Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

We’re all so used to working in a purely abstract realm that it seems almost bizarre to go out into the real world and physically do something.

Root just felt like talking about words. The SAS blokes refer to this kind of activity as wanking.

Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker’s game because they almost always turn out to be – or to be indistinguishable from – self-righteous sixteen-years-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.

But this is a degenerate case, where “degenerate”, to a mathematician, means “annoyingly boring”.


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