All Astronautical Evolution posts in 2013:

Neubrandenburg Thoughts (I): OldSpace versus NewSpace (Nov.)

Highlights from the Starship Century Symposium in London (Nov.)

Alien Civilisations: Two Competing Models (Oct.)

Elysium, Earth; Elysium, Mars (Sept.)

The Futures We Love to Fear (Aug.)

Quotations from Sophie’s World (May)

Do I Really Exist? (May)

When will Voyager 1 leave the Solar System? (April)

Technological Singularity, or Plateau? The case for antisingularitarianism (March)

Space and Sustainability: Ecological Collapse versus Technological Growth (Feb.)

Manned spaceflight on the plateau awaits a new business model (Jan.)

New in 2020:

Download science fiction stories here

AE posts:

2022: What’s to do on Mars?…

2021: New space company Planetopolis…

2020: Cruising in Space…

2019: The Doomsday Fallacy, SpaceX successes…

2018: I, Starship, atheism versus religion, the Copernican principle…

2017: Mars, Supercivilisations, METI…

2016: Stragegic goal for manned spaceflight…

2015: The Pluto Controversy, Mars, SETI…

2014: Skylon, the Great Space Debate, exponential growth, the Fermi “paradox”…

2013: Manned spaceflight, sustainability, the Singularity, Voyager 1, philosophy, ET…

2012: Bulgakov vs. Clarke, starships, the Doomsday Argument…

2011: Manned spaceflight, evolution, worldships, battle for the future…

2010: Views on progress, the Great Sociology Dust-Up…

Chronological index

Subject index

General essays:

Index to essaysincluding:

Talk presented to students at the International Space University, May 2016

Basic concepts of Astronautical Evolution

Options for Growth and Sustainability

Mars on the Interstellar Roadmap (2015)

The Great Sociology Debate (2011)

Building Selenopolis (2008)


Issue 92, 1 May 2013 – 44th Apollo Anniversary Year
Quotations from Sophie’s World

=============== AE ===============

Page 163

Sophie: “Everything sounds so sad and solemn when you talk like that.”

Alberto Knox: “Life is both sad and solemn. We are let into a wonderful world, we meet one another here, greet each other – and wander together for a brief moment. Then we lose each other and disappear as suddenly and unreasonably as we arrived.”

Page 258

Sophie: “I have to go to school. We are having a class get-together and then we get our grades.”

Alberto Knox: “Drop it. If we are only fictive, it’s pure imagination that candy and soda have any taste.”

Sophie: “But my grades…”

Alberto Knox: “Sophie, either you are living in a wondrous universe on a tiny planet in one of many hundred billion galaxies – or else you are the result of a few electromagnetic impulses in the major’s mind. And you are talking about grades! You ought to be ashamed of yourself!”

Pages 297-98 (rearranged)

Alberto Knox: “Try to imagine that everything that happens to us goes on in someone else’s mind. We are that mind. That means we have no soul, we are someone else’s soul. […] Now it is possible that this soul is Hilde Møller Knag’s father. […] But it is possible that a completely different author is somewhere writing a book about a UN Major Albert Knag, who is writing a book for his daughter Hilde. This book is about a certain Alberto Knox who suddenly begins to send humble philosophical lectures to Sophie Amundsen […] To us, that author would be a ‘hidden God’. Although everything we are and everything we say and do proceeds from him, because we are him we will never be able to know anything about him. We are in the innermost box.”

Sophie: “That would be even worse. That makes us only shadows of shadows. […] But if there really is an author who is writing about Hilde’s father in Lebanon […] Isn’t it possible that he, too, is part of a higher mind?”

Return to original post