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Quotes of the day: Frank Herbert

Published Tuesday, October 07, 2014 @ 7:14 PM EDT
Oct 07 2014

Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr. (October 8, 1920 - February 11, 1986) was an American science fiction writer best known for the novel Dune and its five sequels. Though he became famous for science fiction, he was also a newspaper journalist, photographer, short story writer, book reviewer, ecological consultant and lecturer. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Absolute power does not corrupt absolutely, absolute power attracts the corruptible.

All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.

Belief can be manipulated. Only knowledge is dangerous.

Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.

Do you want an absolute prediction? Then you want only today, and you reject tomorrow. You are the ultimate conservative. You are trying to hold back movement in an infinitely changing universe. The verb to be does make idiots of us all.

Does a population have informed consent when a ruling minority acts in secret to ignite a war, doing this to justify the existence of the minority's forces?

Equal justice and equal opportunity are ideals we should seek, but we should recognize that humans administer the ideals and that humans do not have equal ability.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

If a leader cannot admit mistakes, these mistakes will be hidden. Who says our leaders must be perfect? Where do they learn this?

It is demonstrable that power structures tend to attract people who want power for the sake of power and that a significant proportion of such people are imbalanced- in a word, insane.

Mine religion for what is good and avoid what is deleterious. Don't condemn people who need it. Be very careful when that need becomes fanatical.

No matter how finely you subdivide time and space, each tiny division contains infinity.

Once human beings realize something can be done, they're not satisfied until they've done it.

Providence and Manifest Destiny are synonyms often invoked to support arguments based on wishful thinking.

Religion often partakes of the myth of progress that shields us from the terrors of an uncertain future.

Respect for the truth comes close to being the basis for all morality.

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.

Survival is the ability to swim in strange water.

Technology is both a tool for helping humans and for destroying them. This is the paradox of our times which we're compelled to face.

The concept of progress acts as a protective mechanism to shield us from the terrors of the future.

The function of science fiction is not always to predict the future but sometimes to prevent it.

The more control, the more that requires control. This is the road to chaos.

The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action.

The thing we must do intensely is be human together. People are more important than things.

There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.

We are questioning more than the philosophy behind our dependence upon limited and limiting systems. We question the power structures that have grown up around such systems.

We must develop an absolute priority of humans ahead of profit- any humans ahead of any profit. Then we will survive.

What do you despise? By this are you truly known.

When a wise man does not understand, he says: 'I do not understand.' The fool and the uncultured are ashamed of their ignorance. They remain silent when a question could bring them wisdom.

When politics and religion are intermingled, a people is suffused with a sense of invulnerability, and gathering speed in their forward charge, they fail to see the cliff ahead of them.

When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way.

You cannot understand a process by stopping it.

You should never be in the company of anyone with whom you would not want to die.

Categories: Frank Herbert, Quotes of the day


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