Randy > Randy's Quotes

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  • #1
    Bruce Sterling
    “Forget trying to pass for normal. Follow your geekdom. Embrace nerditude. In the immortal words of Lafcadio Hearn, a geek of incredible obscurity whose work is still in print after a hundred years, “Woo the muse of the odd.” You may be a geek. You may have geek written all over you. You should aim to be one geek they'll never forget. Don't aim to be civilized. Don’t hope that straight people will keep you on as some sort of pet. To hell with them. You should fully realize what society has made of you and take a terrible revenge. Get weird. Get way weird. Get dangerously weird. Get sophisticatedly, thoroughly weird, and don't do it halfway. Put every ounce of horsepower you have behind it. Don't become a well-rounded person. Well-rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a pufferfish.”
    Bruce Sterling

  • #2
    Clive Barker
    “Nothing happens carelessly. We’re not brought into the world without reason, even though we may never understand the reason. An infant that lives an hour, that dies before it can lay eyes on those who made it, even that soul did not live without purpose: this is my sudden certainty.”
    Clive Barker, Galilee

  • #3
    Socrates
    “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
    Socrates

  • #4
    Karl R. Popper
    “Science may be described as the art of systematic oversimplification.”
    Karl R. Popper

  • #5
    Karl R. Popper
    “The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato.

    Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”
    Karl R. Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies

  • #6
    Karl R. Popper
    “No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude.”
    Karl R. Popper

  • #7
    Karl R. Popper
    “Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.”
    Karl R. Popper

  • #8
    Karl R. Popper
    “All life is problem solving”
    Karl R. Popper

  • #9
    Karl R. Popper
    “We should realize that, if [Socrates] demanded that the wisest men should rule, he clearly stressed that he did not mean the learned men; in fact, he was skeptical of all professional learnedness, whether it was that of the philosophers or of the learned men of his own generation, the Sophists. The wisdom he meant was of a different kind. It was simply the realization: how little do I know! Those who did not know this, he taught, knew nothing at all. This is the true scientific spirit.”
    Karl R. Popper

  • #10
    Karl R. Popper
    “Philosophy is a necessary activity because we, all of us, take a great number of things for granted, and many of these assumptions are of a philosophical character; we act on them in private life, in politics, in our work, and in every other sphere of our lives -- but while some of these assumptions are no doubt true, it is likely, that more are false and some are harmful. So the critical examination of our presuppositions -- which is a philosophical activity -- is morally as well as intellectually important.”
    Karl R. Popper

  • #11
    Karl R. Popper
    “Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.”
    Karl R. Popper

  • #12
    Karl R. Popper
    “True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the refusal to acquire it.”
    Karl R. Popper

  • #13
    Karl R. Popper
    “But the secret of intellectual excellence is the spirit of criticism ; it is intellectual independence. And this leads to difficulties which must prove insurmountable for any kind of authoritarianism. The authoritarian will in general select those who obey, who believe, who respond to his influence. But in doing so, he is bound to select mediocrities. For he excludes those who revolt, who doubt, who dare to resist his influence. Never can an authority admit that the intellectually courageous, i.e. those who dare to defy his authority, may be the most valuable type. Of course, the authorities will always remain convinced of their ability to detect initiative. But what they mean by this is only a quick grasp of their intentions, and they will remain for ever incapable of seeing the difference.”
    Karl R. Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies - Volume 1: The Spell of Plato

  • #14
    Karl R. Popper
    “It is complete nihilism to propose laying down arms in a world where atom bombs are around. It is very simple: there is no way of achieving peace other than with weapons.”
    Karl R. Popper, Lesson of This Century: With Two Talks on Freedom and the Democratic State

  • #15
    Karl R. Popper
    “I remained a socialist for several years, even after my rejection of Marxism; and if there could be such a thing as socialism combined with individual liberty, I would be a socialist still. For nothing could be better than living a modest, simple, and free life in an egalitarian society. It took some time before I recognized this as no more than a beautiful dream; that freedom is more important than equality; that the attempt to realize equality endangers freedom; and that, if freedom is lost, there will not even be equality among the unfree.”
    Karl R. Popper, Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography

  • #16
    Karl R. Popper
    “Nature consists of facts and of regularities, and is in itself neither moral nor immoral. It is we who impose our standards upon nature, and who in this way introduce morals into the natural world, in spite the fact that we are part of this world. We are products of nature, but nature has made us together with our power of altering the world, of foreseeing and of planning for the future, and of making far-reaching decisions for which we are morally responsible. Yet, responsibility, decisions, enter the world of nature only with us”
    Karl R. Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies - Volume 1: The Spell of Plato

  • #17
    Karl R. Popper
    “Historically, all ethics undoubtedly begin with religion; but I do not now deal with historical questions. I do not ask who was the first lawgiver. I only maintain that it is we, and we alone, who are responsible for adopting or rejecting some suggested moral laws; it is we who must distinguish between the true prophets and the false prophets. All kinds of norms have been claimed to be God-given. If you accept 'Christian' ethics of equality and toleration and freedom of conscience only because of its claim to rest upon divine authority, then you build on a weak basis; for it has been only too often claimed that inequality is willed by God, and that we must not be tolerant with unbelievers. If, however, you accept the Christian ethics not because you are commanded to do so but because of your conviction that it is the right decision to take, then it is you who have decided.”
    Karl R. Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies - Volume 1: The Spell of Plato

  • #18
    Patrick Süskind
    “Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.”
    Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

  • #19
    Patrick Süskind
    “He succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting. People left him alone. And that was all he wanted.”
    Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

  • #20
    Socrates
    “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”
    Socrates

  • #21
    Milan Kundera
    “The worst thing is not that the world is unfree, but that people have unlearned their liberty.

    The more indifferent people are to politics, to the interests of others, the more obsessed they become with their own faces. The individualism of our time.

    Not being able to fall asleep and not allowing oneself to move: the marital bed.

    If high culture is coming to an end, it is also the end of you and your paradoxical ideas, because paradox as such belongs to high culture and not to childish prattle. You remind me of the young men who supported the Nazis or communists not out of cowardice or out of opportunism but out of an excess of intelligence. For nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought… You are the brilliant ally of your own gravediggers.

    In the world of highways, a beautiful landscape means: an island of beauty connected by a long line with other islands of beauty.

    How to live in a world with which you disagree? How to live with people when you neither share their suffering nor their joys? When you know that you don’t belong among them?... our century refuses to acknowledge anyone’s right to disagree with the world…All that remains of such a place is the memory, the ideal of a cloister, the dream of a cloister…

    Humor can only exist when people are still capable of recognizing some border between the important and the unimportant. And nowadays this border has become unrecognizable.

    The majority of people lead their existence within a small idyllic circle bounded by their family, their home, and their work... They live in a secure realm somewhere between good and evil. They are sincerely horrified by the sight of a killer. And yet all you have to do is remove them from this peaceful circle and they, too, turn into murderers, without quite knowing how it happened.

    The longing for order is at the same time a longing for death, because life is an incessant disruption of order. Or to put it the other way around: the desire for order is a virtuous pretext, an excuse for virulent misanthropy.

    A long time a go a certain Cynic philosopher proudly paraded around Athens in a moth-eaten coat, hoping that everyone would admire his contempt for convention. When Socrates met him, he said: Through the hole in your coat I see your vanity. Your dirt, too, dear sir, is self-indulgent and your self-indulgence is dirty.

    You are always living below the level of true existence, you bitter weed, you anthropomorphized vat of vinegar! You’re full of acid, which bubbles inside you like an alchemist’s brew. Your highest wish is to be able to see all around you the same ugliness as you carry inside yourself. That’s the only way you can feel for a few moments some kind of peace between yourself and the world. That’s because the world, which is beautiful, seems horrible to you, torments you and excludes you.

    If the novel is successful, it must necessarily be wiser than its author. This is why many excellent French intellectuals write mediocre novels. They are always more intelligent than their books.

    By a certain age, coincidences lose their magic, no longer surprise, become run-of-the-mill.

    Any new possibility that existence acquires, even the least likely, transforms everything about existence.”
    Milan Kundera



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