And we will be ready, at the end of every day will be ready, will not say no to anything, will try to stay awake while everyone is sleeping, will not sleep, will make the shoes with the elves, will breathe deeply all the time, breathe in all the air full of glass and nails and blood, will breathe it and drink it, so rich, so when it comes we will not be angry, will be content, tired enough to go, gratefully, will shake hands with everyone, bye, bye, and then pack a bag, some snacks, and go to the volcano.
First of all:
I am tired.
I am true of heart!
You are tired.
You are true of heart!
Matter of fact, the first three or four chapters are all some of you might want to bother with. That gets you to page 123 or so, which is a nice length, a nice novella sort of length.
‘Yeah, I changed your name.’
I am sorry Chris is late this morning. I could make something up about an appointment or a sickness, but the fact is that we woke up late. Go figure
Brother of Toph.
Ooh, look at me, I’m Dave, I’m writing a book! With all my thoughts in it. La la la!
. . . I’ll raise my arms and give you my chest and throat and wait, and I’ve been so old for so long for you, for you, I want it fast and right through me— Oh do it, do it you motherfuckers do it you fuckers finally, finally, finally.
We’re best at the long high throws. Like when you take four or five steps and rip it— It’s almost like a shotput approach, the steps, four or five quick, one over the other, kind of sideways-like—and then you slash away with that fucker, it’s such a violent act, throwing that white thing, you’re first cradling it to your breast and then you whip that fucker as hard as you can while keeping it level, keeping it straight, but otherwise with everything you can send with it you whip that fucker like it had blades on it and you wanted it to cut straight through the paperblue sky like a screen, rip through it and have it be blood and back space beyond.
We cannot fathom why people would stand across the street, easily a hundred feet away, when they could be so close, near us.
‘Suckers.’ I tell Toph, thumbing toward those watching from so far away. It is important, I feel, that the boy knows what suckers look like.”
Toph does not know the words, and I know few of the words, but you cannot fucking stop us from singing
— Mr. Churchill you were given a mission.
— I want to have been given your mission. I want your place in world events, the centrality of it. You were born in the cradle of a catapult!
— You are wrong. I found my mission.
— I disagree.
— If you must.
— Tell me: where is my mission? Where are my bunkers and trenches, my goddamn Gallipoli?
Hand took a breath and opened his palms, as if accepting the gift of rain. "YOU SHALL KNOW OUR VELOCITY!" he bellowed into the cold exhausted city.
There are people who meet strangers and people, like me, who know only those they’ve known from birth
I was feeling everything too much. Everything was pulling at my eyes.
We’d have a motherfucking shitload of dogs! Horses. Peacocks. Oh to live among peacocks. I’d seen them once in person and they defied so many laws of color and gravity that they had to be made geniuses waiting to take over everything.
I was a looker someone who looked over at every car at every traffic light, hoping something would happen, and almost never finding anyone looking back- always everyone looking forward, and every time I felt stupid. Why should people look over at you? Why would they care?
But that in any city, in any cluster of people, there a few people who are awake at this hour, who are both awake and dancing, and it’s here that we need to be. That if we are living as we were this week, that we had to be awake with the people who are still dancing.
We sleep when we fall. We only sleep when we can’t move anymore. That’s juvenile. But it means everything. It’s the illusion of progress. Staying awake isn’t progress. The illusion is enough.
When we pass by another person without telling them we love them it’s cruel and wrong and we all know this.
What did we want? We want the world smaller and bigger and just the same but advancing. We don’t know what we want.
What are we allowed to do when we’re looking for things we’re required to do?
The pain is not great. But the symbolism is disagreeable.
Ch. 5, pp. 50
Humans are divided between those who can still look through the eyes of youth and those who cannot. Though it causes me frequent pain, I find it very easy to place myself in the shoes of almost any boy, and can conjure my own youth with an ease that is troublesome.
Ch. 10, p. 110
I cannot count the times I have cursed our lack of urgency. If I ever love again, I will not wait to love as best as I can. We thought we were young and that there would be time to love well sometime in the future. This is a terrible way to think. It is no way to live, to wait to love.
Ch. 21, pp. 317-318
I speak to these people, and I speak to you because I cannot help it. It gives me strength, almost unbelievable strength, to know that you are there. I covet your eyes, your ears, the collapsible space between us. How blessed are we to have each other? I am alive and you are alive so we must fill the air with our words. I will fill today, tomorrow, every day until I am taken back to God. I will tell stories to people who will listen and to people who don’t want to listen, to people who seek me out and to those who run. All the while I will know that you are there. How can I pretend that you do not exist? It would be almost as impossible as you pretending that I do not exist.
"It's not that I'm not social. I'm social enough. But the tools you guys create actually manufacture unnaturally extreme social needs. No one needs the level of contact you're purveying. It improves nothing. It's not nourishing. It's like snack food. You know how they engineer this food? They scientifically determine precisely how much salt and fat they need to include to keep you eating. You're not hungry, you don't need the food, it does nothing for you, but you keep eating these empty calories. This is what you're pushing. Same thing. Endless empty calories, but the digital-social equivalent. And you calibrate it so it's equally addictive."
Mercer, to Mae; p. 134
"If there's a locked door, I start to make up all kinds of stories about what might be behind it. I feel like it's some kind of secret, and it leads to me making up lies. But if all the doors are open, physically and metaphorically, there's only the one truth."
Mae, to Bailey; p. 299
"It was selfish and nothing more. The same way a child doesn't want to share her favorite toy. I understand that secrecy is part of, well, an aberrant behavior system. It comes from a bad place, not a place of light and generosity. And when you deprive your friends, or someone like your son Gunner, of experiences like I had, you're basically stealing from them. You're depriving them of something they have a right to. Knowledge is a basic human right. Equal access to all possible human experience is a basic human right."
Mae, to Bailey; p. 303
"I understand that we're obligated, as humans, to share what we see and know. And that all knowledge must be democratically accessible."
"It's the natural state of information to be free."
Mae and Bailey; p. 304
SECRETS ARE LIES
SHARING IS CARING
PRIVACY IS THEFT
"What would transparency be if we could delete anything we felt was embarrassing in some way? You know we don't delete."
Eamon Bailey, to Mae; p. 372
"When everything is known, everything acceptable will be accepted."
Eamon Bailey, to Mae; pp. 372-372
"You and yours at the Circle, you're gonna save all the souls. You're gonna get everyone in one place, you're gonna teach them all the same things. There can only be one morality, one set of rules. Imagine! Now all humans will have the eyes of God. You know this passage? 'All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of God.' Something like that. You know your Bible? Now we're all God. Every one of us will soon be able to see, and cast judgment upon, every other. We'll see what He sees. We'll articulate His judgment. We'll channel His wrath and deliver His forgiveness. On a constant and global level. All religion has been waiting for this, when every human is a direct and immediate messenger of God's will. Do you see what I'm saying?"
Man, to Mae and Francis; pp. 398-399
Openness is all, she thought. Truth was its own reward.
It was not knowing that was the seed of madness, loneliness, fear. But there were ways to solve all this. Clarity had made her knowable to the world, and had made her better, had brought her close, she hoped, to perfection. Now the world would follow. Full transparency would bring full access, and there would be no more not-knowing. Mae smiled, thinking about how simple it all was, how pure. Bailey shared her smile.
"Don't you see that's just one of the consequences of all this? There will be more Mercers. So many more. So many people who do't want to be found but who will be. So any people who wanted no part of all this. That's what's new. There used to be the option of opting out. But now that's over. Completion is the end. We're closing the circle around everyone - it's a totalitarian nightmare."
Kalden/Ty, to Mae; p. 486
"I want you to connect these dots and see if you see what I see. Picture this. The Circle has been devouring all competitors for years, correct? It only makes the company stronger. Already 90 percent of the world's searches go through the Circle. Without competitors, this will increase. Soon it'll be nearly 100 percent. Now, you and I both know that if you can control the flow of information, you can control everything. You can control most of what anyone sees and knows. If you want to bury some piece of information, permanently, that's two seconds' work. If you want to ruin anyone, that's five minutes' work. How can anyone rise up against the Circle if they control all the information and access to it? They want everyone to have a Circle account, and they're well on their way to making it illegal not to. What happens then? What happens when they control all searches, and have full access to all data about every person? When they know every move everyone makes? When all monetary transactions, all health and DNA information, every piece of one's life, good or bad, when every word uttered flows through one channel?"
Kalden/Ty, to Mae; pp. 487-488
"Under the guise of having every voice heard, you create mob rule, a filterless society where secrets are crimes."
Kalden/Ty, to Mae; p. 488
"Most people would trade everything they know, everyone they know - they'd trade it all to know they've been seen, and acknowledged, that they might even be remembered/ We all know we die. We all know the world is too big for us to be significant. So all we have is the hope of beign seen, or heard, even for a moment."