07 July, 2007

Robert Anson Heinlein

Happy Birthday!

Some quotes from he and his works:
"I am quite used to being considered too spectacular. My own brother, a colonel of engineers, thought my pre-war stories about the atomic bomb and atomic weapons to be sheer moonshine; he has since flown over to Hiroshima and changed his mind."
-- RAH From Grumbles from the Grave

"My old man claimed that the more complicated the law the more opportunity for scoundrels."
-- Daniel Boone Davis in The Door Into Summer

"Get a shot off fast. This upsets him long enough to let you make your second shot perfect."
-- From the notebooks of Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or a corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years , the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped ,or turned back, for their private benefit."
-- The Judge in Life-Line

"That's impossible!"
"Yep, so is a baby, son."
-- Lazarus Long and unidentified Howard Families member in Methuselah's Children

"Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excssive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as "empty," "meaningless," or "dishonest," and scorn to use them. No matter how "pure" their motives, they thereby throw sand into the machinery that does not work too well at best."
-- From the notebooks of Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

"I'm buying and you're selling. If you don't sell what I want to buy I'll go where they do sell it."
-- Daniel Boone Davis in the door into summer

"Basic truths cannot change and once a man of insight expresses one of them it is never necessary, no matter how much the world changes, to reformulate them."
-- Mr. (Colonel) DuBois in Starship Troopers

"He's an honest politician, he stays bought."
-- Jubal Harshaw in Stranger In a Strange Land

"People who go broke in a big way never miss any meals. It is the poor jerk who is shy a half slug who must tighten his belt."
-- From the notebooks of Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay--and claims a halo for his dishonesty."
-- John Joseph Bonforte in Double Star

"Do-gooding is like treating hemophilia -- the real cure is to let hemophiliacs bleed to death... before they breed more hemophiliacs."
-- Jubal Harshaw in Stranger in a Strange Land

"But we made our own fun, mostly. I recall a time, many years later, when American children seemed unable to amuse themselves without a fortune in electrical and electronic equipment. We had no fancy equipment and did not miss it."
-- Maureen Johnson in To Sail Beyond the Sunset

"You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic."
-- Zeb in Revolt in 2001

"But the thing that stonkered me was the idea on Canada united with us. Most Americans do not know why Canadians dislike us (I do not), but they do. The idea that Canadians would ever vote to unite with us boggles the mind."
-- Alexander Hergensheimer/Alex Graham in Job: A Comedy of Justice

"Happiness lies in being privileged to work hard for long hours in doing whatever you think is worth doing."
-- Dr. Jubal Harshaw in To Sail Beyond the Sunset

"The third 'right'? - the 'pursuit of happiness'? It is indeed unalienable but it is not a right; it is simply a universal condition which tyrants cannot take away nor patriots restore.

Cast me into a dungeon, burn me at the stake, crown me king of kings, I can 'pursue happiness' as long as my brain lives - but neither gods nor saints, wise men nor subtle drugs, can insure that I will catch it."
-- Mr. (Colonel) Dubois in Starship Troopers

"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 tries to live perfectly in an imperfect world.. aware that his efforts will be less than perfect yet undismayed by self-knowledge of self-failure."
-- Professor Bernardo De La Paz in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
-- From the notebooks of Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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