All the Birds in the Sky

A society that has to burn witches to hold itself together is a society that has already failed, and just doesn't know it yet.

Boredom is the mind’s scar tissue.

But the real point is, how do you ever know your own emotions are spontaneous and genuine, and not just a programmed set of responses?

every time you solve a problem you’d cause another problem. And maybe all these plagues and droughts are nature’s way of striking a balance? We humans don’t have any natural predators left, so nature has to find other ways to handle us.

(He had already figured out a great universal truth, that people never asked for documentation of anything, as long as you asked them for documentation first.)

He would never, ever be able to pull his butt out of this sofa, he was just going to get dragged in deeper until he was swallowed, as if by a Venus Asstrap. Every

I am unflappable,” Laurence told the bus driver. Who shrugged, as if he’d thought so too, once upon a time, until someone had flapped him.

If they had given standardized tests in assassin school, he would not have lasted a day.

I have a pretty reasonably shrewd idea of where we go from here,” said Dirrp. “At least, a sort of a notion.

It’s his life. One tends to privilege personal insights in such matters.

Loose ends are cool... Loose ends mean that you are still living your life. The person who dies with the most loose ends wins.

Love was the most susceptible to random failure of all human enterprises.

no matter what you do, people are going to expect you to be someone you’re not. But if you’re clever and lucky and work your butt off, then you get to be surrounded by people who expect you to be the person you wish you were.

One day the Singularity would elevate humans to cybernetic superbeings, and maybe then people would say what they meant.
Probably not, though.

On the long drive home, Laurence tuned out his parents explaining to him that life isn’t an adventure, for chrissake, life is a long slog and a series of responsibilities and demands. When Laurence was old enough to do what he liked, he would be old enough to understand he couldn’t do what he liked.

People who told you to "think fast" were always those who thought much more slowly than you did.

Self-awareness paradoxically requires an awareness of the other,

Self-awareness paradoxically requires an awareness of the other.

Serafina was late for dinner because her emotional robots had been having a nervous breakdown.

Society is the choice between freedom on someone else’s terms and slavery on yours.

Someone who doesn’t care if they get Tater Tots or turnip slurry is a person who has given up on life.

Sometimes I wish I was crazy, it would make everything easier.

That’s the definition of evil right there: not faking it like everybody else. Because all of us crazy fuckers can’t stand it when someone else lets their crazy show.

The bookstore had no musty “old books” smell, and instead it had a nice oaky aroma, similar to the way Laurence imagined the whiskey casks would be before you put Scotch into them for aging. This was a place where you would age well.

We don’t need better emotional communication from machines. We need people to have more empathy. The reason the Uncanny Valley exists is because humans created it to put other people into. It’s how we justify killing each other.

What was worse, being crazy or being evil?

When the world turns chaotic, we must be the better part of chaos.

You celebrated the small victories, and you dreamed of the big ones to come.

You know... no matter what you do, people are going to expect you to be someone you're not. But if you're clever and lucky and work your butt off, then you get to be surrounded by people who expect you to be the person you wish you were.

You never learned the secret,” said Roberta. “How to be a crazy motherfucker and get away with it. Everybody else does it. What, you didn’t think they were all sane, did you? Not a one of them. They’re all crazier than you and me put together. They just know how to fake it. You could too, but you’ve chosen to torture all of us instead. That’s the definition of evil right there: not faking it like everybody else. Because all of us crazy fuckers can’t stand it when someone else lets their crazy show. It’s like bugs under the skin. We have to destroy you. It’s nothing personal.