Quote of the Day: Mar. 26, 2006

From Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash:

“”Ninhursag curses Enki, saying ‘Until thou art dead, I shall not look upon thee with the “eye of life”.’ Then she disappears, and Enki becomes very ill. Eight of her organs become sick, one for each of the plants. Finally, Ninhursag is persuaded to come back. She gives birth to eight deities, one for each part of Enki’s body that is sick, and Enki is healed. These deities are the pantheon of Dilmun; i.e., this act breaks the circle of incest and creates a new race of male and female that can reproduce normally.” “Alster interprets the myth as ‘an exposition of a logical problem: Supposed that originally there was nothing but one creator, how could ordinary binary sexual relations come into being?'” “Ah, there’s that word ‘binary’ again.” “You may remember an unexplored fork earlier in our conversation that would have brought us to this same place by another route. This myth can be compared to the Sumerian creation myth, in which heaven and earth are united to begin with, but the world is not really created until the two are separated. Most Creation myths begin with a ‘paradoxical unity of everything, evaluated either as chaos or as Paradise,’ and the world as we know it does not really come into being until this is changed. I should point out here that Enki’s original name was En-Kur, Lord of Kur. Kur was a primeval ocean — Chaos — that Enki conquered.” “Every hacker can identify with that.””