?

Quotes 1999

"The concept of the Great Being stumbles down the centuries; His words and those principles attributed to Him do tumble after Him; and so the Christ is snatched up in His wandering by the preaching puritan on one side, the muddy starving hermit on the other, the gilded ... who would celebrate his Lord in gold paint and mosaic stone."
Anne Rice, The Vampire Armand


"The Answer to the Great Question... Of Life, the Universe and Everything... Is... Forty-two."
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy


"...it seemed the great lessons of my life had all been learned through renunciation of fear."
Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat


"Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. ...few really ask. ...they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds -- justifications, confirmations, forms of consolation without which they can go on. To really ask is to open the door to the whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner."
Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat


"...just because they're grown up doesn't mean they're ready for sex."
John Kessel, Corrupting Dr. Nice


"The worst thing is that he doesn't know it. He thinks he's the abused party."

"That's almost the definition of a bad man."
John Kessel, Corrupting Dr. Nice


"We must undertake the hardest of all journeys by ourselves: the search for meaning in a place both maximally impenetrable and closest to home -- within our own frail being."
Stephen Jay Gould, Rocks Of Ages


"This me that's here now has been brought up without any brothers or sisters. If I did have brothers or sisters I wouldn't be the me I am. So it's unnatural for the me that's here before you to think about what it'd be like to have brothers or sisters..."
Haruki Murakami, South Of The Border, West Of The Sun


"An intellectual is someone who can keep a world of contradictions alive in his head."
Anthony McCarten, Spinners


"Have you got any of your own [philosophies]?"

"Only one. It's important to read. That's my philosophy."
Anthony McCarten, Spinners


"Ninety-nine percent of everything that goes on in most Christian churches has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual religion. Intelligent people all notice this sooner or later, and they conclude that the entire one hundred percent is bullshit, which is why atheism is connected with being intelligent in people's minds."
Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash


"...the first function of any organization is to control its sphincters."
Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash


"Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the badest motherfucker in the world."
Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash


"So, you're the UNIX guru."

"At the time, Randy was still stupid enough to be flattered by this attention, when he should have recognized them as bone-chilling words."
Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon


"Randy was forever telling people, without rancor, that they were full of shit. That was the only way to get anything done in hacking."
Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon


"Pies crumble when you slice them too thin."
Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon


"The beauty of the CNE and MCSE programs is they only last a few weeks or months, so workers can become experts on a particular technology (and not at all on competitors to that technology) without having to take years of college-level training. MCSEs and CNEs don't have to go to college at all. They just have to pass the tests. This sounded great until I remembered my days 20 years ago investigating the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. One of the underlying reasons for that fiasco was that the reactor operators were trained not to run the reactor as much as to pass the test."
Robert X. Cringely, I, Cringely


"To translate it into UNIX system administration terms ... the post-modern, politically correct atheists were like people who had suddenly found themselves in charge of a big and unfathomably complex computer system (viz. society) with no documentation or instructions of any kind, and so whose only way to keep the thing running was to invent and enforce certain rules with a kind of neo-Puritanical rigor, because they were at a loss to deal with any deviations from what they saw as the norm. Whereas people who were wired into a church were like UNIX system administrators who, while they might not understand everything, at least had some documentation, some FAQs and How-tos and README files, providing some guidance on what to do when things got out of whack. They were, in other words, capable of displaying adaptability."
Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon


"Grandmother has always had this knack for telling people the obvious in a way that was unscrupulously polite but that makes the recipient feel like a butthead for having wasted her time."
Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon


"One of the most frightening things about your true nerd ... is not that he's socially inept -- because everybody's been there -- but rather his complete lack of embarrassment about it."
Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon


"Your younger nerd takes offense quickly when someone near him begins to utter declarative sentences, because he reads into it an assertion that he, the nerd, does not already know the information being imparted. But your older nerd has more self-confidence, and besides, understands that frequently people need to think out loud. And highly advanced nerds will furthermore understand that uttering declarative sentences whose contents are already known to all present is part of the social process of making conversation and therefore should not be construed as aggression under any circumstances."
Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon


"...the solace of remembering nothing [is] the freedom to invent everything."
Martha Grimes, Biting The Moon


"Now that physics is proving the intelligence of the universe what are we to do about the stupidity of humankind?"
Jeanette Winterson, Gut Symmetries


"Perhaps art is an eye problem..."
Jeanette Winterson, Gut Symmetries


"Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature because we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery we are trying to solve."
Max Planck


"A man is more than his penis. Not much more but something."
Jeanette Winterson, Gut Symmetries


"Like most men he is obsessed by the size of his member. I do not necessarily object to this vanity but I do think he should use a ruler."
Jeanette Winterson, Gut Symmetries


"When ambitious men overcome a dynasty and seize power, they inevitably adopt most of the ways of their predecessors."
The Muqaddimah of IBN KHALDUN
Laurie R. King, O Jerusalem


"Life was not a spectator sport ... You couldn't opt out, and you couldn't ever be sure of doing the right thing. All you could hope for, perhaps, was to do the wrong thing better, or at least more interestingly."
Michael Dibdin, A Long Finish


"If you take a person's lesson away from them they have to learn it later, and each time that lesson gets put off it gets worse and worse."
Rita Mae Brown, Loose Lips


"If you read the Bible and think about it you're left with more questions than answers. That's why no preacher ever really wants you to think."
Rita Mae Brown, Loose Lips


"If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?"
Rita Mae Brown, Loose Lips


"Everybody swears... It saves having to take the time to find the right word."
Rita Mae Brown, Loose Lips


"...the difference between ignorant and educated people is that the latter know more facts. But that has nothing to do with whether they are stupid or intelligent. The difference between stupid and intelligent people -- and this is true whether or not they are well-educated -- is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. They are not baffled by ambiguous or even contradictory situations -- in fact, they expect them and are apt to become suspicious when things seem overly straightforward."
Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age


"As far as the laws of probability ... these cannot be broken, any more than any other mathematical principle. But laws of physics and mathematics are like a coordinate system that runs in only one dimension. Perhaps there is another dimension perpendicular to it, invisible to those laws of physics, describing the same things with different rules, and those rules are written in our hearts, in a deep place where we cannot go and read them except in our dreams."
Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age


"...there is no honour among consultants."
Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age


"Superstition brings bad luck."
Raymond Smullyan, 5000 B.C
from Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum


"...I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth."
Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum


"But what do they want people to know?"

"Only that there's a secret. Otherwise, if everything is as it appears to be, why go on living?"

"And what is the secret?"

"What the revealed religions have been unable to reveal. The secret lies beyond."
Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum


"If I know you're stupid, that means I love you even if you're stupid. You should feel reassured."
Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum


"I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry."
Rita Rudner
Colin Dexter, The Remorseful Day


"Different things can add up in different ways whilst reaching an identical solution, just as 'eleven plus two' forms an anagram of 'twelve plus one'."
Margot Gleave, A Classical Education
Colin Dexter, The Remorseful Day


"Process is the idiot filter that saves us from ourselves."
Owen Edwards, "The Big Squeeze", Forbes ASAP; October 4, 1999


"...if your fears deserted you, what was left? Take those away, and all that remained was a hollow shell."
Michael Dibdin, Blood Rain


"When the world presents itself as unpleasant, filthy, and hostile, home and friends become more precious. Where everything is clean, orderly and unthreatening, we end up in... well, in Switzerland."
Michael Dibdin, Blood Rain


"...the only war worth fighting for [is] the one that rage[s] within; the rest [are] all diversions."
Jeanette Winterson, The World And Other Places


"When we can hardly see we are most likely to fall in love."
Jeanette Winterson, The World And Other Places


"Stop thinking. ... The more you think, the faster you cut your own throat. What is there to think about? It always ends up the same way. In your mind there is a bolted door. You have to work hard not to go near that door. Parties, lovers, career, charity, babies, who cares what it is, so long as you avoid the door. There are times, when I am on my own, fixing a drink, walking upstairs, when I see the door waiting for me. I have to stop myself pulling the bolt and turning the handle. Why? On the other side of the door is a mirror, and I will have to see myself. I'm not afraid of what I am. I am afraid I will see what I am not."
Jeanette Winterson, The World And Other Places


"...women secretly know you're an infant."
Jonathan Gash, The Rich And The Profane


"People get things wrong. We create legends, and confuse ourselves. Not long since, a bloke investigated piracy. He turned up odd statistics. Like how many pirates' captives in all those centuries were made to walk the plank? Answer: one. Only one prisoner went in with a splash from a piece of four-by-two."
Jonathan Gash, The Rich And The Profane


"It was after all definitely a woman's world.

As long as I remembered that, next time I couldn't go wrong."
Jonathan Gash, The Rich And The Profane


"...like every parking lot in the Galaxy throughout the entire history of parking lots, this parking lot smelled predominantly of impatience."
Douglas Adams, The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe


"...who is this man? ... What's he doing here? ..."

"He's a very stupid man, ... who wants to meet the man who rules the Universe."

"Ah ... a social climber."
Douglas Adams, The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe