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Frank Herbert (1920 – 1986)


American science-fiction writer, most famous for his Dune novels.
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Frank Herbert
When a wise man does not understand, he says: "I do not understand." The fool and the uncultured are ashamed of their ignorance. They remain silent when a question could bring them wisdom.
Herbert quotes
"I only believe in certain kinds of hell," she said, and again she was looking at him, the green eyes steady.
"To each his own, eh?"
"You said it; I didn’t."
Herbert
No matter how finely you subdivide time and space, each tiny division contains infinity.
But this could imply that you can cut across linear time, open it like a ripe fruit, and see consequential connections. You could be prescient, predict accurately. Predestination and paradox once more.
The flaw must lie in our methods of description, in languages, in social networks of meaning, in moral structures, and in philosophies and religions — all of which convey implicit limits where no limits exist. Paul Muad'Dib, after all, says this time after time throughout Dune.




Herbert Frank quotes
" Life exists immersed in a sea of unconsciousness", he reminded himself.
"In the drug, these people gain a view of that sea".
Herbert Frank
In the beginning I was just as ready as anyone to fall into step, to seek out the guilty and to punish the sinners, even to become a leader. Nothing, I felt, would give me more gratification than riding the steed of yellow journalism into crusade, doing the book that would right the old wrongs.
Reevaluation raised haunting questions.I now believe that evolution, or deevolution, never ends short of death, that no society has ever achieved an absolute pinnacle, that all humans are not created equal. In fact, I believe attempts to create some abstract equalization create a morass of injustices that rebound on the equalizers. Equal justice and equal opportunity are ideals we should seek, but we should recognize that humans administer the ideals and that humans do not have equal ability.
Frank Herbert quotes
You can say things which cannot be done. This is elementary. The trick is to keep attention focused on what is said and not on what can be done.
Frank Herbert
Muad'Dib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It's shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult. Muad'Dib knew that every experience carries its lesson.
Herbert Frank quotes
Does a population have informed consent when a ruling minority acts in secret to ignite a war, doing this to justify the existence of the minority's forces? […] failure to provide full information for informed consent on such an issue represents an ultimate crime.
Herbert
By the time we awaken faintly to the awareness that we have been socially conditioned, we find ourselves so indoctrinated that it's difficult, if not impossible, to break the old patterns...Survival pressures demanding that we evolve, grow, and change, however, continue to proliferate. We don't want to change, but the floodgates open abruptly and we are overwhelmed.
Crisis!
Herbert Frank
Without coming fully awake, Rhin felt his presence beside her, experienced a primitive demand for his protective masculinity. She nestled against him, murmured, "its so hot. Doesn’t it ever cool off?"
Frank Herbert
It's rooted in the fears to which all men are heir and, thus, deserves sympathy, not censure or laughter. The dream may be out of touch with history, but it's a good dream, and it doesn't appear to have been used to bilk gullible widows out of their savings. Never mind that we have a consistent record of slaughtering our messiahs. Look beyond the wacky arguments to the motivation — that sense of brotherhood which is all that has ever saved mankind from going over the brink.




Frank Herbert quotes
Ecology is a dirty seven-letter word to many people. They are like heavy sleepers refusing to be aroused. "Leave me alone! It's not time to get up yet!
Frank Herbert
Reevaluation taught me caution. I approached the problem with trepidation. Certainly, by the loosest of our standards there were plenty of visible targets, a plethora of blind fanaticism and guilty opportunism at which to aim painful barbs.
But how did we get this way? What makes a Nixon? What part do the meek play in creating the powerful? If a leader cannot admit mistakes, these mistakes will be hidden. Who says our leaders must be perfect? Where do they learn this?
Herbert quotes
Don't give over all of your critical faculties to people in power, no matter how admirable those people may appear to be. Beneath the hero's facade you will find a human being who makes human mistakes. Enormous problems arise when human mistakes are made on the grand scale available to a superhero. And sometimes you run into another problem.
It is demonstrable that power structures tend to attract people who want power for the sake of power and that a significant proportion of such people are imbalanced — in a word, insane. … Heroes are painful, superheroes are a catastrophe. The mistakes of superheroes involve too many of us in disaster.
It is the systems themselves that I see as dangerous.
Herbert Frank
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
Herbert Frank quotes
On UFO cultists. In "Flying Saucers: Fact or Farce?", San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, "People" supplement, October 20, 1963. Reprinted in The Maker of Dune: Insights of a Master of Science Fiction, edited by Tim O'Reilly. Berkley Books, 1987.
Frank Herbert
It wasn’t the kind of answer he'd expected — too subtly penetrating and leaving too much uncommitted. He reminded himself that it was difficult to control uncommitted people. Once a man had invested his energies, he could be twisted and turned at will... but if the man held back, conserved those energies...
Frank Herbert quotes
If you ask "Should we be in space?" you ask a nonsense question. We are in space. We will be in space.
Frank Herbert
If we define Futurism as an exploration beyond accepted limits, then the nature of limiting systems becomes the first object of exploration.
Herbert Frank
Science fiction, because it ventures into no man's lands, tends to meet some of the requirements posed by Jung in his explorations of archetypes, myth structures and self-understanding. It may be that the primary attraction of science fiction is that it helps us understand what it means to be human.
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