Famous Quotes & Sayings

Isaac Asimov Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Isaac Asimov.

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Isaac Asimov Quotes 1273436

Working ten hour days allows you to fall behind twice as fast as you could working five hour days. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 2244332

The dangers that face the world can, every one of them, be traced back to science. The salvations that may save the world will, every one of them, be traced back to science. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 843401

Never judge your own writing. You're not fit to do so. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1822910

Isn't it sad that you can tell people that the ozone layer is being depleted, the forests are being cut down, the deserts are advancing steadily, that the greenhouse effect will raise the sea level 200 feet, that overpopulation is choking us, that pollution is killing us, that nuclear war may destroy us - and they yawn and settle back for a comfortable nap. But tell them that the Martians are landing, and they scream and run. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 420478

Despite all that education and experience can do, I retain a certain level of unsophistication that I cannot eradicate and that my friends find amusing. In fact, I think I sometimes detect conspiratorial plottings among my friends to protect me against my own lack of sophistication. I don't mind. I suspect that I am never quite as unsophisticated as they think I am, but I don't mind. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 2145216

The Library was outmoded and archaic - it had been so even in Ebling Mis's time - but that was all to the good. Pelorat always rubbed his hands with excitement when he thought of an old and outmoded Library. The older and the more outmoded, the more likely it was to have what he needed. In his dreams, he would enter the Library and ask in breathless alarm, 'Has the Library been modernized? Have you thrown out the old tapes and computerizations?' And always he imagined the answer from dusty and ancient librarians, 'As it has been, Professor, so it is still. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1183120

Any fool can tell a crisis when it arrives. The real service to the state is to detect it in embryo. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 877768

I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it. Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1244884

An atom-blaster is a good weapon, but it can point both ways. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 822322

Writing is a lonely job. Even if a writer socializes regularly, when he gets down to the real business of his life, it is he and his type writer or word processor. No one else is or can be involved in the matter. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 270143

We would grow tired of it, Grandpa, if it were beautiful all the time. A little change from night to night is good for us.'

'For you, because you're young, Wanda. You have many, many evenings ahead of you. I don't. I want more good ones. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1787285

Humanity is cutting down its forests, apparently oblivious to the fact that we may not be able to live without them. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1887650

The human mind resents control. The ordinary human hypnotist cannot hypnotize a person against his will for that reason. I can, because I'm not a hypnotist, and, believe me, Pritcher, the resentment that you cannot show and do not even know you possess is something I wouldn't want to face." Pritcher — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 747738

it suddenly seems to me that the destruction of what should not be, that is, the destruction of what you people call evil, is less just and desirable than the conversion of this evil into what you call good. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 265700

Arthur Clarke says that I am first in science and second in science fiction in accordance with an agreement we have made. I say he is first in science fiction and second in science. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1166038

The facts, gentlemen, and nothing but the facts, for careful eyes are narrowly watching. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 763834

With both people and computers on the job, computer error can be more quickly tracked down and corrected by people and, conversely, human error can be more quickly corrected by computers. What it amounts to is that nothing serious can happen unless human error and computer error take place simultaneously. And that hardly ever happens. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 265685

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1343349

I think you are wrong, partner Elijah. My briefing on human characteristics here among the people of Earth includes the information that, unlike the men of the Outer Worlds, they are trained from birth to accept authority. Apparently this is the result of your way of living. One man, representing authority firmly enough, was quite sufficient, as I proved. Your own desire for a squad car was only an expression, really, of your almost instinctive wish for superior authority to take responsibility out of your hands. On my own world, I admit that what I did would have been most unjustified. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1198085

Mr Baley", said Quemot, "you can't treat human emotions as though they were built about a positronic brain".
"I'm not saying you can. Robotics is a deductive science and sociology an inductive one. But mathematics can be made to apply in either case. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1352057

Scientific apparatus offers a window to knowledge, but as they grow more elaborate, scientists spend ever more time washing the windows. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 955055

If we only obey those rules that we think are just and reasonable, then no rule will stand, for there is no rule that some will not think is unjust and unreasonable. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 991765

Intuition is the art, peculiar to the human mind, of working out the correct answer from data that is, in itself, incomplete or even, perhaps, misleading. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1899941

Science doesn't purvey absolute truth. Science is a mechanism ... for testing your thoughts against the universe. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1173627

The essential building block is ... the true love that is impossible to define for those who have never experienced it and unnecessary to define for those who have. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1617603

What is really amazing, and frustrating, is mankind's habit of refusing to see the obvious and inevitable until it is there, and then muttering about unforeseen catastrophes. — Isaac Asimov

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It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1546662

Married life had taught Toran the futility of arguing with a female in dark-brown mood. He shrugged, and left her. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1977907

I am afraid a monster is grown that will devour all of us. Yet we must fight him. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 882829

The elderly man, flushed with pleasure, was recounting in voluble fashion his experiences and impressions. His wife joined in periodically, with meticulous corrections involving completely unimportant points; these being given and taken in the best of humor. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 2245783

Life is not like a murder mystery. In mysteries people always do the same thing. Then when some little thing is out of line, some wise-guy amateur detective makes big deductions. In real life, people don't do the same things all the time. They do different things at different times. In real life, people are crazy. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 343790

Scientists expect to be improved on and corrected; they hope to be — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 464351

Every man's position on Earth is restricted to the distance he can walk.'
The Last Trump — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 88402

What lasts in the reader's mind is not the phrase but the effect the phrase created: laughter, tears, pain, joy. If the phrase is not affecting the reader, what's it doing there? Make it do its job or cut it without mercy or remorse. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 95109

One might accept death reasoningly, with every aspect of the conscious mind, but the body was a brute beast that knew nothing of reason. — Isaac Asimov

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The greatest inventors are unknown to us. Someone invented the wheel - but who? — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 147365

Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 183576

To Mankind
And the hope that the war against folly
may someday be won after all. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 194755

Night will always be a time of fear and insecurity, and the heart will sink with the sun. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 205506

In my life there have been several individuals whose presence made it easier for me to think, pleasanter to make my responses. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 258638

He's a pygmy with only one talent, the ability to convince others he's a giant." Lamont — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 277537

Computerization eliminates the middleman — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 343516

I wish that I could say I was optimistic about the human race. I love us all, but we are so stupid and shortsighted that I wonder if we can lift our eyes to the world about us long enough not to commit suicide. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 356529

If nuclear power makes them dangerous, a sincere friendship through trade will be many times better than an insecure overlordship, based on the hated supremacy of a foreign spiritual power, which, once it weakens ever so slightly, can only fall entirely and leave nothing substantial behind except an immortal fear and hate. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 367218

God, how that stings! I've spent a lifetime loving science fiction and now I find that you must expect nothing of something that's just science fiction. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 372113

We mythologists know very well that myths and legends contain borrowings, moral lessons, nature cycles, and a hundred other distorting influences, and we labor to cut them away and get to what might be a kernel of truth. In fact, these same techniques must be applied to the most sober histories, for no one writes the clear and apparent truth - if such a thing can even be said to exist. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 374222

My feeling is that as far as creativity is concerned, isolation is required. Creation is embarrassing. For every new good idea you have, there are a hundred, ten thousand foolish ones. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 391171

To make discoveries, you have to be curious about why the universe is the way it is. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 442220

[The theory of universal gravitation] is not cast-iron. No theory is, and there is always room for improvement. Isn't that so? Science is constructed out of approximations that gradually approach the truth ... Well, that means all theories are subject to constant testing and modification, doesn't it? And if it eventually turns out that they're not quite close enough to the truth, they need to be replaced by something that's closer. Right? — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 474063

Any book worth banning is a book worth reading. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 495357

I don't think I've ever held a racket in my hand ... There's got to be somebody in the US who isn't trying to play tennis and stinking up the court. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 617003

No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 623037

Kill us in the clear light on the Moon, where the sky is black and soft, where the stars shine brightly, where the cleanliness and purity of vacuum make all things sharp.

- Not in this low-clinging, fuzzy blue. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 654557

What phrase was that, sir?" "You said something about interviewing people face to - - " He shook his head, his tongue dabbing quickly at his lips. "I would rather not say it. I think you know what I mean. The phrase conjured up the most striking picture of the two of us breathing - breathing one another's breath." The Solarian shuddered. "Don't you find that repulsive?" "I don't know that I've ever thought of it so." "It seems so filthy a habit. And as you said it and the picture rose in my mind, I realized that after all we were in the same room and even though I was not facing you, puffs of air that had been in your lungs must be reaching me and entering mine. With my sensitive frame of mind - - " Baley said, "Molecules all over Solaria's atmosphere have been in thousands of lungs. Jehoshaphat! They've been in the lungs of animals and the gills of fish." "That — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 656568

Some readers may realize that this story, first published in 1956, has been overtaken by events. In 1965, astronomers discovered that Mercury does not keep one side always to the Sun, but has a period of rotation of about fifty-four days, so that all parts of it are exposed to the sunlight at one time or another.
Well, what can I do except say that I wish astronomers would get things right to begin with?
And I certainly refuse to change the story to suit their whims. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 669704

And it came to pass that AC learned how to reverse the direction of entropy. But there was now no man to whom AC might give the answer of the last question. No matter. The answer
by demonstration
would take care of that, too. For another timeless interval, AC thought how best to do this. Carefully, AC organized the program.
The consciousness of AC encompassed all of what had been a Universe and brooded over what was now Chaos. Step by step, it must be done.
And AC said, "LET THERE BE LIGHT!"
And there was light
Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 698862

I don't expect to live forever, nor do I repine over that, but I am weak enough to want to be remembered forever. - Yet how few of those who have lived, even of those who have accomplished far more than I have, linger on in world memory for even a single century after death — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 791808

When they sat down at a small table and punched in their orders, — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 826607

I have the shape of a human being and organs equivalent to those of a human being. My organs, in fact, are identical to some of those in a prosthetized human being. I have contributed artistically, literally, and scientifically to human culture as much as any human being now alive. What more can one ask? — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 864755

Education isn't something you can finish — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 865443

Well, besides, I've arranged with the computer that anyone who doesn't look and sound like one of us will be killed if he - or she - tries to board the ship. I've taken the liberty of explaining that to the Port Commander. I told him very politely that I would love to turn off that particular facility out of deference to the reputation that the Sayshell City Spaceport holds for absolute integrity and security - throughout the Galaxy, I said - but the ship is a new model and I didn't know how to turn it off."
"He didn't believe that, surely."
"Of course not! But he had to pretend he did, as otherwise he would have had no choice but to be insulted. And since there would be nothing he could do about that, being insulted would only lead to humiliation. And since he didn't want that, the simplest path to follow was to believe what I said."
"And that's another example of how people are?"
"Yes. You'll get used to this. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 961283

Saying something is 'too bad' is easy. You say you disapprove, which makes you a nice person, and then you can go about your business and not be interested anymore. It's a lot worse than 'too bad.' It's against everything decent and natural. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1095522

Love life seems to be that factor which requires the largest quantity of magical tinkering. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1150467

Since the forthcoming write-up of my Ph.D. dissertation was much in my mind, it was the work of a moment to begin a solemn dissertation containing all the stigmata of academic turgidity about a substance which dissolved in water 1.12 seconds before you added the water. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1182265

Dreams may be impossible, yet still be dreamed. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1225570

It was obvious that bigotry was never a one-way operation, that hatred bred hatred! — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1241482

Science is complex and chilling. The mathematical language of science is understood by very few. The vistas it presents are scary-an enormous universe ruled by chance and impersonal rules, empty and uncaring, ungraspable and vertiginous. How comfortable to turn instead to a small world, only a few thousand years old, and under God's personal; and immediate care; a world in which you are His peculiar concern. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1294363

He always pictured himself a libertarian, which to my way of thinking means "I want the liberty to grow rich and you can have the liberty to starve". It's easy to believe that no one should depend on society for help when you yourself happen not to need such help. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1303407

All roads lead to Trantor, and that is where all stars end. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1313717

Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1345512

However, I continue to try and I continue, indefatigably, to reach out. There's no way I can single-handedly save the world or, perhaps, even make a perceptible difference - but how ashamed I would be to let a day pass without making one more effort. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1345621

It worked out neatly, yet it had all changed for him, and what was broken could not be made whole again. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1358913

That's the harm of Close Encounters: that it convinces tens of millions that that's what just science fiction is. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1422053

We're forever teetering on the brink of the unknowable, and trying to understand what can't be understood. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1423349

The law of conservation of energy tells us we can't get something for nothing, but we refuse to believe it. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1541254

We all know we fall. Newton's discovery was that the moon falls, too-and by the same rule that we do. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1597656

violence is the last resource of incompetence — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1653607

Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1654891

People live and die by nonsense. It's not what is so much as what people think is. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1662066

Since I do not believe in so many things, it is not difficult for me to disbelieve in the Fall as well, so that I am entirely convinced I will be telling the truth to the people. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1693781

What Gaal was waiting for after the disappointment of the Jump was that first sight of Trantor. He haunted the View-room. The steel shutter-lids were rolled back at announced times and he was always there, watching the hard brilliance of the stars, enjoying the incredible hazy swarm of a star cluster, like a giant conglomeration of fireflies caught in mid-motion and stilled forever. At one time there was the cold, blue-white smoke of a gaseous nebula within five light years of the ship, spreading over the window like distant milk, filling the room with an icy tinge, and disappearing out of sight two hours later, after another Jump. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1726015

You're surrounded by people in the waking period, and you feel their eyes and their hopes on you. You can't stand up under it. In the sleep period, you're free. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1727262

A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1728298

A mathematician, however, who could back his prophecy with mathematical formulas and terminology, might be understood by no one and yet believed by everyone. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1756903

In the presence of total Darkness, the mind finds it absolutely necessary to create light. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1773413

It was easy to cover up ignorance by the mystical word intuition. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1803044

Civilizations have always been pyramidal in structure. As one climbs toward the apex of the social edifice, there is increased leisure and increasing opportunity to pursue hapiness. As one climbs, one finds also fewer and fewer people to enjoy this more and more. Invariably, there is a preponderance of the dispossessed. And remember this, no matter how well off the bottom layers of the pyramid might be on an absolute scale, they are always dispossessed in comparison with the apex. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1808308

He's but a windlet that blows the dust about my ankles. There is another that I flee, and he is a storm that sweeps the worlds aside and throws them plunging at each other. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1887738

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but 'That's funny ... — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 1985190

The world in general disapproves of creativity, and to be creative in public is particularly bad. Even to speculate in public is rather worrisome. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 2001707

Surely the relationship between inconveniences suffered and privileges granted was part of the very essentials of learning how to handle people without an explosion. — Isaac Asimov

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Past glories are poor feeding. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 2075861

The Earth faces environmental problems right now that threaten the imminent destruction of civilization and the end of the planet as a livable world. Humanity cannot afford to waste its financial and emotional resources on endless, meaningless quarrels between each group and all others. there must be a sense of globalism in which the world unites to solve the real problems that face all groups alike. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 2087158

I'm gradually managing to cram my mind more and more full of things. I've got this beautiful mind and it's going to die, and it'll all be gone. And then I say, not in my case. Every idea I've ever had I've written down, and it's all there on paper. And I won't be gone; it'll be there. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 2113055

A persistent rumor has circulates in the USA: There are two intelligent races living on the surface of planet Earth: the standard people and the hungarians. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 2118590

Because, if you stop to think of it, the three Rules of Robotics are the essential guiding principles of a good many of the world's ethical systems. Of course, every human being is supposed to have the instinct of self-preservation. That's Rule Three to a robot. Also every 'good' human being, with a social conscience and a sense of responsibility, is supposed to defer to proper authority; to listen to his doctor, his boss, his government, his psychiatrist, his fellow man; to obey laws, to follow rules, to conform to custom - even when they interfere with his comfort or his safety. That's Rule Two to a robot. Also, every 'good' human being is supposed to love others as himself, protect his fellow man, risk his life to save another. That's Rule One to a robot. To put it simply - if Byerley follows all the Rules of Robotics, he may be a robot, and may simply be a very good man. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 2132385

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 2185491

I consider violence an uneconomical way of attaining an end. There are always better substitutes, though they may sometimes be a little less direct. — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Quotes 2210045

Early in my school career, I turned out to be an incorrigible disciplinary problem. I could understand what the teacher was saying as fast as she could say it, I found time hanging heavy, so I would occasionally talk to my neighbor. That was my great crime, I talked in school. — Isaac Asimov

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Intelligence is an accident of evolution, and not necessarily an advantage. — Isaac Asimov