Cannibals prefer those who have no spines.— Stanislaw Lem
The most genuine Stanislaw Lem quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening
We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don't know what to do with other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can't accept it for what it is.
Science explains the world, but only Art can reconcile us to it.
Behind every glorious facade there is always hidden something ugly.
If a man who can’t count finds a four leaf clover, is he lucky?
The whole plan hinged upon the natural curiosity of potatoes.
Good books tell the truth, even when they're about things that never have been and never will be. They're truthful in a different way
For what are myths if not the imposing of order on phenomena that do not possess order in themselves? And all myths, however they differ from philosophical systems and scientific theories, share this with them, that they negate the principle of randomness in the world.
Have it compose a poem -- a poem about a haircut! But lofty, noble, tragic, timeless, full of love, treachery, retribution, quiet heroism in the face of certain doom! Six lines, cleverly rhymed, and every word beginning with the letter s!
You climb to reach the summit, but once there, discover that all roads lead down.
For moral reasons I am an atheist - for moral reasons.
I am of the opinion that you would recognize a creator by his creation, and the world appears to me to be put together in such a painful way that I prefer to believe that it was not created by anyone than to think that somebody created this intentionally.
A man who for an entire week does nothing but hit himself over the head has little reason to be proud.
The first 90% of the job takes 90% of the time.
The remaining 10% of the job requires another 90% of the time. The first condition of immortality is death.
I don't resist progress, but I have a growing feeling that mankind uses it mostly for disgraceful purposes.
The demand for absolute purity of genres is becoming nowadays an anachronism in literature.
We are like snails, each stuck to his own leaf.
Skepticism is like a microscope whose magnification is constantly increased: the sharp image that one begins with finally dissolves, because it is not possible to see ultimate things: their existence is only to be inferred.
Our ability to adapt and therefore to accept everything is one of our greatest dangers. Creatures that are completely flexible, changeable, can have no fixed morality.
Every stink that fights the ventilator thinks it is Don Quixote.
That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox...
Science is turning into a monastery for the Order of Capitulant Friars.
Logical calculus is supposed to supersede man as moralist. We submit to the blackmail of the 'superior knowledge' that has the temerity to assert that nuclear war can be, by derivation, a good thing, because this follows from simple arithmetic.
People make filthy things with the freedom they regained.
We didn't know each other well. I never had the time. Now I see that it doesn't make any difference. The ones who hurry and the ones who take their time all end up in the same place. Just don't have any regrets. No regrets.
A candidate is a person who gets money from the rich and votes from the poor to protect them from each other.
Psychoanalytic doctrine reveals the pig in man, a pig saddled with a conscience;
the disastrous result is that the pig is uncomfortable beneath that pious rider, and the rider fares no better in the situation, since his endeavor is not only to tame the pig, but also to render it invisible.
...it is easy not to believe in monsters, considerably more difficult to escape their dread and loathsome clutches.
To torture a man you have to know his pleasures.
A writer should not run around with a mirror for his countrymen;
he should tell his society and his times things no one ever thought before.
Of the two powers, the two categories that take possession of us when we enter the world (from where?), space is by far the less mysterious. It, too, undergoes transformations. Time, on the other hand, is a hostile element, truly treacherous, I would even say against human nature.
I never loved totalitarianism and all the ideas of making mankind happy always seemed crazy to me.
The night stared me in the face, amorphous, blind, infinite, without frontiers.
Not a single start relieved the darkness behind the glass.
It is not good for a man to be too cognizant of his physical and spiritual mechanisms. Complete knowledge reveals limits to human possibilities, and the less a man is by nature limited in his purposes, the less he can tolerate limits.
The fate of a single man can be rich with significance, that of a few hundred less so, but the history of thousands and millions of men does not mean anything at all, in any adequate sense of the word.
Cancel me not - for what then shall remain? Abscissas, some mantissas, modules, modes, A root or two, a torus and a node: The inverse of my verse, a null domain.
A specialist is a barbarian whose ignorance is not well-rounded.
Do not trust people. They are capable of greatness.
I never read to kill time. Killing time is like killing someone's wife or a child. There is nothing more precious for me than time.
Each civilization may choose one of two roads to travel, that is, either fret itself to death, or pet itself to death. And in the course of doing one or the other, it eats its way into the Universe, turning cinders and flinders of stars into toilet seats, pegs, gears, cigarette holders and pillowcases, and it does this because, unable to fathom the Universe, it seeks to change that Fathomlessness into Something Fathomable.
In Riemann, Hilbert or in Banach space Let superscripts and subscripts go their ways. Our symptotes no longer out of phase, We shall encounter, counting, face to face.
Faith is, at one and the same time, absolutely necessary and altogether impossible.
The age-old faith of lovers and poets in the power of love, stronger than death, that Finis vitae sed non amoris, is a lie, useless and not even funny.
The number of one's possible fantasies is inversely proportional to the amount of one's liquid assets. For him who has everything dreams are no longer possible.
It has no meaning, what do you use to write, the only thing that is important is: what do you write. A machine to write a book instead of a writer is not invented yet, and probably will never be.
I do not like the way people use the more and more magnificent fruits of technology to their filthy deeds.
Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him.
I'll grant the random access to my heart, Thoul't tell me all the constants of thy love; And so we two shall all love's lemmas prove And in our bound partition never part.
A smart machine will first consider which is more worth its while: to perform the given task or, instead, to figure some way out of it.
I hadn't known there were so many idiots in the world until I started using the Internet.
I had no hope. Yet expectation lived on in me, the last thing she had left behind. What further consummations, mockeries, torments did I still anticipate? I had no idea as I abided in the unshaken belief that the time of cruel wonders was not yet over.
Futurologists have been multiplying like flies since the day Herman Kahn made Cassandra's profession "scientific," yet somehow not one of them has come out with the clear statement that we have wholly abandoned ourselves to the mercy of technological progress. The roles are now reversed: humanity becomes, for technology, a means, an instrument for achieving a goal unknown and unknowable.