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Quotes of the day: Rudy Rucker

Published Saturday, March 22, 2014 @ 12:01 AM EDT
Mar 22 2014

Rudolf von Bitter Rucker (born March 22, 1946) is an American mathematician, computer scientist, science fiction author, and philosopher, and is one of the founders of the cyberpunk literary movement. The author of both fiction and non-fiction, he is best known for the novels in the Ware Tetralogy, the first two of which (Software and Wetware) both won Philip K. Dick Awards. At present he edits the science fiction webzine Flurb. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A lot of the world's apparent complexity is the result of there being lots of different things in the world rather than a result of the world having complicated laws. You can think of the world as huge parallel computation, with lovely things emerging from the interaction of simple rules.

All these years, and I'm still looking for the big aha.

America isn't young, you know. It's ancient and evil. With aluminum siding.

Culturally speaking, mathematicians are about as close to living and breathing aliens as you'll ever see. Weirder than stoners, weirder than computer hackers, weirder than SF fans. My people.

For me, the best thing about Cyberpunk is that it taught me how to enjoy shopping malls, which used to terrify me. Now I just imagine the whole thing is two miles below the moon's surface, and that half the people's right-brains have been eaten by roboticized steel rats. And suddenly it's interesting again.

I bet dystopias are becoming fashionable again. Back in the Fifties and Sixties, dystopias were where it was at.

I think people who obsess about becoming immortal are on an ego trip. They don't want to accept that the world will go on just the same without them.

If nobody's pissed off, you're not trying hard enough.

If you think of your life as a kind of computation, it's quite abundantly clear that there's not going to be a final answer and there won't be anything particularly wonderful about having the computation halt!

Kerouac and Poe don't work as role models when you're pushing fifty.

Lately I've been working to convince myself that everything is a computation.

Life is a fractal in Hilbert space.

Long live transfinite mountains, the hollow earth, time machines, fractal writing, aliens, dada, telepathy, flying saucers, warped space, teleportation, artificial reality, robots, pod people, hylozoism, endless shrinking, intelligent goo, antigravity, surrealism, software highs, two-dimensional time, gnarly computation, the art of photo composition, pleasure zappers, nanomachines, mind viruses, hyperspace, monsters from the deep and, of course, always and forever, the attack of the giant ants!

No one can point to the fourth dimension, yet it is all around us.

Nothing lasts. The petals whirl, the leaves fall, the river flows. Why fight it? You get the one lifetime and it's enough.

Our brains are made of the same quantum mechanical matter as everything else in the world, so if there's an explanation to be had, there's no reason we can't understand it.

Physical laws provide, at best, a recipe for how the world might be computed in parallel particle by particle and region by region.

Politics makes me uptight; I have so little control over it. It's like forever being in high school with rah-rah idiots in charge

Programs are writ by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.

Reality is an incompressible computation by a fractal cellular automaton of inconceivable dimensions.

The more that people understand about the secret machinery of the universe, the less likely it is that they will be duped and victimized by television and politicians.

The simple process of eating and breathing weave all of us together into a vast four-dimensional array. No matter how isolated you may sometimes feel, no matter how lonely, you are never really cut off from the whole.

The world is magic. Science is but an insipid style of sorcery.

There's a persistent tendency for us to very seriously underestimate how much design has gone into our brains in the course of our beloved Gaia's yottaflop parallel computation running on a quintillion processors for several billion years.

Traditional science is all about finding shortcuts.

Unfortunately our nation, nay, our world, is run by evil morons. 'Twas ever thus, if that's any consolation.

What's the big problem with dying anyway? I mean, what's so frigging special about my one particular mind? I don't want to be God, I want to be a human with my spark of God Consciousness. Think of a field of daisies: they bloom, they wither, and in the spring they grow again. Who wants to see the same stupid daisy year after year, especially with a bunch of crappy iron-lung-type equipment bolted to it?

When I see an old movie, like from the '40s or '50s or '60s, the people look so calm. They don't have smart phones, they're not looking at computer screens, they're taking their time. They'll sit in a chair and just stare off into space. I think some day we'll find our way back to that garden of Eden.

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