Neal Stephenson

“Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the
right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I
moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years.
if my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to
revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping
out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.
Hiro used to feel that way, too, but then he ran into Raven. In a way, this is
liberating. He no longer has to worry about trying to be the baddest
motherfucker in the world. The position is taken. The crowning touch, the one
thing that really puts true world-class badmotherfuckerdom totally out of reach,
of course, is the hydrogen bomb. If it wasn't for the hydrogen bomb, a man
could still aspire. Maybe find Raven's Achilles' heel. Sneak up, get a drop,
slip a mickey, pull a fast one. But Raven's nuclear umbrella kind of puts the
world title out of reach.
Which is okay. Sometimes it's all right just to be a little bad. To know your
limitations. Make do with what you've got.”


Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash
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Snow Crash Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
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