Saturday, October 21, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907 – 1988)


One of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of science fiction of the 20th Century.
Robert A. Heinlein
A monarch's neck should always have a noose around it. It keeps him upright.
Heinlein quotes
Many short-sighted fools think that going to the Moon was just a stunt. But the astronauts knew the meaning of what they were doing, as is shown by Neil Armstrong's first words in stepping down onto the soil of Luna: "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
Heinlein
"How long has this racket been going on?"




Heinlein Robert A. quotes
Men are expendable; women and children are not. A tribe or a nation can lose a high percentage of its men and still pick up the pieces and go on ... as long as the women and children are saved. But if you fail to save the women and children, you've had it, you're done, you're through! You join Tyrannosaurus Rex, one more breed that bilged its final test.
Heinlein Robert A.
You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
Robert A. Heinlein quotes
Aside from a cold appreciation of my own genius I felt that I was a modest man.
Robert A. Heinlein
One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word.
Heinlein Robert A. quotes
Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.
But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants "just a few minutes of your time, please  this won't take long." Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time  and squawk for more!
So learn to say No  and to be rude about it when necessary.
Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you.
(This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don't do it because it is "expected" of you.)
Heinlein
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.
Heinlein Robert A.
I also think there are prices too high to pay to save the United States. Conscription is one of them. Conscription is slavery, and I don't think that any people or nation has a right to save itself at the price of slavery for anyone, no matter what name it is called. We have had the draft for twenty years now; I think this is shameful. If a country can't save itself through the volunteer service of its own free people, then I say : Let the damned thing go down the drain!
Robert A. Heinlein
If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for, but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong. If this is too blind for your taste, consult some well-meaning fool (there is always one around) and ask his advice. Then vote the other way. This enables you to be a good citizen (if such is your wish) without spending the enormous amount of time on it that truly intelligent exercise of franchise requires.




Robert A. Heinlein quotes
A touchstone to determine the actual worth of an "intellectual"  find out how he feels about astrology.
Robert A. Heinlein
Cheops' Law: Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.
Heinlein quotes
"No man is an island  " Much as we may feel and act as Individuals, our race is  a single organism, always growing and branching  which must be pruned regularly to be healthy.
This necessity need not be argued; anyone with eyes can see that any organism which grows without limit always dies in its own poisons. The only rational question is whether pruning is best done before or after birth.
Being an incurable sentimentalist I favor the former of these methods  killing makes me queasy, even when it's a case of "He's dead and I'm alive and that's the way I wanted it to be."
But this may be a matter of taste. Some shamans think that it is better to be killed in a war, or to die in childbirth, or to starve in misery, than never to have lived at all. They may be right.
But I don't have to like it  and I don't.
Heinlein Robert A.
I would say that my position is not too far from that of Ayn Rand's; that I would like to see government reduced to no more than internal police and courts, external armed forces  with the other matters handled otherwise. I'm sick of the way the government sticks its nose into everything, now.
Heinlein Robert A. quotes
Money is a powerful aphrodisiac. But flowers work almost as well.
Robert A. Heinlein
Selfishness is the bedrock on which all moral behavior starts and it can be immoral only when it conflicts with a higher moral imperative. An animal so poor in spirit that he won't even fight on his own behalf is already an evolutionary dead end; the best he can do for his breed is to crawl off and die, and not pass on his defective genes.
Robert A. Heinlein quotes
The next higher level is to work, fight, and sometimes die for your own immediate family. This is the level at which six pounds of mother cat can be so fierce that she'll drive off a police dog. It is the level at which a father takes a moonlighting job to keep his kids in college  and the level at which a mother or father dives into a flood to save a drowning child ... and it is still moral behavior even when it fails.
Robert A. Heinlein
Evolution is a process that never stops. Baboons who fail to exhibit moral behavior do not survive; they wind up as meat for leopards.
Heinlein Robert A.
When a fact came along, he junked theories that failed to match.


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