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  • #1
    Terry Pratchett
    “All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."

    REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

    "Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"

    YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

    "So we can believe the big ones?"

    YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

    "They're not the same at all!"

    YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

    "Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"

    MY POINT EXACTLY.”
    Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

  • #2
    Shunryu Suzuki
    “When you do something, you should do it with your whole body and mind; you should be concentrated on what you do. You should do it completely, like a good bonfire. You should not be a smoky fire. You should burn yourself completely. If you do not burn yourself completely, a trace of yourself will be left in what you do.”
    Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

  • #3
    Viktor E. Frankl
    “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the "why" for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any "how".”
    Victor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

  • #4
    Leonard Cohen
    “Never make a decision when you need to pee.”
    Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers

  • #5
    Terry Pratchett
    “Nanny's philosophy of life was to do what seemed like a good idea at the time, and do it as hard as possible. It had never let her down.”
    Terry Pratchett, Maskerade

  • #6
    Carl Sagan
    “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”
    Carl Sagan

  • #7
    Leonard Cohen
    “Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in.”
    Leonard Cohen

  • #8
    Carl Sagan
    “Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

    The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

    Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

    The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

    It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”
    Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

  • #9
    Terry Pratchett
    “The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens ('wise man'). In any case it's an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.”
    Terry Pratchett, The Globe

  • #10
    Jonathan Lethem
    “I'm tightly wound. I'm a loose cannon. Both - I'm a tightly wound loose cannon, a tight loose.”
    Jonathan Lethem, Motherless Brooklyn

  • #11
    Terry Pratchett
    “Nanny Ogg never did any housework herself, but she was the cause of housework in other people.”
    Terry Pratchett

  • #11
    Terry Pratchett
    “Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized.”
    Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times: The Play

  • #13
    Terry Pratchett
    “The place where the story happened was a world on the back of four elephants perched on the shell of a giant turtle. That's the advantage of space. It's big enough to hold practically anything, and so, eventually, it does.
    People think that it is strange to have a turtle ten thousand miles long and an elephant more than two thousand miles tall, which just shows that the human brain is ill-adapted for thinking and was probably originally designed for cooling the blood. It believes mere size is amazing.
    There's nothing amazing about size. Turtles are amazing, and elephants are quite astonishing. But the fact that there's a big turtle is far less amazing than the fact that there is a turtle anywhere.”
    Terry Pratchett, The Last Hero

  • #14
    Leonard Cohen
    “The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.”
    Leonard Cohen

  • #15
    Terry Pratchett
    “Hello, inner child, I'm the inner babysitter!”
    Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

  • #18
    Terry Pratchett
    “They didn't know why these things were funny. Sometimes you laugh because you've got no more room for crying. Sometimes you laugh because table manners on a beach are funny. And sometimes you laugh because you're alive, when you really shouldn't be.”
    Terry Pratchett, Nation

  • #20
    Terry Pratchett
    “Most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally evil, but by people being fundamentally people.”
    Terry Pratchett

  • #21
    Jonathan Lethem
    “I was playing it existential, and maybe a bit stupid, but it was the only way I knew how to play it.”
    Jonathan Lethem, Gun, With Occasional Music

  • #22
    Terry Pratchett
    “Animal minds are simple, and therefore sharp. Animals never spend time dividing experience into little bits and speculating about all the bits they've missed. The whole panoply of the universe has been neatly expressed to them as things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks. This frees the mind from unnecessary thoughts and gives it a cutting edge where it matters. Your normal animal, in fact, never tries to walk and chew gum at the same time.

    The average human, on the other hand, thinks about all sorts of things around the clock, on all sorts of levels, with interruptions from dozens of biological calendars and timepieces. There's thoughts about to be said, and private thoughts, and real thoughts, and thoughts about thoughts, and a whole gamut of subconscious thoughts. To a telepath the human head is a din. It is a railway terminus with all the Tannoys talking at once. It is a complete FM waveband- and some of those stations aren't reputable, they're outlawed pirates on forbidden seas who play late-night records with limbic lyrics.”
    Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

  • #23
    Leonard Cohen
    “I don't consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin.”
    Leonard Cohen

  • #24
    Terry Pratchett
    “A lot of the stories were highly suspicious, in her opinion. There was the one that ended when the two good children pushed the wicked witch into her own oven...Stories like this stopped people thinking properly, she was sure. She'd read that one and thought, Excuse me? No one has an oven big enough to get a whole person in, and what made the children think they could just walk around eating people's houses in any case? And why does some boy too stupid to know a cow is worth a lot more than five beans have the right to murder a giant and steal all his gold? Not to mention commit an act of ecological vandalism? And some girl who can't tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother must either have been as dense as teak or come from an extremely ugly family.”
    Terry Pratchett

  • #25
    Jonathan Lethem
    “Insomnia is a variant of Tourette's--the waking brain races, sampling the world after the world has turned away, touching it everywhere, refusing to settle, to join the collective nod. The insomniac brain is a sort of conspiracy theorist as well, believing too much in its own paranoiac importance--as though if it were to blink, then doze, the world might be overrun by some encroaching calamity, which its obsessive musings are somehow fending off.”
    Jonathan Lethem, Motherless Brooklyn

  • #26
    Terry Pratchett
    “Veil, you see, if I vas to say something portentous like "zer dark eyes of zer mind" back home in Uberwald, zer would be a sudden crash of thunder,' said Otto. 'And if I vas to point at a castle on a towering crag and say "Yonder is . . . zer castle" a volf would be bound to howl mournfully.' He sighed. 'In zer old country, zer scenery is psychotropic and knows vot is expected of it. Here, alas, people just look at you in a funny vay.”
    Terry Pratchett, The Truth

  • #27
    Terry Pratchett
    “Rumour is information distilled so finely that it can filter through anything. It does not need doors and windows -- sometimes it does not need people. It can exist free and wild, running from ear to ear without ever touching lips.”
    Terry Pratchett

  • #29
    Terry Pratchett
    “Oh, I feel very angry a lot of the time," said Tiffany, "but I just put it away somewhere until I can do something useful with it.”
    Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight

  • #30
    Terry Pratchett
    “Natural selection saw to it that professional heroes who at a crucial moment tended to ask themselves questions like 'What is my purpose in life?' very quickly lacked both.”
    Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times: The Play

  • #32
    Terry Pratchett
    “Cutangle: While I'm still confused and uncertain, it's on a much higher plane, d'you see, and at least I know I'm bewildered about the really fundamental and important facts of the universe.

    Treatle: I hadn't looked at it like that, but you're absolutely right. He's really pushed back the boundaries of ignorance.

    They both savoured the strange warm glow of being much more ignorant than ordinary people, who were only ignorant of ordinary things.”
    Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

  • #34
    Terry Pratchett
    “It is a well-known established fact throughout the many-dimensional worlds of the multiverse that most really great discoveries are owed to one brief moment of inspiration. There's a lot of spadework first, of course, but what clinches the whole thing is the sight of, say, a falling apple or a boiling kettle or the water slipping over the edge of the bath. Something goes click inside the observer's head and then everything falls into place. The shape of DNA, it is popularly said, owes its discovery to the chance sight of a spiral staircase when the scientist=s mind was just at the right receptive temperature. Had he used the elevator, the whole science of genetics might have been a good deal different.

    This is thought of as somehow wonderful. It isn't. It is tragic. Little particles of inspiration sleet through the universe all the time traveling through the densest matter in the same way that a neutrino passes through a candyfloss haystack, and most of them miss.

    Even worse, most of the ones that hit the exact cerebral target, hit the wrong one.

    For example, the weird dream about a lead doughnut on a mile-high gantry, which in the right mind would have been the catalyst for the invention of repressed-gravitational electricity generation (a cheap and inexhaustible and totally non-polluting form of power which the world in question had been seeking for centuries, and for the lack of which it was plunged into a terrible and pointless war) was in fact had by a small and bewildered duck.

    By another stroke of bad luck, the sight of a herd of wild horses galloping through a field of wild hyacinths would have led a struggling composer to write the famous Flying God Suite, bringing succor and balm to the souls of millions, had he not been at home in bed with shingles. The inspiration thereby fell to a nearby frog, who was not in much of a position to make a startling contributing to the field of tone poetry.

    Many civilizations have recognized this shocking waste and tried various methods to prevent it, most of them involving enjoyable but illegal attempts to tune the mind into the right wavelength by the use of exotic herbage or yeast products. It never works properly.”
    Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

  • #38
    Terry Pratchett
    “The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: 1) Silence; 2) Books must be returned no later than the last date shown; and 3) Do not interfere with the nature of causality.”
    Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!

  • #38
    Terry Pratchett
    “The Monks of Cool, whose tiny and exclusive monastery is hidden in a really cool and laid-back valley in the lower Ramtops, have a passing-out test for a novice. He is taken into a room full of all types of clothing and asked: Yo, my son, which of these is the most stylish thing to wear? And the correct answer is: Hey, whatever I select.”
    Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies
    tags: cool



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