Mis Quotes favoritas, parte 2

12:27 a.m. 0 Comments


A medida que voy leyendo, voy marcando frases que me gustan o me parecen interesantes de los libros. Creo que es una forma muy íntima de  compartir ideas. Como si uno hubiera paseado por un gran jardín, o emprendido una gran aventura, y trajera algunos souvenirs de recuerdos. Así son los quotes. Estos son los caminos que he recorrido por algunos libros.

Probablemente ya nadie lea blogs, pero quiero dejar mi pequeño granito de txt para los futuros "Speaker for the Dead". Alguien dijo alguna vez, "Soy todos los libros que he leido".



"Confío y espero que, de esta manera, el lector llegue a conocerme de verdad y, quien sabe, incluso puede que llegue a gustarle. Esto me encantaría."
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Memorias (Isaac Asimov)


Hay una antigua canción que asegura que «las mejores cosas de la vida son gratuitas». ¡No es cierto! ¡Es totalmente falso! Esa fue la falacia trágica que produjo la decadencia y el colapso de las democracias del Siglo XX. Esos nobles experimentos fallaron porque se había hecho creer a la gente que podían votar para pedir lo que querían, y conseguirlo sin esfuerzo, sin sudor, sin lágrimas.

La violencia, la fuerza bruta, ha arreglado más cosas en la historia que cualquier otro factor, y la opinión contraria constituye el peor de los absurdos. Los que olvidan esta verdad básica siempre han pagado por ello con su vida y su libertad.
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Starship troopers (Robert A. Heinlein)


"Una máxima política comprobada por los siglos, os dejaré como legado. Los pueblos se suicidan, cuando dan en creerse a sí mismos inmorales, degradados y corrompidos. Si os reconocéis venales o abyectos, os gobernarán como a
presidiarios."

-Domingo Faustino Sarmiento

Si de mí dependiera, no me tomaría vacaciones, pero nunca depende de mí. Existen las esposas y ellas sí quieren vacaciones.

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Memorias (Isaac Asimov)

"The world is a dynamic mess of jiggling things if you look at it right. "-Feynmann


If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.
Theodore Roosevelt


Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Theodore Roosevelt

“If you think a thing is impossible,you'll only make it impossible.”
― Bruce Lee, Tao of Jeet Kune Do

A person starts dying when they stop dreaming. –Brian Williams

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. –Henry David Thoreau

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else. –Yogi Berra

“Because one does not want to be disturbed, to be made uncertain, he establishes a pattern of conduct, of thought, a pattern of relationship to man etc. Then he becomes a slave to the patter and takes the pattern to be the real thing.”
― Bruce Lee

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
― Bruce Lee

"A new idea is delicate.  It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a joke, or worried to death by a frown on the right person's brow."  - Charles Brower

"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second,
  it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
       - Arthur Schopenhauer


“a modern textile mill employs only a man and a dog—the man to feed the dog, and the dog to keep the man away from the machines.

For the uninitiated, the moral of the story is simply this: Politicians invariably respond to crises -- that in most cases they themselves created -- by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations. These, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the politicians to create more programs . . . and the downward spiral repeats itself until the productive sectors of the economy collapse under the collective weight of taxes and other burdens imposed in the name of fairness, equality and do-goodism.

That principle is "when you assume the appearance of power, people soon give it to you."
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Advanced civilizations ought to be very noticeable. Even we blare out on radio frequencies. Why, with our giant radio telescopes we could detect a civilization no more advanced than ours anywhere in the Galaxy. But we don’t. We seem to be surrounded by emptiness and silence. There’s something wrong. This is called the Fermi Paradox.

Maybe, simply, we really are alone. We may be the first. Perhaps we’re the last. If so, it took so long for the solar system to evolve intelligence it seems unlikely there will be others, ever. If we fail, then the failure is for all time. If we die, mind and consciousness and soul die with us: hope and dreams and love, everything that makes us human. There will be nobody even to mourn us …

… Or maybe we aren’t alone, but we just can’t see them. Why not? Maybe the answer is benevolent. Maybe we’re in some kind of quarantine – or a zoo. Maybe it’s just that we all destroy ourselves in nuclear wars or eco collapse. Or maybe there is something that kills off every civilization like ours before we get too far. Malevolent robots sliding silently between the stars, which for their own antique purposes kill off fledgling cultures. Or something else we can’t even imagine. Michael, every outcome I can think of scares me.
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Phase Space (Stephen Baxter)



 "The whole procedure [of shooting rockets into space]...presents
   difficulties of so fundamental a nature, that we are forced to dismiss the notion as essentially impracticable, in spite of the author's  insistent appeal to put aside prejudice and to recollect the supposed impossibility of heavier-than-air flight before it was actually accomplished."
      -Sir Richard van der Riet Wooley, British astronomer, reviewing P.E.Cleator's "Rockets in Space", Nature, March 14, 1936

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The acquisition of learning is much more dangerous than that of any other food or drink. For with other things, we carry home what we have bought in some vessel; and there we have leisure to examine its value and decide how much of it we shall use, and when. But learning we cannot at the outset put in any other vessel but our minds; we swallow it as we buy it, and by the time we leave the market we are already either infected or improved. There is some that only obstructs and burdens us instead of nourishing us; and some too that, while pretending to cure us, gives us poison.
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In Maura’s view, all humanity’s significant problems came from the world’s closure, the lack of a frontier. Maura Della had grown up believing in the importance of the frontier. Frontiers were the forcing ground for democracy and inventiveness. In a closed world, science was strangled by patent laws and other protective measures, and technological innovation was restricted to decadent entertainment systems and the machinery of war. It was a vicious circle, of course; only smartness could get humanity out of this trap of closure, but smartness was the very thing that had no opportunity to grow.
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It seemed that back when he was born Earth had been one little world holding all the life there was, to all intents and purposes. And it would have stayed that way if his generation and a couple before, Americans and Russians, hadn’t risked their lives to enter space in converted ICBMs and ridiculous little capsules. Makes you think, he reflected. The destiny of all life, forever, was in our hands. And we never knew it. Probably would have scared us to death if we had. For if we’d failed, if we’d turned ourselves to piles of radioactive ash, there would now be no life, no mind, anywhere.

Cántico por Leibowitz (Walter M. Miller Jr.)

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Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

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The truth is that it doesn’t matter whether I destroy myself alone or destroy this planet—or turn around and try to find my way to the right-hand path in some dreary monastery. The universe will roll blindly along, not caring, not even knowing. There’s no Granddaddy in the clouds to pass a last judgment—there’s only a few airplanes up there, learning more and more about how to carry bombs.
- The Illuminatus! Trilogy (Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson)

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Communication is possible only between equals. The master class never abstracts enough information from the servile class to know what is actually going on in the world where the actual productivity of society occurs. Furthermore, the logogram of any authoritarian society remains fairly inflexible as time passes, but everything else in the universe constantly changes. The result can only be progressive disorientation among the rulers. The end is debacle. The schizophrenia of authoritarianism exists both in the individual and in the whole society. I call this the Snafu Principle.

“I wouldn’t mind. I’ve always had a big self-destructive urge. Like all cowards. Cowardice is a defense against suicide.”

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Bloodthirsty tyrants throughout history have tried to strip men of their rights or lure them into giving up their rights on behalf of the poor, the fatherland, enhanced security, or the common good. Never has a despot confessed to seeking power for himself; he always claims to be serving some nobler purpose. Caveat civis: Those who tell you to give up your rights for the sake of someone or something else typically want to be that someone or something else.


"And the same will be happening in every other industry, wherever machines are used- the machines which they thought could replace our minds. Plane crashes, oil tank explosions, blast furnace breakouts, high tension wire electrocutions, subway cave-ins, and trestle collapses- they'll see them all. The very machines that made their life so safe- will now make it a continuous peril..."
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Ayn Rand and the World She Made (Anne C. Heller)



De mortuis nil nisi bonum. Say nothing but good of the dead.
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The engineer had confidence, because he felt capable of extorting from this wild country everything necessary for the life of himself and his companions; the latter feared nothing, just because Cyrus Harding was with them.
The Mysterious Island (Jules Verne)



The sense of loss was compounded by the fact that the British, whose record for exploration had been perhaps unparalleled among the nations of the earth, had to take a humiliating second best to Norway.
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Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage (Alfred Lansing)



To such a state of affairs it is convenient to give the name of progress. No one confessed the Machine was out of hand. Year by year it was served with increased efficiency and decreased intelligence. The better a man knew his own duties upon it, the less he understood the duties of his neighbour, and in all the world there was not one who understood the monster as a whole. Those master brains had perished. They had left full directions, it is true, and their successors had each of them mastered a portion of those directions. But Humanity, in its desire for comfort, had over-reached itself. It had exploited the riches of nature too far. Quietly and complacently, it was sinking into decadence, and progress had come to mean the progress of the Machine.
The Machine Stops (E.M. Forster)

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So what exactly happened in Universe 25? Past day 315, population growth slowed. More than six hundred mice now lived in Universe 25, constantly rubbing shoulders on their way up and down the stairwells to eat, drink, and sleep. Mice found themselves born into a world that was more crowded every day, and there were far more mice than meaningful social roles. With more and more peers to defend against, males found it difficult and stressful to defend their territory, so they abandoned the activity. Normal social discourse within the mouse community broke down, and with it the ability of mice to form social bonds. The failures and dropouts congregated in large groups in the middle of the enclosure, their listless withdrawal occasionally interrupted by spasms and waves of pointless violence. The victims of these random attacks became attackers. Left on their own in nests subject to invasion, nursing females attacked their own young. Procreation slumped, infant abandonment and mortality soared. Lone females retreated to isolated nesting boxes on penthouse levels. Other males, a group Calhoun termed “the beautiful ones,” never sought sex and never fought—they just ate, slept, and groomed, wrapped in narcissistic introspection. Elsewhere, cannibalism, pansexualism, and violence became endemic. Mouse society had collapsed.
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Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.
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Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)


Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins. When you declare that men are irrational animals and propose to treat them as such, you define thereby your own character and can no longer claim the sanction of reason-as no advocate of contradictions can claim it.
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Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)


Only I think that it's a sin to sit down and let your life go, without making a try for it."
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Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)

A second point of comparison is the principle of the polygyny threshold, which is found in many species of birds. Female songbirds will choose to be the first mates of males who offer the best territories and resources until all the best males have been chosen. Once that happens, female songbirds will choose to be the second mate of a high quality male rather than the single mate of a lesser bird. And in fact, the offspring of the males chosen first do tend to do better than the offspring of the males chosen later, and the higher-status males are also the first males to acquire second mates.

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The system of life on this planet is so astoundingly complex that it was a long time before man even realised that it was a system at all and that it wasn't something that was just there.

School expects that our best students will graduate to become trained trigonometricians. They'll be hired by people to compute the length of the hypotenuse of a certain right triangle. What a waste
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Adams, Douglas - Last Chance To See


“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers
of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not
enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome
discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their
discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of
Constitutional power.”
-Thomas Jefferson

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You find glamour in things that have this promise of escape and transformation. So therefore there has to be something that’s dissatisfying about your current life. And one you may imagine is an escape into the future. That the future is a place where your dreams can come true and your dissatisfactions will be relieved.
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Communists are very good in handing out things that belong to others...
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Narrative Collapse is what happens when we no longer have time in which to tell a story.

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Consequently, future environmentalists will be concerned about a lot of issues people don’t label as environmental work today. They’ll promote quality-of-life issues such as cleanliness, crime reduction, comfortable public transit, and street noise. They’ll be developing entertainment and recreational facilities, senior programs, civic events, educational infrastructure, homeless services, film festi-vals, artist exhibitions, public health campaigns, and other projects that make cities more desirable places to live.


The Population Dilemma in Sixty Seconds or Less Our numbers are currently growing by about 1.5 million per week, equivalent to adding a fully populated San Francisco to the earth every eighty-six hours.13
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Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism (Ozzie Zehner)


El viejo asintió con la cabeza. —Los que no construyen deben destruir. Es algo tan viejo como la Historia y la delincuencia juvenil.
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Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)


It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

—Ocio. —Oh, disponemos de muchas horas después del trabajo. —De horas después del trabajo, sí, pero, ¿y tiempo para pensar? Si no se conduce un vehículo a ciento cincuenta kilómetros por hora, de modo que sólo puede pensarse en el peligro que se corre, se está interviniendo en algún juego o se está sentado en un salón, donde es imposible discutir con el televisor de cuatro paredes. ¿Por qué? El televisor es «real». Es inmediato, tiene dimensión. Te dice lo que debes pensar y te lo dice a gritos. Ha de tener razón. Parece tenerla. Te hostiga tan apremiantemente para que aceptes tus propias conclusiones, que tu mente no tiene tiempo para protestar, para gritar: «¡Qué tontería!»
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Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

Si el Gobierno es poco eficiente, excesivamente intelectual o aficionado a aumentar los impuestos, mejor es que sea todo eso que no que la gente se preocupe por ello. Tranquilidad, Montag. Dale a la gente concursos que puedan ganar recordando la letra de las canciones más populares, o los nombres de las capitales de Estado, o cuánto maíz produjo Iowa el año pasado. Atibórralos de datos no combustibles, lánzales encima tantos «hechos» que se sientan abrumados, pero totalmente al día en cuanto a información. Entonces, tendrán la sensación de que piensan, tendrán la impresión de que se mueven sin moverse. Y serán felices, porque los hechos de esta naturaleza no cambian. No les des ninguna materia delicada como Filosofía o Sociología para que empiecen a atar cabos. Por ese camino se encuentra la melancolía. Cualquier hombre que pueda desmontar un mural de televisión y volver a armarlo luego, y, en la actualidad, la mayoría de los hombres pueden hacerlo, es más feliz que cualquier otro que trata de medir, calibrar y sopesar el Universo, que no puede ser medido ni sopesado sin que un hombre se sienta bestial y solitario. Lo sé, lo he intentado
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Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)


—Acelera la proyección, Montag, aprisa, ¿Clic? ¿Película? Mira, Ojo, Ahora, Adelante, Aquí, Allí, Aprisa, Ritmo, Arriba, Abajo, Dentro, Fuera, Por qué, Cómo, Quién, Qué, Dónde, ¿Eh?, ¡Oh ¡Bang!, ¡Zas!, Golpe, Bing, Bong, ¡Bum! Selecciones de selecciones. ¿Política? ¡Una columna, dos frases, un titular! Luego, en pleno aire, todo desaparece. La mente del hombre gira tan aprisa a impulsos de los editores, explotadores, locutores, que la fuerza centrífuga elimina todo pensamiento innecesario, origen de una pérdida de tiempo.
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Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)




Beware: All too often, We say What we hear others say. We think What we're told that we think. We see What we're permitted to see. Worse! We see what we're told that we see. Repetition and pride are the keys to this. To hear and to see Even an obvious lie Again And again and again May be to say it, Almost by reflex Then to defend it Because we've said it And at last to embrace it Because we've defended it And because we cannot admit That we've embraced and defended An obvious lie. Thus, without thought, Without intent, We makeMere echoes Of ourselves— And we say What we hear others say

When vision fails Direction is lost. When direction is lost Purpose may be forgotten. When purpose is forgotten Emotion rules alone. When emotion rules alone, Destruction ... destruction

Beware: Ignorance Protects itself. Ignorance Promotes suspicion. Suspicion Engenders fear. Fear quails, Irrational and blind, Or fear looms, Defiant and closed. Blind, closed, Suspicious, afraid, Ignorance Protects itself, And protected. Ignorance grows.

"It's better to teach people than to scare them, Lauren. If you scare them and nothing happens, they lose their fear, and you lose some of your authority with them. It's harder to scare them a second time, harder to teach them, harder to win back their trust. Best to begin by teaching."
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Butler_Octavia_E, Parable_of_the_Talents



One of the most impressive mapping feats was the Great Trigonometric Survey of India conducted by the British in the nineteenth century. This survey had control networks thousands of miles long extending the length and width of the subcontinent, with countless numbers of control stations creating a vast interlocking network that was used to establish locations that were precise to better than a centimeter. It was during this survey that the highest mountain peaks had their altitudes measured through sightings in the distance. Mt. Everest, which bears the name of the leader of the survey, was simply a distant peak that was cataloged in the field as part of the effort. Only after the data were analyzed in London was it realized that it was the highest mountain on Earth.



The hour was and is one of the most widely used units of time. It has its origins in the ancient Egyptian use of rising stars to reckon the time of night. They used thirty-six bright stars in all, which would rise in turn just before the Sun at different times of the year. The passage of one night was associated with the passage of twelve of these bright stars, giving rise to the night’s being divided into twelve hours. The day was likewise divided into twelve units. This scheme, dating from roughly the fifth century BC, became widely adopted, but it was far from universal. Medieval Saxons reckoned the length of day in tides, with eight tides in one day.
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The Lost Art of Finding Our Way (John Edward Huth)



El Cid Campeador

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.

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