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Quotes 2004

"...history is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books -- books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. By Its very nature, history is always a one-sided account."
Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code


"Do what you're supposed to do. And don't worry about the fruits. They'll come on their own."
Aparna Jairam, quoting from the Bhagavad Gita
The New Face Of The Silicon Age
Daniel H. Pink, Wired Magazine, February 2004


"Nowadays people think that history is what was on TV last night."
Michael Dibdin, Medusa


"The constant petty behests of life permit few opportunities for major satisfactions, and when one is offered it should be seized."
Rex Stout, A Family Affair


"There is only one object on earth that frightens me: a physicist working on a new trick."
Rex Stout, A Family Affair


"It was like everything that supported the relationship was coming from the outside. Judging by all the signs, we were a perfectly successful couple and John was an ideal husband for me -- rich, blond, tall, sensitive, ad nauseam. But even worse, it seemed as if our most intimate conversations were based on what we were supposed to be saying, and what we were supposed to be. Nothing seemed to come directly from us."
Mary Gaitskill, Bad Behavior


"Nicola shifted just a little to feel the silk of her panties slide over her skin. The feeling was better than chocolate."
Martha Conway, 12 Bliss Street


"...there are days that are simply uncontrollably unavoidably bad and you better just expect more of the same and not try to fight it."
Martha Conway, 12 Bliss Street


"I like a man who can chop with inferior cutlery."
Martha Conway, 12 Bliss Street


"as there anything that wasn't wrapped in about four hundred yards of hard plastic? Pretty soon everything will come with its own tool to open it up with..."
Martha Conway, 12 Bliss Street


"Don't you know why language was invented?"

"Women wanted some foreplay."
Martha Conway, 12 Bliss Street


"Pop will eat itself."
Bruce Streling, reasononline, "Cybergreen", Mike Godwin, January 2004


"If there are any gods whose chief concern is man, they can't be very important gods."
Arthur C. Clarke, The Onion, Tasha Robinson, Volume 40, Issue 07


"Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses."
Arthur C. Clarke, The Onion, Tasha Robinson, Volume 40, Issue 07


"...please don't invent a debt that does not exist, or next you will be trying to feel gratitude -- and that is the treacherous first step toward complete moral degradation."
Robert A. Heinlen, Stranger In A Strange Land


"A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom."
Robert A. Heinlen, Stranger In A Strange Land


"...of all the nonsense that twists the world, the concept of 'altruism' is the worst. People do what they want to, every time. If it pains them to make a choice -- if the choice looks like a 'sacrifice' -- you can be sure that it is no nobler than the discomfort caused by greediness... the necessity of deciding between two things you want when you can't have both."
Robert A. Heinlen, Stranger In A Strange Land


"Analogy is even slipperier than logic."
Robert A. Heinlen, Stranger In A Strange Land


"[Love] is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."
Robert A. Heinlen, Stranger In A Strange Land


"Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy -- in fact, they're almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other."
Robert A. Heinlen, Stranger In A Strange Land


"...the ethics of sex is a thorny problem. Each of us is forced to grope for a solution he can live with -- in the face of preposterous, unworkable, and evil code of so-called 'Morals.' Most of us know the code is wrong, almost everybody breaks it. But we pay Danegeld by feeling guilty and giving lip service. Willy-nilly, the code rides us, dead and stinking, an albatross around the neck."
Robert A. Heinlen, Stranger In A Strange Land


"Age does not bring wisdom... but it does give perspective... and the saddest sight of all is to see, far behind you, temptations you've resisted."
Robert A. Heinlen, Stranger In A Strange Land


"I think people believe in heaven because they don't like the idea of dying, because they want to carry on living and they don't like the idea that other people will move into their house and put their things into the rubbish."
Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time


"Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem."
Occam's Razor
[No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary]
Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time


"Creation always disturbs the past."
Paul Andreu, French Architect
Thomas J. Campanella, "The Great Egg of China", Wired Magazine, 12.06


"If it's not working you can't polish a turd."
Lee Unkrich, Codirector of Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo
Austin Bunn, "Welcome To Planet Pixar", Wired Magazine, 12.06


"Time is the guy at the amusement park who paints shirts with an airbrush. He sprays out the color in a fine mist until it's just lonely particles floating in the air, waiting to be plastered in place. And what comes of it all, the design on the shirt at the end of the day, usually isn't much to see. I suspect that whoever he is, wakes up in the morning and wonders what he ever saw in it."
Ian Caldwell / Dustin Thomason, The Rule Of Four


"He was the sort of man who thought a pact made in passion was the only good excuse for bad judgment."
Ian Caldwell / Dustin Thomason, The Rule Of Four


"Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate."
Dante
[Abandon all hope, ye that enter here]
Ian Caldwell / Dustin Thomason, The Rule Of Four


"I'd begun to realize that there was an unspoken prejudice among book-learned people, a secret conviction they all seemed to share, that life as we know it is an imperfect vision of reality, and that only art, like a pair of reading glasses, can correct it."
Ian Caldwell / Dustin Thomason, The Rule Of Four


"Adulthood it a glacier encroaching quietly on youth. When it arrives, the stamp of childhood suddenly freezes, capturing us for good in the image of our last act, the pose we struck when the ice of age set in."
Ian Caldwell / Dustin Thomason, The Rule Of Four


"The only things people can ever know about you are the ones you let them see."
Ian Caldwell / Dustin Thomason, The Rule Of Four


"Two people who think they're in love can find out, when left alone, exactly how little they know about each other."
Ian Caldwell / Dustin Thomason, The Rule Of Four


"It is the greatest houses and the tallest trees that the gods bring low with bolts and thunder. For the gods love to thwart whatever is greater than the rest. They do not suffer pride in anyone but themselves."
Herodotus
Ian Caldwell / Dustin Thomason, The Rule Of Four


"Hope ... which whispered from Pandora's box only after all other plagues and sorrows had escaped, is the best and last of all things. Without it, there is only time. And time pushes at our backs like a centrifuge, forcing us outward and away, until it nudges us into oblivion."
Ian Caldwell / Dustin Thomason, The Rule Of Four


"The two hardest things to contemplate in life ... are failure and age; those are one and the same."
Ian Caldwell / Dustin Thomason, The Rule Of Four


"Perfection is the natural consequence of eternity: wait long enough, and anything will realize its potential. Coal becomes diamonds, sand becomes pearls, apes become men. It's simply not given to us, in one lifetime, to see those consummations, and so every failure becomes a reminder of death."
Ian Caldwell / Dustin Thomason, The Rule Of Four


"Imagine ... that the present is simply a reflection of the future. Imagine that we spend our whole lives staring into a mirror with the future at our backs, seeing it only in the reflection of what is here and now. Some of us would begin to believe that we could see tomorrow better by turning around to look at it directly. But those who did, without even realizing it, would've lost the key to the perspective they once had. For the one thing they would never be able to see in it was themselves. By turning their backs on the mirror, they would become the one element of the future their eyes could never find."
Ian Caldwell / Dustin Thomason, The Rule Of Four


"Nothing great ever came out of common sense."
Josephine Tey, To Love And Be Wise


"...the most diligent discoverer of sin in others was the chronic harbourer of a desire to do likewise."
Colin Watson, Six Nuns And A Shotgun


"...whenever serious and competent people need to get things done in the real world, all consideration and protocol fly out the window."
Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver


"...it is easy to look at these waves, accomplishing so little and to think that no matter what efforts we put forth in our lives, all we're really doing is rearranging the sand grains in a beach that in essence never changes."
Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver


"Of persons I will say this: it is difficult to tell when they are running aright but easy to see when something has gone awry."
Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver


"Don't explain computer to laymen. Simpler to explain sex to a virgin."
Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress


"Prediction is extremely difficult, especially about the future."
Niels Bohr
James Burke, Circles


"Labels are for things men make, not for men. The most primitive man is too complex to be labeled."
Rex Stout, The Father Hunt


"If something comes along that you don't like, there are a few sort of four-letter words that you can use to push it out of the sphere of discussion. If you were in a bar downtown, they might have different words, but if you're an educated person what you use are complicated words like "conspiracy theory" or "Marxist." It's a way of pushing unpleasant questions off the agenda so that we can continue in our own happy ideology."
Noam Chomsky


"Don't ever turn down pleasure because you were afraid of what other people might say."
Belle de Jour


"This is why I am not religious. If and when we do learn the true secret of the universe, some kind of religion will be there to hide it. To cover it up. To persecute and shred, to burn and destroy. They stay in business by keeping us in the Dark Ages."
John Dunning, The Bookman's Promise


"A book is a mirror. If an ass peers into it, you can't expect an apostle to look out."
Lichtenberg
John Dunning, The Bookman's Promise


"... I'm doing what I like, why wouldn't I be happy? So what if it's not perfect, I don't believe in perfection. Maybe happy's as good as it gets."
John Dunning, The Bookman's Promise


"There is no better indicators of character than the books you have."
John Dunning, The Bookman's Promise


"You can never do enough for the dead. You search around for comfort but there is no comfort; there never was and never will be. There is only a gradual wearing away of the sharp edges, so that you don't feel ambushed at every turn, as if you saw the dead suddenly rounding the corner."
Martha Grimes, The Winds Of Change


"Children can ask what adults don't dare to because we don't want to admit we're scared and we don't really want to hear the answers."
Martha Grimes, The Winds Of Change


"There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were right. The really dangerous people believe that they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous."
Neil Gaiman, American Gods


"America has invested her religion as well as her morality in sound income-paying securities. She has adopted the unassailable position of a nation blessed because it deserves to be blessed; and her sons, whatever other theologies they may affect or disregard, subscribe unreservedly to this national creed."
Agnes Repplier, Times and Tendencies
Neil Gaiman, American Gods


"Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead."
Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack
Neil Gaiman, American Gods


"He wondered whether home was a thing that happened to a place after a while, or if it was something that you found in the end, if you simply walked and waited and willed it long enough."
Neil Gaiman, American Gods


"There is no single advantage a woman of truly enduring fascination can possess that is so splendid as speaking with a foreign accent, whatever her origin."
Carole Nelson Douglas, The Adventuress


"What does it mean, to lose one's mind? Where does it go? If a man is out of his mind, where is he? What is insane when the world is mad by contrast?"
Laurie R. King, Folly


"I have had some of my best conversations with strangers she said, because they have no idea who they are dealing with."
Brian Andreas, Traveling Light


"I think if I was a woman, he told me, I'd have sex a lot more than most women I know & and I'd definitely stay away from people like me & and my friends."
Brian Andreas, Traveling Light


What are the rules? I said

& she said, Do exactly what I want
whenever I want, make no demands
of me whatsoever, & love me forever,
no questions asked.

& I said, How do I win?

& she said, You don't understand.
I'm the only one who wins

& then she laughed &
clapped her hands.

Isn't it a great game?
she said.
Brian Andreas, Traveling Light


"Destiny? There's only your time & then there's not-your-time, he said. All the rest is made up to keep you busy."
Brian Andreas, Traveling Light


"trying to follow in the footsteps of the masters, but it's a lot harder than it looks because even though they had the same size feet as us, they weren't looking down the whole time while they walked to make sure they were doing it right"
Brian Andreas, Traveling Light


"There's upholding the principle. And there's being the only knucklehead left who's upholding the principle."
Bram Cohen
Clive Thompson, "The BitTorrent Effect", Wired Magazine, 13.01