Progress imposes not only new possibilities for the future but new restrictions
The more we get out of the world the less we leave, and in the long run we shall have to pay our debts at a time that may be very inconvenient for our own survival
The world of the future will be an even more demanding struggle against the limitations of our intelligence, not a comfortable hammock in which we can lie down to be waited upon by our robot slaves.
We are in the position of the man who has only two ambitions in life. One is to invent the universal solvent which will dissolve any solid substance, and the second is to invent the universal container which will hold any liquid. Whatever this inventor does, he will be frustrated.
The idea that information can be stored in a changing world without an overwhelming depreciation of its value is false. It is scarcely less false than the more plausible claim that after a war we may take our existing weapons, fill their barrels with information.
A faith which we follow upon orders imposed from outside is no faith, and a community which puts its dependence upon such a pseudo-faith is ultimately bound to ruin itself because of the paralysis which the lack of a healthy growing science imposes upon it.
The nervous system and the automatic machine are fundamentally alike in that they are devices, which make decisions on the basis of decisions they made in the past.
May we have the courage to face the eventual doom of our civilization as we have the courage to face the certainty of our personal doom. The simple faith in progress is not a conviction belonging to strength, but one belong to acquiescence and hence to weakness.
Until we in the community have made up our minds that what we really want is expiation, or removal, or reform, or or the discouragement of potential criminals, we shall get none of these, but only a confusion in which crime breeds more crime.
To live effectively is to live with adequate information.
The sense of tragedy is that the world is not a pleasant little nest made for our protection, but a vast and largely hostile environment, in which we can achieve great things only by defying the gods; and that this defiance inevitably brings its own punishment.
What most experimenters take for granted before they begin their experiments is infinitely more interesting than any results to which their experiments lead.
Any labor which competes with slave labor must accept the economic conditions of slave labor.