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Quotes of the day: Michael Crichton
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Published Wednesday, October 22, 2014 @ 7:12 PM EDT
Oct 22 2014

John Michael Crichton, MD (October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008) was an American best-selling author, physician, producer, director, and screenwriter, best known for his work in the science fiction, medical fiction, and thriller genres. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and many have been adapted into films. In 1994 Crichton became the only creative artist ever to have works simultaneously charting at No. 1 in US television, film, and book sales (with ER, Jurassic Park, and Disclosure, respectively). (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A day is like a whole life. You start out doing one thing, but end up doing something else, plan to run an errand, but never get there... And at the end of your life, your whole existence has the same haphazard quality, too. Your whole life has the same shape as a single day.

A man can see by starlight, if he takes the time.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.

All major changes are like death. You can't see to the other side until you are there.

All your life people will tell you things. And most of the time, probably ninety-five percent of the time, what they'll tell you will be wrong.

Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results.

Do you know what we call opinion in the absence of evidence? We call it prejudice.

Endless presentation of conflict may interfere with genuine issue resolution.

Friendships are nice. So is competence.

Geniuses never pay attention.

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.

I am certain there is too much certainty in the world.

I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.

If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree.

In our modern complex world, fundamentalism is dangerous because of its rigidity and its imperviousness to other ideas.

In the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don't know any better.

In the information society, nobody thinks. We expected to banish paper, but we actually banished thought.

It is especially difficult for modern people to conceive that our modern, scientific age might not be an improvement over the prescientific period.

It's better to die laughing than to live each moment in fear.

Let's be clear. The planet is not in jeopardy. We are in jeopardy. We haven't got the power to destroy the planet- or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves.

Like a bearded nut in robes on the sidewalk proclaiming the end of the world is near, the media is just doing what makes it feel good, not reporting hard facts. We need to start seeing the media as a bearded nut on the sidewalk, shouting out false fears. Its not sensible to listen to it.

Nobody smart knows what they want to do until they get into their twenties or thirties.

Science is as corruptible a human activity as any other.

The planet has survived everything, in its time. It will certainly survive us,

The purpose of life is to stay alive. Watch any animal in nature- all it tries to do is stay alive. It doesn't care about beliefs or philosophy. Whenever any animal's behavior puts it out of touch with the realities of its existence, it becomes exinct.

The romantic view of the natural world as a blissful Eden is only held by people who have no actual experience of nature.

There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80%, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago? When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden?

They didn't understand what they were doing. I'm afraid that will be on the tombstone of the human race. I hope it's not. We might get lucky.

To mix environmental concerns with the frantic fantasies that people have about one political party or another is to miss the cold truth- that there is very little difference between the parties, except a difference in pandering rhetoric.

We need to get environmentalism out of the sphere of religion. We need to stop the mythic fantasies, and we need to stop the doomsday predictions. We need to start doing hard science instead.

What makes you think human beings are sentient and aware? There's no evidence for it. Human beings never think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable. For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what they are told- and become upset if they are exposed to any different view. The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is religious warfare. Other animals fight for territory or food; but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their 'beliefs.' The reason is that beliefs guide behavior which has evolutionary importance among human beings. But at a time when our behavior may well lead us to extinction, I see no reason to assume we have any awareness at all. We are stubborn, self-destructive conformists. Any other view of our species is just a self-congratulatory delusion. Next question.

You know what's wrong with scientific power? It's a form of inherited wealth. And you know what assholes congenitally rich people are.


Categories: Michael Crichton, Quotes of the day


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