You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.James Baldwin
Hell is the absence of the people you long for.
Emily St. John Mandel, Station 11.
Like fate, destiny, except those aren’t real. Coincidence is as close as we get, but it’s all pareidolic: seeing patterns in things that aren’t there. Faces in clouds. We look for connections because we want to see them. We want everything attached as neatly as possible. It removes the concept – the concern – of what happens if things simply aren’t.
I Still Dream, James Smythe
In every story, there is always a lighthouse, leading one towards something. Of course, a lighthouse really only exists to tell you what to avoid.
I still dream, James Smythe.
The hypothesis of God, for instance, gives an incomparably absolute opportunity to understand everything and know absolutely nothing. Give man an extremely simplified system of the world and explain every phenomenon away on the basis of that system. An approach like that doesn’t require any knowledge. Just a few memorized formulas plus so-called intuition and so-called common sense.
― Arkady Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic
Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.
— The demon-haunted world: science as a candle in the dark, Carl Sagan.