“We don’t give our consciousness sufficient credit for its ability to take in noisy, ambiguous, contradictory givens from the senses, and sort it out: to say ‘this pattern of givens equals the copper bowl that is in front of me now and that was in front of me a moment ago,’ to confer thisness on what we perceive. I know you may feel uncomfortable with religious language, but it seems miraculous that our consciousness can do this.” — Zh’vaern

Neal Stephenson, Anathem