lying or embellishing, they lend to life a vividness and a coherence that it may lack in the distracting wooliness of the present.
Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel)
From our first day alive on this planet, they began teaching society everything it knows and experiences. It was all brainwashing bullshit. Their trio of holy catechisms is: faith is more important than reason; inputs are more important than outcomes; hope is more important than reality. It was designed to choke your independent thinking and acting—to bring out the lowest common denominator in people—so that vast amounts of the general public would literally buy into sponsorship and preservation of their hegemonic nation. Their greatest achievement was the creation of the two-party political system; it gave only the illusion of choice, but never offered any change; it promised freedom, but only delivered more limits. In the end, you got stuck with two leading loser parties and not just one. It completed their trap of underhanded domination, and it worked masterfully. Look anywhere you go. America is a nation of submissive, dumbed-down, codependent, faith-minded zombies obsessed with celebrity gossip, buying unnecessary goods, and socializing without purpose on their electronic gadgets. The crazy thing is that people don't even know it; they still think they're free. Everywhere, people have been made into silent accomplices in the government's twisted control game. In the end, there is no way out for anyone.
Zoltan Istvan (The Transhumanist Wager)
The life spills over, some days. She cannot be at rest, Wishes she could explode Like that red tree— The one that bursts into fire All this week. Senses her infinite smallness But can’t seize it, Recognizes the folly of desire, The folly of withdrawal— Kicks at the curb, the pavement, If only she could, at this moment, When what she’s doing is plodding To the bus stop, to go to school, Passing that fiery tree—if only she could Be making love, Be making a painting, Be exploding, be speeding through the universe Like a photon, like a shower Of yellow flames— She believes if she could only catch up With the riding rhythm of things, of her own electrons, Then she would be at rest— If she could forget school, Climb the tree, Be the tree, burn like that.
Alicia Suskin Ostriker
Nine out of ten humans killed? And you're not bothered." A look of mysterious thoughtfulness crossed his face. "A virus can be useful to a species by thinning it out," he said. A scream cut the air. It sounded nonhuman. He took his eyes off the water and looked around. "Hear that pheasant? That's what I like about the Bighorn River," he said. "Do you find viruses beautiful?" "Oh, yeah," he said softly. "Isn't it true that if you stare into the eyes of a cobra, the fear has another side to it? The fear is lessened as you begin to see the essence of the beauty. Looking at Ebola under an electron microscope is like looking at a gorgeously wrought ice castle. The thing is so cold. So totally pure." He laid a perfect cast on the water, and eddies took the fly down. (92)
Richard Preston (The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus)
So, according to the theory that electrons are in all-possible-positions until they are measured, the cat is both alive and dead until we open the box and find out if it is alive or dead. It seems to me that all the things we keep in sealed boxes are both alive and dead until we open the box, that the unobserved is both there and not. Eventually, they figured out that keeping the box closed doesn't actually keep the cat alive-and-dead. Even if you don't observe the cat in whatever state it's in, the air in the box does. So keeping the box clothes just keeps you in the dark, not the universe.
John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)
China has called in officials from major foreign high-tech companies, including South Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics Co. and SK hynix Inc., to warn them not to join the U.S. pressure on China, the New York Times reported. It is a counterattack against China's Huawei, the world's largest telecom equipment maker, last month, which effectively imposed an embargo on the U.S. It comes as China is working on a list of "unreliable companies," a kind of blacklist. ▶전국거래 가능합니다 ☎카톡【k404】☎텔레【kpp44】☎위커【PP444】☎라인【PPPK44】 ▶한국내 실사인증 【 = Newsis, Seoul, Korea and anhogyun gimtaegyu Journalist : normalization of the Assembly to make a suggestion meet representatives from the ruling party president and eventually got the better of Moon Jae-in, the cancellation of the president is heavy on July 9.Journey with the three Nordic countries went up in trip. The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae proposed to the Korean party that the two sides hold an exclusive meeting proposed by main opposition Liberty Korea Party leader Hwang Kyo-ahn and a meeting of leaders of the five rival parties until July 7. However, instead of the five parties, the Korean party will be represented by representatives of the three negotiating parties. 【 = Newsis, Seoul, Korea and anhogyun gimtaegyu Journalist : normalization of the Assembly to make a suggestion meet representatives from the ruling party president and eventually got the better of Moon Jae-in, the cancellation of the president is heavy on July 9.Journey with the three Nordic countries went up in trip. The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae proposed to the Korean party that the two sides hold an exclusive meeting proposed by main opposition Liberty Korea Party leader Hwang Kyo-ahn and a meeting of leaders of the five rival parties until July 7. However, instead of the five parties, the Korean party will be represented by representatives of the three negotiating parties.
The presidential office
What was remarkable was that associating with a computer and electronics company was the best way for a rock band to seem hip and appeal to young people. Bono later explained that not all corporate sponsorships were deals with the devil. “Let’s have a look,” he told Greg Kot, the Chicago Tribune music critic. “The ‘devil’ here is a bunch of creative minds, more creative than a lot of people in rock bands. The lead singer is Steve Jobs. These men have helped design the most beautiful art object in music culture since the electric guitar. That’s the iPod. The job of art is to chase ugliness away.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
The scientific creation story has majesty, power and beauty. and is infused with a powerful message capable of lifting our spirits in a way that its multitudinous supernatural counterparts are incapable of matching. It teaches us that we are the products of 13.7 billion years of cosmic evolution and the mechanism by which meaning entered the universe, if only for a fleeting moment in time. Because the universe means something to me, and the fact that we are all agglomerations of quarks and electrons in a complex and fragile pattern that can perceive the beauty of the universe with visceral wonder, is, I think, a thought worth raising a glass to this Christmas.
Brian Cox (There's Probably No God: The Atheists' Guide to Christmas)
Jesus is ready to set us free from the heavy yoke of an oppressive way of life. Plenty of wealthy Christians are suffocating from the weight of the American dream, heavily burdened by the lifeless toil and consumption we embrace. This is the yoke from which we are being set free. And as we are liberated from the yoke of global capitalism, our sisters and brothers in Guatemala, Liberia, Iraq, and Sri Lanka will also be liberated. Our family overseas, who are making our clothes, growing our food, pumping our oil, and assembling our electronics--they too need to be liberated from the empire's yoke of slavery. Their liberation is tangled up with our own.
Shane Claiborne (Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals)
Just because your electronics are better than ours, you aren't necessarily superior in any way. Look, imagine that you humans are a man in LA with a brand-new Trujillo and we are a nuhp in New York with a beat-up old Ford. The two fellows start driving toward St. Louis. Now, the guy in the Trujillo is doing 120 on the interstates, and the guy in the Ford is putting along at 55; but the human in the Trujillo stops in Vegas and puts all of his gas money down the hole of a blackjack table, and the determined little nuhp cruises along for days until at last he reaches his goal. It's all a matter of superior intellect and the will to succeed. Your people talk a lot about going to the stars, but you just keep putting your money into other projects, like war and popular music and international athletic events and resurrecting the fashions of previous decades. If you wanted to go into space, you would have.
George Alec Effinger (Live! from Planet Earth)
She pushed herself up, swayed, and might have tumbled if Feeney hadn’t gripped her arm. “Head rush. I’m okay, just a little queasy. Lowell’s in there, secured. You need to haul his ass in. Your collar.” “No, it’s not.” Feeney gave her arm a squeeze. “But I’ll haul his ass in for you. McNab, help the lieutenant upstairs, then get your butt back down here and start on the electronics.” “I don’t need help,” Eve protested. “You fall on your face,” Feeney murmured in her ear, “you’ll ruin your exit.” “Yeah. Yeah.” “Just lean on me, Lieutenant.” McNab wrapped an arm around her waist. “You try to cop a feel, I can still put you down.” “Whatever your condition, Dallas, you still scare me.” “Aw.” Touched, she slung an arm around his shoulders. “That’s so sweet.
J.D. Robb (Creation in Death (In Death, #25))
If he would just work with pure ideas like a proper mathematician he could go as fast as thought. As it happens, Alan has become fascinated by the incarnations of pure ideas in the physical world. The underlying math of the universe is like the light streaming in through the window. Alan is not satisfied with merely knowing that it streams in. He blows smoke into the air to make the light visible. He sits in meadows gazing at pine cones and flowers, tracing the mathematical patterns in their structure, and he dreams about electron winds blowing over the glowing filaments and screens of radio tubes, and, in their surges and eddies, capturing something of what is going on in his own brain. Turing is neither a mortal nor a god. He is Antaeus. That he bridges the mathematical and physical worlds is his strength and his weakness.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
The very nature of materiality is an entanglement. Matter itself is always already open to, or rather entangled with, the "Other." The intra-actively emergent "parts" of phenomena are coconstituted. Not only subjects but also objects are permeated through and through with their entangled kin; the other is not just in one's skin, but in one's bones, in one's belly, in one's heart, in one's nucleus, in one's past and future. This is as true for electrons as it is for brittlestars as it is for the differentially constituted human . . . What is on the other side of the agential cut is not separate from us--agential separability is not individuation. Ethics is therefore not about right response to a radically exterior/ized other, but about responsibility and accountability for the lively relationalities of becoming of which we are a part.
Karen Barad (Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning)
The fan was spinning and as the shadows passed over the white ceiling I let my eyes unfocus until all of it looked like a universe being born or a planet unraveling, some creation or catastrophe depending on which way gravity was going and where you were standing. So instead of Elizabeth Taylor I thought about stars and how little I knew about them, and how if I was an explorer and I had to sail a boat across the ocean without rador or an electronic compass I’d be screwed because the only constellations I knew were the Big Dipper and Little Dipper and I always got them confused. And even though I knew I’d never have to sail that boat I still wished I knew more about stars and other things. And I wished I could remember lying in the back yard as a kid with my hands locked behind my head, looking up at the night sky and dreaming. But I couldn’t, because it wasn’t something I ever did. It would have been a nice memory though
Paul Neilan (Apathy and Other Small Victories)
It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted…secretly, it was being dictated instead by the needs of technology…by a conspiracy between human beings and techniques, by something that needed the energy-burst of war, crying, “Money be damned, the very life of [insert name of Nation] is at stake,” but meaning, most likely, dawn is nearly here, I need my night’s blood, my funding, funding, ahh more, more…The real crises were crises of allocation and priority, not among firms—it was only staged to look that way—but among the different Technologies, Plastics, Electronics, Aircraft, and their needs which are understood only by the ruling elite… Yes but Technology only responds (how often this argument has been iterated, dogged, humorless as a Gaussian reduction, among the younger Schwarzkommando especially), “All very well to talk about having a monster by the tail, but do you think we’d’ve had the Rocket if someone, some specific somebody with a name and a penis hadn’t wanted to chuck a ton of Amatol 300 miles and blow up a block full of civilians? Go ahead, capitalize the T on technology, deify it if it’ll make you feel less responsible—but it puts you in with the neutered, brother, in with the eunuchs keeping the harem of our stolen Earth for the numb and joyless hardons of human sultans, human elite with no right at all to be where they are—” We have to look for power sources here, and distribution networks we were never taught, routes of power our teachers never imagined, or were encouraged to avoid…we have to find meters whose scales are unknown in the world, draw our own schematics, getting feedback, making connections, reducing the error, trying to learn the real function…zeroing in on what incalculable plot? Up here, on the surface, coal-tars, hydrogenation, synthesis were always phony, dummy functions to hide the real, the planetary mission yes perhaps centuries in the unrolling…this ruinous plant, waiting for its Kabbalists and new alchemists to discover the Key, teach the mysteries to others…
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
[...]he also had a device which looked rather like a largish electronic calculator. This had about a hundred tiny flat press buttons and a screen about four inches square on which any one of a million "pages" could be summoned at a moment's notice. It looked insanely complicated, and this was one of the reasons why the snug plastic cover it fitted into had the words Don't Panic printed on it in large friendly letters. The other reason was that this device was in fact that most remarkable of all books ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor - The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The reason why it was published in the form of a micro sub meson electronic component is that if it were printed in normal book form, an interstellar hitch hiker would require several inconveniently large buildings to carry it around in.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
I spent the afternoon in a bookstore. There were no books in it. None had been printed for nearly half a century. And how I have looked forward to them, after the micro films that made up the library of the Prometheus! No such luck. No longer was it possible to browse among shelves, to weigh volumes in hand, to feel their heft, the promise of ponderous reading. The bookstore resembled, instead, an electronic laboratory. The books were crystals with recorded contents. They can be read the aid of an opton, which was similar to a book but had only one page between the covers. At a touch, successive pages of the text appeared on it. But optons were little used, the sales-robot told me. The public preferred lectons - like lectons read out loud, they could be set to any voice, tempo, and modulation.
Stanisław Lem (Return From the Stars)
Certainly not! I didn't build a machine to solve ridiculous crossword puzzles! That's hack work, not Great Art! Just give it a topic, any topic, as difficult as you like..." Klapaucius thought, and thought some more. Finally he nodded and said: "Very well. Let's have a love poem, lyrical, pastoral, and expressed in the language of pure mathematics. Tensor algebra mainly, with a little topology and higher calculus, if need be. But with feeling, you understand, and in the cybernetic spirit." "Love and tensor algebra?" Have you taken leave of your senses?" Trurl began, but stopped, for his electronic bard was already declaiming: Come, let us hasten to a higher plane, Where dyads tread the fairy fields of Venn, Their indices bedecked from one to n, Commingled in an endless Markov chain! Come, every frustum longs to be a cone, And every vector dreams of matrices. Hark to the gentle gradient of the breeze: It whispers of a more ergodic zone. In Reimann, Hilbert or in Banach space Let superscripts and subscripts go their ways. Our asymptotes no longer out of phase, We shall encounter, counting, face to face. I'll grant thee random access to my heart, Thou'lt tell me all the constants of thy love; And so we two shall all love's lemmas prove, And in bound partition never part. For what did Cauchy know, or Christoffel, Or Fourier, or any Boole or Euler, Wielding their compasses, their pens and rulers, Of thy supernal sinusoidal spell? Cancel me not--for what then shall remain? Abscissas, some mantissas, modules, modes, A root or two, a torus and a node: The inverse of my verse, a null domain. Ellipse of bliss, converge, O lips divine! The product of our scalars is defined! Cyberiad draws nigh, and the skew mind Cuts capers like a happy haversine. I see the eigenvalue in thine eye, I hear the tender tensor in thy sigh. Bernoulli would have been content to die, Had he but known such a^2 cos 2 phi!
Stanisław Lem (The Cyberiad)
Afterwards, the princeps asked the science consul, “Did we destroy a civilization in the microcosmos in this experiment?” “It was at least an intelligent body. Also, Princeps, we destroyed the entire microcosmos. That miniature universe is immense in higher dimensions, and it probably contained more than one intelligence or civilization that never had a chance to express themselves in macro space. Of course, in higher dimensional space at such micro scales, the form that intelligence or civilization may take is beyond our imagination. They’re something else entirely. And such destruction has probably occurred many times before.” “Oh?” “In the long history of scientific progress, how many protons have been smashed apart in accelerators by physicists? How many neutrons and electrons? Probably no fewer than a hundred million. Every collision was probably the end of the civilizations and intelligences in a microcosmos.
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
How Smart Is a Rock? To appreciate the feasibility of computing with no energy and no heat, consider the computation that takes place in an ordinary rock. Although it may appear that nothing much is going on inside a rock, the approximately 1025 (ten trillion trillion) atoms in a kilogram of matter are actually extremely active. Despite the apparent solidity of the object, the atoms are all in motion, sharing electrons back and forth, changing particle spins, and generating rapidly moving electromagnetic fields. All of this activity represents computation, even if not very meaningfully organized. We’ve already shown that atoms can store information at a density of greater than one bit per atom, such as in computing systems built from nuclear magnetic-resonance devices. University of Oklahoma researchers stored 1,024 bits in the magnetic interactions of the protons of a single molecule containing nineteen hydrogen atoms.51 Thus, the state of the rock at any one moment represents at least 1027 bits of memory.
Ray Kurzweil (The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology)
I guess if there’s one thing I can say about the 21st century, it’s that the 21st century is all flash and no substance… everything is digital, nothing but files of invisible electronic data on computers and mindless zombies on their cellular phones… it’s sad how because of the digital age, society is ultimately doomed. Nothing in the digital age is real anymore, and you know, they say celluloid film and ray tube televisions and maybe even paper might become obsolete in this century? …What’s most annoying is that nobody cares, they’ve just learned to accept the digital age and get addicted to it… none of them are ever going to step up and say to the world, “you’re all a bunch of sheep!” and even if they did say anything, I doubt anyone would listen… they’re all too obsessed and attached to their cellular phones and overly big televisions and whatever other moronic things they’ve got these days… it almost makes me want an apocalypse to happen, to erase digital technology and force the world to start over again.
Rebecca McNutt (Smog City)
There is a most profound and beautiful question associated with the observed coupling constant, e - the amplitude for a real electron to emit or absorb a real photon. It is a simple number that has been experimentally determined to be close to 0.08542455. (My physicist friends won't recognize this number, because they like to remember it as the inverse of its square: about 137.03597 with about an uncertainty of about 2 in the last decimal place. It has been a mystery ever since it was discovered more than fifty years ago, and all good theoretical physicists put this number up on their wall and worry about it.) Immediately you would like to know where this number for a coupling comes from: is it related to pi or perhaps to the base of natural logarithms? Nobody knows. It's one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics: a magic number that comes to us with no understanding by man. You might say the "hand of God" wrote that number, and "we don't know how He pushed his pencil." We know what kind of a dance to do experimentally to measure this number very accurately, but we don't know what kind of dance to do on the computer to make this number come out, without putting it in secretly!
Richard P. Feynman (QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter)
Roarke didn't quite make it to Eve's office. He found her down the corridor, in front of one of the vending machines. She and the machine appeared to be in the middle of a vicious argument. "I put the proper credits in, you blood-sucking, money-grubbing son of a bitch." Eve punctuated this by slamming her fist where the machine's heart would be, if it had one. ANY ATTEMPT TO VANDALIZE, DEFACE, OR DAMAGE THIS UNIT IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE. The machine spoke in a prissy, singsong voice Roarke was certain was sending his wife's blood pressure through the roof. THIS UNIT IS EQUIPPED WITH SCANEYE, AND HAS RECORDED YOUR BADGE NUMBER. DALLAS, LIEUTENANT EVE. PLEASE INSERT PROPER CREDIT, IN COIN OR CREDIT CODE, FOR YOUR SELECTION. AND REFRAIN FROM ATTEMPTING TO VANDALIZE, DEFACE, OR DAMAGE THIS UNIT. "Okay, I'll stop attempting to vandalize, deface, or damage you, you electronic street thief. I'll just do it." She swung back her right foot, which Roarke had cause to know could deliver a paralyzing kick from a standing position. But before she could follow through he stepped up and nudged her off balance. "Please, allow me, Lieutenant." "Don't put any more credits in that thieving bastard," she began, then hissed when Roarke did just that. "Candy bar, I assume. Did you have any lunch?" "Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know it's just going to keep stealing if people like you pander to it." "Eve, darling, it's a machine. It does not think." "Ever hear of artificial intelligence, ace?" "Not in a vending machine that dispenses chocolate bars.
J.D. Robb (Betrayal in Death (In Death, #12))
I don’t think that the definition of library has changed. Libraries have never been repositories solely of books. In Alexandria for instance, the model of the ideal library perhaps, there was a will to collect every book in the world, but at the same time they had maps and objects and there was a sense that this was a world of study and communication. The technology changes, and so electronic media should enter the library as long as we don’t forget that there are also books. I don’t believe in technologies that want to exclude one another. A new technology comes into the world and believes that it can bill itself on the corpse of the previous technology, but that never happens. Photography did not eliminate painting. Film did not eliminate theater and so on. One technology feeds on the vocabulary of the other, and I believe that the electronic technology has taught us to value the reading on the page, and the reading on the page has taught us what we can do on the screen. They are alternatives, but they’re certainly not synonymous.
Alberto Manguel
Centuries of navel-gazing. Millennia of masturbation. Plato to Descartes to Dawkins to Rhanda. Souls and zombie agents and qualia. Kolmogorov complexity. Consciousness as Divine Spark. Consciousness as electromagnetic field. Consciousness as functional cluster. I explored it all. Wegner thought it was an executive summary. Penrose heard it in the singing of caged electrons. Nirretranders said it was a fraud; Kazim called it leakage from a parallel universe. Metzinger wouldn't even admit it existed. The AIs claimed to have worked it out, then announced they couldn't explain it to us. Gödel was right after all: no system can fully understand itself. Not even the synthesists had been able to rotate it down. The load-bearing beams just couldn't take the strain. All of them, I began to realize, had missed the point. All those theories, all those drugdreams and experiments and models trying to prove what consciousness was: none to explain what it was good for. None needed: obviously, consciousness makes us what we are. It lets us see the beauty and the ugliness. It elevates us into the exalted realm of the spiritual. Oh, a few outsiders—Dawkins, Keogh, the occasional writer of hackwork fiction who barely achieved obscurity—wondered briefly at the why of it: why not soft computers, and no more? Why should nonsentient systems be inherently inferior? But they never really raised their voices above the crowd. The value of what we are was too trivially self-evident to ever call into serious question. Yet the questions persisted, in the minds of the laureates, in the angst of every horny fifteen-year-old on the planet. Am I nothing but sparking chemistry? Am I a magnet in the ether? I am more than my eyes, my ears, my tongue; I am the little thing behind those things, the thing looking out from inside. But who looks out from its eyes? What does it reduce to? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? What a stupid fucking question. I could have answered it in a second, if Sarasti hadn't forced me to understand it first.
Peter Watts (Blindsight (Firefall, #1))
If you’re a manager, remember that one third to one half of your workforce is probably introverted, whether they appear that way or not. Think twice about how you design your organization’s office space. Don’t expect introverts to get jazzed up about open office plans or, for that matter, lunchtime birthday parties or team-building retreats. Make the most of introverts’ strengths—these are the people who can help you think deeply, strategize, solve complex problems, and spot canaries in your coal mine. Also, remember the dangers of the New Groupthink. If it’s creativity you’re after, ask your employees to solve problems alone before sharing their ideas. If you want the wisdom of the crowd, gather it electronically, or in writing, and make sure people can’t see each other’s ideas until everyone’s had a chance to contribute. Face-to-face contact is important because it builds trust, but group dynamics contain unavoidable impediments to creative thinking. Arrange for people to interact one-on-one and in small, casual groups. Don’t mistake assertiveness or eloquence for good ideas. If you have a proactive work force (and I hope you do), remember that they may perform better under an introverted leader than under an extroverted or charismatic one.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
The child was left alone to die in the hallway. Here, in the dawn, was mortality itself. In the city were places to fall from which one could never emerge -- dark dreams and slow death, the death of children, suffering without grace or redemption, ultimate and eternal loss. The memory of the child stayed with Peter. But that was not to be the end of it, for reality went around in a twisting ring. Even the irredeemable would be redeemed, and there was a balance for everything. There had to be. The old man said, "Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be, whether a long string of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness, the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city, the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light, the distributions of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, or the position of the electron. Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, do exactly as they are told. Of this, one is certain. And yet, there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will? The answer to that is simple. Nothing is predetermined, it is determined, or was determined, or will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas that we have been given - so we track it, in linear fashion piece by piece. Time however can be easily overcome; not by chasing the light, but by standing back far enough to see it all at once. The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was, is. Everything that ever will be, is. In all possible combinations. Though we imagine that it is in motion and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly beautiful. So any event is intimately and sensibly tied to all others. All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible. And, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but something that is.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
If we are inclined to forget how much there is in the world besides that which we anticipate, then works of art are perhaps a little to blame, for in them we find at work the same process of simplification or selection as in the imagination. Artistic accounts include severe abbreviations of what reality will force upon us. A travel book may tell us, for example, that the narrator journeyed through the afternoon to reach the hill town of X and after a night in its medieval monastery awoke to a misty dawn. But we never simply 'journey through an afternoon'. We sit in a train. Lunch digests awkwardly within us. The seat cloth is grey. We look out the window at a field. We look back inside. A drum of anxieties resolves in our consciousness. We notice a luggage label affixed to a suitcase in a rack above the seats opposite. We tap a finger on the window ledge. A broken nail on an index finger catches a thread. It starts to rain. A drop wends a muddy path down the dust-coated window. We wonder where our ticket might be. We look back at the field. It continues to rain. At last, the train starts to move. It passes an iron bridge, after which it inexplicably stops. A fly lands on the window And still we may have reached the end only of the first minute of a comprehensive account of the events lurking within the deceptive sentence 'He journeyed through the afternoon'. A storyteller who provides us with such a profusion of details would rapidly grow maddening. Unfortunately, life itself often subscribes to this mode of storytelling, wearking us out with repetitions, misleading emphases[,] and inconsequential plot lines. It insists on showing us Burdak Electronics, the safety handle in the car, a stray dog, a Christmas card[,] and a fly that lands first on the rim and then the centre of a laden ashtray. Which explains the curious phenomenon whereby valuable elements may be easier to experience in art and in anticipation than in reality. The anticipatory and artistic imaginations omit and compress; they cut away the periods of boredom and direct our attention to critical moments, and thus, without either lying or embellishing, they lend to life a vividness and a coherence that it may lack in the distracting woolliness of the present.
Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel)
If I am to believe everything that I see in the media, happiness is to be six foot tall or more and to have bleached teeth and a firm abdomen, all the latest clothes, accessories, and electronics, a picture-perfect partner of the opposite sex who is both a great lover and a terrific friend, an assortment of healthy and happy children, a pet that is neither a stray nor a mongrel, a large house in the right sort of postcode, a second property in an idyllic holiday location, a top-of-the-range car to shuttle back and forth from the one to the other, a clique of ‘friends’ with whom to have fabulous dinner parties, three or four foreign holidays a year, and a high-impact job that does not distract from any of the above. There are at least three major problems that I can see with this ideal of happiness. (1) It represents a state of affairs that is impossible to attain to and that is in itself an important source of unhappiness. (2) It is situated in an idealised and hypothetical future rather than in an imperfect but actual present in which true happiness is much more likely to be found, albeit with great difficulty. (3) It has largely been defined by commercial interests that have absolutely nothing to do with true happiness, which has far more to do with the practice of reason and the peace of mind that this eventually brings. In short, it is not only that the bar for happiness is set too high, but also that it is set in the wrong place, and that it is, in fact, the wrong bar. Jump and you’ll only break your back.
Neel Burton (The Art of Failure: The Anti Self-Help Guide)
You fling the book on the floor, you would hurl it out of the window, even out of the closed window, through the slats of the Venetian blinds; let them shred its incongruous quires, let sentences, words, morphemes, phonemes gush forth, beyond recomposition into discourse; through the panes, and if they are of unbreakable glass so much the better, hurl the book and reduce it to photons, undulatory vibrations, polarized spectra; through the wall, let the book crumble into molecules and atoms passing between atom and atom of the reinforced concrete, breaking up into electrons, neutrons, neutrinos, elementary particles more and more minute; through the telephone wires, let it be reduced to electronic impulses, into flow of information, shaken by redundancies and noises, and let it be degraded into a swirling entropy. You would like to throw it out of the house, out of the block, beyond the neighborhood, beyond the city limits, beyond the state confines, beyond the regional administration, beyond the national community, beyond the Common Market, beyond Western culture, beyond the continental shelf, beyond the atmosphere, the biosphere, the stratosphere, the field of gravity, the solar system, the galaxy, the cumulus of galaxies, to succeed in hurling it beyond the point the galaxies have reached in their expansion, where space-time has not yet arrived, where it would be received by nonbeing, or, rather, the not-being which has never been and will never be, to be lost in the most absolutely guaranteed undeniable negativity.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
The story of the rapper and the story of the hustler are like rap itself, two kinds of rhythm working together, having a conversation with each other, doing more together than they could do apart. It's been said that the thing that makes rap special, that makes it different both from pop music and from written poetry, is that it's built around two kinds of rhythm. The first kind of rhythm is the meter. In poetry, the meter is abstract, but in rap, the meter is something you literally hear: it's the beat. The beat in a song never stops, it never varies. No matter what other sounds are on the track, even if it's a Timbaland production with all kinds of offbeat fills and electronics, a rap song is usually built bar by bar, four-beat measure by four-beat measure. It's like time itself, ticking off relentlessly in a rhythm that never varies and never stops. When you think about it like that, you realize the beat is everywhere, you just have to tap into it. You can bang it out on a project wall or an 808 drum machine or just use your hands. You can beatbox it with your mouth. But the beat is only one half of a rap song's rhythm. The other is the flow. When a rapper jumps on a beat, he adds his own rhythm. Sometimes you stay in the pocket of the beat and just let the rhymes land on the square so that the beat and flow become one. But sometimes the flow cops up the beat, breaks the beat into smaller units, forces in multiple syllables and repeated sounds and internal rhymes, or hangs a drunken leg over the last bap and keeps going, sneaks out of that bitch. The flow isn't like time, it's like life. It's like a heartbeat or the way you breathe, it can jump, speed up, slow down, stop, or pound right through like a machine. If the beat is time, flow is what we do with that time, how we live through it. The beat is everywhere, but every life has to find its own flow. Just like beats and flows work together, rapping and hustling, for me at least, live through each other. Those early raps were beautiful in their way and a whole generation of us felt represented for the first time when we heard them. But there's a reason the culture evolved beyond that playful, partying lyrical style. Even when we recognized the voices, and recognized the style, and even personally knew the cats who were on the records, the content didn't always reflect the lives we were leading. There was a distance between what was becoming rap's signature style - the relentlessness, the swagger, the complex wordplay - and the substance of the songs. The culture had to go somewhere else to grow. It had to come home.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
America is a leap of the imagination. From its beginning, people had only a persistent idea of what a good country should be. The idea involved freedom, equality, justice, and the pursuit of happiness; nowadays most of us probably could not describe it a lot more clearly than that. The truth is, it always has been a bit of a guess. No one has ever known for sure whether a country based on such an idea is really possible, but again and again, we have leaped toward the idea and hoped. What SuAnne Big Crow demonstrated in the Lead high school gym is that making the leap is the whole point. The idea does not truly live unless it is expressed by an act; the country does not live unless we make the leap from our tribe or focus group or gated community or demographic, and land on the shaky platform of that idea of a good country which all kinds of different people share. This leap is made in public, and it's made for free. It's not a product or a service that anyone will pay you for. You do it for reasons unexplainable by economics--for ambition, out of conviction, for the heck of it, in playfulness, for love. It's done in public spaces, face-to-face, where anyone is free to go. It's not done on television, on the Internet, or over the telephone; our electronic systems can only tell us if the leap made elsewhere has succeeded or failed. The places you'll see it are high school gyms, city sidewalks, the subway, bus stations, public parks, parking lots, and wherever people gather during natural disasters. In those places and others like them, the leaps that continue to invent and knit the country continue to be made. When the leap fails, it looks like the L.A. riots, or Sherman's March through Georgia. When it succeeds, it looks like the New York City Bicentennial Celebration in July 1976 or the Civil Rights March on Washington in 1963. On that scale, whether it succeeds or fails, it's always something to see. The leap requires physical presence and physical risk. But the payoff--in terms of dreams realized, of understanding, of people getting along--can be so glorious as to make the risk seem minuscule.
Ian Frazier (On the Rez)
I will take you down my own avenue of remembrance, which winds among the hazards and shadows of my single year as a plebe. I cannot come to this story in full voice. I want to speak for the boys who were violated by this school, the ones who left ashamed and broken and dishonored, who departed from the Institute with wounds and bitter grievances. I want also to speak for the triumphant boys who took everything the system could throw at them, endured every torment and excess, and survived the ordeal of the freshman year with a feeling of transformation and achievement that they never had felt before and would never know again with such clarity and elation. I will speak from my memory- my memory- a memory that is all refracting light slanting through prisms and dreams, a shifting, troubled riot of electrons charged with pain and wonder. My memory often seems like a city of exiled poets afire with the astonishment of language, each believing in the integrity of his own witness, each with a separate version of culture and history, and the divine essentional fire that is poetry itself. But i will try to isolate that one lonely singer who gathered the fragments of my plebe year and set the screams to music. For many years, I have refused to listen as his obsessive voice narrated the malignant litany of crimes against my boyhood. We isolate those poets who cause us the greatest pain; we silence them in any way we can. I have never allowed this furious dissident the courtesy of my full attention. His poems are songs for the dead to me. Something dies in me every time I hear his low, courageous voice calling to me from the solitude of his exile. He has always known that someday I would have to listen to his story, that I would have to deal with the truth or falsity of his witness. He has always known that someday I must take full responsibility for his creation and that, in finally listening to him, I would be sounding the darkest fathoms of myself. I will write his stories now as he shouts them to me. I will listen to him and listen to myself. I will get it all down. Yet the laws of recall are subject to distortion and alienation. Memory is a trick, and I have lied so often to myself about my own role and the role of others that I am not sure I can recognize the truth about those days. But I have come to believe in the unconscious integrity of lies. I want to record even them. Somewhere in the immensity of the lie the truth gleams like the pure, light-glazed bones of an extinct angel. Hidden in the enormous falsity of my story is the truth for all of us who began at the Institute in 1963, and for all who survived to become her sons. I write my own truth, in my own time, in my own way, and take full responsibility for its mistakes and slanders. Even the lies are part of my truth. I return to the city of memory, to the city of exiled poets. I approach the one whose back is turned to me. He is frail and timorous and angry. His head is shaved and he fears the judgment of regiments. He will always be a victim, always a plebe. I tap him on the shoulder. "Begin," I command. "It was the beginning of 1963," he begins, and I know he will not stop until the story has ended.
Pat Conroy (The Lords of Discipline)
It is very easy to grow tired at collecting; the period of a low tide is about all men can endure. At first the rocks are bright and every moving animal makes his mark on the attention. The picture is wide and colored and beautiful. But after an hour and a half the attention centers weary, the color fades, and the field is likely to narrow to an individual animal. Here one may observe his own world narrowed down until interest and, with it, observation, flicker and go out. And what if with age this weariness becomes permanent and observation dim out and not recover? Can this be what happens to so many men of science? Enthusiasm, interest, sharpness, dulled with a weariness until finally they retire into easy didacticism? With this weariness, this stultification of attention centers, perhaps there comes the pained and sad memory of what the old excitement was like, and regret might turn to envy of the men who still have it. Then out of the shell of didacticism, such a used-up man might attack the unwearied, and he would have in his hands proper weapons of attack. It does seem certain that to a wearied man an error in a mass of correct data wipes out all the correctness and is a focus for attack; whereas the unwearied man, in his energy and receptivity, might consider the little dross of error a by-product of his effort. These two may balance and produce a purer thing than either in the end. These two may be the stresses which hold up the structure, but it is a sad thing to see the interest in interested men thin out and weaken and die. We have known so many professors who once carried their listeners high on their single enthusiasm, and have seen these same men finally settle back comfortably into lectures prepared years before and never vary them again. Perhaps this is the same narrowing we observe in relation to ourselves and the tide pool—a man looking at reality brings his own limitations to the world. If he has strength and energy of mind the tide pool stretches both ways, digs back to electrons and leaps space into the universe and fights out of the moment into non-conceptual time. Then ecology has a synonym which is ALL.
John Steinbeck (The Log from the Sea of Cortez)
How can we distinguish what is biologically determined from what people merely try to justify through biological myths? A good rule of thumb is ‘Biology enables, culture forbids.’ Biology is willing to tolerate a very wide spectrum of possibilities. It’s culture that obliges people to realise some possibilities while forbidding others. Biology enables women to have children – some cultures oblige women to realise this possibility. Biology enables men to enjoy sex with one another – some cultures forbid them to realise this possibility. Culture tends to argue that it forbids only that which is unnatural. But from a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural. A truly unnatural behaviour, one that goes against the laws of nature, simply cannot exist, so it would need no prohibition. No culture has ever bothered to forbid men to photosynthesise, women to run faster than the speed of light, or negatively charged electrons to be attracted to each other. In truth, our concepts ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ are taken not from biology, but from Christian theology. The theological meaning of ‘natural’ is ‘in accordance with the intentions of the God who created nature’. Christian theologians argued that God created the human body, intending each limb and organ to serve a particular purpose. If we use our limbs and organs for the purpose envisioned by God, then it is a natural activity. To use them differently than God intends is unnatural. But evolution has no purpose. Organs have not evolved with a purpose, and the way they are used is in constant flux. There is not a single organ in the human body that only does the job its prototype did when it first appeared hundreds of millions of years ago. Organs evolve to perform a particular function, but once they exist, they can be adapted for other usages as well. Mouths, for example, appeared because the earliest multicellular organisms needed a way to take nutrients into their bodies. We still use our mouths for that purpose, but we also use them to kiss, speak and, if we are Rambo, to pull the pins out of hand grenades. Are any of these uses unnatural simply because our worm-like ancestors 600 million years ago didn’t do those things with their mouths?
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Electrons, when they were first discovered, behaved exactly like particles or bullets, very simply. Further research showed, from electron diffraction experiments for example, that they behaved like waves. As time went on there was a growing confusion about how these things really behaved ---- waves or particles, particles or waves? Everything looked like both. This growing confusion was resolved in 1925 or 1926 with the advent of the correct equations for quantum mechanics. Now we know how the electrons and light behave. But what can I call it? If I say they behave like particles I give the wrong impression; also if I say they behave like waves. They behave in their own inimitable way, which technically could be called a quantum mechanical way. They behave in a way that is like nothing that you have seen before. Your experience with things that you have seen before is incomplete. The behavior of things on a very tiny scale is simply different. An atom does not behave like a weight hanging on a spring and oscillating. Nor does it behave like a miniature representation of the solar system with little planets going around in orbits. Nor does it appear to be somewhat like a cloud or fog of some sort surrounding the nucleus. It behaves like nothing you have seen before. There is one simplication at least. Electrons behave in this respect in exactly the same way as photons; they are both screwy, but in exactly in the same way…. The difficulty really is psychological and exists in the perpetual torment that results from your saying to yourself, "But how can it be like that?" which is a reflection of uncontrolled but utterly vain desire to see it in terms of something familiar. I will not describe it in terms of an analogy with something familiar; I will simply describe it. There was a time when the newspapers said that only twelve men understood the theory of relativity. I do not believe there ever was such a time. There might have been a time when only one man did, because he was the only guy who caught on, before he wrote his paper. But after people read the paper a lot of people understood the theory of relativity in some way or other, certainly more than twelve. On the other hand, I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. So do not take the lecture too seriously, feeling that you really have to understand in terms of some model what I am going to describe, but just relax and enjoy it. I am going to tell you what nature behaves like. If you will simply admit that maybe she does behave like this, you will find her a delightful, entrancing thing. Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possible avoid it, "But how can it be like that?" because you will get 'down the drain', into a blind alley from which nobody has escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.
Richard P. Feynman (The Character of Physical Law)
— If love wants you; if you’ve been melted down to stars, you will love with lungs and gills, with warm blood and cold. With feathers and scales. Under the hot gloom of the forest canopy you’ll want to breathe with the spiral calls of birds, while your lashing tail still gropes for the waes. You’ll try to haul your weight from simple sea to gravity of land. Caught by the tide, in the snail-slip of your own path, for moments suffocating in both water and air. If love wants you, suddently your past is obsolete science. Old maps, disproved theories, a diorama. The moment our bodies are set to spring open. The immanence that reassembles matter passes through us then disperses into time and place: the spasm of fur stroked upright; shocked electrons. The mother who hears her child crying upstairs and suddenly feels her dress wet with milk. Among black branches, oyster-coloured fog tongues every corner of loneliness we never knew before we were loved there, the places left fallow when we’re born, waiting for experience to find its way into us. The night crossing, on deck in the dark car. On the beach wehre night reshaped your face. In the lava fields, carbon turned to carpet, moss like velvet spread over splintered forms. The instant spray freezes in air above the falls, a gasp of ice. We rise, hearing our names called home through salmon-blue dusk, the royal moon an escutcheon on the shield of sky. The current that passes through us, radio waves, electric lick. The billions of photons that pass through film emulsion every second, the single submicroscopic crystal struck that becomes the phograph. We look and suddenly the world looks back. A jagged tube of ions pins us to the sky. — But if, like starlings, we continue to navigate by the rear-view mirror of the moon; if we continue to reach both for salt and for the sweet white nibs of grass growing closest to earth; if, in the autumn bog red with sedge we’re also driving through the canyon at night, all around us the hidden glow of limestone erased by darkness; if still we sish we’d waited for morning, we will know ourselves nowhere. Not in the mirrors of waves or in the corrading stream, not in the wavering glass of an apartment building, not in the looming light of night lobbies or on the rainy deck. Not in the autumn kitchen or in the motel where we watched meteors from our bed while your slow film, the shutter open, turned stars to rain. We will become indigestible. Afraid of choking on fur and armour, animals will refuse the divided longings in our foreing blue flesh. — In your hands, all you’ve lost, all you’ve touched. In the angle of your head, every vow and broken vow. In your skin, every time you were disregarded, every time you were received. Sundered, drowsed. A seeded field, mossy cleft, tidal pool, milky stem. The branch that’s released when the bird lifts or lands. In a summer kitchen. On a white winter morning, sunlight across the bed.
Anne Michaels