Snippets and Quotes

Quotes

"The rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."

- George Orwell

There are lies, there are damn lies, and there are statistics.

- Mark Twain

"The margin between instanity and genius is measured by success"

- Terry Morre, Moon Lake

"When you see something that is technically sweet you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your techical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb."

- J. Robert Oppenheimer

"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so."

- Unknown, often attributed to Thomas Jefferson

"One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."

- Martin Luther King Jr.

"It is the mark of the educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

- Aristotle, Metaphysics

"The Earth is the cradle of Humanity. But one cannot always live in the cradle."

- Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

"Zakalwe, in all human societies we have ever reviewed, in every age and every state, there has seldom if ever been a shortage of eager young males prepared to kill and die to preserve the security, comfort and prejudices of their elders, and what you call heroism is just an expression of this simple fact; there is never a scarcity of idiots."

- Ian M. Banks, The Use of Weapons

Poems, Prayers, Litanies, and Sacriments

The Bene-Geserit Litany Against Fear: Frank Herbert

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

The King in Yellow: Robert W. Chambers

Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink behind the lake,
The shadows lengthen
In Carcosa.
Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies,
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa.
Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Dim Carcosa.
Song of my soul, my voice is dead,
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Lost Carcosa.

Ozymandias: Percy Shelley

There is also this poem over at The Codeless Code that is inspired by Ozymandias and the code that ran on the Apollo Guidance Computer.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on those lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

The Spacefarer's Sacriment

The Spacefarer's Sacriment is a filk song that first appeared in 2014 in 4chan's /​tg/ board. The threads in which it originated are archived here. They are an excellent read for anybody with an interest in science fiction worldbuilding and our place in the cosmos.

In ages past we looked above and gazed upon the stars
And wondered whether we could live on Luna or on Mars;
Today we fly that starry night and bless'd are those who know
The hallowed names and faces of the men who made it so.

Yuri might not be some day the first into the Black,
But none deny the truth that he's the first to make it back.
We look to good old Yuri as the patron of our race;
Humanity's protector in this vast and outer space.

Neil knew it was his duty to use NASA's mighty boon
And take the giant leap on Man's behalf up to the Moon.
Now colonists and settlers look to Neil for peace of mind
On having made the choice to leave their homeworld far behind.

Buzz was a mighty pilot and just may have been the best,
But more, he was the Dreamer seeing far beyond the rest.
With name dear to the hearts of anyone who's grabbed the helm,
We thank Buzz for the future he foresaw our starry realm.

Michael chose himself a role that most men could not take:
Crewed his module solo for Eleven's mission's sake.
When a 'farer's flying solo and their ship is far from home
They can trust that Michael's with them and they're never quite alone.

John may have never gone to space but hallowed is his name;
Without his steely eye Apollo would've died in flame.
His brilliant troubleshooting saved Man's place among the stars,
Now 'farers pray to Johnny as our helpful friend afar.

Jim took the role of captain on Thirteen's unlucky flight
And without him as leader they'd be lost unto the night.
We often think of Jim's example when we're facing matters grave,
For he taught us to be calm, to be resourceful, to be brave.

Georgiy, Vladislav and Victor earned their solemn, holy place
And will always be remembered as the first to die in space.
When our fellows go to join them they would tell us not to cry
But to drink a shot and know they're in that bright and starry sky.

Laika was a mongrel, who had more than shown her worth
As the loyal friend of Man who proved that we could leave the Earth.
Now the shipboard pets and critters that we choose to share our days
Are all guarded and protected under Laika's watchful gaze.

Whenever we break atmosphere, we call out to two more,
And beg their benediction, on that vast dark ocean's shore,
Whose crews did burn like novas where the Earth's blue fades to black;
To Challenger when setting out, to Columbia when back.

We lift a glass to those who laid our path into the sky;
A solemn prayer in thanks before into the black we fly.
We ask you to watch over us whenever we are sent
And offer up our voices in a 'Farer's Sacrament.

Last Modified: 2020-10-06 Tue 12:32