mostly from the Ender quartet by

Orson Scott Card

other quotes as attributed

We all act because we're sure of what we want, and we believe that the actions we perform will get us what we want, but we never know anything for sure and so all our rationales are invented to justify what we were going to do anyway before we thought of any reasons.

Miro Ribeira, Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card

I find out what I really want by seeing what I do.

Ender Wiggin, Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card

What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.

John Ruskin, leading English art critic of the Victorian era, February 8, 1819 - January 20, 1900

The romantic hero is unconnected. He belongs to no community; he is wandering from place to place, doing good (as he sees it), but then moving on. This is the life of an adolescent, full of passion, intensity, magic, and infinite possibility; but lacking responsibility, rarely having to stay and bear the consequences of error. Everything is played at twice the speed and twice the volume in the adolescent — the romantic — life. Only when the loneliness becomes unbearable do adolescents root themselves, or try to root themselves. It may or may not be in the community of their childhood, and it may or may not be their childhood identity and connections that they resume upon entering adulthood. And, in fact, many fail at adulthood and constantly reach backward for the freedom and passion of adolescence. But those who achieve it are the ones who create civilization.

Orson Scott Card, Introduction, Speaker for the Dead

Let me tell you the most beautiful story I know.

A man was given a dog, which he loved very much.
The dog went with him everywhere,
but the man could not teach it to do anything useful.
The dog would not fetch or point,
it would not race or protect or stand watch.
Instead the dog sat near him and regarded him,
always with the same inscrutable expression.

‘That’s not a dog; it’s a wolf,’ said the man’s wife.

‘He alone is faithful to me,’ said the man,
and his wife never discussed it with him again.

One day the man took his dog with him into his private airplane
and as they flew over high winter mountains,
the engines failed
and the airplane was torn to shreds among the trees.

The man lay bleeding,
his belly torn open by blades of sheared metal,
steam rising from his organs in the cold air,
but all he could think of was his faithful dog.
Was he alive? Was he hurt?

Imagine his relief when the dog came padding up
and regarded him with that same steady gaze.
After an hour the dog nosed the man’s gaping abdomen,
then began pulling out intestines and spleen and liver and gnawing them,
all the while studying the man’s face.

‘Thank God,’ said the man.
‘At least one of us will not starve.’

from The God Whispers of Han Qing-jao as written by Orson Scott Card, Xenocide

If you want people to respect your opinion, don't be an idiot about expressing it.

markman, NASIOC

...just more random quote

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.”
Ayn Rand

The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why, and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question ‘How can we eat?’ the second by the question ‘Why do we eat?’ and the third by the question ‘Where shall we have lunch?”

— Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

The waiter approached. ‘Would you like to see the menu?’ he said.
‘Or would you like to meet the Dish of the Day?’
‘Huh?’ said Ford.
‘Huh?’ said Arthur.
‘Huh?’ said Trillian.
‘That’s cool,’ said Zaphod. ‘We’ll meet the meat.’ ”

— Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

So you're a rocket scientist..."

"I was, yes."

"Interesting. How did you end up here?"

"Well it's all just numbers really – just changing what you're adding up. And to speak freely, the money here is considerably more attractive."

Margin Call