| Quote #1
The driver named the thirteen for me, and told me stories of avalanches, and landboats blown off the road by mountain winds, and snowplow crews marooned for weeks in inaccessible heights, and so on, in a friendly effort to terrify me. He described having seen the truck ahead of his skid and go over a thousand-foot precipice […]. (5.6)
Technology helps mankind survive the ravages of nature. But sometimes, it doesn't rise to meet the challenge. This is especially true on Gethen, where nature can be quite the beast.
| Quote #2
There are no streets in Rer. There are covered walks, tunnel-like, which in summer one may walk through or on top of as one pleases. (5.16)
Sometimes we can take the design and look of cities for granted. We forget that they are designed to meet the specific demands nature has made on our survival. (With the exception of Dubai. That place is just a thumb in the eye of nature.)
| Quote #3
We have NAFAL ships and instantaneous transmission and mindspeech, but we haven't yet tamed hunch to run in harness; for that trick we must go to Gethen. (6.73)
Just because the Ekumen have reached a pretty awesome level of tech savvy doesn't mean they can't learn a thing or two from others. Hence why they want Gethen in their space club.