Interesting Quotations

Our public monuments are memorials to the Enlightenment. – Mason Cooley

The doctrine of the immortality of the soul has more threat than comfort. – Mason Cooley

Writing an upbeat aphorism is a temptation, but decorum forbids. – Mason Cooley, Aphorisms

Now defined as art, the totem has lost cult, taboo, and custom. – Mason Cooley

Your argument defends an ideology; mine defends the truth. – Mason Cooley

Aphorisms are essentially an aristocratic genre of writing. The aphorist does not argue or explain, he asserts; and implicit in hi s assertion is a conviction that he is wiser and more intelligent than his readers. – Mason Cooley, Aphorisms

Like a frog, the aphorist waits for something to fly by that he can catch with his tongue. – Mason Cooley, Aphorisms

The aphorist is a hit and run artist. – Mason Cooley, Aphorisms

For science fiction, at its best, has the capacity to take its readers into societies that have never existed, or give ironic twists to the familiar milieux so that all meanings are transformed. By reading science fiction we are given a different kind of revelation… that gives, not easy answers, but extremely perplexing questions; it is a revelation that, at its truest, shows us a world of extraordinarily complex moral dilemmas in which there are few clear choices, and yet in which choices must be made. (Future on Ice) – Orson Scott Card

All the causes or purposes of all our acts are just stories we tell ourselves, stories we believe or disbelieve, changing all the time. But still we live, we act, and all those acts have some kind of cause. The patterns fit together into a web that connects everyone who’s ever lived with anyone else. (The Changed Man) – Orson Scott Card

What human life is, what it’s for, what we do, is create communities. (Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus) – Orson Scott Card

A man might have plenty of help finding the short path to hell, but no one else can make him set foot upon it. – Orson Scott Card (Seventh Son)

It slowed him down to have his own thoughts move around in circles–without outside stimulation it was hard to break free of his own assumptions. One mind can think only of its own questions; it rarely surprises itself. – Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Shadow)

[People with] inner strength and outward respect. These are the people who hold a community together, who lead. Unlike the sheep and the wolves, they perform a better role than the script given to them by their inner fears and desires. They act out the script of decency, of self-sacrifice, of public honor–of civilization. And in the pretense, it becomes reality. – Orson Scott Card (Xenocide)

Taste is the only morality. Tell me what you like and I’ll tell you what you are. – John Ruskin

The common practice of keeping up appearances with society is a mere selfish struggle of the vain with the vain. – John Ruskin

What we think or what we know or what we believe is in the end of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do – John Ruskin

Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth. – John Ruskin

The greatest thing a human being ever does in this world is to see something… To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one. – John Ruskin

He who has truth at his heart need never fear the want of persuasion on his tongue. – John Ruskin

When love and skill work together, expect a materpiece. – John Ruskin

The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get from it, but what they become by it – John Ruskin

It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose that someone you love with your useless pride. – John Ruskin

There is no wealth but life. -John Ruskin

There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey. – John Ruskin

Music when healthy, is the teacher of perfect order, and when depraved, the teacher of perfect disorder. – John Ruskin

In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes. – John Ruskin

Nothing can be beautiful which is not true. – John Ruskin

All great and beautiful work has come of first gazing without shrinking into the darkness. – John Ruskin

Friday, brainpower is the scarcest commodity and the only one of real value. Any human organization can be rendered useless, impotent, a danger to itself, by selectively removing its best minds while carefully leaving the stupid ones in place. It took only a few careful ‘accidents’ to ruin utterly the great Prussian military machine and turn it into a blundering mob. But this did not show until the fighting was well under way, because stupid fools look just as good as military geniuses until the fighting starts. – Dr. Hartley M. Baldwin

Self-defense sometimes must take the form of ‘Do unto others what they would do unto you but do it first.’ – Dr. Hartley M. Baldwin

We each have a moral obligation to conserve and preserve beauty in this world; there is none to waste. – Dr. Hartley M. Baldwin

Sick cultures show a complex of symptoms . . . but a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for other in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.” – Dr. Hartley M. Baldwin

…the absence of Eyes and Ears today simply means that they are concealed. – Dr. Hartley M. Baldwin

People are so used to the computer net today that it is easy to forget what a window to the world it can be… One can grow so canalized in using a terminal only in certain ways — paying bills, making telephone calls, listening to news bulletins — that one can neglect its richer uses. If a subscriber is willing to pay for the service, almost anything can be done at a terminal that can be done out of bed. – Dr. Hartley M. Baldwin

Geniuses and supergeniuses always make their own rules on sex as on everything else; they do not accept the monkey customs of their lessers. – Dr. Hartley M. Baldwin

“In terms of morals, there is no such thing as ‘state’. Just men. Individuals. Each responsible for his own acts.” – Bernardo de la Paz

(de la Paz) claimed that communication to enemy were essential to any war if was to be fought and settled sensibly. (Prof was a pacifist. Like his vegetarianism, he did not let it keep him from being rational.) – Manuel Kelly Garcia Davis

(de la Paz says) stickiest problems in conspiracy are communications and security, and had pointed out that they conflict — easier are communications, greater is risk to security; if security is tight, organization can be paralyzed by safety precautions. – Manuel Kelly Garcia Davis

As (de la Paz) says, “If possible, leave room for your enemy to become your friend.” – Manuel Kelly Garcia Davis

You have put your finger on the dilemma of all government — and the reason I am an anarchist. The power to tax, once conceded, has no limits; it contains until it destroys. – Bernardo de la Paz

But if you really believe that your neighbors must have laws for their own good, why shouldn’t you pay for it? Comrades, I beg you — do not resort to compulsory taxation. 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. – Bernardo de la Paz

What I fear most are affirmative actions of sober and well- intentioned men, granting to government powers to do something that appears to need doing. Please remember always that the Lunar Authority was created for the noblest of purposes by just such sober and well-intentioned men, all popularly elected. And with that thought I leave you to your labors. Thank you. – Bernardo de la Paz

But in writing your constitution let me invite attention to the wonderful virtues of the negative! Accentuate the negative! Let your document be studded with things the government is forever forbidden to do. No conscript armies … no interference however slight with freedom of press, or speech, or travel, or assembly, or of religion, or of instruction, or communication, or occupation … no involuntary taxation. Comrades, if you were to spend five years in a study of history while thinking of more and more things that your government should promise never to do and then let your constitution be nothing but those negatives, I would not fear the outcome. – Bernardo de la Paz

— the more impediment to legislation the better. – Bernardo de la Paz

You might even consider installing the candidates who receive the least number of votes; unpopular men may be just the sort to save you from a new tyranny. Don’t reject the idea merely because it seems preposterous — think about it! In past history popularly elected governments have been no better and sometimes worse than overt tyrannies. – Bernardo de la Paz

Distrust the obvious, suspect the traditional… – Bernardo de la Paz

In each age it is necessary to adapt to the popular mythology. At one time kings were anointed by Diety, so the problem was to see to it that Diety anointed the right candidate. In this age the myth is ‘the will of the people’… but the problem only changes superficially. – Bernardo de la Paz

Since they can inflict their will upon us, our only chance lies in weakening their will. That was why we had to go (to them). To be divisive. To create many opinions. The shrewdest of the great generals in China’s history once said that perfection in war lay in so sapping the opponents will that he surrenders without fighting. In that maxim lies both our ultimate purpose and our most pressing danger. – Bernardo de la Paz

A revolutionist must keep his mind free of worry or the pressure becomes intolerable. – Bernardo de la Paz

Revolution is art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. Nor is this a source of dismay; a lost cause can be as spiritually satisfying as a victory. – Bernardo de la Paz

Professor, I can’t understand you. I don’t insist that you call it ‘government’ –I just want you to state what rules you think are necessary to insure equal freedom for all. // Dear lady, I’ll happily accept your rules. // But you don’t seem to want any rules! // True. But I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. – Bernardo de la Paz and Wyoming Knott

I’m a rational anarchist… A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self- responsible individuals. He believes that it is impossible to shift blame, share blame, distribute blame . . . as blame, guilt, responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else . But being rational, he knows that not all individuals hold his evaluations, so he tried to live perfectly in an imperfect world . . . aware that his effort will be less than perfect yet undismayed by self-knowledge of self-failure. – Bernardo de la Paz

For example, under what circumstance may the State justly place its welfare above that of a citizen? – Bernardo de la Paz

…revolutions are not won by enlisting the masses. Revolution is a science only a few are competent to practice. It depends on correct organization and, above all, on communications. Then, at the proper moment in history, they strike. Correctly organized and properly timed it is a bloodless coupe. Done clumsily or prematurely and the result is a civil war, more violence, purges, terror. I hope you will forgive me if I say that, up to now, it has been done clumsily. Organization must be no larger than necessary — never recruit anyone merely because he wants to join. Nor seek to persuade for the pleasure of having another share your views. He’ll share them when the time comes . . . or you’ve misjudged the moment in history. Oh, there will be an educational organization but it must be separate; agitprop is no part of basic structure.As to basic structure, a revolution starts as a conspiracy; therefore structure is small, secret, and organized as to minimize damage by betrayal — since there always are betrayals. One solution is the cell system and so far nothing better has been invented. Much theory has gone into optimizing cell size. I think that history shows that a cell of three is best — more than three can’t agree on when to have to have dinner, much less when to strike. – Bernardo de la Paz

The trouble with conspiracies is that they rot internally. When the number is as high as four, chances are even that one is a spy. – Bernardo de la Paz

To a revolutionist, communications are a sine-qua-non. – Bernardo de la Paz

…when faced with a problem you do not understand, do any part of it you do understand, then look at it again. – Bernardo de la Paz

The tragedy of language… Those who know each other only through symbolic representations are forced to imagine each other. And because their imagination is imperfect, they are often wrong. – Demosthenes, concerning Rymus Ojman

“The difference between ramen and varelse is not in the creature judged, but in the creature judging. When we declare an alien species to be ramen, it does not mean that they have passed a threshold of moral maturity. It means that we have.” — Demosthenes, Letter to the Framlings

“The Nordic language recognizes four orders of foreignness. The first is the otherlander, or utlanning, the stranger that we recognize as being a human of our world, but of another city or country. The second is the framling… This is the stranger that we recognize as human, but of another world. The third is the raman, the stranger that we recognize as human, but of another species. The fourth is the true alien, the varelse…” – Hierarchy of Exclusion, Demosthenes, History of Wutan in Trondheim

…with all governments everywhere tightening down on everything wherever they can, with their computers and their Public Eyes and ninety-nine other sorts of electronic surveillance, there is a moral obligation on each free person to fight back wherever possible — keep underground railways open, keep shades drawn, give misinformation to computers. Computers are literal-minded and stupid; electronic records aren’t really records . . . so it is good to be alert to opportunities to foul up the system. – Friday

Throughout history the conventional way of dealing with an awkward witness has been to arrange for him to stop breathing. If you don’t believe that such things can happen, we aren’t living in the same world and there is no point in your reading any more of this… – Friday

How many people have died because they could not abandon their baggage? – Friday

Field operatives, even common soldiers, are expensive; management does not expend them casually. A trained assassin costs at least ten times as much as a common soldier: she is not expected to get herself killed — goodness me, no! She is expected to make the kill and get out, scot free. – Friday

Bare feet are as provocative as bare breasts, although most people do not seem to know it. A female packaged only in a lava-lava is far more provocative than one totally nude. – Friday

Properly regarded, male vanity is a virtue, not a vice. Treated correctly, it makes him enormously pleasanter to deal with. – Friday

Friday, one of your weaknesses is that you lack appropriate conceit. – Dr. Hartley M. Baldwin

If you are ever questioned under pain, do scream. The Iron Man routine just makes them worse and it worse. Take it from one who’s been there. Scream your head off and crack as fast as possible. – Friday

I was taught in basic that no place is ever totally safe and that any place you habitually return to is your top danger spot, the place most likely for booby trap, ambush, stakeout. – Friday

No matter how lavishly overpaid, civil servants everywhere are convinced that they are horribly underpaid — but all public employees have larceny in their hearts or they wouldn’t be feeding at the public trough. – Friday

Digressions, incontestably, are the sunshine, the life, the soul of reading! Take them out and one cold eternal winter would reign in every page. – Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)

“He whom I bow to only knows to whom I bow When I attempt the ineffable Name, murmuring Thou, And dream of Pheidian fancies and embrace in heart Symbols (I know) which cannot be the thing thou art. Thus always, taken at their word, all prayers blaspheme Worshiping with frail images a folk-lore dream, And all men in their praying, self-deceived, address The coinage of their own unquiet thoughts, unless Thou in magnetic mercy to Thyself divert Our arrows, aimed unskillfully, beyond desert; And all men are idolaters, crying unheard To a deaf idol, if thou take them at their word. Take not, oh Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in thy great, Unbroken speech our limping metaphor translate.” – C.S. Lewis

I believe no matter how long or short the story, people should know why it is important and worth their time. It’s not enough just to paint a pretty picture. We must strive to tell them something about the world that matters, to be journalists and not simply storytellers. Hopefully, in a non-traditional way. – Brady Dennis

He was messing with the most dangerous person that exists – which is someone with limited options and lots of free time. – Tristan Jimerson on The Moth 12/31

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