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26+ quotes from Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Quotes from Foundation

Isaac Asimov ·  244 pages

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“Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“If you're born in a cubicle and grow up in a corridor, and work in a cell, and vacation in a crowded sun-room, then coming up into the open with nothing but sky over you might just give you a nervous breakdown.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“To succeed, planning alone is insufficient. One must improvise as well.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“It was childish to feel disappointed, but childishness comes almost as naturally to a man as to a child.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“Now any dogma, based primarily on faith and emotionalism, is a dangerous weapon to use on others, since it is almost impossible to guarantee that the weapon will never be turned on the user.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“I wanted to be a psychological engineer, but we lacked the facilities, so I did the next best thing - I went into politics. It's practically the same thing.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“Scientific truth is beyond loyalty and disloyalty.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity—a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“Any fool can tell a crisis when it arrives. The real service to the state is to detect it in embryo.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly,”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“Weak emperors mean strong viceroys. ”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“A fire-eater must eat fire even if he has to kindle it himself.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“The Three Theorems of Psychohistorical Quantitivity:

The population under scrutiny is oblivious to the existence of the science of Psychohistory.
The time periods dealt with are in the region of 3 generations.
The population must be in the billions (±75 billions) for a statistical probability to have a psychohistorical validity.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“The temptation was great to muster what force we could and put up a fight. It's the easiest way out, and the most satisfactory to self-respect--but, nearly invariably, the stupidest. ”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“But you haven't tried. You haven't tried once. First you refused to admit that there was a menace at all! Then you reposed an absolutely blind faith in the Emperor! Now you've shifted it to Hari Seldon. Throughout you have invariably relied on authority or on the past—never on yourselves."

His fists balled spasmodically. "It amounts to a diseased attitude—a conditioned reflex that shunts aside the independence of your minds whenever it is a question of opposing authority. There seems no doubt ever in your minds that the Emperor is more powerful than you are, or Hari Seldon Wiser. And that's wrong don't you see?"

For some reason, no one cared to answer him.

Hardin continued: "It isn't just you. It's the whole Galaxy. Pirenne heard Lord Dorwin's idea of scientific research. Lord Dorwin thought the way to be a good archaeologist was to read all the books on the subject—written by men who were dead for centuries. He thought that the way to solve archaeological puzzles was to weight the opposing authorities. And Pirenne listened and made no objections. Don't you see that there's something wrong with that?"

Again the note of near-pleading in his voice.

Again no answer. He went on: "And you men and half of Terminus as well are just as bad.. We sit here, considering the Encyclopedia the all-in-all. We consider the greatest end of science is the classification of past data. It is important, but is there no further work to be done? We're receding and forgetting, don't you see? Here in the Periphery they've lost nuclear power. In Gamma Andromeda, a power plant has undergone meltdown because of poor repairs, and the Chancellor of the Empire complains that nuclear technicians are scarce. And the solution? To train new ones? Never! Instead they're to restrict nuclear power."

And for the third time: "Don't you see? It's galaxy-wide. It's a worship of the past. It's a deterioration—a stagnation!”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“Scientific method, hell! No wonder the Galaxy was going to pot.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“You mean that this is a matter of patriotism and traders aren't patriotic?"
"Notoriously not. Pioneers never are.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“...Childishness comes almost as naturally to a man as to a child...”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“To succeed, planning alone is insufficient. One must improvise as well.’ I’ll improvise.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“Don't you see? It's Galaxy-wide. It's a worship of the past. It's a deterioration - a stagnation!”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“Lord Dorwin, gentlemen, in five days of discussion didn’t say one damned thing, and said it so you never noticed.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“Fighting and scars are part of a trader's overhead. But fighting is only useful when there's money at the end, and if I can get it without, so much the sweeter.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


“A horse having a wolf as a powerful and dangerous enemy lived in constant fear of his life. Being driven to desperation, it occurred to him to seek a strong ally. Whereupon he approached a man, and offered an alliance, pointing out that the wolf was likewise an enemy of the man. The man accepted the partnership at once and offered to kill the wolf immediately, if his new partner would only co-operate by placing his greater speed at the man’s disposal. The horse was willing, and allowed the man to place bridle and saddle upon him. The man mounted, hunted down the wolf, and killed him. “The horse, joyful and relieved, thanked the man, and said: ‘Now that our enemy is dead, remove your bridle and saddle and restore my freedom.’ “Whereupon the man laughed loudly and replied, ‘Never!’ and applied the spurs with a will.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Foundation


About the author

Isaac Asimov
Born place: in Petrovichi, Russian Federation
Born date January 2, 1920
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