The universe is not only strange but stranger than we can imagine



Who cares what SF writers say?



Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it’s the history of ideas,
the history of our civilization birthing itself. …
Science fiction is central to everything we’ve ever done…”


With every mistake we must surely be learning…(surely?)






The capacity of the human mind for swallowing nonsense and spewing it forth in violent and repressive action has never yet been plumbed.

Revolt in 2100 (1953), postscript

What you think you know ain’t always so







Orthodoxy means not thinking–not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

George Orwell

The most preposterous notion




The most preposterous notion that H. Sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation,  Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by  their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a  shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all  of history.

Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love 

Overpopulation — the ultimate killer


…democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people into the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies. The more people there are, the less one individual matters.



(NB: Asimov wrote many essays on the dangers of overpopulation.  One of his most powerful essays on the topic is The Power of Progression, published in the May, 1969 edition of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.) 

Who to trust?

No statement should be believed because it is made by an authority.


The road to tyranny




“Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law
if it acquires the political power to do so.”


The vital importance of facts


What are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”–what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future, facts are your single clue.

ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

Wars of religion are the most detestable


“If religions are diseases of the human psyche, as the philosopher Grintholde asserts, then religious wars must be reckoned the resultant sores and cankers infecting the aggregate corpus of the human race. Of all wars, these are the most detestable, since they are waged for no tangible gain, but only to impose a set of arbitrary credos upon another’s mind.”

Jack Vance, The Face

Why anything?

Dying Earth



“Notice this rent in my garment; I am at a loss to explain its presence! I am even more puzzled by the existence of the universe.”

― Jack Vance, Tales of the Dying Earth

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