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The Three-Body Problem

"In the shooter hypothesis, a good marksman shoots at a target, creating a hole every ten centimeters. Now suppose the surface of the target is inhabited by intelligent, two-dimensional creatures. Their scientists, after observing the universe, discover a great law: “There exists a hole in the universe every ten centimeters.” They have mistaken the result of the marksman’s momentary whim for an unalterable law of the universe."


"The farmer hypothesis, on the other hand, has the flavor of a horror story: Every morning on a turkey farm, the farmer comes to feed the turkeys. A scientist turkey, having observed this pattern to hold without change for almost a year, makes the following discovery: “Every morning at eleven, food arrives.” On the morning of Thanksgiving, the scientist announces this law to the other turkeys. But that morning at eleven, food doesn’t arrive; instead, the farmer comes and kills the entire flock."


"“But she was a woman. A woman should be like water, able to flow over and around anything.”"


"Everyone stared at the sun again, still confused. “The Imperial Observatory has confirmed that right now we are experiencing the extremely rare phenomenon of a tri-solar syzygy. The three suns are in a straight line, moving around our planet at the same angular speed! Thus, our planet and the three suns are in a straight line with our world at the end!”"


"Ye’s rational consideration of humanity’s evil side began the day she read Silent Spring. As she grew closer to Yang Weining, he was able to get her many classics of foreign-language philosophy and history under the guise of gathering technical research materials. The bloody history of humanity shocked her, and the extraordinary insights of the philosophers also led her to understand the most fundamental and secret aspects of human nature."


"“Who was that young woman’s mother?” Wang asked. Da Shi grinned. “Fucked if I know. Just a guess. A girl like that most likely has mother issues. After doing this for more than twenty years, I’m pretty good at reading people.”"


"The entire human race is the same. As long as civilization continues to develop, the swallows I want to save and all the other swallows will go extinct. It’s just a matter of time.”"


"Our ideal is to invite Trisolaran civilization to reform human civilization, to curb human madness and evil, so that the Earth can once again become a harmonious, prosperous, sinless world. More and more people identify with our ideal, and our organization is growing rapidly. We have members all over the world.”"


"The most surprising aspect of the Earth-Trisolaris Movement was that so many people had abandoned all hope in human civilization, hated and were willing to betray their own species, and even cherished as their highest ideal the elimination of the entire human race, including themselves and their children."


"The ETO had once tried to develop membership among the common people, but these efforts all failed. The ETO concluded that the common people did not seem to have the comprehensive and deep understanding of the highly educated about the dark side of humanity."


"Unlike how they would be imagined later, most of them were realists, and did not place too much hope in the alien civilization they served either. Their betrayal was based only on their despair and hatred of the human race."


"To make an imperfect analogy: Human civilization was like a young, unworldly person walking alone across the desert of the universe, who has found out about the existence of a potential lover."


"Alpha Centauri became Mount Olympus in space, the dwelling place of the gods; and so the Trisolaran religion—which really had nothing to do with religion on Trisolaris—was born. Unlike other human religions, they worshipped something that truly existed. Also unlike other human religions, it was the Lord who was in crisis, and the duty of salvation fell on the shoulders of the believer."


"The Adventists would like to destroy the human race by means of an alien power; the Redemptionists worship the alien civilization as a god; the Survivors wish to betray other humans to buy their own survival."


"“The fact is that four million and five hundred thousand hours from now, when the Trisolaran Fleet has reached the Earth, that civilization’s technology level will have long surpassed ours, due to their accelerating development."


"“The plan focuses on emphasizing the negative environmental effects of scientific development and showing signs of supernatural power to the population of Earth."


"“I just want to ask the two of you one question: Is the technological gap between humans and Trisolarans greater than the one between locusts and humans?”"


"Look at them, the bugs. Humans have used everything in their power to extinguish them: every kind of poison, aerial sprays, introducing and cultivating their natural predators, searching for and destroying their eggs, using genetic modification to sterilize them, burning with fire, drowning with water. Every family has bug spray, every desk has a flyswatter under it… this long war has been going on for the entire history of human civilization. But the outcome is still in doubt. The bugs have not been eliminated. They still proudly live between the heavens and the earth, and their numbers have not diminished from the time before the appearance of the humans."