Neal Stephenson

Born: October 31, 1959

Occupation: Author

Quotes of Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson

Two tires fly. Two Wail. A bamboo grove, all chopped down From it, warring songs.

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Neal Stephenson

See, the world is full of things more powerful than us. But if you know how to catch a ride, you can go places,

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Neal Stephenson

Technically, of course, he was right. Socially, he was annoying us.

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Neal Stephenson

Hiro watches the large, radioactive, spear-throwing killer drug lord ride his motorcycle into Chinatown. Which is the same as riding it into China, as far as chasing him down is concerned.

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Neal Stephenson

Our opponent is an alien starship packed with atomic bombs," I said. "We have a protractor.

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Neal Stephenson

That's funny because if anyone actually did prove the existence of God we'd just tell him 'nice proof, Fraa Bly' and start believing in God.

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Neal Stephenson

Gold is the corpse of value...

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Neal Stephenson

Jad said, "The leakage was forcing choices, the making of which in no way improved matters." Okay. So we were, in effect, locked in a room with a madman sorcerer. That clarified things a little.

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Neal Stephenson

That we occasionally violate our own stated moral code does not imply that we are insincere in espousing that code.

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Neal Stephenson

She looked at me like I was crazy. Most of my lovers do, and that's partly why they love me, and partly why they leave

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Neal Stephenson

This made him a grad student, and grad students existed not to learn things but to relieve the tenured faculty members of tiresome burdens such as educating people and doing research.

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Neal Stephenson

Jack the sound barrier. Bring the noise.

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Neal Stephenson

...your Web browser is Ronald Reagan.

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Neal Stephenson

Crappy old OSes have value in the basically negative sense that changing to new ones makes us wish we'd never been born.

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Neal Stephenson

The franchise and the virus work on the same principle, what thrives in one place will thrive in another. You just have to find a sufficiently virulent business plan, condense it into a three-ring binder...

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Neal Stephenson

Supposing that originally there was nothing but one creator, how could ordinary binary sexual relations come into being?

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Neal Stephenson

It’s, like, one of them drug dealer boats,” Vic says, looking through his magic sight. “Five guys on it. Headed our way.” He fires another round. “Correction. Four guys on it.” Boom. “Correction,...

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Neal Stephenson

There's only four things we do better than anyone else: music movies microcode (software) high-speed pizza delivery

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Neal Stephenson

When you are wrestling for possession of a sword, the man with the handle always wins.

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Neal Stephenson

Ninety-nine percent of everything that goes on in most Christian churches has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual religion. Intelligent people all notice this sooner or later, and they conclude that...

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Neal Stephenson

Most countries are static, all they need to do is keep having babies. But America's like this big old clanking smoking machine that just lumbers across the landscape scooping up and eating everything in...

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Neal Stephenson

I don't even want you to nod, that's how much you annoy me. Just freeze and shut up.

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Neal Stephenson

Leibniz is at the disadvantage of not having seen it. Or perhaps we should count this as an advantage, for anyone who sees it is dumbfounded by the brilliance of the geometry, and it is difficult to criticize...

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Neal Stephenson

He had some measure of the infuriating trait that causes a young man to be a nonconformist for its own sake and found that the surest way to shock most people, in those days, was to believe that some kinds...

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Neal Stephenson

The hour of noon has passed,' said Judge Fang. 'Let us go and get some Kentucky Fried Chicken.

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Neal Stephenson

The sight of the bare katana inspires everyone to a practically Nipponese level of politeness

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Neal Stephenson

They wanted to carry her, but she jumped to the stones of the plaza and strode away from the building, toward her ranks, which parted to make way for her. The streets of Pudong were filled with hungry...

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Neal Stephenson

They knew many things but had no idea why. And strangely this made them more, rather than less, certain that they were right.

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Neal Stephenson

Enoch...why are you here? Why has my spirit been incarnated into a physical bodi in this world generally? Or specifically, why am I here in a Swedish forest, standing on the wreck of a mysterious German...

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Neal Stephenson

Wait a minute, Juanita. Make up your mind. This Snow Crash thing—is it a virus, a drug, or a religion?" Juanita shrugs. "What's the difference?

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Neal Stephenson

What's hard, in hacking as in fiction, is not writing, it's deciding what to write.

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Neal Stephenson

The GPS unit became almost equally obstreperous, though, over Richard’s unauthorized route change, until they finally passed over some invisible cybernetic watershed between two possible ways of getting...

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Neal Stephenson

How could your cover be blown in Canada? Why even bother going dark there? How could you tell?

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Neal Stephenson

Humans needed water or they would die, but dirty water killed as surely as thirst. You had to boil it before you drank it. This culture around tea was a way of tiptoeing along the knife edge between those...

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Neal Stephenson

All people have religions. It's like we have religion receptors built into our brain cells, or something, and we'll latch onto anything that'll fill that niche for us.

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Neal Stephenson

Which path do you intend to take, Nell?' said the Constable, sounding very interested. 'Conformity or rebellion?' Neither one. Both ways are simple-minded - they are only for people who cannot cope with...

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Neal Stephenson

It was, of course, nothing more than sexism, the especially virulent type espoused by male techies who sincerely believe that they are too smart to be sexists.

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Neal Stephenson

She's not afraid. She's wearing a dentata.

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Neal Stephenson

... when I saw any of those kinds of beauty I knew I was alive, and not just in the sense that when I hit my thumb with a hammer I knew I was alive, but rather in the sense that I was partaking of something--something...

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Neal Stephenson

If you sincerely believed in God, how could you form one thought, speak one sentence, without mentioning Him?

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Neal Stephenson

Clearly Mr. Drkh has had a long career of being the weirdest person in any given room, but he's about to go down in flames.

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Neal Stephenson

It is what you don't expect... that most needs looking for.

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Neal Stephenson

The difference between stupid and intelligent people - and this is true whether or not they are well-educated - is that intelligent people can handle subtlety.

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Neal Stephenson

Talent was not rare; the ability to survive having it was.

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Neal Stephenson

They went inside. The young ones shuffled to a stop as their ironic sensibilities, which served them in lieu of souls, were jammed by a signal of overwhelming power.

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Neal Stephenson

An old market had stood there until I'd been about six years old, when the authorities had renamed it the Olde Market, destroyed it, and built a new market devoted to selling T-shirts and other objects...

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Neal Stephenson

I always tend to assume there's an infinite amount of money out there." There might as well be, "Arsibalt said, "but most of it gets spent on pornography, sugar water and bombs. There is only so much that...

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Neal Stephenson

We are all susceptible to the pull of viral ideas. Like mass hysteria. Or a tune that gets into your head that you keep humming all day until you spread it to someone else. Jokes. Urban legends. Crackpot...

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Neal Stephenson

A few dud universes can really clutter up your basement.

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Neal Stephenson

I use emacs, which might be thought of as a thermonuclear word processor.

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Neal Stephenson

Boredom is a mask frustration wears.

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Neal Stephenson

This is one of the two great labyrinths into which human minds are drawn: the question of free will versus predestination.

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Neal Stephenson

But then, Cap'n Crunch in a flake form would be suicidal madness; it would last about as long, when immersed in milk, as snowflakes sifting down into a deep fryer. No, the cereal engineers at General Mills...

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Neal Stephenson

When I read a novel that I really like, I feel as if I am in direct, personal communication with the author. I feel as if the author and I are on the same wavelength mentally, that we have a lot in common...

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Neal Stephenson

The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallow subcategory. He's got esprit up to here. Right now, he is preparing to carry out his third mission of the night. His uniform is black as activated charcoal,...

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Neal Stephenson

Most of the brain's work is done while the brain's owner is ostensibly thinking about something else, so sometimes you have to deliberately find something else to think and talk about.

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Neal Stephenson

Nothing is more important than that you see and love the beauty that is right in front of you, or else you will have no defense against the ugliness that will hem you in and come at you in so many ways.

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Neal Stephenson

Software development, like professional sports, has a way of making thirty-year-old men feel decrepit.

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Neal Stephenson

Well, all information looks like noise until you break the code.

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Neal Stephenson

Of course, the underlying structure of everything in England is posh. There is no in between with these people. You have to walk a mile to find a telephone booth, but when you find it, it is built as if...

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Neal Stephenson

Let's set the existence-of-God issue aside for a later volume, and just stipulate that in some way, self-replicating organisms came into existence on this planet and immediately began trying to get rid...

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Neal Stephenson

..this is just like life must be for about 99 percent of the people in the world. You're in this place. There's other people all around you, but they don't understand you and you don't understand them,...

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Neal Stephenson

Southern California doesn't know whether to bustle or just strangle itself on the spot.

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Neal Stephenson

Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied...

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Neal Stephenson

The full cosmos consists of the physical stuff and consciousness. Take away consciousness and it's only dust; add consciousness and you get things, ideas, and time.

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Neal Stephenson

It is the fate of operating systems to become free.

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Neal Stephenson

Once a person has all the things they need to live, everything else is entertainment.

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Neal Stephenson

One of the most frightening things about your true nerd, for may people, is not that he's socially inept - because everybody's been there - but rather his complete lack of embarrassment about it.

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Neal Stephenson

The difference between ignorant and educated people is that the latter know more facts. But that has nothing to do with whether they are stupid or intelligent.

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Neal Stephenson

The science fiction approach doesn't mean it's always about the future; it's an awareness that this is different.

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Neal Stephenson

I think visual literacy and media literacy is not without value, but I think plain old-fashioned text literacy and mathematical literacy are much more powerful and flexible ways to organize your mind.

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Neal Stephenson

For a Westerner to trash Western culture is like criticizing our nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere on the grounds that it sometimes gets windy, and besides, Jupiter's is much prettier. You may not realize its...

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Neal Stephenson

I just assume I'm not invisible. I assume I'm wearing fluorescent clothes, and there's a million-dollar bounty going to the first driver who manages to hit me. And I ride on that assumption.

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Neal Stephenson

Can't you see that everyone is buying station wagons?

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Neal Stephenson

Wired people should know something about wires.

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Neal Stephenson

Like any place in Reality, the Street is subject to development. Developers can build their own small streets feeding off of the main one. They can build buildings, parks, signs, as well as things that...

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Neal Stephenson

Am I a technocrat? Im just a guy who went down to the bookstore and bought a couple of textbooks on TCP/IP, which is the underlying protocol of the Internet, and read them. And then I signed on to a computer,...

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Neal Stephenson

Most Kabbalists were theorists who were interested only in pure meditation. But there were so-called 'practical Kabbalists' who tried to apply the power of the Kabbalah in everyday life.

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Neal Stephenson

I am on an expense account that would blow your mind.

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Neal Stephenson

What are letters?” “Kinda like mediaglyphics except they’re all black, and they’re tiny, they don’t move, they’re old and boring and really hard to read. But you can use ’em to make short...

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Neal Stephenson

And it happened all the time that the compromise between two perfectly rational alternatives was something that made no sense at all.

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Neal Stephenson

Like every other creature on the face of the earth, Godfrey was, by birthright, a stupendous badass, albeit in the somewhat narrow technical sense that he could trace his ancestry back up a long line of...

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Neal Stephenson

Lawrence immediately saw that it was a trick question. You would have to be some kind of idiot to make the facile assumption that the current would add or subtract 5 miles per hour to or from the speed...

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Neal Stephenson

To condense fact from the vapor of nuance.

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Neal Stephenson

Sorry,” she said, “I got out as fast as I could, but I had to stay and socialize. Protocol, you know.” “Explain protocol,” Nell said. This was how she always talked to the Primer. “At the place...

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Neal Stephenson

Whenever serious and competent people need to get things done in the real world, all considerations of tradition and protocol fly out the window.

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Neal Stephenson

The best way to know someone is to have a conversation with them.

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Neal Stephenson

...But they had, perversely, been living among people who were peering into the wrong end of the telescope, or something, and who had convinced themselves that the opposite was true - that the world had...

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Neal Stephenson

Men who believe that they are accomplishing something by speaking speak in a different way from men who believe that speaking is a waste of time.

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Neal Stephenson

... you should not believe a thing only because you like to believe it. We call that 'Diax's Rake' ...

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Neal Stephenson

So, you're worried that a pink dragon will fly over the concent and fart nerve gas on us?

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Neal Stephenson

Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts...

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Neal Stephenson

Ares always reemerges from the chaos. It will never go away. Athenian civilization defends itself from the forces of Ares with metis, or technology. Technology is built on science. Science is like the...

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss