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Michael   Lewis
“When Neil Armstrong took his small step from Apollo 11 and looked around, he probably thought, Wow, sort of like Iceland—even though the moon was nothing like Iceland. But then, he was a tourist, and a tourist can’t help but have a distorted opinion of a place: he meets unrepresentative people, has unrepresentative experiences, and runs around imposing upon the place the fantastic mental pictures he had in his head when he got there. When Iceland became a tourist in global high finance it had the same problem as Neil Armstrong.”
Michael Lewis, Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

Michael Pollan
“You want to know what this was really all about?” Ehrlichman began, startling the journalist with both his candor and his cynicism. Ehrlichman explained that the Nixon White House “had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. . . . We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
Michael Pollan, This Is Your Mind on Plants

Liu Cixin
“A few more years passed before I understood the distance between that satellite and the stars. Back then I was reading a popular set of basic science books called A Hundred Thousand Whys. From the astronomy volume, I learned the concept of a light-year. Before then, I had already known that light could traverse a distance equal to seven and a half trips around the Earth in a single second, but I had not contemplated what kind of terrifying distance could be crossed by flying at such a speed for a whole year. I imagined a ray of light passing through the cold silence of space at the speed of 300,000 kilometers per second. I struggled to grasp the bone-chilling vastness and profundity with my imagination, felt the weight of an immense terror and awe, and simultaneously enjoyed a druglike euphoria. From”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem

Roberto Bolaño
“Rosa was seventeen and she was Spanish. Amalfitano was fifty and Chilean. Rosa had had a passport since she was ten. On some of their trips, remembered Amalfitano, they had found themselves in strange situations, because Rosa went through customs by the gate for EU citizens and Amalfitano went by the gate for non-EU citizens. The first time, Rosa threw a tantrum and started to cry and refused to be separated from her father. Another time, since the lines were moving at different speeds, the EU citizens’ line quickly and the noncitizens’ line more slowly and laboriously, Rosa got lost and it took Amalfitano half an hour to find her. Sometimes the customs officers would see Rosa, so little, and ask whether she was traveling alone or whether someone was waiting for her outside. Rosa would answer that she was traveling with her father, who was South American, and she was supposed to wait for him right there. Once Rosa’s suitcase was searched because they suspected her father of smuggling drugs or arms under cover of his daughter’s innocence and nationality. But Amalfitano had never trafficked in drugs, or for that matter arms. •”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666

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