“Suppose there were an iron room with no windows or doors, a room
it would be virtually impossible to break out of. And suppose
you had some people inside that room who were sound asleep.
Before long they would all suffocate. In other words, they would
slip peacefully from a deep slumber into oblivion, spared the
anguish of being conscious of their impending doom. Now let’s
say that you came along and stirred up a big racket that awakened
some of the lighter sleepers. In that case, they would go to a
certain death fully conscious of what was going to happen to
them. Would you say that you had done those people a favor?”

– Lu Xun (1881-1936), Chinese writer, from Diary of a Madman and
Other Stories, translated by William A. Lyell.


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