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Quotes 2003

"A long time ago, I adopted what I call the 50-50 rule: no matter what you do in your life, 50 percent of the people are going to like it and 50 percent will dislike it."
Charles Barkley, I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It


"One thing we all share ... is that no matter how hard you work at your craft and no matter how successful you become, people just have to find something negative to hang on you. You can be the greatest ever at what you do, and people will still turn on you."
Charles Barkley, I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It


"If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking."
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood


"There is absolutely nothing to be gained from sleeping with one strange woman after another. It just tires you out and makes you disgusted with yourself."
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood


"Only the dead stay seventeen forever."
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood


"Life doesn't require ideals. It requires standards of action."
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood


"A gentleman is someone who does not what he wants to do but what he should do."
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood


"Of course life frightens me sometimes. I don't happen to take that as the premise for everything else though. I'm going to give it hundred percent and go as far as I can. I'll take what I want and leave what I don't want. That's how I intend to live my life, and it things go bad, I'll stop and reconsider at that point. If you think about it, an unfair society is a society that makes it possible for you to exploit your abilities to the limit."
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood


"Don't feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that."
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood


"Letters are just pieces of paper. ... Burn them, and what stays in your heart will stay, keep them, and what vanishes will vanish."
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood


"It's been forty years since the Tragedy. That's the way people say it, in that awed, excited way you know means they wish it would happen all over again."
Martha Grimes, Cold Flat Junction


"...you can never talk to anyone about anything you want to. You can only talk more to certain people than you can to others. No, talks-about-anything are the talks you carry on with yourself; that's the only person you feel absolutely free to say whatever you want to."
Martha Grimes, Cold Flat Junction


"In all income groups you find your average regulation slob who sniggers at anarchy but calls the police indignantly to his burglarized home, who is actively anti-authority until he needs to be saved from someone with a gun."
Dick Francis, Straight


"Crime to many is not crime but simply a way of life. If laws are inconvenient, ignore them, they don't apply to you."
Dick Francis, Straight


"Historically, more people have died of religion than cancer."
Dick Francis, Straight


"... enemies trade. It always happened ... though cynics might mock. Mutual benefit was the most powerful of bridge-builders, even if the heart remained bitter."
Dick Francis, Straight


"He should have been appointed to the bench as soon as he was out of law school. He would be an ideal judge. He has the kind of daring mind that glories in deciding an issue without understanding it."
Rex Stout, Murder By The Book


"Everybody's got something weird about them."
Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweatheart


"Understanding is but the sum of our misunderstandings."
Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweatheart


"What's really important here, ... is not the big things other people have thought up, but the small things you, yourself have."
Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweatheart


"It's like this. Tobacco -- except snob-cigarettes -- is nearly always sold homosexually -- Chaps Together, you know. Or occasionally one builds on the over-compensated Oedipus - Dad Advises Sonny-boy. but chocolates are quite invariably sold heterosexually -- Boy Brings Girl Box."
Michael Innes, Hamlet, Revenge!


"...you can't sell soap and toothpaste without knowing that people in general are sub-adult. Perhaps it's just in our time -- a sort of progressive dotage."
Michael Innes, Hamlet, Revenge!


Airplanes are cramped, jammed, hectic, noisy, germy, alarming, and boring, and they serve unusually nasty food at utterly unreasonable intervals. Airports, though larger, share the crowding, vile air, noise, and relentless tension, while their food is often even nastier, consisting entirely of fried lumps of something; and the places one has to eat it in are suicidally depressing. On the airplane, everyone is locked into a seat with a belt and can move only during very short periods when they are allowed to stand in line waiting to empty their bladders until, just before they reach the toilet cubicle, a nagging loudspeaker harries them back to belted immobility. In the airport, luggage-laden people rush hither and yon through endless corridors, like souls to each of whom the devil has furnished a different, inaccurate map of the escape route from hell. These rushing people are watched by people who sit in plastic seats bolted to the floor and who might just as well be bolted to the seats. So far, then, the airport and the airplane are equal, in the way that the bottom of one septic tank is equal, all in all, to the bottom of the next septic tank.

If both you and your plane are on time, the airport is merely a diffuse, short, miserable prelude to the intense, long, miserable plane trip. But what if there's five hours between your arrival and your connecting flight, or your plane is late arriving and you've missed your connection, or the connecting flight is late, or the staff of another airline are striking for a wage-benefit package and the government has not yet ordered out the National Guard to control this threat to international capitalism so your airline staff is trying to handle twice as many people as usual, or there are tornadoes or thunderstorms or blizzards or little important bits of the plane missing or any of the thousand other reasons (never under any circumstances the fault of the airlines, and rarely explained at the time) why those who go places on airplanes sit and sit and sit and sit in airports, not going anywhere?

In this, probably its true aspect, the airport is not a prelude to travel, not a place of transition: it is a stop. A blockage. A constipation. The airport is where you can't go anywhere else. A nonplace in which time does not pass and there is no hope of any meaningful existence. A terminus: the end. The airport offers nothing to any human being except access to the interval between planes.
Ursula K. Le Guin, Changing Planes


"Whenever you get something in this world, you lose something too -- that's just the way things work."
Banana Yoshimoto, Goodbye Tsugumi


"Love's easy to learn. ... It's like taking a risk. You set your mind on it and refuse to be afraid, and in no time you feel terrifically exhilarated and all your inhibitions fly out the window."
Dick Francis, Dead Cert


"Nobody's worthless. They can always serve as a horrible example."
Rita Mae Brown, Hotspur


"Nothing in the world is more boring than other people's hobbies..."
Michael Innes, A Comedy of Terrors


"There must be some Tommy Hilfiger event horizon, beyond which it is impossible to be more derivative, more removed from the source, more devoid of soul."
William Gibson, Pattern Recognition


... "a Lombard" ... acronym for "Loads of money but a real dickhead."
William Gibson, Pattern Recognition


"Far more creativity, today, goes into the marketing of products than into the products themselves..."
William Gibson, Pattern Recognition


"... you should take off the shades and turn that baseball cap around."

... "I think I look like I belong."

"Yeah, but to what?"
Martha Grimes, Foul Matter


"Yeah, well, you know -- you don't remember, then you forget."
Martha Grimes, Foul Matter


"A recent poll by the Ipsos polling agency for Galeries Lafayette concluded that 87 percent of French men and women believe that lingerie is an important part of life."
Elain Sciolino, Paris Journal
To Sell Lingerie, Inhibitions, and Much More, Are Falling
The New York Times


"Lingerie is so important to a French woman's sexual self-esteem, it seems, that only 3 percent of French women believe they are seductive in the nude."
Elain Sciolino, Paris Journal
To Sell Lingerie, Inhibitions, and Much More, Are Falling
The New York Times


"...you will absolutely suffocate anything that you're trying to do on the Internet by trying to command and control it."
Joe Trippi, Campaign Manager for Howard Dean
The New Road to the White House
Lawrence Lessig, Wired Magazine, November 2003


"Once you start thinking more about where you want to be than making the best product you're screwed."
Linus Torvalds
Leader of the Free World
Gary Rivlin, Wired Magazine, November 2003


"The ideal project is one where people don't have meetings, they have lunch. The size of the team should be the size of the lunch table."
Bill Joy
Hope Is A Lousy Defense
Spencer Reiss, Wired Magazine, December 2003


"...man is a remarkable animal, with a unique distinction. Of all the millions of species rendered extinct by evolution, we are the only one to know in advance what is going to destroy us. Our own insatiable curiosity. We can take pride in that."
Rex Stout, Three For The Chair


"...the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, just, and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
Thomas Henry Huxley, A Liberal Education
Stephen Jay Gould, Full House


"Nature is objective, and nature is knowable, but we can only view her through a glass darkly -- and many clouds upon our vision are of our own making; social and cultural biases, psychological preferences, and mental limitations (in universal modes of thought, not just individualized stupidity)."
Stephen Jay Gould, Full House


Remember the old story about the captain who disliked his first mate and recorded in the ship's log, after a unique episode, "First mate was drunk today." The mate begged the captain to remove the passage, stating correctly that this had never happened before and that his employment would be jeopardized. The captain refused. The mate kept the next day's log, and he recorded, "Captain was sober today."
Stephen Jay Gould, Full House


"Everybody knows that organisms get better as they evolve. They get more advanced, more modern, and less primitive. And everybody knows ... that organisms get more complex as they evolve. From the first cell that coalesced in the primordial soup to the magnificent intricacies of Homo sapiens, the evolution of life -- as everybody knows -- has been one long drive toward greater complexity. The only trouble with what everybody knows... is that there is no evidence it's true."
Carol K. Yoon, The New York Times
Stephen Jay Gould, Full House


"Never trouble trouble..."
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Other Wind


"...animals do neither good nor evil. They do as they must do. We may call what they do harmful or useful, but good and evil belong to us, who chose to choose what we do."
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Other Wind