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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Robert Heinlein quotes

My son just sent me this list of quotes from Time Enough For Love, my favorite Heinlein book, which was first published in 1973. What's striking about them, looking at them now, is how timeless many of his observations about human nature are.

The title of the book refers to the lifespan of Lazarus Long, who was born in early twentieth century America -- like Heinlein -- but who lives for two thousand years, after which he no longer has any desire to live. The book is always listed under the category of sci-fi. But it has all the ingredients of any great book: it's romantic, adventurous, sentimental, and practical, all at the same time.

It certainly moved me when I read it in 1974.

(In fact, I may have just talked myself into re-reading it.)


Samuel Nock said...

Interesting conversation at the following link. I am highlighting it for John here because Kevin MacDonald explicity "diagnoses" both Cruz and Rubio as clinical sociopaths.

Interestingly, he also gives clear reasons why Trump is _not_ a sociopath (certainly narcassistic).

John Craig said...

Samuel --
Thank you for that. Listened to the first part of that broadcast, haven't had time to listen to the entire thing yet. I agree that Trump is not a sociopath, but is a narcissist, and wrote about that here:

Kevin MacDonald is a genius; I read one of his three books, and found it quite persuasive. But Cruz and Rubio? I'm not sure. I wouldn't argue against them being sociopaths, and Cruz in particular does excite that suspicion. I've heard he was unpopular at Princeton, and also at Harvard Law, as well as in the Senate. He's very slick, never seems to get flustered onstage, and always seems to be very pleased with himself. And he changes his positions in a slippery manner. But I haven't seen enough yet to say. Rubio sort of strikes me as more of a programmed robot, a windup doll which just says whatever it's supposed to say. And the way he came totally unglued in that NH debate was not something a sociopath would do; a sociopath would have been much more slick. I agree that Rubio would make a terrible President, he is just a tool of the neocons, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's a sociopath.

I"ll try to finish the podcast later.

AnalogMan said...

You may have talked me into reading it. I've avoided the later Heinlein books ever since his truly atrocious Stranger in a Strange Land. I don't know whether he was always a leftist, but he sure went off the rails in that one. Job also showed similar tendencies, but was not as bad - or rather, terrible. Heinlein should not have tried to write romances.

John Craig said...

AnalogMan --
I just reordered it from Amazon myself. Looking at the Amazon reviews, it looks as if just about everybody either gave it a 5 or a 1, so there's a definite subset of people who didn't like the book. I could never get into Stranger in a Strange Land, even though it made a bigger splash than Time Enough For Love when it was published. I have to warn you, Time Enough contains several romances. The 20-year-old me found them affecting, we'll see whether or not the 61-year-old me still finds them so.

Samuel Nock said...

I actually agree with your assessment. Cruz, I can see: so sleazy, no friends, no endorsements from the people who know him, being attacked by a roommate from 30 years ago as a liar, etc. Whereas for Rubio, at his level of intelligence, if he were a sociopath, he would more likely be a petty criminal and scam artist, not a politician.

John Craig said...

Samuel --
Yes, and one of the key differences between Cruz and Rubio is their performance onstage. Cruz is always on his game, artful, glib, and cool under pressure, no matter how much he's attacked. Rubio just melted down in NH, which actually shows a bit of humanity. It was pathetic, yes, but it showed a vulnerability that sociopaths generally do not have. Again, I'm not quite saying that Cruz is a sociopath -- yet. But he's certainly showing some indications.

Quoteschart said...

Excellent robert heinlein quotes compilation. I have compiled many quotes from you. Thanks for sharing!!

John Craig said...

Quoteschart --
Thank YOU.