"Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful and valued because they confer power; they are hated because they are hideous and loathed because they impose slavery."
"For all the exotic ingredients, natural or otherwise, found in the The Futurist Cookbook, a rather common regional one is conspicuously absent. In the December 28, 1930 edition of the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta del Popolo, Marinetti and his associate Luigi Colombo (better known as “Fillia”) published a manifesto of Futurist cooking. In it they mounted a vicious attack on pasta. The stuff was inimical to the body assimilated to a world of steel, they wrote; it fills stomach without energizing the body, leaving the eater heavy, shapeless, and inducing in him “lassitude, pessimism, nostalgic inactivity and neutralism.” “An absurd Italian gastronomic religion,” pasta yoked the country to its backward condition. “The danger and disgrace of … this macaroni,” complains another Futurist, Marco Ramperti, “has made us the butt of indecorous metaphors beyond the Alps.” Ramperti goes on to insist that pasta is as toxic as it is disgraceful. “Swallowed down the way it is, spaghetti poisons us,” he writes. “Our thoughts wind round each other, get mixed up and tangled like the vermicelli we have taken in.” Those who would defend this farinaceous enemy of the people Ramperti likens to convicts serving life sentences and archaeologists carrying around ruins in their own guts."
"Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?"
"'I agree that humans are special,' Mancuso says. 'We are the first species able to argue about what intelligence is. But it’s the quantity, not the quality' of intelligence that sets us apart. We exist on a continuum with the acacia, the radish, and the bacterium. 'Intelligence is a property of life,' he says. I asked him why he thinks people have an easier time granting intelligence to computers than to plants… Mancuso thinks we’re willing to accept artificial intelligence because computers are our creations, and so reflect our own intelligence back at us. They are also our dependents, unlike plants: 'If we were to vanish tomorrow, the plants would be fine, but if the plants vanished …' Our dependence on plants breeds a contempt for them, Mancuso believes. In his somewhat topsy-turvy view, plants 'remind us of our weakness.'"
"It is only human arrogance, and the fact that the lives of plants unfold in what amounts to a much slower dimension of time, that keep us from appreciating their intelligence and consequent success. Plants dominate every terrestrial environment, composing ninety-nine per cent of the biomass on earth. By comparison, humans and all the other animals are, in the words of one plant neurobiologist, ‘just traces.’"