July 7

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. ~ Søren Kierkegaard
The more you love, the more you can love — and the more intensely you love. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love. If a person had time enough, he could love all of that majority who are decent and just. ~ Robert A. Heinlein (born 7 July 1907)
Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other 'sins' are invented nonsense. ~ Robert A. Heinlein (born 7 July 1907)
Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it. ~ Robert A. Heinlein
Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect. ~ Robert A. Heinlein
Magic is not science, it is a collection of ways to do things — ways that work but often we don't know why. ~ Robert A. Heinlein in Glory Road
I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. ~ Robert A. Heinlein in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Any social organization does well enough if it isn't rigid. The framework doesn't matter as long as there is enough looseness to permit that one man in a multitude to display his genius. Most so-called social scientists seem to think that organization is everything. It is almost nothing — except when it is a straitjacket. It is the incidence of heroes that counts, not the pattern of zeros. ~ Robert A. Heinlein in Glory Road
Sin is cruelty and injustice, all else is peccadillo. Oh, a sense of sin comes from violating the customs of your tribe. But breaking custom is not sin even when it feels so; sin is wronging another person.
~ Robert A. Heinlein ~
~ Glory Road ~
A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as "state" and "society" and "government" have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. He believes that it is impossible to shift blame, share blame, distribute blame … as blame, guilt, responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. But being rational, he knows that not all individuals hold his evaluations, so he tries to live perfectly in an imperfect world … aware that his effort will be less than perfect yet undismayed by self-knowledge of self-failure.
~ Robert A. Heinlein ~
~ The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress ~


A properly balanced sword is the most versatile weapon for close quarters ever devised. Pistols and guns are all offense, no defense; close on him fast and a man with a gun can't shoot, he has to stop you before you reach him. Close on a man carrying a blade and you'll be spitted like a roast pigeon — unless you have a blade and can use it better than he can. A sword never jams, never has to be reloaded, is always ready. Its worst shortcoming is that it takes great skill and patient, loving practice to gain that skill; it can't be taught to raw recruits in weeks, nor even months.
~ Robert A. Heinlein ~
There was so much to grok, so little to grok from.
~ Robert A. Heinlein ~
~ Stranger in a Strange Land ~
There are three schools of magic. One: State a tautology, then ring the changes on its corollaries; that’s philosophy. Two: Record many facts. Try to see a pattern. Then make a wrong guess at the next fact; that’s science. Three: Awareness that you live in a malevolent universe controlled by Murphy’s Law, sometimes offset in part by Brewster’s Factor: that’s engineering.
~ Robert A. Heinlein ~
One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word.
~ Robert A. Heinlein ~
~ Time Enough for Love ~
There comes a time in the life of every human when he or she must decide to risk "his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor" on an outcome dubious. Those who fail the challenge are merely overgrown children, can never be anything else.
~ Robert A. Heinlein ~
~ Stranger in a Strange Land ~
The next level in moral behavior higher than that exhibited by the baboon is that in which duty and loyalty are shown toward a group of your own kind too large for an individual to know all of them. We have a name for that. It is called "patriotism."
Behaving on a still higher moral level were the astronauts who went to the Moon, for their actions tend toward the survival of the entire race of mankind. The door they opened leads to the hope that H. sapiens will survive indefinitely long, even longer than this solid planet on which we stand tonight. As a direct result of what they did, it is now possible that the human race will never die.
Many short-sighted fools think that going to the Moon was just a stunt. But the astronauts knew the meaning of what they were doing, as is shown by Neil Armstrong's first words in stepping down onto the soil of Luna: "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
~ Robert A. Heinlein ~
In this complex world, science, the scientific method, and the consequences of the scientific method are central to everything the human race is doing and to wherever we are going. If we blow ourselves up we will do it by misapplication of science; if we manage to keep from blowing ourselves up, it will be through intelligent application of science.
~ Robert A. Heinlein ~
I would be disappointed if everything I saw turned out to be something Western Electric will build once Bell Labs works the bugs out. There ought to be some magic, somewhere, just for flavor.
~ Robert A. Heinlein ~
~ Glory Road ~
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
~ Robert A. Heinlein ~
Rank or add further suggestions…

Quotes by people born this day, already used as QOTD:

  • Nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our city where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another. Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail. ~ Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London; anniversary of the 7 July 2005 London bombings

Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used.
3 : Very Good - strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good - some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable - but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable - not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.



A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity. ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  • 3 Kalki 5 July 2005 22:39 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 Jeff Q (talk) 00:44, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 05:05, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and powerful, it was not aimed at presidents or prime ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jews, young and old; an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any consideration for age, for castes, for religions, whatever. That isn't an ideology, that isn't even a perverted faith. It is just an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder. ~ Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London; anniversary of the 7 July 2005 London bombings

  • originally suggested by Kalki for July 13, 2005
  • 4 Jeff Q (talk) 10:49, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 00:44, 6 July 2007 (UTC) I might possibly rank this higher someday, but Ken Livingstone was quoted just last month, and Heinlein is one of those few authors who I am strongly inclined to favor nearly any year on their birthday. ~ Kalki 00:44, 6 July 2007 (UTC) — but I might have a strong inclination to use this on the 10th anniversary, in 2015. ~ ♌︎Kalki ⚓︎ 16:21, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 05:05, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

There's a hope for every woe,
And a balm for every pain,
But the first joys of our heart
Come never back again! ~ Robert Gilfillan

  • 3 Zarbon 04:02, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 01:58, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Let us be clear. Prison works. It ensures that we are protected from murderers, muggers and rapists, and it makes many who are tempted to commit crime think twice. ~ Michael Howard

  • 2 Zarbon 04:02, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 01:58, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music. ~ Gustav Mahler

  • 3 Zarbon 04:02, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 08:07, 11 July 2008 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

  • 2 Zarbon 04:02, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 01:58, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Military policy is like cancer: Nobody knows where it comes from but it can't be ignored. ~ Robert A. Heinlein in Glory Road

Swordplay is an odd thing; you don't really use your mind, it is much too fast for that. Your wrist thinks and tells your feet and body what to do, bypassing your brain... ~ Robert A. Heinlein in Glory Road

Freedom was never more than a happy accident because the common jerk, all human races, hates and fears all freedom, not only for his neighbors but for himself, and stamps it out wherever possible. ~ Robert A. Heinlein in Glory Road

  • 3 Kalki (talk · contributions) 09:21, 2 July 2010 (UTC) with a lean toward 4; though I do not share the level of pessimism of Heinlein's character here, I can appreciate the general tendencies are much as stated.

The world is not what we wish it to be. It is what it is. No, I have over-assumed. Perhaps it is indeed what we wish it to be. Either way, it is what it is. ~ Robert A. Heinlein in Glory Road

Nobody knows how many universes there are. Theory places no limit: any and all possibilities in unlimited number of combinations of "natural" laws, each sheaf appropriate to its own universe. But this is just theory and Occam's Razor is much too dull. ~ Robert A. Heinlein in Glory Road

Logic is a feeble reed, friend. "Logic" proved that airplanes can't fly and that H-bombs won't work and that stones don't fall out of the sky. Logic is a way of saying that anything which didn't happen yesterday won't happen tomorrow.. ~ Robert A. Heinlein in Glory Road

Whatever you do, do not let the past be a straitjacket! ~ Robert A. Heinlein in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

I have never been able to see life as anything but a vast complicated practical joke, and it’s better to laugh than cry.
~ Robert A. Heinlein ~