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The most compelling reason for this behavior (if there is any) is probably that python does the same thing. There doesn't seem to be a way to get python to print its results either: see here.

So maybe you're suggesting adding a "calculator" option to sage, so that it will print its results, but is that actually faster than just starting sage? (That is, does sage get all fired up, but just in the background?). And, even better, maybe you're suggesting a "quickstart" option for sage, so that it just loads some very basic functionality and can do calculator-like tasks, but nothing fancy. But I bet that's a hard problem :)