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All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.

Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

There is no problem so complicated that you can't find a very simple answer to it if you look at it right. Or put it another way, "The future of computer power is pure simplicity."

I am fascinated by religion. (That's a completely different thing from believing in it!) It has had such an incalculably huge effect on human affairs. What is it? What does it represent? Why have we invented it? How does it keep going? What will become of it? I love to keep poking and prodding at it. I've thought about it so much over the years that that fascination is bound to spill over into my writing.

I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.

My favorite piece of information is that Branwell BrontŽ, brother of Emily and Charlotte, died standing up leaning against a mantelpiece, in order to prove it could be done. This is not quite true, in fact. My absolute favorite piece of information is the fact that young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of trees.

It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the phrase, 'as pretty as an airport.' Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort.

The hotel shop only had two decent books, and I'd written both of them.

Anything that happens happens, anything that in happening causes something else to happen causes something else to happen, and anything that in happening causes itself to happen again, happens again. Although not necessarily in chronological order.

We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.

In fact the only thing that I don't like about Whiskey, is that if I take the merest sip of the stuff, it sends a sharp pain from the back of my left eyeball down to the tip of my right elbow, and I begin to walk in a very special way, bumping into people and snarling at the furniture. I have therefore learned to turn my attention to to other tickles. Margaritas, I'm very fond of, but they make me buy very stupid things. When ever I've had a few margaritas I always wake up in the morning with a sense of dread as to what I will find downstairs. The worst was a 6ft long pencil and a 2ft wide India rubber that I had shipped over from New York, as a result of one injudicious binge.

You are disoriented. Blackness swims toward you like a school of eels who have just seen something that eels like a lot.

I think a nerd is a person who uses the telephone to talk to other people about telephones. And a computer nerd therefore is somebody who uses a computer in order to use a computer.

It was a battered yellow CitroŽn 2CV which had had one careful owner but also three suicidally reckless ones.

The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.

A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

We don't have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it.

If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat. Life is a level of complexity that almost lies outside our vision; it is so far beyond anything we have any means of understanding that we just think of it as a different class of object, a different class of matter; 'life', something that had a mysterious essence about it, was God given, and that's the only explanation we had. The bombshell comes in 1859 when Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species. It takes a long time before we really get to grips with this and begin to understand it, because not only does it seem incredible and thoroughly demeaning to us, but it's yet another shock to our system to discover that not only are we not the centre of the Universe and we're not made by anything, but we started out as some kind of slime and got to where we are via being a monkey. It just doesn't read well.

The world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome. I mean the idea that such complexity can arise not only out of such simplicity, but probably absolutely out of nothing, is the most fabulous extraordinary idea. And once you get some kind of inkling of how that might have happened, it's just wonderful. And . . . the opportunity to spend 70 or 80 years of your life in such a universe is time well spent as far as I am concerned.

Driving a Porsche in London is like bringing a Ming vase to a football game.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable, let's prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands.

We are not an endangered species ourselves yet, but this is not for lack of trying.

Thor was the God of Thunder and, frankly, acted like it.

I am rarely happier than when spending an entire day programming my computer to perform automatically a task that it would otherwise take me a good ten seconds to do by hand.

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

The system of life on this planet is so astoundingly complex that it was a long time before man even realized that it was a system at all and that it wasn't something that was just there.

The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks.

The great thing about being the only species that makes a distinction between right and wrong is that we can make up the rules for ourselves as we go along.



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