Quotes from “Blindsight” by Peter Watts

They must have been sentient to some degree, but that semi-aware dream state would have been a rudimentary thing next to our own self-obsession. They were weeding it out. It was just a phase. They were on their way.
The thing is, humans can look at crosses without going into convulsions. That's evolution for you; one stupid linked mutation and the whole natural order falls apart, intelligence and self-awareness stuck in counterproductive lock-step for half a million years. I think I know what's happening back on Earth, and though some might call it genocide it isn't really. We did it to ourselves. You can't blame predators for being predators. We were the ones who brought them back, after all. Why wouldn't they reclaim their birthright?

Not genocide. Just the righting of an ancient wrong.

I've tried to take some comfort in that. It's—difficult. Sometimes it seems as though my whole life's been a struggle to reconnect, to regain whatever got lost when my parents killed their only child. Out in the Oort, I finally won that struggle. Thanks to a vampire and a boatload of freaks and an invading alien horde, I'm Human again. Maybe the last Human. By the time I get home, I could be the only sentient being in the universe.
Gödel was right after all: no system can fully understand itself.
Make a conscious choice. Decide to move your index finger. Too late! The electricity's already halfway down your arm. Your body began to act a full half-second before your conscious self 'chose' to, for the self chose nothing; something else set your body in motion, sent an executive summary—almost an afterthought— to the homunculus behind your eyes. That little man, that arrogant subroutine that thinks of itself as the person, mistakes correlation for causality: it reads the summary and it sees the hand move, and it thinks that one drove the other.
"You're not listening. The trap you set wouldn't have caught anything like that, not unless it wanted to be caught. We didn't grab specimens at all. We grabbed spies."
Can you explain Siri's blindness to it?" Sarasti said.
"I can't," Cunningham admitted. "It's beyond ordinary crypsis. But Rorschach makes you see all sorts of things that aren't there. Not seeing something that is there might come down to essentially the same thing."
Bondfast™ Formula IV

-Opioid Receptor Promoters / Maternal Response Stimulant?

"Strengthening ties between Mother and Child since 2042"
"All agreed? You don't have a working majority in there, Suze. Just because you cut your brain into pieces doesn't mean they each get a vote."
Imagine a crown of thorns, twisted, dark and unreflective, grown too thickly tangled to ever rest on any human head. Put it in orbit around a failed star whose own reflected half-light does little more than throw its satellites into silhouette. Occasional bloody highlights glinted like dim embers from its twists and crannies; they only emphasized the darkness everywhere else.
He's fighting the urge to eat us every time we have a briefing? That's reassuring."
I deal with other people's information. I don't vomit my own personal life into the public sphere.
My mother's heaven smelled of cinnamon.
Sometimes its contours, even in conventional space, are just too intricate for our brains to track; other times its very axes extend into dimensions inconceivable to minds built to fuck and fight on some prehistoric grassland.
"When it is dark enough, you can see the stars."
when your veins were more than dry twisted filaments of beef jerky.

Когда ваши вены были чем-то большим, чем сухие переплетенные нити вяленого мяса

On the other hand, the dodos and the Steller sea cows could have used exactly the same argument to prove their own superiority, a thousand years ago: if we’re so unfit, why haven’t we gone extinct? Why? Because natural selection takes time, and luck plays a role. The biggest boys on the block at any given time aren’t necessarily the fittest, or the most efficient, and the game isn’t over. The game is never over; there’s no finish line this side of heat death. And so, neither can there be any winners. There are only those who haven’t yet lost.
“If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn’t.”
—Emerson M. Pugh
This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: you hurt it, and keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the speech from the screams.
Technology Implies Belligerence
“Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them.”
—Robert Jarvik
Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)