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Quotes of the day: Thor Heyerdahl
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Published Friday, April 17, 2015 @ 4:39 PM EDT
Apr 17 2015

Thor Heyerdahl (October 6, 1914 – April 18, 2002) was a Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer with a background in zoology, botany, and geography. He became notable for his Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, in which he sailed 8,000 km (5,000 mi) across the Pacific Ocean in a hand-built raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands. The expedition was designed to demonstrate that ancient people could have made long sea voyages, creating contacts between separate cultures. This was linked to a diffusionist model of cultural development. Heyerdahl subsequently made other voyages designed to demonstrate the possibility of contact between widely separated ancient people. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A civilized nation can have no enemies, and one cannot draw a line across a map, a line that doesn't even exist in nature and say that the ugly enemy lives on the one side, and good friends live on the other.

Any political picture can be changed to suit the needs of the powers that be.

Borders I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.

But if we begin thinking about the world being over 100 million years old, then it's absolutely by chance that you and I are sitting here alive today, while all the others are dead or have never been born.

Circumstances cause us to act the way we do. We should always bear this in mind before judging the actions of others.

Civilization grew in the beginning from the minute that we had communication- particularly communication by sea that enabled people to get inspiration and ideas from each other and to exchange basic raw materials.

For every minute, the future is becoming the past.

I also believe that when one dies, one may wake up to the reality that proves that time does not exist.

I don't believe in war as a solution to any kind of conflict, nor do I believe in heroism on the battlefield because I have never seen any.

I have never been able to grasp the meaning of time. I don't believe it exists. I've felt this again and again, when alone and out in nature. On such occasions, time does not exist. Nor does the future exist.

I was in uniform for four years, and I know that heroism doesn't occur from taking orders, but rather from people who through their own willpower and strength are willing to sacrifice their lives for an idea.

In fighting nature, man can win every battle except the last. If he should win that too, he will perish, like an embryo cutting its own umbilical cord.

In my experience, it is rarer to find a really happy person in a circle of millionaires than among vagabonds.

It is also rarer to find happiness in a man surrounded by the miracles of technology than among people living in the desert of the jungle and who by the standards set by our society would be considered destitute and out of touch.

It is progress when a centuries-old oak is cut down to give space for a road sign.

It is progress when weapons are improved to kill more people at a longer range.

Man invents the most inhuman armaments to assault others so like himself that uniforms are needed to distinguish between friend and foe.

Once in a while you find yourself in an odd situation. You get into it by degrees and in the most natural way but, when you are right in the midst of it, you are suddenly astonished and ask yourself how in the world it all came about.

One learns more from listening than speaking. And both the wind and the people who continue to live close to nature still have much to tell us which we cannot hear within university walls.

Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity.

The Kon-Tiki expedition opened my eyes to what the ocean really is. It is a conveyor and not an isolator. The ocean has been man's highway from the days he built the first buoyant ships, long before he tamed the horse, invented wheels, and cut roads through the virgin jungles.

The most important thing we can learn from the past is that no earlier civilization has survived.

Those who have experienced the most, have suffered so much that they have ceased to hate. Hate is more for those with a slightly guilty conscience, and who by chewing on old hate in times of peace wish to demonstrate how great they were during the war.

We have always been taught that navigation is the result of civilization, but modern archeology has demonstrated very clearly that this is not so.

We must wake up to the insane reality of our time. We are all irresponsible, unless we demand from the responsible decision makers that modern armaments must no longer be made available to people whose former battle axes and swords our ancestors condemned.

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(April 18 is also the birthday of Clarence Darrow and Conan O'Brien.)


Categories: Quotes of the day, Thor Heyerdahl


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