“People had huddled back into the old core of the city; and once the suburbs had been looted, they burned. Like Moscow in 1812, acts of God or vandalism: they are no longer wanted, and they burned. Fireweed, from which bees make the finest honey of all.”—Ursula Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven
“Things don’t have purposes, as if the universe were a machine, where every part has a useful function. What’s the function of a galaxy? I don’t know if our life has a purpose and I don’t see that it matters. What does matter is that we’re a part. Like a thread in a cloth or a grass blade in a field. It is and we are. What we do is like wind blowing on the grass.”—Ursula Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven
“There has to be an end somewhere. It’s just that nothing’s labeled ‘This is the end.’ Is the top rung of a ladder labeled ‘This is the last rung. Please don’t step higher than this?’”—Haruki Murakami, 1Q84
“No, I don’t give them names, but I can tell one from another by their shapes and patterns. And besides, there wouldn’t be much point in giving them names: they die so quickly. These people are your nameless friends, for just a little while. I come here every day, say hello to the butterflies, and talk about things with them. When the time comes, though, they just quietly go off and disappear. I’m sure it means they’ve died, but I can never find their bodies. They don’t leave any trace behind. It’s as if they’ve been absorbed by the air. They’re dainty little creatures that hardly exist at all: they come out of nowhere, search quietly for a few, limited things, and disappear into nothingness again, perhaps to some other world.”—Haruki Murakami on butterflies, 1Q84
“There is no-one in this world who can’t be replaced. A person might have enormous knowledge or ability, but a successor can almost always be found. It would be terrible for us if the world were full of people who couldn’t be replaced.”—Haruki Murakami, 1Q84
“Math is like water. It has lots of different theories, of course, but its basic logic is very simple. Just as water flows from high to low over the shortest possible distance, figures can only flow in one direction. You just have to keep your eye on them for the route to reveal itself.”—Haruki Murakami, 1Q84
“Probably you’re right. But now you’re remembering and you’ve already decided what you saw. When you remember things you also change them, each time you remember more what you think happened.”—Nick Harkaway, Tigerman
“After you do something like that, the everyday look of things might seem to change a little. Things may look different to you than they did before. I’ve had that experience myself. But don’t let appearances fool you. There’s always only one reality.”—Haruki Murakami, 1Q84
“The butler who wanted to infuse Yeats with refreshments positioned himself so that Yeats need only take a step forward for a champagne flute to slide effortlessly info his left hand, but Yeats didn’t know this butler, and in no fucking universe did he allow strangers to insert fluids into his body.”—Max Barry, Lexicon
“Night City was like a deranged experiment in social Darwinism, designed by a bored researcher who kept one thumb permanently on the fast-forward button.”—William Gibson, Neuromancer (via thephoenixsaid)
One of my favourite books being appreciated by one of my favourite people!
“First, if any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility. Secondly, though the silenced opinion be an error, it may, and very commonly does, contain a portion of truth; and since the general or prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied. Thirdly, even if the received opinion be not only true, but the whole truth; unless it is suffered to be, and actually is, vigorously and earnestly contested, it will, by most of those who receive it, be held in the manner of a prejudice, with little comprehension or feeling of its rational grounds. And not only this, but, fourthly, the meaning of the doctrine itself will be in danger of being lost, or enfeebled, and deprived of its vital effect on the character and conduct: the dogma becoming a mere formal profession, inefficacious for good, but cumbering the ground, and preventing the growth of any real and heartfelt conviction, from reason or personal experience.”—J.S. Mill, On Liberty
It doesn’t feel so much like a leap of faith as something I know in my heart.’
'The heart is a muscle,' Bigend corrects. 'You 'know' in your limbic brain. The seat of instinct. The mammalian brain. Deeper, wider, beyond logic. That is where advertising world, not in the upstart cortex. What we think of as 'mind' is only a sort of jumped up gland, piggy backing on the reptilian brain stem and the older, mammalian mind, but our culture tricks is into recognising it as all of consciousness. The mammalian spreads continent wide beneath it, mute and muscular, attending it's ancient agenda. And make us buy things.'
“At first I had insisted I could only work at a company with a mission I believed in. Then I thought maybe it would be fine as long as I was learning something new. After that I decided it just couldn’t be evil. Now I was carefully delineating my personal definition of evil.”—
“Of course, we have no idea, now, of who or what the inhabitants of our future might be. In that sense, we have no future. Not in the sense that our grandparents had a future, or thought they did. Fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day, one in which ‘now’ was of some greater duration. For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures like our grandparents’ have I sufficient ‘now’ to stand on. We have no future because our present is too volatile. We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment’s scenarios. Pattern recognition.”—William Gibson, Pattern Recognition
I like your blog a lot, your school looks like a very beautiful place :) What are some of your most favourite books?
Thanks! I’m glad to hear you enjoy it. Corpus really is a beautiful place to study, and I’m very sad that this will be my final year there.
Favourite books is a difficult question! One of my absolute favourites is The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway. It’s difficult to describe, but it’s basically an apocalypse novel but with a tonne of cool twists on the idea and a great sense of humour. It also has the best plot twist of any novel I’ve ever read. I also really like The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi, for similar reasons- it’s full of a wealth of imaginative ideas. The far-future world its set in is very complex and comes with a large stock of new vocabulary to match. A lot of people have found it difficult to follow because of that, but I really like how it develops its own language, even if it isn’t always one I can understand! Outside of sci-fi, I really like The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano (which is really full of great quotes, a lot of which have ended up on my blog). He writes in the voices of a lot of different characters, all of whom feel distinct and interesting. Finally, I really love A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway. It’s rare that a book can make me cry, but that one really did.