Some complain that e-mail is impersonal–that your contact with me, during the e-mail phase of our relationship, was mediated by wires and screens and cables. Some would say that’s not as good as conversing face-to-face. And yet our seeing of things is always mediated by corneas, retinas, optic nerves, and some neural machinery that takes the information from the optic nerve and propagates it into our minds. So, is looking at words on a screen so very much inferior? I think not; at least then you are conscious of the distortions. Whereas, when you see someone with your eyes, you forget about the distortions and imagine you are experiencing them purely and immediately.
— Neal Stephenson, an excerpt from Cryptonomicon
I am ashamed of my century
for being so entertaining
but I have to smile
— Frank O’Hara, an excerpt from “Naptha”
Violence stinks, no matter which end of it you’re on. But now and then there’s nothing left to do but hit the other person over the head with a frying pan. Sometimes people are just begging for that frypan, and if we weaken for a moment and honor their request, we should regard it as impulsive philanthropy, which we aren’t in any position to afford, but shouldn’t regret it too loudly lest we spoil the purity of the deed.
— Tom Robbins, an excerpt from one of his books, exact book unknown