Wednesday, December 13, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Stanislaw Lem (1921 – 2006)


Polish satirical, philosophical, and science fiction writer.
Stanislaw Lem
Genius is not so much a light as it is a constant awareness of the surrounding gloom.
Lem quotes
Any attempt to understand the motivation of these occurrences is blocked by our own anthropomorphism. Where there are no men, there cannot be motives accessible to men.
Lem
Futurologists have been multiplying like flies since the day Herman Kahn made Cassandra's profession "scientific," yet somehow not one of them has come out with the clear statement that we have wholly abandoned ourselves to the mercy of technological progress. The roles are now reversed: humanity becomes, for technology, a means, an instrument for achieving a goal unknown and unknowable.




Lem Stanislaw quotes
The whole plan hinged upon the natural curiosity of potatoes.
Lem Stanislaw
Everything is explicable in the terms of the behavior of a small child.
Stanislaw Lem quotes
If man had more of a sense of humor, things might have turned out differently.
Stanislaw Lem
A man who for an entire week does nothing but hit himself over the head has little reason to be proud.
Lem Stanislaw quotes
Faith is, at one and the same time, absolutely necessary and altogether impossible.
Lem
Man's quest for knowledge is an expanding series whose limit is infinity, but philosophy seeks to attain that limit at one blow, by a short circuit providing the certainty of complete and inalterable truth. Science meanwhile advances at its gradual pace, often slowing to a crawl, and for periods it even walks in place, but eventually it reaches the various ultimate trenches dug by philosophical thought, and, quite heedless of the fact that it is not supposed to be able to cross those final barriers to the intellect, goes right on.
Lem Stanislaw
Just you think, in a rocket a man takes the risk of bursting like a balloon, or freezing, or roasting, or sweating all his blood out in a single gush, before he can even cry out, and all that remains is bits of bone floating inside armored hulls, in accordance with the laws of Newton as corrected by Einstein, those two milestones in our progress. Down the road we go, all in good faith and see where it gets us. Think about our success Kelvin; think about our cabins, the unbreakable plates, the immortal sinks, legions of faithful wardobes devoted cupboards . . .
Stanislaw Lem
The age-old faith of lovers and poets in the power of love, stronger than death, that Finis vitae sed non amoris, is a lie, useless and not even funny.




Stanislaw Lem quotes
Psychoanalysis provides truth in an infantile, that is, a schoolboy fashion: we learn from it, roughly and hurriedly, things that scandalize us and thereby command our attention. It sometimes happens, and such is the case here, that a simplification touching upon the truth, but cheaply, is of no more value than a lie. Once again we are shown the demon and the angel, the beast and the god locked in Manichean embrace, and once again man has been pronounced, by himself, not culpable.
Stanislaw Lem
Each civilization may choose one of two roads to travel, that is, either fret itself to death, or pet itself to death. And in the course of doing one or the other, it eats its way into the Universe, turning cinders and flinders of stars into toilet seats, pegs, gears, cigarette holders and pillowcases, and it does this because, unable to fathom the Universe, it seeks to change that Fathomlessness into Something Fathomable.
Lem quotes
Starożytni mawiali: 'mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur'. Świat łaknie oszustw, więc jest oszukiwany.
Lem Stanislaw
Lem's crude, insulting and downright ignorant attacks on American science fiction and American science fiction writers went too far too fast and alienated everyone but the Party faithful (I am one of those highly alienated).
Lem Stanislaw quotes
"And do you believe in God?"
"I do."
"But you didn't think a robot would, right?"
"Right."
Stanislaw Lem
I have fundamental reservations to this adaptation. First of all I would have liked to see the planet Solaris which the director unfortunately denied me as the film was to be a cinematically subdued work. And secondly — as I told Tarkovsky during one of our quarrels — he didn't make Solaris at all, he made Crime and Punishment. What we get in the film is only how this abominable Kelvin has driven poor Harey to suicide and then he has pangs of conscience which are amplified by her appearance; a strange and incomprehensible appearance. [...]
Stanislaw Lem quotes
The twentieth century had dispensed with the formal declaration of war and introduced the fifth column, sabotage, cold war, and war by proxy, but that was only the begining. Summit meetings for disarmament pursued mutual understanding and a balance of power but were also held to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy. The world of the war-or-peace alternative became a world in which war was peace and peace war.
Stanislaw Lem
It is not good for a man to be too cognizant of his physical and spiritual mechanisms. Complete knowledge reveals limits to human possibilities, and the less a man is by nature limited in his purposes, the less he can tolerate limits.
Lem Stanislaw
My pass had disappeared. Not that I believed for a moment that this was an accident; in fact, I had suspected for some time now that the Cosmic Command, obviously no longer able to supervise every assignment on an individual basis when there were literally trillions of matters in its charge, had switched over to a random system. The assumption would be that every document, circulating endlessly from desk to desk, must eventually hit upon the right one. A time-consuming procedure, perhaps, but one that would never fail. The Universe itself operated on the same principle. And for an institution as everlasting as the Universe — certainly our Building was such an institution — the speed at which these meanderings and perturbations took place was of no consequence.


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