Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.
-Arundhati Roy, Come September, Speech, September 29, 2002
“A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.”
Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.
–G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News, April 19, 1930
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.Philip K. Dick, How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later, 1978
The first time I saw this quote, I thought it was likely fake. In other settings and times, Dick was no fan of reality. In 1980, for example, he wrote,
I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards. Okay, so I should revise my standards, I’m out of step. I should yield to reality. I have never yielded to reality. That’s what science fiction is all about.
We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.
-John Wheeler, Scientific American, 1992.
Utopia is not under the slightest obligation to produce results: its sole function is to allow its devotees to condemn what exists in the name of what does not.
-Jean-Francois Revel, Last Exit to Utopia, 2009.