Thursday, November 27, 2014

"Blindsight" quotes

"...who looks out from its eyes? What does it reduce to? Who am I?"

Gödel was right after all: no system can fully understand itself."

What is Human history, if not an ongoing succession of greater technologies grinding lesser ones beneath their boots?” 

People simply can’t accept that patterns carry their own intelligence, quite apart from the semantic content that clings to their surfaces; if you manipulate the topology correctly, that content just comes along for the ride.” 

You can’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to wallow in the sheer beauty of language.” 

...something ELSE set your body in motion, sent an executive summary - almost an afterthought - to the homunculus behind your eyes ...that arrogant subroutine that thinks of itself as The person, mistakes correlation for causality," ...and thinks He moved the finger” 

Perfection’s unattainable but it isn’t unapproachable.” 

The second mouse gets the cheese.” 

We don’t really see anything except a few hi-res degrees where the eye focuses. Everything else is just peripheral blur, just … light and motion. Motion draws the focus.  And your eyes jiggle all the time, did you know that, Keeton? Saccades, they’re called. Blurs the image, the movement’s way too fast for the brain to integrate so your eye just … shuts down between pauses. It only grabs these isolated freeze-frames, but your brain edits out the blanks and stitches an … an illusion of continuity into your head.” He turned to face me. “And you know what’s really amazing? If something only moves during the gaps, your brain just … ignores it. It’s invisible.” 


Technology is a stunted thing in benign environments, it never thrived in any culture gripped by belief in natural harmony. Why invent fusion reactors if your climate is comfortable, if your food is abundant? Why build fortresses if you have no enemies? Why force change upon a world that poses no threat?” 

― Peter WattsBlindsight

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