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Also it isn’t clear yet whether it was an act of God or an act of war.

Each terrarium functions as an island park for the animals inside it. Ascensions cause hybridization and ultimately new species. The more traditional biomes conserve species that on Earth are radically endangered or extinct in the wild. Some terraria even look like zoos; more are purely wilderness refugia; and most mix parkland and human spaces in patterned habitat corridors that maximize the life of the biome as a whole. As such, these spaces are already crucial to humanity and the Earth. And

Habits begin to form at the very first repetition. After that there is a tropism toward repetition, for the patterns involved are defenses , bulwarks against time and despair.

health, social life, job, house, partners, finances; leisure use, leisure amount; working time, education, income, children; food, water, shelter, clothing, sex, health care; mobility; physical safety, social safety, job security, savings account, insurance, disability protection, family leave, vacation; place tenure, a commons; access to wilderness, mountains, ocean; peace, political stability, political input, political satisfaction; air, water, esteem; status, recognition; home, community, neighbors, civil society, sports, the arts; longevity treatments, gender choice; the opportunity to become more what you are

that's all you need

Here they were, on the only planetary surface on which you could walk freely, naked to the wind and the sun, and when they had a choice, they sat in boxes and stared at littler boxes, just as if they had no choice-as if they were in a space station-

Humans were still not only the cheapest robots around, but also, for many tasks, the only robots that could do the job. They were self-reproducing robots too. They showed up and worked generation after generation; give them 3000 calories a day and a few amenities, a little time off, and a strong jolt of fear, and you could work them at almost anything. Give them some ameliorative drugs and you had a working class, reified and coglike.

Humans were still not only the cheapest robots around, but also, for many tasks, the only robots that could do the job. They were self-reproducing robots too. They showed up and worked, generation after generation; give them three thousand calories a day and a few amenities, a little time off, and a strong jolt of fear, and you could work them at almost anything. Give them some ameliorative drugs and you had a working class, reified and coglike. Again she saw: a big minority of Earth’s population did robot work, and that had never gone away, no matter what political theories said.

if you program a purpose into a computer program, does that constitute its will? Does it have free will, if a programmer programmed its purpose?

if you program a purpose into a computer program, does that constitute its will? Does it have free will, if a programmer programmed its purpose? Is that programming any different from the way we are programmed by our genes and brains? Is a programmed will a servile will? Is human will a servile will? And is not the servile will the home and source of all feelings of defilement, infection, transgression, and rage?

In the pseudoiterative, one performs the ritual of the day attentive to both the joy of the familiar and the shiver of the accidental.

Jevons Paradox,

...knowing too that [the sky] was just a kind of rainbow made it glorious. A rainbow that was blue everywhere and covered everything.

Make up a recipe for a successful revolution."
"Take large masses of injustice, resentment and frustration. Put them in a week or failing hegemon. Sir in misery for a generation or two, until the heat rises. Throw in destabilizing circumstances to taste. A tiny pinch of event to catalyze the whole. Once the main goal of the revolution is achieved, cool instantly to institutionalize the new order.

Maybe that’s what a marriage is,” Mqaret said. “Whistling together. Some kind of performance. I mean, not just a conversation, but a performance.

Memory is a haunting.

Mozart’s pet starling once revised a phrase he wrote. The bird sang it after he played it on the piano, but changed all the sharps to flats. Mozart described it happening in the margin of the score. ‘That was beautiful!’ he wrote. When the bird died, he sang at its funeral, and read a poem to it.

omnipresent sublime,

People are foolish and bad, especially the French, and are always quickly seduced by power into insanity, and therefore lucky to have any kind of social order whatsoever, but the tougher the better.

Sad but true: individual intelligence probably peaked in the Upper Paleolithic, and we have been self-domesticated creatures ever since

Sometimes I think it's only post-scarcity that evil exists. Before that, it could always be put down to want or fear. It was possible to believe, as apparently you did, that when fear and want went away, bad deeds would too. Humanity would be revealed as some kind of bonobo, an altruistic cooperator, a lover of all.

The command to be free is a double bind

The past is always gone,” Wahram said. “Whether the place is still there or not.

the space diaspora occurred as late capitalism writhed in its internal decision concerning whether to destroy Earth’s biosphere or change its rules. Many argued for the destruction of the biosphere, as being the lesser of two evils

Thus physics, chemistry, biology, anthropology, sociology, history, the arts all interpenetrate each other and cohere if considered as a single convergent study. The physical studies scaffold our understanding of the life sciences, which scaffold our understanding of the human sciences, which scaffold the humanities, which scaffold the arts: and here we stand. What then is the totality? What do we call it? Can there be a study of the totality? Do history, philosophy, cosmology, science, and literature each claim to constitute the totality, an unexpandable horizon beyond which we cannot think? Could a strong discipline be defined as one that has a vision of totality and claims to encompass all the rest? And are they all wrong to do so?

we all began female, and always had both sexual hormones in us. We always had masculine and feminine behavioral traits, which we had to train into gender-appropriate behaviors, even though they were traits that everyone has. We selectively encouraged or repressed traits, so for most of our history we have reinforced gender. But in our deepest selves we were always both.

We are here to inscribe ourselves on the universe, and it is not inappropriate to remind ourselves of this when blank slates are given us.

We should think of Earth as our sun. We all revolve around it, and it exerts a huge drag on us.

When you had the world and your body as canvases, why deal in squares of wallpaper?

When you look at the planet from low orbit, the impact of the Himalayas on Earth’s climate seems obvious. It creates the rain shadow to beat all rain shadows, standing athwart the latitude of the trade winds and squeezing all the rain out of them before they head southwest, thus supplying eight of the Earth’s mightiest rivers, but also parching not only the Gobi to the immediate north, but also everything to the southwest, including Pakistan and Iran, Mesopotamia, Saudi Arabia, even North Africa and southern Europe. The dry belt runs more than halfway across the Eurasia-African landmass — a burnt rock landscape, home to the fiery religions that then spread out and torched the rest of the world. Coincidence?

You can either have high specific intelligence or high general intelligence, but not both.