Big Snake Little Snake


  • Author: [[DBC Pierre]]
  • Full Title: Big Snake Little Snake
  • Category: #books


  • Maths and psychology platitude-laws like probability and confirmation bias are no longer a good enough plaster over this whole writhing world of odds. We need to rip that plaster off. Anyway the greatest example of confirmation bias is finding confirmation bias everywhere.

(Page 19)

  • One Thing About Bohr, Though That the building blocks inside the building blocks of everything can be in two places at once is a modern fact. And that our ideas are unreliable when we have drinks on board is another modern fact. But science is looking again. Research is starting to show that drink and drugs loosen our focus in the mind, making it slip between ideas and speed towards new connections. So as we pit our rum-fuelled road trip against the geniuses of science, before we start to feel like that one fucked-up uncle or aunt at the wedding, I want us to remember one thing: the Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen gave Nils Bohr a house next door with a direct pipeline of beer. Gave it to him. And after living there with a direct pipeline of beer for five years Bohr’s work on quantum really took off, not least with his theory of complementarity. A pipeline of fucking beer. Just saying.

(Page 109)

  • When don’t have the small things that sparkle with civilisation they grow more glaring and valuable. Nothing says things are fine like a crisp newspaper or magazine, along with the peace to cradle them in your hands and drink them in. Pure passive luck. There were also fresh books on the shelves and I’m a sucker for books. Books are lucky and I want them whether I read them or not. If I could have bought a book it would have transported me into another life where I wasn’t walking around in a daze trying to get lucky with extremely long odds. Stupid odds.

(Page 116)

  • If nature is maths this is vivid maths.

  • Your science has reduced life to metrics until trust your instinct or even feel it anymore. You forget how much you’ve forgotten. You’ve buried it under a set of complications designed to obscure: you’ve called the drunk man a noble victim and his wasting of money a deeper universal malaise - when the man is simply drunk and wasting money.

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