From the window of a wandering Greyhound, Stuart Ressler gets his first look at unmistakable I-state phenotype: unvarying horizon, Siberian grain-wastes, endless acres of bread in embryo. The most absent landscape imaginable, it calls to him like home. Schooled in the reductionist's golden rule, he sees in this Occam's razor-edge of emptiness a place at last vacant enough to provide the perfect control, a vast mat of maize and peas, Mendel's recovered Garden. Green at twenty-five, with new Ph.D., he leaves the lab to enter the literal field.
—Richard Powers, The Goldbug Variations, p. 43.