Ahmed Fazly > Ahmed's Quotes

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  • #1
    Voltaire
    “Do you believe,' said Candide, 'that men have always massacred each other as they do to-day, that they have always been liars, cheats, traitors, ingrates, brigands, idiots, thieves, scoundrels, gluttons, drunkards, misers, envious, ambitious, bloody-minded, calumniators, debauchees, fanatics, hypocrites, and fools?'
    Do you believe,' said Martin, 'that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they have found them?”
    Voltaire, Candide

  • #2
    Tom Wolfe
    “A person has all sorts of lags built into him Kesey is saying. Once the most basic is the sensory lag the lag between the time your senses receive something and you are able to react. One-thirtieth of a second is the time it takes if you are the most alert person alive and most people are a lot slower than that.... You can't go any faster than that... We are all doomed to spend the rest of our lives watching a movies of our lives - we are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1 30th of a second ago. We think we are in the present but we aren't. The present we know is only a movies of the past and we will really never be able to control the present through ordinary means.”
    Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

  • #3
    Tom Wolfe
    “I make out a schoolbus...glowing orange, green, magenta, lavender, chlorine blue, every fluorescent pastel imaginable in thousands of designs, both large and small, like a cross between Fernand Liger and Dr. Strange, roaring together and vibrating off each other as if somebody had given Hieronymous Bosch fifty buckets of day-glo paint and a 1939 International Harvester schoolbus and told him to go to it.”
    Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

  • #4
    Tom Wolfe
    “It's like we're strands of wire intertwined in a great cable that runs through a slot . . . Most people lead two-dimensional lives. All they can see is the face of the slot, a cross section, so that the wires look like a mass of separate little circles looking bigger or smaller according to how close you are. They don't--they can't see that these 'circles' are just cross sections of wires that run backward and forward infinitely and that there is a great surge through the whole cable and that anybody who is truly into the full bare essence of the thing...”
    Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

  • #5
    William Shakespeare
    “Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
    As I foretold you, were all spirits and
    Are melted into air, into thin air:
    And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
    The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
    The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
    Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
    And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
    Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
    As dreams are made on, and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep.”
    William Shakespeare, The Tempest

  • #6
    Charles Dickens
    “External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn't know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often "came down" handsomely and Scrooge never did.”
    Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

  • #7
    H.P. Lovecraft
    “Throw a stick, and the servile dog wheezes and pants and stumbles to bring it to you. Do the same before a cat, and he will eye you with coolly polite and somewhat bored amusement. And just as inferior people prefer the inferior animal which scampers excitedly because someone else wants something, so do superior people respect the superior animal which lives its own life and knows that the puerile stick-throwings of alien bipeds are none of its business and beneath its notice. The dog barks and begs and tumbles to amuse you when you crack the whip. That pleases a meekness-loving peasant who relishes a stimulus to his self importance. The cat, on the other hand, charms you into playing for its benefit when it wishes to be amused; making you rush about the room with a paper on a string when it feels like exercise, but refusing all your attempts to make it play when it is not in the humour. That is personality and individuality and self-respect -- the calm mastery of a being whose life is its own and not yours -- and the superior person recognises and appreciates this because he too is a free soul whose position is assured, and whose only law is his own heritage and aesthetic sense.”
    H.P. Lovecraft

  • #8
    Michael Crichton
    “You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away -- all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It's powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that's happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.”
    Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park / Congo

  • #9
    Charles Dickens
    “[W]e talk about the tyranny of words, but we like to tyrannise over them too; we are fond of having a large superfluous establishment of words to wait upon us on great occasions; we think it looks important, and sounds well. As we are not particular about the meaning of our liveries on state occassions, if they be but fine and numerous enough, so, the meaning or necessity of our words is a secondary consideration, if there be but a great parade of them. And as individuals get into trouble by making too great a show of liveries, or as slaves when they are too numerous rise against their masters, so I think I could mention a nation that has got into many great difficulties, and will get into many greater, from maintaining too large a retinue of words.”
    Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

  • #10
    Zane Grey
    “So that's troublin' you? I reckon it needn't. You see it was this way. I come round the house an' seen that fat party an' heard him talkin' loud. Then he seen me, an' very impolite goes straight for his gun. He oughtn't have tried to throw a gun on me - whatever his reason was. For that's meetin' me on my own grounds. I've seen runnin' molasses that was quicker'n him. Now I didn't know who he was, visitor or friend or relation of yours, though I seen he was a Mormon all over, an' I couldn't get serious about shootin'. So I winged him - put a bullet through his arm as he was pullin' at his gun. An' he droppped the gun there, an' a little blood. I told him he'd introduced himself sufficient, an' to please move out of my vicinity. An' went" - Lassiter”
    Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage

  • #11
    Zane Grey
    “He saw his enemies stealthily darting from rock to tree, and tree to bush, creeping through the brush, and slipping closer and closer every moment. On three sides were his hated foes and on the remaining side—the abyss. Without a moment's hesitation the intrepid Major spurred his horse at the precipice. Never shall I forget that thrilling moment. The three hundred savages were silent as they realized the Major's intention. Those in the fort watched with staring eyes. A few bounds and the noble steed reared high on his hind legs. Outlined by the clear blue sky the magnificent animal stood for one brief instant, his black mane flying in the wind, his head thrown up and his front hoofs pawing the air like Marcus Curtius' mailed steed of old, and then down with a crash, a cloud of dust, and the crackling of pine limbs.”
    Zane Grey, Betty Zane

  • #12
    John le Carré
    “A man who lives a part, not to others but alone, is exposed to obvious psychological dangers. In itself the practice of deception is not particularly exacting. It is a matter of experience, a professional expertise. It is a facility most of us can acquire. But while a confidence trickster, a play actor or a gambler can return from his performance to the ranks of his admirers, the secret agent enjoys no such relief. For him, deception is first a matter of self defense. He must protect himself not only from without, but from within, and against the most natural of impulses. Though he earn a fortune, his role may forbid him the purchase of a razor. Though he be erudite, it can befall him to mumble nothing but banalities. Though he be an affectionate husband and father, he must within all circumstances without himself from those with whom he should naturally confide. Aware of the overwhelming temptations which assail a man permanently isolated in his deceit, Limas resorted to the course which armed him best. Even when he was alone, he compelled himself to live with the personality he had assumed. It is said that Balzac on his deathbed inquired anxiously after the health and prosperity of characters he had created. Similarly, Limas, without relinquishing the power of invention, identified himself with what he had invented. The qualities he had exhibited to Fiedler: the restless uncertainty, the protective arrogance concealing shame were not approximations, but extensions of qualities he actually possessed. Hence, also, the slight dragging of the feet, the aspect of personal neglect, the indifference to food, and an increasing reliance on alcohol and tobacco. When alone, he remained faithful to these habits. He would even exaggerate them a little, mumbling to himself about the iniquities of his service. Only very rarely, as now, going to bed that evening, did he allow himself the dangerous luxury of admitting the great lie that he lived.”
    John le Carré, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold

  • #13
    George Orwell
    “Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,
    Beasts of every land and clime,
    Hearken to my joyful tidings
    Of the golden future time.

    Soon or late the day is coming,
    Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown,
    And the fruitful fields of England
    Shall be trod by beasts alone.

    Rings shall vanish from our noses,
    And the harness from our back,
    Bit and spur shall rust forever,
    Cruel whips shall no more crack.

    Riches more than mind can picture,
    Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
    Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels,
    Shall be ours upon that day.

    Bright will shine the fields of England,
    Purer shall its water be,
    Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes
    On the day that sets us free.

    For that day we all must labour,
    Though we die before it break;
    Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,
    All must toils for freedom's sake.

    Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,
    Beasts of every land and clime,
    Hearken well and spread my tidings
    Of the golden future time. ”
    George Orwell, Animal Farm

  • #14
    William Shakespeare
    “How yet resolves the governor of the town?
    This is the latest parle we will admit;
    Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves;
    Or like to men proud of destruction
    Defy us to our worst: for, as I am a soldier,
    A name that in my thoughts becomes me best,
    If I begin the battery once again,
    I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur
    Till in her ashes she lie buried.
    The gates of mercy shall be all shut up,
    And the flesh'd soldier, rough and hard of heart,
    In liberty of bloody hand shall range
    With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass
    Your fresh-fair virgins and your flowering infants.
    What is it then to me, if impious war,
    Array'd in flames like to the prince of fiends,
    Do, with his smirch'd complexion, all fell feats
    Enlink'd to waste and desolation?
    What is't to me, when you yourselves are cause,
    If your pure maidens fall into the hand
    Of hot and forcing violation?
    What rein can hold licentious wickedness
    When down the hill he holds his fierce career?
    We may as bootless spend our vain command
    Upon the enraged soldiers in their spoil
    As send precepts to the leviathan
    To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur,
    Take pity of your town and of your people,
    Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command;
    Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace
    O'erblows the filthy and contagious clouds
    Of heady murder, spoil and villany.
    If not, why, in a moment look to see
    The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand
    Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters;
    Your fathers taken by the silver beards,
    And their most reverend heads dash'd to the walls,
    Your naked infants spitted upon pikes,
    Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confused
    Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry
    At Herod's bloody-hunting slaughtermen.
    What say you? will you yield, and this avoid,
    Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroy'd? ”
    William Shakespeare, Henry V

  • #15
    Hunter S. Thompson
    “I agreed. By this time the drink was beginning to cut the acid and my hallucinations were down to a tolerable level. The room service waiter had a vaguely reptilian cast to his features, but I was no longer seeing huge pterodactyls lumbering around the corridors in pools of fresh blood. The only problem now was a gigantic neon sign outside the window, blocking our view of the mountains -- millions of colored balls running around a very complicated track, strange symbols & filigree, giving off a loud hum....

    "Look outside," I said.

    "Why?"

    "There's a big ... machine in the sky, ... some kind of electric snake ... coming straight at us."

    "Shoot it," said my attorney.

    "Not yet," I said. "I want to study its habits.”
    Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

  • #16
    H.G. Wells
    “No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.”
    H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds

  • #17
    Richard Llewellyn
    “I wonder is happiness only an essence of good living, that you shall taste only once or twice while you live, and then go on living with the taste in your mouth, and wishing you had the fullness of it solid between your teeth, like a good meal that you have tasted and cherished and look back in your mind to eat again.”
    Richard Llewellyn, How Green Was My Valley

  • #18
    Richard Llewellyn
    “What is there, in the mention of Time To Come, that is so quick to wrench at the heart, to inflict a pain in the senses that is like the run of a sword, I wonder. Perhaps we feel our youngness taken from us without the soothe of sliding years, and the pains of age that come to stand unseen beside us and grow more solid as the minutes pass, are with us solid on the instant, and we sense them, but when we try to assess them, they are back again in their places down in Time To Come, ready to meet us coming.”
    Richard Llewellyn, How Green Was My Valley

  • #19
    Rudyard Kipling
    “If you can walk with the crowd and keep your virtue, or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run- Yours is the earth and everything that's in it, And-which is more-you'll be a man my son.”
    Rudyard Kipling, If: A Father's Advice to His Son

  • #20
    Rudyard Kipling
    “I will remember what I was, I am sick of rope and chains -
    I will remember my old strength and all my forest affairs.
    I will not sell my back to man for a bundle of sugar cane;
    I will go out to my own kind, and the wood-folk in their lairs.
    I will go out until the day, until the morning break -
    Out to the wind's untainted kiss, the water's clean caress;
    I will forget my ankle-ring and snap my picket stake.
    I will revisit my lost love and playmates masterless!”
    Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Books

  • #21
    Charles Dickens
    “what I mean is, that I am under the influence of some tremendous attraction
    which I have resisted in vain, and which overmasters me”
    Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend

  • #22
    Charles Dickens
    “We are thankful to come here for rest, sir," said Jenny. "You see, you don't know what the rest of this place is to us; does he, Lizzie? It's the quiet, and the air."

    "The quiet!" repeated Fledgeby, with a contemptuous turn of his head towards the City's roar. "And the air!" with a "Poof!" at the smoke.

    "Ah!" said Jenny. "But it's so high. And you see the clouds rushing on above the narrow streets, not minding them, and you see the golden arrows pointing at the mountains in the sky from which the wind comes, and you feel as if you were dead."

    The little creature looked above her, holding up her slight transparent hand.

    "How do you feel when you are dead?" asked Fledgeby, much perplexed.

    "Oh, so tranquil!" cried the little creature, smiling. "Oh, so peaceful and so thankful! And you hear the people who are alive, crying, and working, and calling to one another down in the close dark streets, and you seem to pity them so! And such a chain has fallen from you, and such a strange good sorrowful happiness comes upon you!"

    Her eyes fell on the old man, who, with his hands folded, quietly looked on.

    "Why it was only just now," said the little creature, pointing at him, "that I fancied I saw him come out of his grave! He toiled out at that low door so bent and worn, and then he took his breath and stood upright, and looked all round him at the sky, and the wind blew upon him, and his life down in the dark was over!—Till he was called back to life," she added, looking round at Fledgeby with that lower look of sharpness. "Why did you call him back?"

    "He was long enough coming, anyhow," grumbled Fledgeby.

    "But you are not dead, you know," said Jenny Wren. "Get down to life!"

    Mr Fledgeby seemed to think it rather a good suggestion, and with a nod turned round. As Riah followed to attend him down the stairs, the little creature called out to the Jew in a silvery tone, "Don't be long gone. Come back, and be dead!" And still as they went down they heard the little sweet voice, more and more faintly, half calling and half singing, "Come back and be dead, Come back and be dead!”
    Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend

  • #23
    Stephen King
    “Without his even being aware that it was happening, Paul's face rearranged itself into the expression of sincere concentration he always wore while listening to editors. He thought of this as his Can I Help You, Lady? expression. That was because most editors were like women who drive into service stations and tell the mechanic to fix whatever it is that's making that knocking sound under the hood or going wonk-wonk inside the dashboard, and please have it done an hour ago. A look of sincere concentration was good because it flattered them, and when editors were flattered, they would sometimes give in on some of their mad ideas.”
    Stephen King, Misery

  • #24
    George Bernard Shaw
    “You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.”
    George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah

  • #25
    Tom Wolfe
    “One of the few freedoms that we have as human beings that cannot be taken away from us is the freedom to assent to what is true and to deny what is false. Nothing you can give me is worth surrendering that freedom for. At this moment I'm a man with complete tranquillity...I've been a real estate developer for most of my life, and I can tell you that a developer lives with the opposite of tranquillity, which is perturbation. You're perturbed about something all the time. You build your first development, and right away you want to build a bigger one, and you want a bigger house to live in, and if it ain't in Buckhead, you might as well cut your wrists. Soon's you got that, you want a plantation, tens of thousands of acres devoted solely to shooting quail, because you know of four or five developers who've already got that. And soon's you get that, you want a place on Sea Island and a Hatteras cruiser and a spread northwest of Buckhead, near the Chattahoochee, where you can ride a horse during the week, when you're not down at the plantation, plus a ranch in Wyoming, Colorado, or Montana, because truly successful men in Atlanta and New York all got their ranches, and of course now you need a private plane, a big one, too, a jet, a Gulfstream Five, because who's got the patience and the time and the humility to fly commercially, even to the plantation, much less out to a ranch? What is it you're looking for in this endless quest? Tranquillity. You think if only you can acquire enough worldly goods, enough recognition, enough eminence, you will be free, there'll be nothing more to worry about, and instead you become a bigger and bigger slave to how you think others are judging you.”
    Tom Wolfe, A Man in Full

  • #26
    Arthur C. Clarke
    “Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth.

    Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this Universe there shines a star.

    But every one of those stars is a sun, often far more brilliant and glorious than the small, nearby star we call the Sun. And many--perhaps most--of those alien suns have planets circling them. So almost certainly there is enough land in the sky to give every member of the human species, back to the first ape-man, his own private, world-sized heaven--or hell.

    How many of those potential heavens and hells are now inhabited, and by what manner of creatures, we have no way of guessing; the very nearest is a million times farther away than Mars or Venus, those still remote goals of the next generation. But the barriers of distance are crumbling; one day we shall meet our equals, or our masters, among the stars.

    Men have been slow to face this prospect; some still hope that it may never become reality. Increasing numbers, however are asking; 'Why have such meetings not occurred already, since we ourselves are about to venture into space?'

    Why not, indeed? Here is one possible answer to that very reasonable question. But please remember: this is only a work of fiction.

    The truth, as always, will be far stranger.”
    Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey

  • #27
    Arthur C. Clarke
    “What is human memory?" Manning asked. He gazed at the air as he spoke, as if lecturing an invisible audience - as perhaps he was. "It certainly is not a passive recording mechanism, like a digital disc or a tape. It is more like a story-telling machine. Sensory information is broken down into shards of perception, which are broken down again to be stored as memory fragments. And at night, as the body rests, these fragments are brought out from storage, reassembled and replayed. Each run-through etches them deeper into the brain's neural structure. And each time a memory is rehearsed or recalled it is elaborated. We may add a little, lose a little, tinker with the logic, fill in sections that have faded, perhaps even conflate disparate events.

    "In extreme cases, we refer to this as confabulation. The brain creates and recreates the past, producing, in the end, a version of events that may bear little resemblance to what actually occurred. To first order, I believe it's true to say that everything I remember is false.”
    Arthur C. Clarke

  • #28
    William Shakespeare
    “To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.”
    William Shakespeare, Macbeth

  • #29
    Robert Louis Stevenson
    “His stories were what frightened people worst of all. Dreadful stories they were--about hanging, and walking the plank, and storms at sea, and the Dry Tortugas, and wild deeds and places on the Spanish Main. By his own account he must have lived his life among some of the wickedest men that God ever allowed upon the sea, and the language in which he told these stories shocked our plain country people almost as much as the crimes that he described. My father was always saying the inn would be ruined, for people would soon cease coming there to be tyrannized over and put down, and sent shivering to their beds; but I really believe his presence did us good. People were frightened at the time, but on looking back they rather liked it; it was a fine excitement in a quiet country life, and there was even a party of the younger men who pretended to admire him, calling him a "true sea-dog" and a "real old salt" and such like names, and saying there was the sort of man that made England terrible at sea.”
    Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

  • #30
    Oscar Wilde
    “Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”
    Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray



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