A quote a day (something about the doctor staying away...) This one also from The System of the World (pp. 153-154).
"You are saying," Dappa said, "that we make connections with other souls, despite the sameness—"
"There is no sameness. If you looked down upon the world from above, like an albatross, you might phant'sy there was some sameness among the people crowding the land below you. But we are not albatrosses, we see the world from ground level, from within our own bodies, through our own eyes, each with our own frame of reference, which changes as we move about, and as others move about with us. This sameness is a conceit of yours, an author's hobgoblin, something you fret about in your hammock late at night."
<ding> — got your telegram, Mr. Stephenson.