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Tinalles
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Joined: 22 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"If Con is the opposite of Pro, that means the opposite of Progress is Congress." -- Murphy's Laws of Politics
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rather long but I found it quite a nice presentation of the idea:

Blindsight; Peter Watts, (2006)

Quote:
Once there were three tribes. The Optimists, whose patron saints were Drake and Sagan, believed in a universe crawling with gentle intelligence — spiritual brethren vaster and more enlightened than we, a great galactic siblinghood into whose ranks we would someday ascend. Surely, said the Optimists, space travel implies enlightenment, for it requires the control of great destructive energies. Any race which can't rise above its own brutal instincts will wipe itself out long before it learns to bridge the interstellar gulf.

Across from the Optimists sat the Pessimists, who genuflected before graven images of Saint Fermi and a host of lesser lightweights. The Pessimists envisioned a lonely universe full of dead rocks and prokaryotic slime. The odds are just too low, they insisted. Too many rogues, too much radiation, too much eccentricity in too many orbits. It is a surpassing miracle that even one Earth exists; to hope for many is to abandon reason and embrace religious mania. After all, the universe is fourteen billion years old: if the galaxy were alive with intelligence, wouldn't it be here by now?

Equidistant to the other two tribes sat the Historians. They didn't have too many thoughts on the probable prevalence of intelligent, spacefaring extraterrestrials — but if there are any, they said, they're not just going to be smart. They're going to be mean.

It might seem almost too obvious a conclusion. What is Human history, if not an on going succession of greater technologies grinding lesser ones beneath their boots? But the subject wasn't merely Human history, or the unfair advantage that tools gave to any given side; the oppressed snatch up advanced weaponry as readily as the oppressor, given half a chance. No, the real issue was how those tools got there in the first place. The real issue was what tools are for.

To the Historians, tools existed for only one reason: to force the universe into unnatural shapes. They treated nature as an enemy, they were by definition a rebellion against the way things were. Technology is a stunted thing in benign environments, it never thrived in any culture gripped by belief in natural harmony. Why invent fusion reactors if your climate is comfortable, if your food is abundant? Why build fortresses if you have no enemies? Why force change upon a world which poses no threat?

Human civilization had a lot of branches, not so long ago. Even into the twenty-first century, a few isolated tribes had barely developed stone tools. Some settled down with agriculture. Others weren't content until they had ended nature itself, still others until they'd built cities in space. We all rested eventually, though. Each new technology trampled lesser ones, climbed to some complacent asymptote, and stopped — until my own mother packed herself away like a larva in honeycomb, softened by machinery, robbed of incentive by her own contentment.

But history never said that everyone had to stop where we did. It only suggested that those who had stopped no longer struggled for existence. There could be other, more hellish worlds where the best Human technology would crumble, where the environment was still the enemy, where the only survivors were those who fought back with sharper tools and stronger empires. The threats contained in those environments would not be simple ones. Harsh weather and natural disasters either kill you or they don't, and once conquered — or adapted to — they lose their relevance. No, the only environmental factors that continued to matter were those that fought back, that countered new strategies with newer ones, that forced their enemies to scale ever-greater heights just to stay alive.

Ultimately, the only enemy that mattered was an intelligent one.

And if the best toys do end up in the hands of those who've never forgotten that life itself is an act of war against intelligent opponents, what does that say about a race whose machines travel between the stars?

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Miho



Joined: 11 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

love it nemster.
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theBSDude



Joined: 09 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pure, refined awesome in a liquid form.
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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning. ~ C. S. Lewis

Thought that was very interesting. Probably one of the most life altering quotes I've heard in quite some time.
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From whence was that quoted Usa?
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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which one of his works? Oh, I'm not entirely sure. I just have a few pages of C.S. Lewis quotes bookmarked. He's very inspirational! Not to mention insightful.
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Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
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Gully Foyle



Joined: 25 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Might as well start somewhere, so here goes:

"Freedom Without Responsibility Is Only A Word"
Constable Dorfl.

"Cave et Aude"
Darwin family motto (kind of appropriate for the year that's in it).
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Methinks it is no journey.
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Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum.
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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Location: The land of dreams

PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"For those of you in the younger generations who may be unfamiliar, novels are like a series of pretend Facebook posts strung together to tell a story. Imagine if what your friend had to say went on for longer than 140 characters and was actually compelling. I know that it's hard to compete with "having a bad day" as far as storytelling goes, but trust me, some of these novelists have really mastered the whole multiple sentence plus a story arc thing."
~Daniel B. Kline

My mom found this funny bit in our newspaper.
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Miho



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just about to like your quote and then I realized. This isn't facebook.
Dang.
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Jovey4



Joined: 04 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"She was the girl of my dreams. And when she passed away, she became the girl of my dreams again." - Gordon B. Hinckley

That's one of the sweetest phrases I've ever heard!
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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like that quote, Jovey. Thank you.
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. Dubbed "Usagi" by AsA .
Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
Red Skelton
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I... don't know whether that's supposed to be sweet or not. 'Cause see, she's dead... so he can only dream about her. Kinda dark humor/depressing, from my angle...


Anyway. I tried to fit this into my signature, but it's too long, so it's going here:

Brother's friend, at his high school graduation: "You know what'd be funny? If you woke up and you were just starting freshman year!"

Brother: "You know what'd be funny? If you woke up and you were on a wooden raft in the middle of Lake Michigan."
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Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple'a philosophy-related quotes

"Rather crude expectations of uniformity are liable to be misleading. The man who has fed the chicken every day throughout its life at last wrings its neck instead, showing that more refined views as to the uniformity of nature would have been useful to the chicken."
- Bertrand Russell

"Do not assume that because I am frivolous I am shallow. I don't assume that because you are grave you are profound."
- Sydney Smith
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We stroll along the roof of hell
Gazing at flowers.
- Issa
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another philosophy related quote!

"A detective story generally describes six living men discussing how it is that a man is dead. A modern philosophic story generally describes six dead men discussing how any man can possibly be alive." - A Miscellany of Men

And more GK Chesterton quotes (found a website of 'em online):

"Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision." - G K Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 1908

"The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man." - Chapter 19, What I Saw In America, 1922

"If you attempt an actual argument with a modern paper of opposite politics, you will have no answer except slanging or silence." - Chapter 3, What's Wrong With The World, 1910
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Self-styled Forum Grandmother, because I hand out nicknames and hugs whether you want them or not. ^_^

Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
__________________
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended...
Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
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