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Quotes

Quotes
Section is Books;
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1... You see, my boy, everyone really approves of censorship, underneath it all - as long as it's our enemies who are being censored. We all want to keep our opponents from saying things we don't like. Our opinions, however, should be free from the slightest vestige of censorship. But the only way to protect our own right to free speech is to protect everybody else's, and the people in power always forget that. So once they've gained office, they begin to try to silence the opposition and if they're in the government, they may actually be able to do it. So there is constant pressure to limit open discussion, and it always comes in by decrying the immorality of the opposition's statements.
2...a fool as a person who ignored information because it disagreed with desired results.
3...a man should keep his little brain-attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber-room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.
4...all words have a tendency to be subject to how they are defined.
5...but businessmen check them out - and those two were merchants. If they stray too far from the facts, they go bankrupt.
6...but playwrights have always had to write to please the audience available, with the minimum offense given... except for those brave enough few artists who have let the chips fall where they may, and have managed to avoid starvation only because of the infatuation of academic critics.
7...escape velocity was only fifty kilometers per hour, so it was almost possible to run right off the moon.
8...I could guess they were playing the old game of squeeze-the-hand, trying to determine social status according to who could mash whose hand. The whole ritual made me impatient; somehow I'd always thought that when men grew up, they left childish games behind. But as I grew up myself, I saw that the petty competitions survived as rituals of competitive life. I began to realize that those little struggles, like the enthusiasm for competitive sports, weren't really childish at all, but adult rituals to which children were introduced and guided early on. The male of the species is built to battle other males - it goes back to the apes and way before them, for whatever reason. We demonstrate our civilization by sublimating that drive into games, in which the risks are controlled and the likelihood of injury minimized. The man who cheers at a football game is a living testament to evolution, and the dominance games that men live by all their lives are just part of the animal nature that still pervades all but two of our drives. Boys are little men, not the other way around; it's just that they're more obvious, more open, and more honest about it than their elders are.
9...if you have a secret compartment in your lute case and don't use it to hide things, there is something terribly, terribly wrong with you.
10...in reality most people aren't stupid. Many are simply frustrated at how little control they have over their lives. They lash out.
11...it is better to learn wisdom late than never to learn it at all.
12...it would bother him that so many teen-oriented movies and television shows ignored this seemingly simple piece of knowledge and treated every teacher as a joke, every parent as clueless.
13...most people are sheep and are perfectly content to be led if they are guaranteed security, a home, job, protection, and a full belly. In the whole history of humankind, whenever people demanded democracy and total independence and got it, they were willing and eager to trade their precious freedom for security - every time. Every time. To the strong-willed, the people who knew what to do and had the guts to do it. The people who prize personal power above all else.
14...no man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection.
15...Philosophy? What good is that?" Isn’t it the art of saying nothing with as many words as possible?
16...the first law of reason is that what exists, exists; what is, is, and that from this irreducible, bedrock principle, all knowledge is built. He said that was the foundation from which life is embraced.
17...the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be.
18...when you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, HOWEVER IMPROBABLE, must be the truth...
19...while the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will do, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary, but percentages remain constant. So says the statistician.
20...yet I tell the of mine own knowledge, that the ecstasy of the flesh alone is a great anticipation and ascension into a moment's thrill that is far less than its expectation. 'Tis therefore that lechers forever pursue new conquests - they are ever in search of that which can only be gained by those in love. I cannot speak of the fullest ecstasy that is accorded true lovers, but from what I hear of it, it surpasseth mere lust as the ocean surpasseth the lake.
21...you don’t pay back your parents. You can’t. The debt you owe them gets collected by your children, who hand it down in turn. It’s a sort of entailment.
22Death is always at the edge of now.
23A leader cannot follow behind people, tail between his legs, sniffing for their momentary whims and wishes, whining to follow them this way and that as they ramble through life. Those kind of people are not looking for a leader - they are looking for a master, and one will find them. A true leader forges a clear path through a moral wilderness so that people might see the way.
24A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.
25A lot of people these days are the opposite of what they say they are, and a lot of them probably don't even realize it. They're opposed to racism even as they act like racists. They're opposed to fascism, even as they act like fascists. The world's gone weird.
26A person who calls facts absurdities will often be surprised.
27A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.... The man who never reads lives only one.
28After all, I don't need to threaten you to get you to see that the water in that fountain is wet or that the walls of this room are constructed from stone, but the Order must threaten people to make them believe that an eternity of being dead will be an eternal delight, but only if they do as they're told in this life.
29Ah deserve.... The notion of deserved and undeserved is a fancy. Knowing both life and death, we endeavor to impose worth and meaning upon our deeds, and thereby to comfort our fear of impermanence. We choose to imagine that our lives merit continuance. Mayhap all sentience shares a similar fancy. Mayhap the Earth itself, being sentient in its fashion, shares it. Nonetheless it is a fancy. A wider gaze does not regard us in that wise. The stars do not. Perhaps the Creator does not. The larger truth is merely that all things end. By that measure, our fancies cannot be distinguished from dust.
30Ah, no, people like the idea of a flat universe because they find negatively curved space difficult to deal with.
31Americans are considered crazy anywhere in the world. They will usually concede a basis for the accusation but point to California as the focus of the infection.
32And he [Jesus] said to them [His disciples], 'But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.
33Any system that makes a man fear knowledge is an evil system.
34Anyway that’s a large part of what economics is - people arbitrarily, or as a matter of taste, assigning numerical values to non-numerical things. And then pretending that they haven't just made the numbers up, which they have.
35As for happiness... I don’t think you can give that to anyone, if they don’t have it in them. However, it’s certainly possible to give unhappiness - as you are finding.
36As for history, we are living in its ruins. And as for biographies, we are living with the consequences of all the decisions ever made in them. I tend not to read them for pleasure. It's not unlike carefully scrutinizing the map when one has already reached the destination.
37As I was saying... why is it that when one man builds a wall, the next man immediately needs to know what's on the other side?
38Authors are the only people who get in trouble if they steal from others and try to hide it, but get praised for stealing when they do it in the open. Remember that. It'll help you a lot in college.
39Aye, but by choice, not by coercion. When rightness rules by force, it doth cease to be right.
40Because the Middle Ages erred in one direction, does it follow that there is no error in the opposite direction?
41Because they were real illusions.... Be sure, children - illusions can do as much harm as anything else in this world. By clouding your perception of reality, illusions can kill.
42Because... it's the only way he can avoid massive guilt. Once he gave in to temptation, he became a convert to his own particular vice, with all the fanaticism of any convert. You might say he's acquired a vested interest in sin, and to disown it would be to ruin him.
43Black moleskin gloves covered his hands; the right because it was burned, the left because a man felt half a fool wearing only one glove.
44Blank people behind blank windows.... Faceless people wielding power without having to take the responsibility for the use of that power. Doing their daily work without knowing - probably without even caring - what the ultimate results of that work would be. It was why bureaucracies grew and flourished.
45But he has the attitude, set in concrete, that virtue is measured by one's disaffection from the power structure under which one lives. Such a person builds a fortress of self-serving piety, resisting authority of any kind at every turn whether for good or ill.
46But I like confusion. Too often we belittle it as a lesser Passion. But confusion leads a scholar to study further and push for secrets. No great discovery was ever made by a femalen or malen who was confident they knew everything.
47But it seems to me that some activists within the gay-rights movement are interested in something else. Special protection under the law is not good enough. They want to force you to change your way of thinking - twenty-first-century thought police. They want to attack religious beliefs that conflict with their own.
48But now he recalled Kuhn, asserting that scientists who used different paradigms existed in literally different worlds, epistemology being such an integral component of reality. Thus Aristoteleans simply did not see the Galilean pendulum, which to them was a body falling with some difficulty; and in general, scientists debating the relative merits of competing paradigms simply talked right through each other, using the same words to discuss different realities.
49But some things have to be done. It's better to do them, than to live with the fear of them.
50But the line between moral behavior and narcissistic self-righteousness is thin and difficult to discern. The man who stands before a crowd and proclaims his intention to save the seas is convinced that he is superior to a man who merely picks up his own and other people's litter on the beach, when in fact the latter is in some small way sure to make the world a better place, while the former is likely to be a monster of vanity whose crusade will lead to unintended destruction.






See my goodreads icon goodreads page. I almost never do reviews, but I use this site to catalogue books.
See my librarything icon librarything page. I use this site to catalogue books and it has more details on books than goodreads does.


Presented: 12-Apr-2024 09:59:12

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