It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.— David Brin
The most delicious David Brin quotes that will activate your inner potential
In all of history, we have found just one cure for error—a partial antidote against making and repeating grand, foolish mistakes, a remedy against self-deception. That antidote is criticism.
Why must conversions always come so late? Why do people always apologize to corpses?
The village is coming back, like it or not.
If you believe you can make a living as a writer, you already have enough ego.
Predicting has a spotty record in science fiction.
I've had some failures. On the other hand, I also predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of fundamentalist Islam... and I'm not happy to be right in all of those cases
But honestly, if you do a rigorous survey of my work, I'll bet you'll find that biology is a theme far more often than physical science.
Gaia spins on, silently contemplating what it means to be born into a sarcastic universe.
Prison for the crime of puberty -- that was how secondary school had seemed.
Learn to control ego. Humans hold their dogmas and biases too tightly, and we only think that our opponents are dogmatic! But we all need criticism. Criticism is the only known antidote to error.
The measure of (mental) health is flexibility (not comparison to some 'norm'), the freedom to learn from experience ... to be influenced by reasonable arguments ... and the appeal to the emotions ... and especially the freedom to cease when sated. The essence of illness is the freezing of behavior into unalterable and insatiable patterns.
Self-righteous people can talk themselves into forgetting they are part of a civilization. They can then feed on that culture, bringing it down. It's happened many times in the past. It could happen to us.
Change is the principal feature of our age and literature should explore how people deal with it. The best science fiction does that, head-on.
History and geology show what an eyeblink it's been since our current, comfortable culture came about. And yet that culture is using up absolutely everything at a ferocious rate.
Creative people see Prometheus in a mirror, never Pandora.
We already live a very long time for mammals, getting three times as many heartbeats as a mouse or elephant. It never seems enough though, does it?
When I begin a book, I inevitably discover many things along the way, about the characters, their past histories and the political intrigues that surround them. This discovery process is vital, and I would not prejudice it by deciding too much in advance
In historical fact, all of history's despots, combined, never managed to get things done as well as this rambunctious, self-critical civilization of free and sovereign citizens, who have finally broken free of worshipping a ruling class and begun thinking for themselves. Democracy can seem frustrating and messy at times, but it delivers.
There's no doubt that scientific training helps many authors to write better science fiction. And yet, several of the very best were English majors who could not parse a differential equation to save their lives.
Above all, TRIBES is fun, and even kind of sexy.
.. in that every round features an Opportunity for Reproduction, which is the main aim of the game, as it is in most of Nature
If you have other things in your life-family, friends, good productive day work-these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.
The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.
Fortunately, human beings are remarkably diverse models to work from
Cultural contamination that is directed outward is always seen as ‘enlightenment.'
I would normally never set out to write a trilogy.
Petals floating by, Drift through my woman's hand, As she remembers me.
I like to be surprised. Fresh implications and plot twists erupt as a story unfolds. Characters develop backgrounds, adding depth and feeling. Writing feels like exploring
Life is not fair... Anyone who says it is, or even that it ought to be, is a fool or worse.
Reciprocal accountability, or criticism [is] the only known antidote to error.
I regret having been the bearer of ambiguous tidings.
Beware of assumptions that seem "obvious" in one decade. They may become quaint in the next.
My education and background thoroughly inform my writing
All this talk of using tax policy to 'assess social costs'.
..what a dumb idea. The only way to stop polluters is to put them against walls and shoot them.
But it is a delightful challenge to try to depict interesting aliens.
Ideologies are too seductive anyway. It does a man good to see things from a different point of view.
In contrast, markets - oft mythologized as "natural" are the most unnatural things going. Libertarians will tell you "market laws are laws of nature", what baloney. Markets - and the other great modernist cornucopian tools - are magnificent wealth generating machines, built ad-hoc, through trial and error, constantly fine-tuned and refined, tinkered, adjusted.
Change is the very fabric of our time.
Alas, criticism has always been what human beings, especially leaders, most hate to hear.
Many people have tried to define science fiction.
I like to call it the literature of exploration and change. While other genres obsess upon so-called eternal verities, SF deals with the possibility that our children may have different problems. They may, indeed, be different than we have been.
Every marvel of our age arose out of the critical give and take of an open society. No other civilization ever managed to incorporate this crucial innovation, weaving it into daily life. And if you disagree with this... say so!
Self-awareness is probably overrated.
A complex, self-regulating system doesn't need it in order to be successful, or even smart.
Beware of self-indulgence. The romance surrounding the writing profession carries several myths: that one must suffer in order to be creative; that one must be cantankerous and objectionable in order to be bright; that ego is paramount over skill; that one can rise to a level from which one can tell the reader to go to hell. These myths, if believed, can ruin you. If you believe you can make a living as a writer, you already have enough ego.
Everything isn't subjective. Reality also matters. Truth matters. It is still a word with meaning.
Where subtlety fails us we must simply make do with cream pies.
If there are still honest-smart men and women within those old and noble traditions, they should think carefully, observe and diagnose the illness. They should face the contradiction. Discuss the conflation. And then do as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates and many others have done. Choose the miracle of creative competition over an idolatry of cash. They should stand up.
I find humans tremendously interesting
Seldom does a storytelling talent come along as potent and fully mature as Mike Brotherton. His complex characters take you on a voyage that is both fiercely credible and astonishingly imaginative. This is Science Fiction.
In the book, America had already been weakened by bio terror plagues before waves of selfish violence took down the rest. But the real enemy was the kind of male human being who nurses fantasies of violent glory at the expense of his fellow citizens.
Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the Universe to make sense!