And his idea of solid comfort was to be left in utter solitude for two or three hours.

There's something about a pious man such as he. He will cheerfully cut your throat if it suits him, but he will hesitate to endanger the welfare of your immaterial and problematical soul.

Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.

Mathematicians deal with large numbers sometimes, but never in their income.

It is the essence of a good title, in my opinion, that it means more after you have completed the story than before you started it. If that is not true, then either the title or the story, or both, is trivial.

Victories over ingrained patterns of thought are not won in a day or a year.

The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity—a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop. Q.

He was conscious only of the mightiest deed of man; the complete and almost contemptuously final conquest of a world.

Why do you think it is stupid to go to windows instead of to doors?

A persistent rumor has circulates in the USA: There are two intelligent races living on the surface of planet Earth: the standard people and the hungarians.

I believe that scientific knowledge has fractal properties, that no matter how much we learn, whatever is left, however small it may seem, is just as infinitely complex as the whole was to start with. That, I think, is the secret of the Universe.

It seems to me, Golan, that the advance of civilization is nothing but an exercise in the limiting of privacy.

The rotten tree-trunk, until the very moment when the storm-blast breaks it in two, has all the appearance of might it ever had.

I would argue that a truly developed country would be beyond Presidents and Kings. In a world with some semblance of equality, each liberal-minded woman, each gay person, and indeed almost every person could be their own President. In a world of equals, what real service does a ruler provide?

Work of each individual contributes to a totality and so becomes undying part of a totality. That totality is human life. Past and present and to come forms a tapestry that has been in existence now for many tens and thousands of years. And has been growing more elaborate, and on the whole more beautiful.

History was interesting to the extent that it was catastrophic and, while that might make absorbing viewing, it made horrible living.

If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.

Fifty before I come of age, he had exulted. Who'll take the wager? But.

There is no merit to discipline under ideal circumstances. I must have it in the face of death or it is worthless.

I don't know. How did Beethoven hear the Ninth Symphony in his head before he wrote it down? The brain's a pretty good computer, too, isn't it?

An unpleasant nest of nasty, materialistic and aggressive people, careless of the rights of others, imperfectly democratic at home though quick to see the minor slaveries of others, and greedy without end.

It is the chief characteristic of the religion of science that it works.

The action of social revolution and the reaction of guarding against such revolution or combating it once it has begun are the causes of a great deal of the human misery with which history is permeated.

And as long as it is so believed, Procurator, and as long as we of Earth are treated as pariahs, you are going to find in us the characteristics to which you object.

It's just that old people always think young people haven't really learned about love; and young people think that old people have forgotten about love; and, you know, they're both wrong.

Even at the time, [he] felt his anger to be out of proportion to the cause, but it represented an accumulation of resentment.

Carbon is the basis of human life and iron of robot life. It becomes easy to speak of C/Fe when you wish express a culture that combines the best of the two on an equal but parallel basis.

It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say 'It's as plain as the nose on your face.' But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?

I wouldn't want [the people of Baleyworld] to live that long as a general thing. The pace of historical and intellectual advance would then become too slow. Those at the top would stay in power too long. Baleyworld would sink into conversation and decay - as your world has done.

Somewhere on the world was the Emperor's palace, set amid one hundred square miles of natural soil, rainbowed with flowers.

You might as well ask why the same man sprints safely across an obstacle course in the day, and falls over the furniture in his room at night.

Throughout you have invariably relied on authority or on the past—never on yourselves.

Grip the nettle firmly and it will become a stick with which to beat your enemy.

Genetic engineering is not really something new. Human beings have been fiddling with genes for as long as ten thousand years. That's how long they have been growing plants and herding animals.

Fara turned to Hardin. Didn't you study psychology under Alurin?

And above all things, never think that you're not good enough yourself. A man should never think that. My belief is that in life people will take you at your own reckoning.

Any decent politician is masochistic enough to dream now and then of going down in flames while the angels sing.

When the old empire began to rot at the fringes, it could be considered that science, as science, had failed the outer worlds. To be re-accepted it would have to present itself in another guise.

Weak emperors mean strong viceroys.

The day of the week on which the tour took place was known to all workers. All devices in its path ought to have been carefully neutralized or locked, since it was unreasonable to expect human beings to withstand the temptation to handle knobs, keys, handles and pushbuttons.

Where is the world whose people don't prefer a comfortable, warm, and well-worn belief, however illogical, to the chilly winds of uncertainty?

Intelligence is an accident of evolution, and not necessarily an advantage.

The first step in making rabbit stew is catching the rabbit.

It was childish to feel disappointed, but childishness comes almost as naturally to a man as to a child, and there was a lump in Gaal's throat. He had never seen Trantor spread out in all its incredibility, as large as life, and he hadn't expected to have to wait longer.

Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil—but there is no way around them.

I believe that only scientists can understand the universe. It is not so much that I have confidence in scientists being right, but that I have so much in nonscientists being wrong.

The troubles of modern life come from being divorced from nature.

They (Medievalists) are soft, dreamy people who find life too hard for them here and get lost in an ideal world of the past that never really existed.

I grow grandiose, which is a good sign I should become prosaic.