ddictions ... started out like magical pets, pocket monsters. They did extraordinary tricks, showed you things you hadn't seen, were fun. But came, through some gradual dire alchemy, to make decisions for you. Eventually, they were making your most crucial life-decisions. And they were ... less intelligent than goldfish.
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There is always a point at which the terrorist ceases to manipulate the media gestalt. A point at which the violence may well escalate, but beyond which the terrorist has become symptomatic of the media gestalt itself. Terrorism as we ordinarily understand it is innately media-related.
She knows, now, absolutely, hearing the white noise that is London, that Damien's theory of jet lag is correct: that her mortal soul is leagues behind her, being reeled in on some ghostly umbilical down the vanished wake of the plane that brought her here, hundreds of thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Souls can't move that quickly, and are left behind, and must be awaited, upon arrival, like lost luggage.
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Voodou isn't like that. It isn't concerned with notions of salvation and transcendence. What it's about is getting things done. You follow me? In out system, there are many gods, spirits. Part of one big family, with all the virtues, all the vices. There's a ritual tradition of communal manifestation, understand? Voodou says, there's a God, sure, Gran Met, but He's big, too big and too far away to worry Himself if your ass is poor, or you can't get laid. Come on, man, you know how this works, it's street religion, came out of dirt poor places a million years ago. Voodou's like the street. Some duster chops out your sister, you don't go camp on the Yakuza's doorstep, do you? No way. You go to somebody, though, who can get the thing done. Right?
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It is a way now, approximately, of being at home. The forum has become one of the most consistent places of her life, like a familiar cafe that exists someone outside geography and beyond time zones. There are perhaps twenty regular posters on F:F:F:, and some muchlarger and uncounted number of lurkers. And right now there are three people in Chat. But there's no way of knowing exactly who until you are in there, and the chat room she finds not so comforting. It's strange even with friends, like sitting in a pitch-dark cellar conversing with people at a distance of about fifteen feet. the hectic speed, and the brevity of the lines in the thread, plus the feeling that everyone is talking at once, at counmter-purposes, deter her.
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They'd run all these tests on him and decided he wasn't racist. He wasn't, either, but not because he thought about it particularly. He just couldn't see the point. It just made for a lot of hassle, being that way, so why be that way? Nobody was going to go back and live where they lived before, were they, and if they did (he vaguely suspected) there wouldn't be any Mongolian barbecue and maybe we'd all be listening to Pentecostal Metal and anyway the President was black.
That's what money will buy you, in America, ' Brown had said, firmly. 'People say Americans are materialistic. But do you know why?' 'Why?' asked Milgrim, more concerned with this uncharacteristically expansive mode of expression on Brown's part. 'Because they have better stuff, ' Brown had replied. 'No other reason.
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Case had always taken it for granted that the real bosses, the kingpins in a given industry, would be both more and less than people... He'd seen it in the men who'd crippled him in Memphis, he'd seen Wage affect the semblance of it in Night City, and it had allowed him to accept Armitrage's flatness and lack of feeling. He'd always imagined it as a gradual and willing accommodation of the machine, the system, the parent organism. It was the root of street cool, too, the knowing posture that implied connection, invisible lines up to hidden levels of influence.
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A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he'd taken and the corners he cut in Night City, and he'd still see the matrix in his dreams, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colourless void... The Sprawl was a long, strange way home now over the Pacific, and he was no Console Man, no cyberspace cowboy. Just another hustler, trying to make it through. But the dreams came on in the Japanese night like livewire voodoo, and he'd cry for it, cry in his sleep, and wake alone in the dark, curled in his capsule in some coffin hotel, hands clawed into the bedslab, temper foam bunched between his fingers, trying to reach the console that wasn't there.
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People who couldn't imagine themselves capable of evil were at a major disadvantage in dealing with people who didn't need to imagine, because they already were. She'd said it was always a mistake, to believe those people were different, special, infected with something that was inhuman, subhuman, fundamentally other. Which reminded her of what her mother had said about Corbell Picket. That evil wasn't glamorous, but just the result of ordinary half-assed badness, high school badness, given enough room, however that might happen, to become its bigger self. Bigger, with more horrible results, but never more than the cumulative weight of ordinary human baseness.
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Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding...
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I personally recall that world, which you can only imagine was preferable to this one, ' she said. 'Eras are conveniences, particularly for those who never experienced them. We carve history from totalities beyond our grasp. Bolt labels on the result. Handles. Then speak of the handles as though they were things in themselves.
There are tumults of the mind, when, like the great convulsions of Nature, all seems anarchy and returning chaos; yet often, in those moments of vast disturbance, as in the strife of Nature itself, some new principle of order, or some new impulse of conduct, develops itself, and controls, and regulates, and brings to an harmonious consequence, passions and elements which seem only to threaten despair and subversion.
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She'd first seen Covent Garden after a heavy snow, walking with her hand in Win's, and she remembers the secret silence of London then, the amazing hush of it, slush crunching beneath her feet and the sound made by trapezoidal sections of melting snow falling from wires overhead. Win had told her that she was seeing London as it had looked long ago, the cars mostly put away and the modern bits shrouded in white, allowing the outlines of something older to emerge. And what she had seen, that childhood day, was that it was not a place that consisted of buildings, side by side, as she thought of cities in America, but a literal and continuous maze, a single living structure (because still it grew) of brick and stone.
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Farber says (in my recollection, anyway) the European (or classical) art, including film, is culturally assumed to be a monumental slab. It's about that slab, and how it's been shaped, or what's been carved on it. In "termite art" though, your slab has been wormholed countless times, and its meaning is really taking place in the resulting interstices. The actual art of the piece, in other words, and your enjoyment of it, is taking place in the cracks, and the shape of the slab is coincidental and ultimately meaningless.
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