Larry Niven

"The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program"

Theodore Roosevelt

"Over, under, or through - but never around"

Ronald Reagan

"I did turn 75 today - but remember, that's only 24 Celsius"
"It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?"

Edward O. Wilson

"The brain is a machine assembled not to understand itself, but to survive"

Isaac Asimov

"The French astronomer Pierre Charles Lemonnier apparently recorded the position of Uranus thirteen different times in thirteen different places in the middle 1750s, under the impression that he was recording thirteen different stars"
"Gauss, genius or not, was just a coward"

Dan Quayle

"What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How true that is."

Richard Nixon

"I want to be sure that he is a ruthless son of a bitch, that he will do what he is told, that every income tax return I want to see, I see. That he will go after our enemies and not go after our friends. It's as simple as that."
(describing the kind of person he wanted as commissioner of internal revenue, taped in an Oval Office conversation with H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman on May 13, 1971.)

Michael F. Flyn

"Always by the book, but sometimes he wrote notes in the margins"

Charles Kettering

"Logic is an organized way of going wrong with confidence."

Richard Hamming

"Hamming's law of economics: You cannot consume what is not produced"

Dashiell Hammett

"Thinking's a fuzzy business, a matter of catching as many of those foggy glimpses as you can and fitting them together the best you can."
("The Dain Curse", 1929)

Raymond Chandler

"If God were omnipotent and omniscient in any literal sense, he wouldn't have bothered to make the Universe at all."
("Playback", 1958)
"There no success where there's no possibility of failure."
("Playback", 1958)

Winston Churchill

"We will fight in the beaches, we'll fight in the fields, we will fight in the streets and we will fight in the hills. We will never surrender"
"Only Finland - superb, nay, sublime - in the jaws of peril - Finland shows what free men can do. The service rendered by Finland to mankind is magnificent. They have exposed, for all the world to see, the military incapacity of the Red Army and of the Red Air Force. Many illusions about Soviet Russia have been dispelled in these few fierce weeks of fighting in the Arctic Circle. Everyone can see how Communism rots the soul of a nation; how it makes it abject and hungry in peace, and proves it base and abominable in war. We cannot tell what the fate of Finland may be, but no more mournful spectacle could be presented to what is left to civilized mankind than that this splendid Northern race should be at last worn down and reduced to servitude worse than death by the dull brutish force of overwhelming numbers. If the light of freedom which still burns so brightly in the frozen North should be finally quenched, it might well herald a return to the Dark Ages, when every vestige of human progress during two thousand years would be engulfed."
(THE WAR SITUATION: HOUSE OF MANY MANSIONS - January 20, 1940 - Broadcast, London)

Thomas Jefferson

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property."

Hermann Goering

"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
(at Nürnberg trials)

Ernesto "Che" Guevara

"Hay que acabar con todos los periodicos, pues no se puede hacer una revolucion con libertad de Prensa. Los periodicos son instrumentos de la oligarquia."
"No demoren las causas, esto es una revolución, no usen métodos legales burgueses, las pruebas son secundarias. Hay que proceder por convicción."
(La Cabaña 1959)
"Por los negros no vamos a hacer nada, pues nada hicieron por la revolucion."

Robert A. Heinlein

"Now - what is man? What is the one thing he can do better than animals which is so strong a survival factor that it outweighs all the things that animals of one sort or another can do much better than he can?"
("Gulf", 1949)
"Supermen are superthinkers; anything else is a side issue."
("Gulf", 1949)
"If the average man thinks at all, he does silly things like generalizing from a single datum. He uses one-valued logics. If he is exceptionally bright, he may use two-valued, 'either-or' logic to arrive at his wrong answers. If he is hungry, hurt, or personally interested in the answer, he can't use any sort of logic and will discard an observed fact as blithely as he will stake his life on a piece of wishful thinking. He uses the technical miracles created by superior men without wonder nor surprise, as a kitten accepts a bowl of milk. Far from aspiring to higher reasoning, he is not even aware that higher reasoning exists. He classes his own mental proccess as being of the same sort as the genius of an Einstein. Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal.
For explanations of a universe that confuses him he seizes onto numerology, astrology, histerical religions, and other fancy ways to go crazy. Having accepted such glorified nonsense, facts make no impression on him, even at the cost of his own life. Joe, one of the hardest things to believe is the abismal depth of human stuipidity.
That is why there is always room at the top, why a man with just a little more on the ball can so easily become governor, millionaire, or college president - and why homo sap is sure to be displaced by New Man, because there is so much room for improvement and evolution never stops.
Here and there among ordinary men there is a rare individual who really thinks, can and does use logic in at least one field - he's often as stupid as the rest outside his study or laboratory - but he can think, if he's not disturbed or sick or frightened. This rare individual is responsible for all the progress made by the race; the others reluctantly adopt his results. Much as the ordinary man distrusts and persecutes the process of thinking he is forced to accept the results occasionally, because thinking is efficient compared with his own mauderings. He may still plant his corn in the dark of the Moon but he will plant better corn developed by better men than he.
Still rarer is the man who thinks habitually, who applies reason, rather than habit pattern, to all his activity. Unless he masques himself, his is a dangerous life; he is regarded as queer, untrustworthy, subversive of public morals; he is a pink monkey among brown monkeys - a fatal mistake. Unless the pink monkey can brown himself before he is caught.
The brown monkey's instinct to kill is correct; such men are dangerous to all monkey customs.
Rarest of all is the man who can and does reason at all times, quickly, accurately, inclusively, despite hope or fear or bodily distress, without egocentric bias or thalamic disturbance, with correct memory, with clear distinction between fact, assumption, and non-fact. Such men exist, Joe; they are 'New Man' - human in all respects, indistinguishable in appearance or under the scalpel from homo sap, yet as unlike him in action as the Sun is unlike a single candle."
("Gulf", 1949)
"I confess to that same affection for democracy, Joe. But it's like yearning for the Santa Claus you believed as a child. For a hundred and fifty years or so democracy, or something like it, could flourish safely. The issues were such as to be settled without disaster by the votes of common men, befogged and ignorant as they were. But now, if the race is simply to stay alive, political decisions depend on real knowledge of such things as nuclear physics, planetary ecology, genetic theory, and even system mechanics. They aren't up to it, Joe. With goodness and more will than they possess less than one in a thousand could stay awake over one page of physics; they can't learn what they must know."
("Gulf", 1949)
"As you say, most of them are good, the way a dog can be noble and good."
("Gulf", 1949)
"There is no way to offer color to a colorblind man, nor there is any way for us to give the man of imperfect brain the canny skill to distinguish a lie from a truth.
No, Joe. The gulf between us and them is narrow, but it is very deep. We cannot close it."
("Gulf", 1949)
"Joe, didn't you ever feel a yen to wipe out some evil, obscene, rotten jerk who infected everything he touched, yet was immune to legal action? We treat them as cancers; we excise them from the social body. We keep a 'Better Dead' list; when a man is clearly morally bankrupt we close his account at the first opportunity."
("Gulf", 1949)

"Yet you are willing to assert your own religious convictions and to use them as a touchstone to judge my conduct. So I repeat: who told you? What hill were you standing on when the lightning came down from heaven and illuminated you? Which archangel carried the message?"
("If This Goes On -", 1954)
"I believe that a man has an obligation to be merciful to the weak ... patient with the stupid ... generous with the poor. I think he is obliged to lay down his life for his brothers, should it be required of him. But I don't propose to prove any of these things; they are beyond proof. And I don't demand that you believe as I do."
("If This Goes On -", 1954)
"I believe very strongly in freedom of religion - but I think that that freedom is best expressed as freedom to keep quiet. From my point of view, a great deal of openly expressed piety is insufferable conceit."
("If This Goes On -", 1954)
"What is it about the body of a human woman that makes it the most terribly beautiful sight on earth? Is it, as some claim, simply a necessary instinct to make sure that we comply with God's will and replenish the earth? Or is it some stranger, more wonderful thing?"
("If This Goes On -", 1954)

"It is ridiculous - pestilential, not to be borne - that we should be ruled by an irresponsible dictator in all our essential economy! It strikes at the most basic human right, the right to bargain in a free marketplace."
("The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", 1966)
"Prof., as I see, there are no circumstances under which State is justified in placing its welfare ahead of mine."
("The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", 1966)
"May I ask this? Under which circumstances is it moral for a group to do that which is not moral for a member of that group to do alone?"
("The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", 1966)
"But I believe in capital punishment under some circumstances ... with this difference. I would not ask a court; I would try, condemn, execute sentence myself, and accept full responsibility."
("The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", 1966)
"A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as 'state' and 'society' and 'government' have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. He believes that it is impossible to shift blame, share blame, distribute blame ... as blame, guilt and responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings and nowhere else."
("The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", 1966)
"My point is that some person is responsible. Always. If H-bombs exist - and they do - some person controls them. In terms of morals there is no such thing as 'state'. Just men. Individuals. Each responsible for his own acts."
("The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", 1966)
"But I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; If I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am responsible for everything I do."
("The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", 1966)
"What I fear most are affirmative actions of sober and well intentioned men, granting the government power to do something that appears to need doing."
("The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", 1966)
"The power to tax, once conceded, has no limits; it contains until it destroys."
("The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", 1966)

"Honest priests and preachers are denied the comforts of religion; instead they must live with the austere rewards of philosophy."
("Job: A Comedy of Justice", 1984)
"The Jehovah or Yahweh of the Old Testament seems to me to be a sadistic, bloodthirsty, genocidal villain."
("Job: A Comedy of Justice", 1984)
"The past year had seen the following positive accomplishments:
a) A federal law making abortion a capital offense;
..."
("Job: A Comedy of Justice", 1984)
"Few laymen realize what mischief astronomers are up to."
("Job: A Comedy of Justice", 1984)
"Self-styled 'scientists' are usualy up to no good, but astronomers are the worst of the lot."
("Job: A Comedy of Justice", 1984)
"I rely on the scientific method. On any disputed point there is always one sure answer: look it up in the Book."
("Job: A Comedy of Justice", 1984)
"The Bible is the literal Word of God; let there be no mistake about that. But nowhere did the Lord promise that it would be easy to read."
("Job: A Comedy of Justice", 1984)
"I can't see proof in the dreams of long-dead prophets; you can read anything into them."
("Job: A Comedy of Justice", 1984)
"Theologians can persuade themselves of anything."
("Job: A Comedy of Justice", 1984)
"Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything - just give him time to rationalize it."
("Job: A Comedy of Justice", 1984)
"A long and wicked life followed by five minutes of perfect grace gets you into Heaven. An equally long life of decent living and good works followed by one outburst of taking the name of the Lord in vain - then have a heart attack at that moment and be dammned for eternity. Is that the system?"
("Job: A Comedy of Justice", 1984)

"Computers are literal-minded and stupid; electronic records aren't really records... so it is good to be alert to opportunities to foul up the system. If you can't evade a tax, pay a little too much to confuse their computers. Transpose digits. And so on..."
("Friday", 1982)
"No matter how lavishly overpaid, civil servants everywhere are convinced that they are horribly underpaid - but all public employees have larceny in their hearts or they wouldn't be feeding at the public through. These two facts are all you need - but be careful! - a public employee, having no self-respect, needs and demands a show of public respect."
("Friday", 1982)
"Hindsight is wonderful - it shows you how you busted your skull... after you've busted it."
("Friday", 1982)
"Democracy is probably all right used in sparing amounts."
("Friday", 1982)
"Everybody is Equal and Everybody has a vote. But you have to draw the line somewhere. Now, shut up, damn it, and don't interrupt while your betters are talking."
("Friday", 1982)
"Human sexual mores are as contorted as a plate of spaghetti."
("Friday", 1982)
"It seems to me that any law that is not enforced and can't be enforced weakens all other laws."
("Friday", 1982)

"No mathematics has any content. All any mathematics can do is - sometimes - turn out to be useful in describing some aspects of our so-called 'physical universe'."
("The Number of the Beast", 1980)
"'Architect' is a dirty word. I studied engineering. Architects copy each other's mistakes and call it 'Art'."
("The Number of the Beast", 1980)
"Cops and courts no longer protect citizens, so citizens must protect themselves."
("The Number of the Beast", 1980)
"An observed fact needs no proof."
("The Number of the Beast", 1980)

"Functionalism was particularly popular among little people everywhere who could persuade themselves that their particular jobs were the indispensable ones, and that, therefore, under the 'natural order' they would be top dog. With so many different functions indispensable such self-persuasion was easy."
("The Roads Must Roll")

"I don't think it's faith; I think it's lack of imagination - and knowledge."
("Blowups Happen")
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