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Essentially, if there's literally nothing, then there is nothing from which to build a stress-energy tensor. So how did that stress-energy tensor appear? from what? nothing? The OP associated it with mass, but replace mass with energy, and I think we still have the final cause issue he was on about.
I too have found his works increasingly indulgent. The Baroque Cycle was sufferable because (1) it didn't push any idealogical barrows and (2) it was a deep immersion into times and places I've never been. Anathem though, pushed some barrows, i found myself being lead by the nose into Stephenson's point of view, and the book failed to be interesting enough to be worth the effort.
Look Neal Stevenson's interest in the 17th and 18th Centuries with the Baroque Cycle is unlikely to have any thing to do with him wishing he was there, or that he is primitivist, that he harps after religion, or wants to live in a cave. You've obviously got some axe to grind, if you think its reasonable to suggest such a thing. If you're so offended by his abandonment of Sci Fi (if that was really his primary interest in the first place), head off to the hard science paradise that is Greg Bear, Greg Egan or Ian Banks.
By the way, I'm a techie, and I enjoyed the baroque cycle, so you can drop the 'we' stuff as well please.
Even so, some parts can still be boring, but at least, if you break it up and do it test-driven then you're not faced with writing 47-odd tests in one big lump, after you've written heaps of logic.
...and this is aiding and abetting terrorists how? c'mon concrete examples please...
the eldritch abomination we call "reality"
...is possibly the best description of the physical universe I've ever heard...thanks
in Australia, it's called academic misconduct, and would usually result in automatic failure in the subject for that year, but can be taken all the way to expulsion from the institution.