Famous Quotes & Sayings

David Brin Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by David Brin.

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David Brin Quotes 496364

It's how creativity works. Especially in humans. For every good idea, ten thousand idiotic ones must first be posed, sifted, tried out, and discarded. A mind that's afraid to toy with the ridiculous will never come up with the brilliantly original. — David Brin

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In good times, pessimism is a luxury; but in bad times, pessimism is a self-fulfilling and fatal prophecy. — David Brin

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But Orpheus failed because, like all pakeha, he just couldn't keep his mind on one thing at a time. — David Brin

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There's no doubt that scientific training helps many authors to write better science fiction. And yet, several of the very best were English majors who could not parse a differential equation to save their lives. — David Brin

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One of life's joys was to have friends who gave you reality checks ... who would call you on your crap before it rose so high you drowned in it. — David Brin

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Look. Studies show FEAR sets attitudes/tolerance to change. Fearful people reject foreign, alien, strange. Circle wagons. Pull in horizons. Horizons of time. Of tolerance. Of risk. Of Dreams. — David Brin

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The village is coming back, like it or not. — David Brin

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Humorists are precisely the kinds of guys who can cut through the orgy of petty indignation that the aging baby boomers are imposing on this great country. — David Brin

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Dogmas don't have to be entirely logical, as long as they work. — David Brin

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Petals floating by, Drift through my woman's hand, As she remembers me. — David Brin

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Then again: from the critic's point of view, one of the truly wonderful things about the Star Wars universe is that the territory is so sprawling and borrows from so many sources that it's possible to find just about anything here, if you look hard enough. For example, the story of the original movie can also be summarized as, A restless young boy chafes at life on the dusty old family farm, until he meets a wizard and is swept away to a wondrous land where he meets some munchkins, a tin man, a cowardly lion and Harrison Ford as the scarecrow. — David Brin

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The greedy and the power-hungry will always look for ways to break the rules, or twist them to their advantage. — David Brin

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It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power. — David Brin

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There's a reason why kings built large palaces, sat on thrones and wore rubies all over. There's a whole social need for that, not to oppress the masses, but to impress the masses and make them proud and allow them to feel good about their culture, their government and their ruler so that they are left feeling that a ruler has the right to rule over them, so that they feel good rather than disgusted about being ruled. - George Lucas, New York Times, 1999 — David Brin

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With gritty action and realistic science, Peter Watts brings to life a dark and vivid world. — David Brin

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My education and background thoroughly inform my writing. — David Brin

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Above all, TRIBES is fun, and even kind of sexy ... in that every round features an Opportunity for Reproduction, which is the main aim of the game, as it is in most of Nature. — David Brin

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The notion of a universe filled with cowards ... who stay cowardly FOREVER, no matter how advanced they become ... seems no[t] only unimaginative and temporally myopic, but deeply dismal, as well. — David Brin

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We are, at our core, information pack rats and inveterate correlators. — David Brin

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Magic and art arise from an egomaniac's insistence that the artist is right, and the universe wrong. — David Brin

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Science has learned recently that contempt and indignation are addictive mental states. I mean physically and chemically addictive. Literally! People who are self-righteous a lot are apparently doping themselves rhythmically with auto-secreted surges of dopamine, endorphins and enkephalins. Didn't you ever ask yourself why indignation feels so good? — David Brin

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She had called in the debt that parents owe a child for bringing her, unasked, into a strange world. One should never make an offer without knowing full well what will happen if it is accepted. — David Brin

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I consider Yoda to be just about the most evil character that I've ever seen in the history of literature. I have gotten people into tongue-tied snits unable to name for me one scene in which Yoda is ever helpful to anybody, or says anything that's genuinely wise. 'Do or do not, there is no try.' Up yours, you horrible little oven mitt! 'Try' is how human beings get better. That's how people learn, they try some of their muscles, or their Force mechanism heads in the right direction, that part gets reinforced and rewarded with positive feedback, which you never give. And parts of it get repressed by saying, 'No, that you will not do!' It is abhorrent, junior high school Zen. It's cartoon crap. — David Brin

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Life is not fair ... Anyone who says it is, or even that it ought to be, is a fool or worse. — David Brin

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Strong privacy advocates - especially those promoting encryption and anonymity - may deny that this phenomenon is a direct physical corollary of their message, so I will let the reader decide whether a philosophy that relies on cybernetic gates, walls, and coded locks is any different in its underlying basis - fear. — David Brin

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Self-awareness is probably overrated. A complex, self-regulating system doesn't need it in order to be successful, or even smart. — David Brin

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Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the Universe to make sense! — David Brin

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Again, how will we keep them loyal? What measures can ensure our machines stay true to us? Once artificial intelligence matches our own, won't they then design even better ai minds? Then better still, with accelerating pace? At worst, might they decide (as in many cheap dramas), to eliminate their irksome masters? At best, won't we suffer the shame of being nostalgically tolerated? Like senile grandparents or beloved childhood pets? Solutions? Asimov proposed Laws of Robotics embedded at the level of computer DNA, weaving devotion toward humanity into the very stuff all synthetic minds are built from, so deep it can never be pulled out. But what happens to well-meant laws? Don't clever lawyers construe them however they want? Authors like Asimov and Williamson foresaw supersmart mechanicals becoming all-dominant, despite deep programming to "serve man. — David Brin

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a species used to strict patterns of inherited hierarchy. — David Brin

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I had to admit, standing there, that sometimes you just gotta admire the passion of the truly insane
a passion that bulls right past all sense or reason. — David Brin

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As simple an act as reading or writing a sentence must be surrounded by perceptory nap and weave ... an itch, a stray memory from childhood, the distant sound of a barking dog, or something left over from the lunch that is found caught between the teeth. — David Brin

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There was a time, in living memory, when this nation bestrode the planet like a titan. — David Brin

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Why must conversions always come so late? Why do people always apologize to corpses? — David Brin

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If an outsider perceives 'something wrong' with a core scientific model, the humble and justified response of that curious outsider should be to ask 'what mistake am I making?' before assuming 100% of the experts are wrong. — David Brin

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It may be that the best time for Otherness has already passed. Clearly part of the basis for this renaissance has been wealth, especially the unprecedented comfort enjoyed by the vast majority of Westerners since World War II, in which very few of us can even conceive of starving — David Brin

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Once you consider the premise that Episodes I through III are not live-action movies with extensive special effects, but rather animated features with a few living actors rotoscoped in, many of the more common critical objections to the movies simply wither away. — David Brin

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You don't have conversations with microprocessors. You tell them what to do, then helplessly watch the disaster when they take you literally! — David Brin

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Martianus Capella strove to collect what he considered the highest accomplishments of his culture, the Seven Liberal Arts, and his collection - in weird poesical format - seemed a candle to many, during the Dark Ages. That story inspired Isaac Asimov, by the way, to write his famed Foundation sci-fi series. — David Brin

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A neurosis defends itself by coming up with rationalizations to explain away bizarre behavior. — David Brin

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In historical fact, all of history's despots, combined, never managed to get things done as well as this rambunctious, self-critical civilization of free and sovereign citizens, who have finally broken free of worshipping a ruling class and begun thinking for themselves. Democracy can seem frustrating and messy at times, but it delivers. — David Brin

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Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather. — David Brin

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In other words, I look through my eyes and see only a version of the world, a version that can be, and often is, colored or twisted by what I want to see. Another person may witness the same events, and yet observe something entirely different. — David Brin

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Anyone who wants simple, pat stories should buy another author's product. The real universe ain't that way, and neither are my fictive ones. — David Brin

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Fortunately, human beings are remarkably diverse models to work from. — David Brin

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It is a total mystery how we evolved minds capable of piloting cars through wild maneuvers using a wrist to steep while shouting at a cell phone. The creationists are fools for focusing on animal evolution. Darwin explains nature! He has more difficulty explaining us. — David Brin

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In contrast, markets - oft mythologized as "natural" are the most unnatural things going. Libertarians will tell you "market laws are laws of nature", what baloney. Markets - and the other great modernist cornucopian tools - are magnificent wealth generating machines, built ad-hoc, through trial and error, constantly fine-tuned and refined, tinkered, adjusted. — David Brin

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Where subtlety fails us we must simply make do with cream pies. — David Brin

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Freedom was wonderful beyond relief. But with it came that bitch, Duty. — David Brin

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Analog, or Asimov's Magazine, or The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. — David Brin

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When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else. — David Brin

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In the book, America had already been weakened by bio terror plagues before waves of selfish violence took down the rest. But the real enemy was the kind of male human being who nurses fantasies of violent glory at the expense of his fellow citizens. — David Brin

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The best time to act on this was decades ago. The second best time is now. — David Brin

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The conflict is an old one. George Washington and other followers of the Enlightenment Movement wrote of their belief in an imminent maturity of humankind. The ancient and cruel feudal ways were splitting asunder at last; therefore, how could truth and freedom not prevail? In fact, the Enlightenment changed humanity forever. Yet its followers forgot something important
that each generation is invaded by a new wave of barbarians ... its children. Just as Washington, Franklin, and their peers took joy in toppling the tyranny of Church and King, so the youths of the Romantic Movement thrived on jeering the lofty ideals of their predecessors. — David Brin

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Metaphorically speaking, some very bright people suggest that citizens of the twenty-first century will be best protected by masks and shields, while I prefer the image of a light saber. — David Brin

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Where were answers to the truly deep questions? Religion promised those, though always in vague terms, while retreating from one line in the sand to the next. Don't look past this boundary, they told Galileo, then Hutton, Darwin, Von Neumann, and Crick, always retreating with great dignity before the latest scientific advance, then drawing the next holy perimeter at the shadowy rim of knowledge. — David Brin

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Every time humans discovered a new resource, or technique for using mass and energy, one side effect has always been pollution. Why should the information age be any different from those of coal, petroleum, or the atom? — David Brin

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But honestly, if you do a rigorous survey of my work, I'll bet you'll find that biology is a theme far more often than physical science. — David Brin

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Reciprocal accountability, or criticism [is] the only known antidote to error. — David Brin

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Change is the principal feature of our age and literature should explore how people deal with it. The best science fiction does that, head-on. — David Brin

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Science gives man what he needs, but magic gives man what he wants. — David Brin

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As sci-fi writer Theodore Sturgeon said, 90 percent of everything is crap. But science fiction has not been forgiven for its crap. The reason is that science fiction inherently distrusts the 'eternal verities' on which literature graduates base their doctoral dissertations. Literature departments were uncomfortable with that. But things change. — David Brin

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If you have other things in your life-family, friends, good productive day work-these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer. — David Brin

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Socrates, Plato, Jesus, Buddha and countless other mystics, in countless cultures, have preached the same thing
that we all exist amid a blur of uncertainty. That one can never know complete truth about physical reality via our senses alone. Much is made of the differences between their systems ... Socrates teaching reason, Buddha urging meditation, and Jesus prescribing faith. But what they all had in common was far more important. Each of those sage-prophets worried that the power of human egotism tends to make us lie to ourselves, leading to error, hypocrisy, and all too often, the rationalization of evil actions. — David Brin

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Where is it written that one should only care about big things? — David Brin

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Change is the very fabric of our time. — David Brin

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Every marvel of our age arose out of the critical give and take of an open society. No other civilization ever managed to incorporate this crucial innovation, weaving it into daily life. And if you disagree with this ... say so! — David Brin

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Obviously they thought their Lord was giving the haughty tirbeswoman — David Brin

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We have earned our peace. It is, by now, more precious than honor, or even pity. — David Brin

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But there is one more reason to protect other species. One seldom if ever mentioned. Perhaps we are the first to talk and think and build and aspire, but we may not be the last. Others may follow us in this adventure. Some day we may be judged by just how well we served, when alone we were Earth's caretakers. — David Brin

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Men can be brilliant and strong, they whispered to one another. But men can be mad, as well. And the mad ones can ruin the world.
Women, you must judge them ...
Never again can things be allowed to reach this pass, they said to one another as they thought of the sacrifice the Scouts had made.
Never again can we let the age-old fight go on between good and bad men alone.
Women, you must share responsibility ... and bring your own talents into the
struggle ...
And always remember, the moral concluded: Even the best men
the heroes
will sometimes neglect to do their jobs.
Women, you must remind them, from time to time ... — David Brin

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We already live a very long time for mammals, getting three times as many heartbeats as a mouse or elephant. It never seems enough though, does it? — David Brin

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I like to be surprised. Fresh implications and plot twists erupt as a story unfolds. Characters develop backgrounds, adding depth and feeling. Writing feels like exploring. — David Brin

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There were few worse criminals on any world than the engineer who blithely and knowingly hands over to a tyrant the tools of oppression. — David Brin

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Alex felt the words wash over him. He had the strange fantasy the things were seeking places within him to lay their young. — David Brin

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In 1983, Michael W. Doyle commented on the common observation that democracies almost never wage war on one another. Understanding the reasons for this phenomenon may be crucial to our hopes for preventing devastating conflict in the next generation. Which attributes of democracy foster this essential trait of mutual nonaggression? — David Brin

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Information is not like money or any other commodity. The cracks that it can slip through are almost infinitely small, and it can be duplicated at almost zero cost. Soon information will be like air, like the weather, and as easy to control. — David Brin

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Everything isn't subjective. Reality also matters. Truth matters. It is still a word with meaning. — David Brin

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Give up," they preached. "Don't bother trying to figure out how the flawed world works. Perfect knowledge is to be found only within the mind, the soul. Seek your own private salvation then, apart from the world, and don't bother getting your hands dirty trying to piece together the nuts and bolts of God's handiwork. — David Brin

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Does the universe hate us? How many pitfalls lie ahead, waiting to shred our conceited molecule-clusters back into unthinking dust? Shall we count them? — David Brin

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All this talk of using tax policy to 'assess social costs' ... what a dumb idea. The only way to stop polluters is to put them against walls and shoot them. — David Brin

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Beware of self-indulgence. The romance surrounding the writing profession carries several myths: that one must suffer in order to be creative; that one must be cantankerous and objectionable in order to be bright; that ego is paramount over skill; that one can rise to a level from which one can tell the reader to go to hell. These myths, if believed, can ruin you.
If you believe you can make a living as a writer, you already have enough ego. — David Brin

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Only people with full stomachs become environmentalists. — David Brin

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It was a strange trek - the sullen leading the apathetic, followed by the confused, all tailed by the inveterately amused. — David Brin

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There isn't one America anymore. If there ever had been. — David Brin

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A living planet is a much more complex metaphor for deity than just a bigger father with a bigger fist. — David Brin

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It is a paradox of Life that all species breed past mere replacement. Any paradise of plenty soon fills to become paradise no more. — David Brin

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When I begin a book, I inevitably discover many things along the way, about the characters, their past histories and the political intrigues that surround them. This discovery process is vital, and I would not prejudice it by deciding too much in advance. — David Brin

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If there are still honest-smart men and women within those old and noble traditions, they should think carefully, observe and diagnose the illness. They should face the contradiction. Discuss the conflation. And then do as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates and many others have done. Choose the miracle of creative competition over an idolatry of cash.
They should stand up.. — David Brin

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Responsibility was our cruel mooring.... — David Brin

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But it is a delightful challenge to try to depict interesting aliens. — David Brin

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Alas, criticism has always been what human beings, especially leaders, most hate to hear. — David Brin

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Creative people see Prometheus in a mirror, never Pandora. — David Brin

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free speech should be viewed as sacred and inviolable not simply for its own sake, but for utterly pragmatic reasons. Only through an active, vibrant, noisy ferment of criticism can blunders be discovered before they bring nations crashing down. Moreover, we can never tell in advance which criticism will later prove right; therefore, we must allow, foster, and even encourage all the criticism we can get. — David Brin

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In the end, the work of diplomats continues even while others fight. So, it's not necessarily true that everyone needs to march. — David Brin

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The dream is so pleasant: to extend a limited sub-portion of yourself into a simulated world and pretend for a while that you are blissfully less. Less than an omniscient being. — David Brin

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The fundamental premise of sci-fi is not spaceships and lasers - it's that children can learn from the mistakes of their parents. — David Brin

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Excuse me for being greedy, but I want freedom and good government. — David Brin

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Seldom does a storytelling talent come along as potent and fully mature as Mike Brotherton. His complex characters take you on a voyage that is both fiercely credible and astonishingly imaginative. This is Science Fiction. — David Brin

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Blatant idiocies had been tried by early men and women--foolishness that would never have been considered by species aware of the laws of nature. Desperate superstitions had bred during the savage centuries. Styles of government, intrigues, philosophies were tested with abandon. It was almost as if Orphan Earth had been a planetary laboratory, upon which a series of senseless and bizarre experiments were tried. Illogical and shameful as they seemed in retrospect, those experiences enriched modern Man. Few races had made so many mistakes in so short a time, or tried so many tentative solutions to hopeless problems. — David Brin

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Beware of assumptions that seem "obvious" in one decade. They may become quaint in the next. — David Brin