Title: Anathem Authors: Neal Stephenson Category:#supplementals Number of Highlights: 10 Date: 2023-08-31 Last Highlighted: **


“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.”


“The mystic nails a symbol to one meaning that was true for a moment but soon becomes false. The poet, on the other hand, sees that truth while it’s true but understands that symbols are always in flux and that their meanings are fleeting.”

Diax said something that is still very important to us, which is that you should not believe a thing only because you like to believe it. We call that ‘Diax’s Rake’ and sometimes we repeat it to ourselves as a reminder not to let subjective emotions cloud our judgment.”


People have a need to feel that they are part of some sustainable project. Something that will go on without them. It creates a feeling of stability. I believe that the need for that kind of stability is as basic and as desperate as some of the other, more obvious needs.


“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 can be scraped together for particle accelerators.”

Thousands of years ago, the work that people did had been broken down into jobs that were the same every day, in organizations where people were interchangeable parts. All of the story had been bled out of their lives. That was how it had to be; it was how you got a productive economy.


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

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


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


“It is what you don’t expect,” he’d said, “that most needs looking for.”