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Monday, May 24, 2004


ISAAC ASIMOV (Some Quotes of the Great Scientist) [Copyright (c) in the U.S.A. and Internationally by Dr. Isaac Asimov, his estate and/or the publishers. All rights are reserved.] "All humanity could share a common insanity and be immersed in a common illusion while living in a common chaos." --Dr. Isaac Asimov in the book, Foundation's Edge, page 283. "He was at home nowhere, an orphan everywhere. ...Before he wasted time bemoaning his fate, he must find Earth. If he survived the search, there would then be time enough to sit down and weep. He might have even better reason for it then." --Dr. Isaac Asimov in the book, Foundation and Earth, page 16. "An Isolate--an individual in isolation--might tell lies. He is limited, and he is fearful because he is limited." --Dr. Isaac Asimov in the book, Foundation and Earth, page 21. "... (I)f criminals are the price we pay for rebels, heretics and geniuses, I'm willing to pay it. I demand the price be paid... You can't have geniuses and saints without having people far outside the norm..." --Dr. Isaac Asimov in the book, Foundation and Earth, page 29. "... (Y)ou sound very much as though you're describing (an) addiction (to) that of some ... drug that admits you to joy in the short term at the price of leaving you permanently in horror in the long term. Not for me! I am reluctant to sell my individuality for some brief feeling of joy. ...(H)ow long will you have (your individuality) if you keep it up...? You'll beg for more and more of your drug until, eventually, your brain will be damaged. ...(D)on't do this anymore. You've lived for (forty-seven) years with your own kind of pleasure and joy, and your brain is adapted to withstanding that. Don't be snapped up by...(an) unusual vice. There is a price to pay for it; if not immediately, then eventually." --Dr. Isaac Asimov in the book, Foundation and Earth, page 37. [Notes by me: Dr. Asimov realized, as is shown by the ending of Foundation and Earth, that genetic engineering as a whole, and the cloning of people particularly, are extremely dangerous, and that their "progress" proceeds from some evil source, or a source that evil designs against humanity; and, therefore, he also realized that they should not be allowed to continue their evil course of manipulating, and towards changing, the nature of humankind.] "...Every government must do its work by collecting wealth in one form or another. The only two ways in which such (money) can be obtained are, first, by robbing a neighbor, or second, persuading a government's own citizens to grant the (money) willingly and peaceably. "...(T)here is no possibility of robbing a neighbor, except as the result of an occasional rebellion and its repression. This does not happen often enough to support the government--and, if it did, the government would be too unstable to last long, in any case. "...Therefore, (money) must be raised by asking the citizens to hand over part of their wealth for government use. Presumably, since the government will then work efficiently, the citizens can better spend their (money) in this way than to hoard it--each man to himself--while living in a dangerous and chaotic anarchy. "However, though the request is reasonable and the citizenry is better off paying taxes as their price for maintaining a stable and efficient government, they are nevertheless reluctant to do so. In order to overcome this reluctance, governments must make it appear that they are not taking too (much money), and that they are considering each citizen's rights and benefits. In other words, they must lower the percentage taken out of low incomes; they must allow deductions of various kinds to be made before the tax is assessed, and so on. "As time goes on, the tax situation inevitably grows more and more complex as different (States), different sectors within each (State), and different economic divisions all demand and require special treatment. The result is that the tax-collecting branch of the government grows in size and complexity and tends to become uncontrollable. The average citizen cannot understand why or how much he is being taxed; what he can get away with and what he can't. The government and the tax agency itself are often in the dark as well. "What's more, an ever-larger fraction of the funds collected must be put into running the overelaborate tax agency--maintaining records, pursuing tax delinquents--so the amount of (money) available for good and useful purposes declines despite anything we can do. "In the end, the tax situation becomes overwhelming. It inspires discontent and rebellion. The history books tend to ascribe these things to greedy businessmen, to corrupt politicians, to brutal warriors, to ambitious (government representatives)--but these are just the individuals who take advantage of the tax overgrowth." --Dr. Isaac Asimov in the book, Forward the Foundation, pages 253 to 254. [Notes by me: When the government uses some of the taxes it collects, for the purpose of helping the poor, many of the tax paying citizens resent and begrudge the money they pay in taxes being used to assist the poor, and complain. Yet, for what other primary purpose was mankind placed on this Earth but to help their fellow human beings, in particular the poor, senior citizens and the disabled? It is the ultimate in selfishness to wish to withhold such assistance. Thank God, or Goodness, whichever you prefer, for His blessed help for such persons from whatever source!] "...(I)t is possible that many potential mentalics died. (Some biological weapon) was (or weapons were) created by humans... to handicap other human societies to which they were politically opposed (and factions within our own society). Like many attempts at biological warfare, it backfired--it became pandemic, and perhaps, coincidentally, perhaps not, allowed the (government) to exist with little intellectual turmoil for (decades). Though nearly all children get ill, about a fourth of them--those with a mental potential above a certain level--is more seriously affected. Curiosity and intellectual ability are blunted just enough to level out social development. The majority do not experience a loss of mental skill--perhaps because their skills are general, and they are never given to bouts of genius." --Greg Bear for Dr. Isaac Asimov in the book, Foundation's Chaos, part two of the Second Foundation Trilogy, page 219. "Almost equally dangerous is the Gospel of Uniformity. The differences between the nations and races of mankind are required to preserve the conditions under which higher development is possible. One main factor in the upward trend of animal life has been the power of wandering... Physical wandering is still important, but greater still is the power of man's spiritual adventures---adventures of thought, adventures of passionate feeling, adventures of aesthetic experience. A diversification among human communities is essential for the provision of inventive material for the Odyssey of the human spirit. Other nations of different habits are not enemies; they are godsends." --From Alfred North Whitehead's book, Science and the Modern World, 1925, quoted in David Brin's book for Dr. Isaac Asimov, Foundation's Triumph, part three of the Second Foundation Trilogy, page 223. "It's easy to see that he could easily compensate to himself for this failure to be accepted by his social milieu by taking refuge in the thought that other human beings are inferior to himself. Which is, of course, true, as far as mentality is concerned. There are, of course, many, many facets to the human personality and in not all of them is he superior. No one is. Others, then, who are more prone to see merely what is inferior, just as he himself is, would not accept his affected pre-eminence of position. They would think him (odd), even laughable, which would make it even more important to (him) to prove how miserable and inferior the human species was. How could he better do that then to show that mankind was simply a form of bacteria (in a sense) to other superior creatures which experiment upon them. And then his impulses to suicide would be a wild desire to break away completely from being a man at all, to stop his identification with the miserable species (known as mankind)..." --Dr. Isaac Asimov in the short story, "Breeds there a man...?", in the book, Robot Dreams, page 66. "That is why the only change I ever make (is for you to change your name), for several reasons. Number one, it is a simple change. After all, if I make a great change or many changes, so many new variables enter that I can no longer interpret the result. My machine is still crude. Number two, it is a reasonable change. I can't change your height, can I, or the color of your eyes, even your temperament. Number three, it is a significant change. Names mean a lot to people. Finally, number four, it is a common change that is done every day by various people." --Dr. Isaac Asimov in the short story, "Spell My Name With An S", in the book, Robot Dreams, page 253. (Emphasis added.) "...Memory is not improved by devising a way for the brain to store information more efficiently. All our studies show that the brain stores almost unlimited numbers of items perfectly and permanently. The difficulty lies in recall. How many times have you had a name at the tip of your tongue and couldn't get it? How many times have you failed to come up with something you knew you knew, and then did come up with it two hours later when you were thinking about something else? --Dr. Isaac Asimov in the short story, "Lest We Remember", in the book, Robot Dreams, page 329. (Emphasis added.)





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