Thursday, October 16, 2008

Robert A. Heinlein Quotes

Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was an American novelist and science fiction writer. Often called "the dean of science fiction writers", he is one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of "hard science fiction". He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was the first writer to break into mainstream with unvarnished science fiction. He was among the first authors of bestselling, novel-length science fiction in the modern, mass-market era. For many years, Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke were known as the "Big Three" of science fiction. Check the rest of the wiki, he was influenced by Alfred Korzybski too. Quotes:

Belief gets in the way of learning.

Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.

No intelligent man has any respect for an unjust law.

Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.

Anyone can see a forest fire. Skill lies in sniffing the first smoke.

The whole principle is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak. (On censorship)

An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

A generation which ignores history has no past — and no future.

Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. How's that again? I missed something.
Autocracy is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million men. Let's play that over again, too. Who decides?

A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.

Most "scientists" are bottle washers and button sorters.

One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.

Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow if tomorrow might improve the odds.

Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.

Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.

If you pray hard enough, water will run uphill. How hard? Why, hard enough to make water run uphill, of course!

Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense.

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

Humans hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn - when they do, which isn't often - on their own, the hard way.

The capacity of the human mind for swallowing nonsense and spewing it forth in violent and repressive action has never yet been plumbed.

A touchstone to determine the actual worth of an "intellectual"- find out how he feels about astrology.

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.

How can I possibly put a new idea into your heads, if I do not first remove your delusions?

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage.

I also think there are prices too high to pay to save the United States. Conscription (Mandatory Military Service) is one of them. Conscription is slavery, and I don't think that any people or nation has a right to save itself at the price of slavery for anyone, no matter what name it is called. We have had the draft for twenty years now; I think this is shameful. If a country can't save itself through the volunteer service of its own free people, then I say: Let the damned thing go down the drain!

A brute kills for pleasure. A fool kills from hate.

More Quotes here

2 comments:

The Secret Sun said...

These are great. There's an old Greek saying- a man standing for office should automatically disqualify him. It's guys like Heinlein who I'd vote for, but they'd never run!

dedroidify said...

Hey Chris,

Agreed! And funny you should say that, these Heinlein quotes made me think of this Plato quote

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."
Plato

Peace bro