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Quotes 2006

"...I think I've learned a lesson and that is that you have to find your own answers to things. Even if they're wrong answers. The point is the finding."
Martha Grimes, Belle Ruin


"So what is the point of trying to get good reviews? If people like it, it proves that it is no good. The only way to ensure long term success is for it to be absolutely detested. That is the test in modern art."
Iain Pears, The Portrait


"To get what you want -- exactly the effect you have in your mind and no other -- you have to have mastery, otherwise you are like a man trying to speak English with only a limited vocabulary. Unless you have that range, you end up saying what you can say, not what you mean. And once you do that you begin to tramp the road of dishonesty, persuading first others then yourself that there is no difference between the two."
Iain Pears, The Portrait


"What's so bad about IT?"
"Please," ... "Some of them don't even wear suits."
Max Berry, Company


"Everybody wants to sleep with you? How do you know this?"
"When you do some investigating," ... "you discover the minimum standard of what a man will sleep with is very low."
Max Berry, Company


"There is a well-known business principle that everyone rises to his or her level of incompetence, because employees who are good at their jobs are given promotions until they reach a role they're bad at, and then they stay there."
Max Berry, Company


"If you can't feed a team with two pizzas, the size of the team is too large."
Jeff Bezos, The Rules of Business: 55 Essential Ideas to Help Smart People (and Organizations) Perform At Their Best


"...the lies a man tells tell more truth about him -- when analyzed -- than does the truth."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"To get anywhere, or even live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Son, the world doesn't pay off on a "good try.""
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Son, one of the few things I've learned is that humans hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn -- when they do, which isn't often -- on their own, the hard way."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"...age does not bring wisdom. Often it merely changes simple stupidity into arrogant conceit. Its only advantage ... is that is spans change. A young person sees the world as a still picture, immutable. An old person has had his nose rubbed in changes and more changes and still more changes so many times that he knows it is a moving picture, forever changing. He may not like it -- probably doesn't ... but he knows it's so, and knowing is the first step in coping with it."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"To figure out the basic questions about this World it would be necessary to stand outside and look at it. ... When a man dies, he may shake loose his local perspective and see the thing as a whole."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"...I have no beliefs. Beliefs get in the way of learning."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"A generation which ignores history has no past -- an no future."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Of all the strange 'crimes' that human beings have legislated out of nothing, 'blasphemy' is the most amazing -- with 'obscenity' and 'indecent exposure' fighting it out for second and third place."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Sex should be friendly. Otherwise stick to mechanical toys; its more sanitary."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"A woman is not property, and husbands who think otherwise are living in a dreamworld."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Any government will work if authority and responsibility are equal and coordinate. This does not insure 'good' government; it simply insures that it will work. But such governments are rare -- most people want to run things but want no part of the blame. This used to be called the 'backseat-driver syndrome.'"
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"What are the facts? Again and again and again -- what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what 'the stars foretell,' avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable 'verdict of history' -- what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime: the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent -- its says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Masturbation is cheap, clean, convenient, and free of any possibility of wrongdoing -- and you don't have to go home in the cold. But it's lonely."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Everybody lies about sex."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Whenever women have insisted on absolute equality with men, they have invariably wound up with the dirty end of the stick. What they are and what they can do makes them superior to men, and their proper tactic is to demand special privileges, all the traffic will bear. They should never settle merely for equality. For women, 'equality' is a disaster."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"One man's 'magic' is another man's engineering. 'Supernatural' is a null word."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow if tomorrow might improve the odds."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"To stay young requires unceasing cultivation of the ability to unlearn old falsehoods."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"A 'critic is a man who creates nothing and thereby feels qualified to judge the work of creative men. There is logic in this; he is unbiased -- he hates all creative people equally."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning, while those other subjects merely require scholarship."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"The greatest productive force is human selfishness."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Expertise in one field does not carry over into other fields. But experts often think so. The narrower their field of knowledge the more likely they are to think so."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Waking a person unnecessarily should not be considered a capital crime. For a first offense, that is."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Natural laws have no pity."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other 'sins' are invented nonsense."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"Each individual lives her life in now independently of how others may measure that life in years."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


"...the first thing a principle does is kill people..."
Dorothy L. Sayers / Jill Paton Walsh, Thrones, Dominations


"The only man who ever told my fortune ... was an income-tax collector, and he was stupendous."
Margery Allingham, Mystery Mile


"They rediscover bin Laden every two years right before the election. If you had a business strategy that worked all the time that was premised on scaring the living daylights out of people, you just keep doing it."
Bill Clinton, in an interview on Bloomberg Television's Political Capital with Al Hunt, about the Republican strategy for the midterm elections.


"If there's one thing that a study of history has taught us, it is that things can always get worse..."
Neil Gaiman, A Study In Emerald, Fragile Things


"Wherever you travel in the world, you are sure to find the same limited number of species of lawyers, as surely as a naturalist finds his grass and weeds in every land. The first sort of lawyer views the intricacies of the rules of law as profound and unshakable idols of worship. There is a different species of attorney, a carnivorous one to whom the first is prey, who instead treats rules as the principal barriers to success."
Matthew Pearl, The Poe Shadow