“Do you think he made the right choice?”

“I don’t know,” Orolo said without hesitation. “These are big questions. What does the human organism seek? Beyond food, water, shelter, and reproduction, I mean.”

“Happiness, I guess.”

“Which is something you can get, in a shallow way, simply by eating the food that they eat out there,” Orolo pointed out. “And yet still the people extramuros yearn for things. They join different kinds of arks all the time. What’s the point in that?”

I thought about Jesry’s family and mine. “I guess people like to think that they are not only living but propagating their way of life.”

“That’s right. 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. But there’s more than one way to get it. We may not think much of the sline subculture, but you have to admit it’s stable! Then the burgers have a completely different kind of stability.”

“As do we.”

— Neal Stephenson, Anathem, HarperCollins 2008, pp. 204-205

Published in: on April 8, 2010 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

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