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Larry Niven

Geburtstag: 30. April 1938

Laurence van Cott Niven ist ein US-amerikanischer Science-Fiction-Schriftsteller, insbesondere der Romanzyklen der Kzin-Kriege und Ringwelt.

Zitate Larry Niven

„From the beginning there had been a revolutionary group. Its name had changed several times, and Matt had no idea what it was now. He had never known a revolutionary. He had no particular desire to be one. They accomplished nothing, except to fill the Hospital's organ banks.“

—  Larry Niven

Quelle: A Gift From Earth (1968), Ch. 2 : The Sons Of Earth
Kontext: From the beginning there had been a revolutionary group. Its name had changed several times, and Matt had no idea what it was now. He had never known a revolutionary. He had no particular desire to be one. They accomplished nothing, except to fill the Hospital's organ banks. How could they, when the crew controlled every weapon and every watt of power on Mount Lookitthat? If this was a nest of rebels, then they had worked out a good cover. Many of the merrymakers had no hearing aids, and these seemed to be the ones who didn't know anyone here. Like Matt himself. In the midst of a reasonably genuine open-house brawl, certain people listened to voices only they could hear.

„Someone or something was in this room, something or someone with the power to make people forget.“

—  Larry Niven

Quelle: A Gift From Earth (1968), Ch. 11 : Interview with the Head
Kontext: Someone or something was in this room, something or someone with the power to make people forget. … He was reaching for the stunner on his desk when something caught his eye. It was the dossier for Matthew Keller, senior. A crude drawing defaced its yellow cover.
Two open arcs, joined, in black ink. Three small closed loops beneath.
The bleeding heart. It certainly hadn't been there before.
Jesus Pietro opened the folder. He could smell his own fear, and feel it, in the cool perspiration that soaked his shirt. As if he'd been afraid for hours.

„7) Any damn fool can predict the past.“

—  Larry Niven

Unsourced variant: Any damned fool can predict the past. And most do.

„There is no cause so right that one cannot find a fool following it.“

—  Larry Niven

Also in Fallen Angels (Baen Books, 1992) as: "Niven's Law: No cause is so noble that it won't attract fuggheads."
Kontext: 16) There is no cause so right that one cannot find a fool following it.
To prove a point, one may seek out a foolish Socialist, thirteenth century Liberal, Scientologist, High Frontier advocate, Mensa member, science fiction fan, Jim Bakker acolyte, Christian, witch, or fanatical devotee of Special Interest Lib. It doesn't really reflect on the cause itself. Ad hominem argument saves time, but it's still a fallacy.

„The bleeding-heart symbol does not represent any known revolutionary organization.“

—  Larry Niven

Quelle: A Gift From Earth (1968), Ch. 12 : The Slowboat
Kontext: The bleeding-heart symbol does not represent any known revolutionary organization. … Yes, the bleeding heart was something else again. A gruesome symbol on a vivarium floor. Fingers that broke without their owner noticing. An ink drawing appearing from nowhere on a dossier cover, like a signature. A signature.

„The organ banks would be supplied for years.“

—  Larry Niven

Quelle: A Gift From Earth (1968), Ch. 3 : The Car
Kontext: The organ banks would be supplied for years. Not only would the crew have a full supply, which they always did anyway, but there would be spare parts for exceptional servants of the regime; i. e., for civil servants such as Jesus Pietro and his men. Even the colonists would benefit. It was not at all unusual for the Hospital to treat a sick but deserving colonist if the medical supplies were sufficient. The Hospital treated everyone they could. It reminded the colonists that the crew ruled in their name and had their interests at heart. And the Sons of Earth was dead. All but one man, and from his picture he wasn't old enough to be dangerous. Nonetheless Jesus Pietro had his picture tacked to the Hospital bulletin boards and sent a copy to the newscast station with the warning that he was wanted for questioning. It was not until dawn, when he was settling down to sleep, that he remembered who belonged to that face. Matthew Keller's nephew...

„If human beings didn't have a strong preference for creation, nothing would get built, ever.“

—  Larry Niven

Kontext: 6) It is easier to destroy than create.
Bin Laden tore down the World Trade Center? Let's see him build one. If human beings didn't have a strong preference for creation, nothing would get built, ever.

„Giving up freedom for security has begun to look naive.“

—  Larry Niven

Earlier version: 4) F x S = k. The product of Freedom and Security is a constant. To gain more freedom of thought and/or action, you must give up some security, and vice versa.
Kontext: 4) Giving up freedom for security has begun to look naive.
Even to me. Many of you were ahead of me on this — Three out of four hijacked airplanes destroyed the World Trade Center and a piece of the Pentagon in 2001. How is it possible that those planes were taken using only five perps armed with knives? It was possible because all those hundreds of passengers had been carefully stripped of every possible weapon. We may want to reconsider this approach. It doesn't work in high schools either.

„He was sick of having to be afraid.“

—  Larry Niven

Quelle: A Gift From Earth (1968), Ch. 12 : The Slowboat
Kontext: He was sick of having to be afraid. It was a situation to drive a man right out of his skull. If he stopped being afraid, even for an instant, he could be killed! But now, at least for the moment, he could stop listening for footsteps, stop trying to look in all directions at once. A sonic stunner was a surer bet than a hypothetical, undependable psi power. It was real, cold and hard in his hand.

„In Brazil a small but growing, alliance agitated for the removal of the death penalty for habitual traffic offenders. They would be opposed, but they would win.“

—  Larry Niven

Quelle: A Gift From Earth (1968), Ch. 1 : The Ramrobot
Kontext: The medical revolution that began with the beginning of the twentieth century had warped all human society for five hundred years. America had adjusted to Eli Whitney's cotton gin in less than half that time. As with the gin, the effects would never quite die out. But already society was swinging back to what had once been normal. Slowly; but there was motion. In Brazil a small but growing, alliance agitated for the removal of the death penalty for habitual traffic offenders. They would be opposed, but they would win.

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„As if he'd been afraid for hours.“

—  Larry Niven

Quelle: A Gift From Earth (1968), Ch. 11 : Interview with the Head
Kontext: Someone or something was in this room, something or someone with the power to make people forget. … He was reaching for the stunner on his desk when something caught his eye. It was the dossier for Matthew Keller, senior. A crude drawing defaced its yellow cover.
Two open arcs, joined, in black ink. Three small closed loops beneath.
The bleeding heart. It certainly hadn't been there before.
Jesus Pietro opened the folder. He could smell his own fear, and feel it, in the cool perspiration that soaked his shirt. As if he'd been afraid for hours.

„A sonic stunner was a surer bet than a hypothetical, undependable psi power. It was real, cold and hard in his hand.“

—  Larry Niven

Quelle: A Gift From Earth (1968), Ch. 12 : The Slowboat
Kontext: He was sick of having to be afraid. It was a situation to drive a man right out of his skull. If he stopped being afraid, even for an instant, he could be killed! But now, at least for the moment, he could stop listening for footsteps, stop trying to look in all directions at once. A sonic stunner was a surer bet than a hypothetical, undependable psi power. It was real, cold and hard in his hand.

„The idea had spread like wildfire …. like a moral plague, as one critic of the time had put it.“

—  Larry Niven

Quelle: A Gift From Earth (1968), Ch. 7 : The Bleeding Heart
Kontext: There were organ banks all over the world, inadequately supplied by people kind enough to will their bodies to medical science.
How useful is the body of a man who dies of old age? How fast can you reach a car accident? And in 2043, Arkansas, which had never rescinded the death penalty, made the organ banks the official state method of execution.
The idea had spread like wildfire.... like a moral plague, as one critic of the time had put it.

„If what you have to say is important and/or difficult to follow, use the simplest language possible. If the reader doesn't get it then, let it not be your fault.“

—  Larry Niven

Kontext: 5) If you've nothing to say, say it any way you like. Stylistic innovations, contorted story lines or none, exotic or genderless pronouns, internal inconsistencies, the recipe for preparing your lover as a cannibal banquet: feel free. If what you have to say is important and/or difficult to follow, use the simplest language possible. If the reader doesn't get it then, let it not be your fault.

„Any citizen, with the help of the organ banks, can live as long as it takes his central nervous system to wear out.“

—  Larry Niven

Millard Parlette's notes, in Ch. 7 : The Bleeding Heart
A Gift From Earth (1968)
Kontext: Any citizen, with the help of the organ banks, can live as long as it takes his central nervous system to wear out. This can be a very long time if his circulatory system is kept functioning. … But the citizen, cannot take more out of the organ banks than goes into them. He must do his utmost to see that they are supplied. … The only feasible method of supplying the organ banks is through execution of criminals. … A criminal's pirated body can save a dozen lives. There is now no valid argument against capital punishment for any given crime; for all such argument seeks to prove that killing a man does society no good.
Hence the citizen, who wants to live as long and as healthily as possible, will vote any crime into a capital crime if the organ banks are short of material. … Cite Earth's capital punishment for false advertising, income tax evasion, air pollution, having children without a license.
The wonder was that it had taken so long to pass these laws.

„Ad hominem argument saves time, but it's still a fallacy.“

—  Larry Niven

Also in Fallen Angels (Baen Books, 1992) as: "Niven's Law: No cause is so noble that it won't attract fuggheads."
Kontext: 16) There is no cause so right that one cannot find a fool following it.
To prove a point, one may seek out a foolish Socialist, thirteenth century Liberal, Scientologist, High Frontier advocate, Mensa member, science fiction fan, Jim Bakker acolyte, Christian, witch, or fanatical devotee of Special Interest Lib. It doesn't really reflect on the cause itself. Ad hominem argument saves time, but it's still a fallacy.

„A ramrobot had been the first to see Mount Lookitthat. Ramrobots had been first visitors to all the settled worlds.“

—  Larry Niven

First lines, Ch. 1 : The Ramrobot
A Gift From Earth (1968)
Kontext: A ramrobot had been the first to see Mount Lookitthat. Ramrobots had been first visitors to all the settled worlds. The interstellar ramscoop robots, with an unrestricted fuel supply culled from interstellar hydrogen, could travel between stars at speeds approaching that of light.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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