Tag Archives: literature

Killer Quotes – Robert A. Heinlein on specialisation and the human condition

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Robert A. Heinlein – Time Enough for Love

What separates humans from the insects in a nutshell.  Robert A. Heinlein is recognised as one of the leading lights of the Golden Age of science fiction along with Arthur C Clarke and Isaac Asimov.  He is responsible for some of the seminal works of science fiction which have influenced popular culture and modern thought.  He obviously didn’t think much of the man who couldn’t change a car tyre.

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Recycled and Adapted – What is Best in Life?

InterrobangIn the 1982 movie, Conan the Barbarian, Conan is asked the question ‘What is best in life?‘ to which he answers with possibly the most famous quote from the movie…

…to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women.

When I first heard that I thought it was pretty cool and pretty badass but then again it was Conan and he was after all a barbarian.  Not any barbarian mind you he was the barbarian so you’d expect him to be pretty badass.

I was later told that it wasn’t in fact an original quote written by either the author or by the screenwriter who adapted the book for the screen nor was it the director’s work or an ad lib by Arnold Schwarzenegger before he became the governator.  I was informed that it was lifted from the writings of Sun Tzu ancient Chinese author of the Art of War. Continue reading


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