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Charles Stross
“The IT worker has to know in their bones that if they make a mistake, things can go horribly wrong. Tension and cynicism are constant companions, along with camaraderie and competitiveness. It's a lot like being a spy, or necromancer. You don't get out much, and when you do it's usually at night.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives

“But indeed there is another fault of which the negotiator must beware: he must not fall into the error of supposing that an air of mystery, in which secrets are made out of nothing and in which the merest bagatelle is exalted into a great matter of state, is anything but a mark of smallness of mind and betokens an incapacity to take the true measure either of men or of things. […] he must remember that open dealing is the foundation of confidence and that everything which he is not compelled by duty to withhold ought to be freely shared with those around him.”
François de Callières, On the Manner of Negotiating with Princes

Neal Stephenson
“Questions about Ethics so perplexing that even a Jesuit couldn't respond without committing a venial sin.”
Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

Charles Stross
“You win some, you lose some. And when you lose, you have to pull yourself together and go back for more. Otherwise, the other side wins by default.”
Charles Stross, The Apocalypse Codex

“Thus he who would enter the profession of diplomacy must examine himself to see whether he was born with the qualities necessary for success. These qualities are an observant mind, a spirit of application which refuses to be distracted by pleasures or frivolous amusements, a sound judgement which takes the measure of things as they are, and which goes straight to its goal by the shortest and most natural paths without wandering into useless refinements and subtleties which as a rule only succeed in repelling those with whom one is dealing. The negotiator must further possess that penetration which enables him to discover the thoughts of men and to know by the least movement of their countenances what passions are stirring within, for such movements are often betrayed even by the most practised negotiator.”
François de Callières, On the Manner of Negotiating with Princes

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