Quotes

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The following a list of quotes relevant to transhumanists and transhumanism.

Science

I was given to understand that She manipulated whole sciences and thought systems as I might string words into a sentence. But Her 'sentences' were as huge and profound as the utterances of the universe itself.
- David Zindell
You freeze the brain, you slice it very thinly, these very thin slices you scan using an electron microscope or some other form of microscope, at the nanometer precision. You get these images, you process them in a computer three-dimensional model -- Where are the different synapses and neurons, what are the strengths, what are the connections? You use that to create a computer simulation of the brain, and then you start the simulation.
- Anders Sandberg

Morphological freedom

Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.
- Alexis Carrel
There are wavelengths that people cannot see, there are sounds that people cannot hear, and maybe computers have thoughts that people cannot think.
- Richard Hamming
I am apt to think, if we knew what it was to be an angel for one hour, we should return to this world, though it were to sit on the brightest throne in it, with vastly more loathing and reluctance than we would now descend into a loathsome dungeon or sepulchre.
- Berkley (1685-1753)

Technology

Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.
- John F. Kennedy
The computer is the bridge that will carry man on his journey from animal to god.
- David Zindell, The Broken God
Technology feeds on itself. Technology makes more technology possible.
- Alvin Toffler, Future Shock, 1970
Technology shapes society and society shapes technology.
- Robert W. White, Environmental Science and Technology, 1990
The brain is not a computer, the brain is the brain.
- David Zindell
Without being dogmatic about it, what's beginning to happen is that we're realizing that if molecules can compute, if nature computes, you can actually use a computational language to ask nature questions of fundamental theoretical and experimental interest, and it's beginning to invert how we understand our place in the world.
- Neil Gershenfeld
Technocentric discourses of transcendence are activating powerful unconscious drives and generic archetypes. Never has the nead for reasonableness been more urgent, rarely have the prompts for irrationality been more numerous or more insistent.
- Dale Carrico

Philosophy

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.
- Sir Winston Churchill
Nothing will stop us. The road to the stars is steep and dangerous. But we're not afraid... Space flights can't be stopped. This isn't the work of one man or even a group of men. It is a historical process which mankind is carrying out in accordance with the natural laws of human development.
- Yuri Gagarin, on Vladimir Kamarov's death (Warning: May be Soviet forgery)
The genesis of life is as inevitable as the formation of atoms.
- Andrei Finkelstein
And thus he almost understood the important thing about gods, which is that they must continually create, or die. They must create themselves.
- David Zindell
Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
- Will Durant
If the radiance of a thousand suns

Were to burst at once into the sky
That would be like the splendor of the Mighty One
I am become Death,

The shatterer of Worlds.
- The Bhagavad Gita, as quoted by Robert Oppenheimer the day after the Trinity Test, 1945
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
- William Shakespeare
The way for humankind is not back after all. There is no return to simplicity this way. No true halla. I used to think of halla as a kind of perfect harmony of flowers and sunlight and good clean life and death out on the sparkling snow. A perfect balance that life might somdeay achieve - without war, without disease, without madness, without asteroids and wild stars that can annihilate ten thousand species of animals almost overnight. But no. The universe is not made this way. True halla is the vastening of life. The deepening into new forms and possibilities that we call evolution.
- David Zindell
If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't.
- Lyall Watson
What binds us to space-time is our rest mass, which prevents us from flying at the speed of light, when time stops and space loses meaning. In a world of light there are neither points nor moments of time; beings woven from light would live "nowhere" and "nowhen"; only poetry and mathematics are capable of speaking meaningfully about such things.
- Yuri Manin
Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
- Jean-Paul Sartre
Live? Our servants can do that for us.
- Axel, by Villiers de L'Isle Adam
When Man took to his bed the Computer, there was great rejoicing, and great fear, too, for their children were almost like gods. The mainbrains bestrode the galaxy at will, and changed its very face. The Silicon God, the Solid State Entity, Al Squared, Enth Generation - their names are many. And there were the Carked and the Symbionts, whose daughters were the Neurosingers, Warrior-Poets, the Neurologicians and the Pilots of the Order of Mystic Mathematicians. So beautiful were these daughters that man longed to touch them, but touch them he could not. And so was born the Second Law of the Civilized Worlds, which was that Man could not stare too long at the faces of the Computer or her children, and still remain as Man.
- David Zindell
Self-creation is the highest art.
- David Zindell
We should all know the code of our programs, otherwise we can never be free.
- David Zindell
Yes, I could create myself, but to create I must uncreate first. To die is to live; to live I die.
- David Zindell
"What is a human being, then?"

"A seed"
"A... seed?"

"An acorn that is unafraid to destroy itself in growing into a tree."
- from Neverness, David Zindell
Memes compete for dendritic space.
- Bryan Bishop
Biology is not destiny. It was never more than tendency. It was just nature's first quick and dirty way to compute with meat. Chips are destiny.
- Heaven in a Chip, Bart Kosko (Be careful here)
Completion is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
According to modern cosmology, the entire universe is an evolutionary system.
- Alan Kazlev
We've already had a digital revolution; we don't need to keep having it. The next big thing in computers will be literally outside the box, as we bring the programmability of the digital world to the rest of the world. With the benefit of hindsight, there's a tremendous historical parallel between the transition from mainframes to PCs and now from machine tools to personal fabrication. By personal fabrication I mean not just making mechanical structures, but fully functioning systems including sensing, logic, actuation, and displays.
- Neil Gershenfeld
The first step to wisdom, as the Chinese say, is getting things by their right name.
- E. O. Wilson
Information means literally to put form to.
- Unknown
A chimpanzee cannot understand Bessel functions or the theory of black holes. Human forebrains are a few ounces bigger than a chimp's, and we can ask many more questions than a chimp. Are there facets of the universe we can never know? Are there questions we can't ask?
- Clifford A. Pickover
Apparently there is colour, apparently sweetness, apparently bitterness, actually there are only atoms and the void.
- Democritus, 420 BC
The unexamined life is not worth living.
- Socrates
If men cease to believe that they will one day become gods then they will surely become worms.
- Henry Miller
Every truly great accomplishment is at first impossible.
- Chinese proverb

Fiction

... and still he dreamed of cyberspace...still he'd see the matrix in his sleep, bright lattices of logic unfolding across the colorless void...
- Neuromancer

Longevity

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don't want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment.
- Woody Allen[1]
As time goes by and you're getting older and stuff like that - getting older sucks. You know, I hear all this crap about, 'Oh, you can age with dignity.' Really?
- Mickey Rourke[2]

External links

References