Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Quotes from Robert Heinlein's "Beyond This Horizon" (novel)

Here are the quotes I marked in the novel; particularly interesting is the one near end - a humorous description of US game of football.

  1. "Easy times for individuals are bad times for the race."
  2. "Man is an unspecialized animal. His body, except for its enormous brain case, is primitive. He can't dig; he can't run very fast; he can't fly. But he can eat anything and he can stay alive where a goat would starve, a lizard would fry, a bird freeze. Instead of special adaptations he has general adaptability".
  3. "strongest of social motivations, the desire to be appreciated".
  4. "scientific research, no matter how pure and useless it may seem, has an annoying habit of paying for itself many times, in the long run, in the form of greatly increased productivity."
  5. "police of a state should never be stronger or better armed than the citizenry".
  6. "disobedience was more often a virtue than a sin".
  7. "it's perfectly natural that blood relatives should dislike each other."
Description of US game of football.
"It's a silly business, at best. Twenty-two men get out on a large open place and battle with their bare hands."


"The excuse is to move a little plastic spheroid from one end of the place to the other."

"What difference does it make which end it's on?"

"None, really - but it's as reasonable as any other game."

"I don't get it," Phyllis decided. "Why should anyone fight unless he wants to kill someone?"

"You have to see it to understand it. It's exciting. I even found myself shouting."
"We'll sell permissions to view it physically and then all sorts of lesser rights - direct pickup, recording, and so forth. Smith has a lot of ideas about identifying various combinations with cities and organizations and attaching color symbols to them and songs and things."