Children of the Mind

Cover ImageChildren of the Mind
Orson Scott Card
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10 notes/highlights

Created by Omar Fernández   – Last synced January 26, 2020

1. “I’m Not Myself”

“What is your will, anyway? Nobody can see it. You don’t hear it thinking. You only know what your will is afterward, when you look back in your life and see what you’ve done.”
January 19, 202019

It is Qing-jao who was always the slave, and never me. For the master that ruled her controlled her from inside her own mind. While I could always see my master outside me, so my inmost self was never touched.
January 19, 202024

3. “There Are Too Many of Us”

Either last night’s conversation was still going on, or some other neurotic early risers had rejected morning solitude and were chatting away as if dawn were not the dark hour of despair.
January 19, 202050

4. “I Am a Man of Perfect Simplicity!”

Those nuclear bombs cut the strings. Japan was utterly prostrate. The proud old government was destroyed, the emperor became a figurehead, democracy came to Japan, and then wealth and great power.”“The bombs were a blessing, then?” asked Wang-mu doubtfully.“No, no, not at all. He thinks the wealth of Japan destroyed the people’s soul. They adopted the destroyer as their father. They became America’s bastard child, blasted into existence by American bombs. Puppets again.”
January 19, 202082

I don’t even know if my distinction between Edge nations and Center nations has any truth or value. I do know that a Center nation can keep its cultural power long after it has lost political control. Mesopotamia was continually conquered by its neighbors, and yet each conqueror in turn was more changed by Mesopotamia than Mesopotamia was changed.
January 20, 202090

5. “Nobody Is Rational”

We all act because we’re sure of what we want, and we believe that the actions we perform will get us what we want, but we never know anything for sure, and so all our rationales are invented to justify what we were going to do anyway before we thought of any reasons.”
January 20, 2020112

8. “What Matters Is Which Fiction You Believe”

Wang-mu sighed. “I grew up expecting nothing and getting less. But I always had ambition far beyond my reach. Sometimes I reached anyway, and caught in my hands more than I deserved, more than I could handle. Sometimes I reach and never touch the thing I want.”
January 22, 2020183

13. “Till Death Ends All Surprises”

Wang-mu had been glad enough to leave Path. But she was by no means certain that Pacifica was the world where she wanted to live the rest of her life. Especially if she was to stay with Peter, for there was no chance he would be content for long with the slower, more lackadaisical timeflow of life in the islands. Truth be known, it was too slow for her, too. She loved her time with the Samoans, but the impatience to be doing something was growing inside her. Perhaps those who grew up among these people might somehow sublimate their ambition, or perhaps there was something in the racial genotype that suppressed it or replaced it, but Wang-mu’s incessant drive to strengthen and expand her role in life was certainly not going to go away just because of a luau on the beach, however much she enjoyed it and would treasure the memory of it
January 25, 2020267

But we were there, and during the time we lived, we were alive. That’s the truth—what is, what was, what will be—not what could be, what should have been, what never can be. If we die, then our death has meaning to the rest of the universe. Even if our lives are unknown, the fact that someone lived here, and died, that will have repercussions, that will shape the universe.”
January 25, 2020275


The rulers of China, like the rulers of Egypt, reached out to control the hinterland, but, again like Egypt, rarely attempted and never succeeded in establishing longterm rule over genuinely foreign nations.
January 26, 2020346