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…”


Idealist or surly curmudgeon?

Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.

Robert A. Heinlein

Knowledge can be a deadly friend…

We need a science of governance, or a technology to impart wisdom .



“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

Isaac Asimov

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

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