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Quotes 2011

"It was one of the hallmarks of sin that the world's greatest sinners often thought of themselves as the world's greatest saints."
Jane Haddam, Murder Superior


"The difference between slutty and sexy is three more inches on your dress."
Joe Zee, Creative Director, ELLE Magazine


"Truth comes in two formats: insights, and collisions with reality."
Jack McDevitt, Echo


"The vast majority of conversations are little more than entertainment, digressions, set pieces. Foremost among the few that matter are the ones I have with myself."
Jack McDevitt, Echo


"I never understood the concept of guilt, ... On a superficial level, of course. Do good and avoid evil, and pay a psychological price if you fail to comply. That is simple enough. The problem is that we are really talking about intent. There is no other way to define evil. But sometimes people inadvertently cause damage to others. Sometimes it can't be helped, and one must choose the lesser of evils. In any case, the fault may result from negligence; it may result from positive action; it may result from indecision. In all of these cases, regardless of intent, the human guilt complex may be expected to cut in."
Jack McDevitt, Echo


"The real threat implied by the arrival of a visitor from, say Andromeda, is not that he might be the point man for an invading force. Rather, it is that he might embody a new perspective. We feel secure with viewpoints that have been around awhile. We like them, and we don't want anybody messing with them."
Jack McDevitt, Echo


"Forget not that God has given you a mind. It may well be that the greatest sin is a failure to use it. Take time to look above the rooftops. To question that which everyone else holds as incorruptible truth, and live so that your actions are more than a mere echo of all that has gone before."
Jack McDevitt, Echo


"Flats make me walk like a girl. Heels make me walk like a woman."
Stylestance, Dress without Regret


"Wear heels as a rule... it will change your mood, your outlook, your confidence..."
DKNY PR girl via Twitter


"There were no real cosmic questions. There was no honest impetus to discover the meaning of life. There was only boredom, and the answer to boredom was really kinky sex."
Jane Haddam, Festival of Deaths


"Sometimes [he] found himself astounded that any man and woman anywhere ever managed to end up in bed with each other. Getting there the first time was such a mess of conflict and confusion."
Jane Haddam, Bleeding Hearts


"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play."
Arnold Toynbee


"The emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert -- in anything."
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers


"Those three things -- autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward -- are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine to five. It's whether our work fulfills us."
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers


"Hard work is only a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning."
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers


"Planes are safer when the least experienced pilot is flying, because it means the second pilot isn't going to be afraid to speak up."
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers


"Stupid is never harmless."
Jane Haddam, Baptism In Blood


"I've had a man or two who was interested in having guns around, but I could never see the point. You have a gun around, you're likely to get mad and use it and then wish you hadn't."
Jane Haddam, Baptism In Blood


"If you're going to wear heels, know how to walk in them."
Bergdorfs via Twitter


"It was odd how the smallest thing you did, the most innocent thing, could look so damning when it was cast in the wrong kind of light."
Jane Haddam, True Believers


"He didn't think he would ever want to say it, but truth was that he was sick of the entire issue. He didn't even understand why it had to be an issue. Some people were gay, and some people were not. Why should that be any business of his? Why should that be any business of anybody's? What was it exactly, that made so many people feel that they had to Take A Stand at every possible opportunity, until the world was full of stands on matters so trivial, they made the mind numb?"
Jane Haddam, True Believers


"She had not kept pictures of herself from high school or from her earliest days at college, because they had seemed unnecessary to her. You came through a phase then it was over. What was the point of reminding yourself, again and again, that you had once been much stupider than you were now?"
Jane Haddam, Somebody Else's Music


"...there was nothing more evil on this planet than happy ignorance."
Jane Haddam, Conspiracy Theory


"Satan is willful ignorance ... Satan is superstition. Satan is what we do when we take the easy way out and look for magic and potions and plots to explain life to us, and now we all seem to do it. ... They think it's religion ... but it is not. It wasn't when we burned witches in the Middle Ages and it isn't now. It's a kind of brain disease."
Jane Haddam, Conspiracy Theory


"Eventually, everything became known. Sometimes it became known quickly, and sometimes it became known only after a long time, but it wasn't true that people couple keep secrets. In the long run, everything you'd ever done would be on display for the world to see."
Jane Haddam, Conspiracy Theory


"The reason the men who create great business empires always seem to come up from the bottom ... is because those are the people who know what most Americans want to buy. The reason business empires fail when those men die is that they're taken over by people like us, who know nothing of the kind. No prep-school boy could have created Wal-Mart. No prep-school boy could even have conceived it."
Jane Haddam, Conspiracy Theory


"In the end, it came down to the same thing, it all came down to the same thing, too many people taking too many things seriously when they didn't mean anything at all. Nothing meant anything at all. You worked and worked, You stayed up late and came in early and canceled dates family dinners. You did all the things you were supposed to do and then it ended up here, with you feeling like a piece of tired fruit suspended in Jell-O."
Jane Haddam, Conspiracy Theory


...only ignorant people used the word "pervert."
Jane Haddam, The Headmaster's Wife


"There's no way of knowing if the tree you plant will also turn out to be the tree you hang yourself from."
Jose Saramago
Jane Haddam, The Headmaster's Wife


"...free speech isn't about speech you like but about speech you don't."
Jane Haddam, Hardscrabble Road


"[The election] doesn't matter. It will all be anger and craziness. When I first came to America, people were not angry like this all the time ... People were passionate about politics... but most people were not angry like this. It is not once side or the other now. It is both of them. And it doesn't matter what the issue is. If you don't like tax cuts, you are a traitor who wants to sell out the country to Islamic fundamentalists. If you don't like abortion, you are a murderer who wants to enslave women as breeding machines with no right to a life of their own. It's not that there isn't any center anymore. It's that there isn't any sense. ... It doesn't matter who gets elected in November, it will be the same thing over again, and do you know why? It's because it's not about politics. It's not about are we going to have a welfare state or a laissez-faire one. It's not about should there be public schools or private schools that get vouchers. It's not about politics. It's about religion.

There is real religion, which is about our relationship to God ... But there is another kind of religion, and that is the religion that is about identity, It is about banding together in a group and defending ourselves against what we fear, when what we fear is each other. It is about not wanting to live in a world where we are a minority, because it is uncomfortable to be a minority. That kind of religion talks about God sometimes, but it doesn't have to. It can call itself Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Communist or Libertarian or Green. I like real religion. ... This other stuff, I look at it and I fear for the survival of civilization."
Jane Haddam, Hardscrabble Road


"[The rich] are not stupid. They know they have to pay off at least a little if they want to stay in power, or in business. So they pay off, just a little. But never more than just a little. And they present the suckers with two options: a Democratic Party that's working for them and pretending to be trying to take care of the people they hurt, and a Republican Party that's working for them and pretending to care about people with 'traditional values.' They distract Democratic voters with puny-assed programs that won't even begin to address the problems created by global capitalism, never mind the yawning chasm of inequality it creates. They distract the Republican voters with God, guns and gays. They despise everybody who doesn't have a bank account the size of Wisconsin and they always win. And the suckers get themselves all worked up about Roe v. Wade or immigration law, and never see it happening."
Jane Haddam, Hardscrabble Road


"He knew time could heal. But it could also do more damage. A forest fire, spread over time, would consume everything."
Louise Penny, A Trick Of The Light


"In this society, if a man is called a woman, that's the biggest insult he could get. Is that because women are considered something less? I know people want me to sort of defend myself, to sit here and be like, "I'm a boy, but I wear makeup sometimes." But, you know, to me, it doesn't really matter. I don't really have that sort of strong gender identity - I identify as what I am."
Andrej Pejic


"I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don't. It's the great mystery."
Steve Jobs
Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs


"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Steve Jobs
Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs


"People would confront a problem by creating a presentation. I wanted them to engage, to hash things out at the table, rather than showing a bunch of slides. People who know what they're talking about don't need PowerPoint."
Steve Jobs
Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs


Whether it's an iPod Mini or a MacBook Pro, Apple customers know the feeling of opening up the well-crafted box and finding the product nestled in an inviting fashion. "Steve and I spend a lot of time on the packaging," said [Jonathan] Ive. "I love the process of unpacking something. You design a ritual of unpacking to make the product feel special. Packaging can be theater, it can create a story."
Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs


"We might think we're living in an enlightened society, but as often as not you'll find it's only skin-deep, if that. People might know the politically correct responses and attitudes and trot them out as and when required, but it doesn't mean they believe them, any more than people going to church means they're really religious and believe in God."
Peter Robinson, All The Colors Of Darkness


"...in more distant times, when the sea withdrew, it would leave behind only sweet-smelling algae and beautiful shells that were like gifts to mankind. Now it only gave us back our own rubbish."
Andrea Camilleri, The Potter's Field


"Eating, like sex, wants no worries."
Andrea Camilleri, The Potter's Field