The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.
The first step in making rabbit stew is catching the rabbit.
Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.
It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly.
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.
Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.
Jokes of the proper kind, properly told, can do more to enlighten questions of politics, philosophy, and literature than any number of dull arguments.
My feeling is, quite simply, that if there is a God, He has done such a bad jobthat he isn’t worth discussing.
Above all, never think you’re not good enough. Never think that. In life people will take you at your own reckoning.
I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.
Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.
To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.
I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I don’t have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.
Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.
Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.
People think of education as something they can finish.
Fifty years,” I hackneyed, “is a long time.””Not when you’re looking back at them,” she said. “You wonder how they vanished so quickly.
Have you ever come across something you couldn’t explain?””Explain in what way? I could explain a ghost by saying, ‘yes, that’s a ghost.’ I take it, that’s not what you mean.
Have you ever come across something you couldn’t explain?””Explain in what way? I could explain a ghost by saying, ‘yes, that’s a ghost.’ I take it that’s not what you mean.
If a conclusion is not poetically balanced, it cannot be scientifically true.
We are gaining the knowledge science is giving us that. Now we need wisdom as well.
I am afraid a monster is grown that will devour all of us. Yet we must fight him.
The clown’s eyes sidled towards her, then drew away quickly. “But they kept me away from you earlier-and, on my word, you may laugh, but I was lonely for missing friendship.
All normal life, Peter, consciously or otherwise, resent domination. If the domination is by an inferior, or by a supposed inferior, the resentment becomes stronger.
It is always useful, you see, to subject the past life of reform politicians to rather inquisitive research.
There is nothing so eternally adhesive as the memory of power.
Were I to use the wits the Spirits gave me, then I would say this lady cannot exist – for what sane man would hold a dream to be reality. Yet rather would I not be sane and lend belief to charmed, enchanted eyes.
Were I to use the wits the Spirits gave me, then I would say this lady cannot exist cannot exist – for what sane man would hold dream to be reality. Yet rather would I not be sane and lend belief to charmed, enchanted eyes.
The age of the pulp magazine was the last in which youngsters, to get their primitive material, were forced to be literate.
Intelligence is an accident of evolution, and not necessarily an advantage.
The Scientist – with capital letters and no smile.
The action of social revolution and the reaction of guarding against such revolution or combating it once it has begun are the causes of a great deal of the human misery with which history is permeated.
I shall not be alive a half decade hence,” said Seldon, “and yet it is of overpowering concern to me. Call it idealism. Call it an identification of myself with that mystical generalization to which we refer by the term, ‘man.
The troubles of modern life come from being divorced from nature.
Human beings sometimes find a kind of pleasure in nursing painful emotions, in blaming themselves without reason or even against reason.
Married life had taught him the futility of arguing with a female in a dark-brown mood.
Married life had taught Toran the futility of arguing with a female in dark-brown mood. He shrugged, and left her.
There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save.
So, in a Civil Service where smooth and sociable performance was more useful than an individualistic competence, Enderby went up the scale quickly, and was at the Commissioner level when Baley himself was nothing more than a C-5.
It seems to me, Golan, that the advance of civilization is nothing but an exercise in the limiting of privacy.
Any system which allows men to choose their own future will end by choosing safety and mediocrity, and in such a Reality the stars are out of reach.
Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.
I believe that only scientists can understand the universe. It is not so much that I have confidence in scientists being right, but that I have so much in nonscientists being wrong.
It’s your fiction that interests me. Your studies of the interplay of human motives and emotion.
You are never too old to learn more than you already know and to become able to do more than you already can.
John Dalton’s records, carefully preserved for a century, were destroyed during the World War II bombing of Manchester. It is not only the living who are killed in war.
It is not so much that I have confidence in scientists being right, but that I have so much in nonscientists being wrong.
All roads lead to Trantor, and that is where all stars end.
Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today, but the core of science fiction — its essence — has become crucial to our salvation, if we are to be saved at all.
He slept that night the sleep of a successfully stubborn man.
…Changelessness is decay.””A paradox. There is no decay without a change for the worse.””Changelessness is a change for the worse…
She’s qualified all right. She understands robots like a sister—comes from hating human beings so much, I think.
In the empty expanses of space, the wandering traders need men like myself to care for the spiritual side of a life so given over to commerce, and worldly pursuits.
Where is the world whose people don’t prefer a comfortable, warm, and well-worn belief, however illogical, to the chilly winds of uncertainty?
And Elvex said, “I was the man.” – In “Robot dreams” (Short story)
I tell you it’s deadly when you start thinking your wife might be right.
Even at the time, [he] felt his anger to be out of proportion to the cause, but it represented an accumulation of resentment.
The human mind works at low efficiency. Twenty percent is the figure usually given. When, momentarily, there is a flash of greater power, it is termed a hunch, or insight, or intuition.
Goodbye, Hari, my love. Remember always–all you did for me.” -I did nothing for you.” -You loved me and your love made me–human.
To insult someone we call him ‘bestial’. For deliberate cruelty and nature, ‘human’ might be the greater insult.
There’s probably no one so easily bribed, but he lacks even the fundamental honesty of honorable corruption. He doesn’t stay bribed; not for any sum.
Bible: Various portions of it, when properly interpreted, contain a code of behaviour which many men consider best suited to the ultimate happiness of mankind.
The stars, like dust, encircle meIn living mists of light;And all of space I seem to seeIn one vast burst of sight
It will all stop someday, but not for billions of years. Many billions. Even the stars run down, you know. Entropy must increase.
To [the government] it didn’t matter what happened to the American people as long as america in the abstract was kept strong.
Imagine that. Terrible, terrible, the way we have all bent to the yoke; the affection we have for the harness about us.
It is a mistake,” he said, “to suppose that the public wants the environment protected or their lives saved and that they will be grateful to any idealist who will fight for such ends. What the public wants is their own individual comfort.
Scientist are human. Unraveling the knots of Nature’s mysteries is a reward in itself; but even so, scientists like to hear the applause of the audience
People who don’t expect justice don’t have to suffer disappointment.
For a wise man, I have been told, once said, ‘Gratitude is best and most effective when it does not evaporate in empty phrases.’ But alas, my lady, I am but a mass of empty phrases, it would seem.
It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?
I grow grandiose, which is a good sign I should become prosaic.
No one is so modest as not to believe himself a competent amateur sleuth…
It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.
Humanists recognize that it is only when people feel free to think for themselves, using reason as their guide, that they are best capable of developing values that succeed in satisfying human needs and serving human interests.
For what could any Entity, conscious of eternal existence, want – but an end?
One might accept death reasoningly, with every aspect of the conscious mind, but the body was a brute beast that knew nothing of reason.
Any technological advance can be dangerous. Fire was dangerous from the start, and so (even more so) was speech – and both are still dangerous to this day – but human beings would not be human without them.
It was obvious that bigotry was never a one-way operation, that hatred bred hatred!
There was no doubt about it: the City was the culmination of man’s mastery over the environment. Not space travel, not the fifty colonized worlds that were now so haughtily independent, but the City.
Courtiers don’t take wagers against the king’s skill. There is a deadly danger of winning
There is no Master but the Master,” he said, “and QT-1 is his prophet.
The Master created humans first as the lowest type, most easily formed. Gradually, he replaced them by robots, the next higher step, and finally he created me, to take the place of the last humans.
They recognize the Master, now that I have preached Truth to them. All the robots do.
These are facts which, with the self-evident proposition that no being can create another being superior to itself, smashes your silly hypothesis to nothing.
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.
Of course there are worlds. Millions of them! Every star you see has worlds, and most of those you don’t see.
When I read 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.
The thanks of a weak one are but of little value,” he muttered, “but you have them, for truly, in this past week, little but scraps have come my way- and for all my body is small, yet is my appetite unseemly great.
Yet weren’t all human beings simply human beings no matter what name you applied to them[?]
[A]n unpleasant nest of nasty, materialistic and aggressive people, careless of the rights of others, imperfectly democratic at home though quick to see the minor slaveries of others, and greedy without end.
Somewhere on the world was the Emperor’s palace, set amid one hundred square miles of natural soil, rainbowed with flowers.
Mathematicians deal with large numbers sometimes, but never in their income.
Aimless extension of knowledge, however, which is what I think you really mean by the term curiosity, is merely inefficiency. I am designed to avoid inefficiency.
And now a hundred subjective years had passed in those hundred objective hours and he could no longer clearly visualize the university at all or the life of sad frustration he had been leading there toward the end.
Society is much more easily soothed than one’s own conscience.
The laws of history are as absolute as the laws of physics, and if the probabilities of error are greater, it is only because history does not deal with as many humans as physics does atoms, so that individual variations count for more.
Our lifetime may be the last that will be lived out in a technological society.
Nothing interferes with my concentration. You could put on an orgy in my office and I wouldn’t look up. Well maybe once.
When I feel difficulty coming on I switch to another book I’m writing. When I get back to the problem my unconscious has solved it.
It takes more than capital to swing business. You’ve got to have the A. I. D. degree to get by – Advertising, Initiative, and Dynamics.
And above all things, never think that you’re not good enough yourself. A man should never think that. My belief is that in life people will take you at your own reckoning.
Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.
I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander.
Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.
To insult someone we call him ‘bestial. For deliberate cruelty and nature, ‘human’ might be the greater insult.
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…’
Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.
There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere.
Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today – but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.
Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know – and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance.
If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.
All sorts of computer errors are now turning up. You’d be surprised to know the number of doctors who claim they are treating pregnant men.
People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.
A subtle thought that is in error may yet give rise to fruitful inquiry that can establish truths of great value.
When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.
I don’t expect to live forever, but I do intend to hang on as long as possible.
It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. 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.