The tree is happy because it is scarcely sentient; the hard rock is happier still, it feels nothing: there is no pain as great as being alive, no burden heavier than that of conscious life. Fatalidad (Fatality), Rubén Darío
This is a more precise, but less certain world. -Ian Ayres, in Super Crunchers
But something mystical persisted, a hint, the presence of a vital spark. A computer booting up is creating itself ex nihilo, each stage of activity generating the grounds for the next. A tiny trickle of electricity to a dormant chip allows it to take a roll call of components, which then participate in a simple exchange of instructions, a setting out of terms and conditions that generates a more complex exchange, and then another, tier after tier of language coming into being until the display of a holiday photograph or the sweep of a pointer across a spreadsheet become thinkable, their meanings reaching all the way back down into binary simplicity.
All You Who Sleep Tonight, Vikram Seth:
All you who sleep tonight Far from the ones you love, No hand to left or right, And emptiness above -- Know that you aren't alone. The whole world shares your tears, Some for two nights or one, And some for all their years.
Nuc lento sonitu dicunt, morieris.
Now this bell tolling softly for another, says to me, Thou must die.
...No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee...
When a phrase is born, it is both good and bad at the same time. The secret of its success rests in a crux that is barely discernible. One's fingertips must grasp the key, gently warming it. And then the key must be turned once, not twice.
No iron spike can pierce a human heart as icily as a period in the right place.
I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which still survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing else remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.
What could my mother be to yours? What kin is my father to yours anyway? And how did you and I meet ever? But in love our hearts have mingled like red earth and pouring rain.