Nods Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Neel cuts in: "Where'd you grow up?" "Palo Alto, " she says. From there to Stanford to Google: for a girl obsessed with the outer limits of human potential, Kat has stayed pretty close to home. Neel nods knowingly. "The suburban mind cannot comprehend the emergent complexity of a New York sidewalk." "I don't know about that, " Kat says, narrowing her eyes. "I'm pretty good with complexity." "See, I know what you're thinking, " Neel says, shaking his head. "You're thinking it's just an agent-based simulation, and everybody out here follows a pretty simple set of rules"- Kat is nodding-"and if you can figure out those rules, you can model it. You can simulate the street, then the neighborhood, then the whole city. Right?" "Exactly. I mean, sure, I don't know what the rules are yet, but I could experiment and figure them out, and then it would be trivial-" "Wrong, " Neel says, honking like a game-show buzzer. "You can't do it. Even if you know the rules- and by the way, there are no rules-but even if there were, you can't model it. You know why?" My best friend and my girlfriend are sparring over simulations. I can only sit back and listen. Kat frowns. "Why?" "You don't have enough memory." "Oh, come on-" "Nope. You could never hold it all in memory. No computer's big enough. Not even your what's-it-called-" "The Big Box." "That's the one. It's not big enough. This box-" Neel stretches out his hands, encompasses the sidewalk, the park, the streets beyond-"is bigger." The snaking crowd surges forward.

Robin Sloan
Where's your car? Miles asks, glancing at him as he slams his door shut and slings his backpack over his shoulder. "And whats up with your hand?" "I got rid of it, " Damen says, gaze fixed on mine. Then glancing at Miles and seeing his expression he adds, "The car, not the hand." "Did you trade it in?" I ask, but only because Miles is listening. [... ] He shakes his head and walks me to the gate, smiling as he says, "No, I just dropped off on the side of the road, key in the ignition, engine running." "Excuse me?!" Miles yelps. "You mean to tell me that you left your shiny, black, BMW M6 Coupe-by the side of the road?" Damen nods. But thats a hundred-thousand-dollar car!" Miles gasps as his face turns bright red. "A hundreds and ten." Damen laughs. "Don't forget, it was fully customized and loaded with options." Miles stares at him, eyes practically bugging out of his head, unable to comprehend how anyone could do such a thing-why anyone would do such a thing. "Um, okay, so let me get this straight-you just woke up and decided-Hey, what the hell? I think I'll just dump my ridiculously expensive luxury car by the side of the road-WHERE JUST ANYONE CAN TAKE IT?" Damen shrugs. "Pretty much." "Because in case you haven't noticed, " Miles says, practically hyperventilating now. "Some of us are a little car deprived. Some of us were born with parents so cruel and unusual they're forced to rely on the kindness of friends for the rest of their lives!" "Sorry." Damen shrugs. "Guess I hadn't thought about that. Though if it makes you feel any better, it was all for a very good cause.

Alyson Noel
Now, it may be objected that Orwell was no Borges, that Nineteen Eighty-Four is no postmodern literary experiment, and that I am considering the Appendix too curiously. Perhaps the Newspeak essay should be seen simply as a parody 'presented in the form of a mock-survey, scientific and historical, of the language of Oceania, ' whose purpose is to illustrate 'how a totalitarian oligarchy uses the rational tools of science as the instrument of power.' Or perhaps the problem I have identified could be explained as one more manifestation of 'the generic contradiction between naturalism and satire that is the basic formal determinant of the book.' Furthermore, it is pointless to second-guess an author; there are commonsense explanations for Orwell's decision to place the Newspeak essay in an Appendix, and for his failure to identify precisely the essay's author; the incongruities between the Appendix and the novel proper do not reduce the political urgency of the total work; it is a mistake to come to Nineteen Eighty-Four with expectations derived from more conventional novels; paradoxes are the stuff of futuristic stories; readers have a duty to suspend their disbelief; even Homer nods. But, if it was unlike Orwell to lure us deliberately into a hall of mirrors, he certainly did not lack ingenuity. And, even if he encountered difficulties he was unable to solve, his imperfect solutions were consonant with the plan to convey a world deprived of 'objective truth.' Even though his handling of the Appendix may have had unforeseen consequences for the book as a whole, the confusion raised by the document nevertheless 'works.' The footnote's implied promise of verification is hollow, and the reader's attempts to determine the 'objective truth' about Oceania-its social and political structure, its language, its fate-are frustrated. By trying to reconcile the novel and the Appendix, we experience for ourselves-'outside' the novel, as it were-what it might be like to inhabit a world in which the authenticity (never mind the accuracy or objectivity) of all documents is in doubt, in which documents are almost dreamlike, unfixed in time, infused with self-contradiction, at once recognisable and cryptic. Those who keep a checklist of Orwell's 'prophecies' may credit him with anticipating and dramatising the age of 'disinformation.

Richard K. Sanderson
I will not mention the name (and what bits of it I happen to give here appear in decorous disguise) of that man, that Franco-Hungarian writer... I would rather not dwell upon him at all, but I cannot help it- he is surging up from under my pen. Today one does not hear much about him; and this is good, for it proves that I was right in resisting his evil spell, right in experiencing a creepy chill down my spine whenever this or that new book of his touched my hand. The fame of his likes circulates briskly but soon grows heavy and stale; and as for history it will limit his life story to the dash between two dates. Lean and arrogant, with some poisonous pun ever ready to fork out and quiver at you, and with a strange look of expectancy in his dull brown veiled eyes, this false wag had, I daresay, an irresistible effect on small rodents. Having mastered the art of verbal invention to perfection, he particularly prided himself on being a weaver of words, a title he valued higher than that of a writer; personally, I never could understand what was the good of thinking up books, of penning things that had not really happened in some way or other; and I remember once saying to him as I braved the mockery of his encouraging nods that, were I a writer, I should allow only my heart to have imagination, and for the rest rely upon memory, that long-drawn sunset shadow of one's personal truth. I had known his books before I knew him; a faint disgust was already replacing the aesthetic pleasure which I had suffered his first novel to give me. At the beginning of his career, it had been possible perhaps to distinguish some human landscape, some old garden, some dream- familiar disposition of trees through the stained glass of his prodigious prose... but with every new book the tints grew still more dense, the gules and purpure still more ominous; and today one can no longer see anything at all through that blazoned, ghastly rich glass, and it seems that were one to break it, nothing but a perfectly black void would face one's shivering soul. But how dangerous he was in his prime, what venom he squirted, with what whips he lashed when provoked! The tornado of his passing satire left a barren waste where felled oaks lay in a row, and the dust still twisted, and the unfortunate author of some adverse review, howling with pain, spun like a top in the dust.

Vladimir Nabokov
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