Quotes from The Caves of Steel

Isaac Asimov ·  206 pages

Rating: (62.7K votes)


“We're forever teetering on the brink of the unknowable, and trying to understand what can't be understood.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“Even as a youngster, though, I could not bring myself to believe that if knowledge presented danger, the solution was ignorance.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“Aimless extension of knowledge, however, which is what I think you really mean by the term curiosity, is merely inefficiency. I am designed to avoid inefficiency.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“people sometimes mistake their own shortcomings for those of society and want to fix the Cities because they don’t know how to fix themselves.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“The first problem of living is to minimize friction with the crowds that surround you on all sides.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel



“The troubles of modern life come from being divorced from nature.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“You are a practical man, Elijah. You do not moon romantically over Earth's past, despite your healthy interest in it. Nor do you stubbornly embrace the City culture of Earth's present day. We felt that people such as yourself were the ones that could lead Earthmen to the stars once more.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“In themselves, harmless. As a group, incredibly dangerous.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“The robot said, 'I have been trying, friend Julius, to understand some remarks Elijah made to me earlier. Perhaps I am beginning to, for it suddenly seems to me that the destruction of what should not be, that is, the destruction of what you people call evil, is less just and desirable than the conversion of thi sevil into what you call good.'
He hesitated, then, almost as though he were surprised at his own owrds, he said, 'Go, and sin no more!”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“Jessie rummaged through her purse for the necessary equipment. If there were one thing, Baley had once said solemnly, that had resisted mechanical improvement since medieval times, it was a woman's purse.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel



“Lamentarsi è una caratteristica innata della specie umana. Nel Secolo del Carbone la gente imprecava contro la macchina a vapore; in una commedia di Shakespeare un personaggio lamenta l'invenzione della polvere da sparo. Mille anni dopo ci si lamentava per la fabbricazione del cervello positronico.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“(The word “robot” is from a Czech word meaning “compulsory labor.”)”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“The colonization of space is the only possible salvation of Earth.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“We’re forever teetering on the brink of the unknowable, and trying to understand what can’t be understood. It’s what makes us men.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“There are degrees of justice, Elijah. When the lesser is incompatable with the greater, the lesser must give way.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel



“Your phraseology is obscure, but I think I understand.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“The City was the acme of efficiency, but it made demands of its inhabitants. It asked them to live in a tight routine and order their lives under a strict and scientific control.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“Carbon is the basis of human life and iron of robot life. It becomes easy to speak of C/Fe when you wish express a culture that combines the best of the two on an equal but parallel basis.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“it suddenly seems to me that the destruction of what should not be, that is, the destruction of what you people call evil, is less just and desirable than the conversion of this evil into what you call good.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“They (Medievalists) are soft, dreamy people who find life too hard for them here and get lost in an ideal world of the past that never really existed.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel



“Even as a youngster, though, I could not bring myself to believe that if knowledge presented danger, the solution was ignorance. To me, it always seemed that the solution had to be wisdom. You did not refuse to look at danger, rather you learned how to handle it safely. After”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“But afterward he had grown to find her cheerful, tender hearted, and, finally, even pretty. He appreciated her cheerfulness particularly. His own sardonic view of life needed the antidote.
But Jessie never seemed to mind his long grave face.
"Oh, goodness," she said, "what if you do look like an awful lemon? I know you're not really, and I guess if you were always grinning away like clockwork, the way I do, we'd just explode when we got together. You stay the way you are Lije, and keep me from floating."
And she kept Lije Baley from sinking down. He applied for a small Couples apartment and got a contingent admission pending marriage. He showed it to her and said, "Will you fix it so I can get out of Bachelor's, Jessie? I don't like it there."
Maybe it wasn't the most romantic proposal in the world, but Jessie liked it.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“Jessie rummaged through her purse for the necessary equipment. (If there were one thing, Baley had once said solemnly, that had resisted mechanical improvement since Medieval times, it was a woman’s purse. Even the substitution of magnetic clotures for metal clasps had not proven successful.)”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“There was no doubt about it: the City was the culmination of man’s mastery over the environment. Not space travel, not the fifty colonized worlds that were now so haughtily independent, but the City.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“So, in a Civil Service where smooth and sociable performance was more useful than an individualistic competence, Enderby went up the scale quickly, and was at the Commissioner level when Baley himself was nothing more than a C-5.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel



“Bible: Various portions of it, when properly interpreted, contain a code of behaviour which many men consider best suited to the ultimate happiness of mankind.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“Over thirty of the fifty Outer Worlds, including my native Aurora, were directly colonized by Earthmen. Is colonization no longer possible?” “Well …” “No answer? Let me suggest that if it is no longer possible, it is because of the development of City culture on Earth. Before the Cities, human life on Earth wasn’t so specialized that they couldn’t break loose and start all over on a raw world. They did it thirty times. But now, Earthmen are all so coddled, so enwombed in their imprisoning caves of steel, that they are caught forever.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“Estamos constantemente al borde de lo incognoscible, e intentando entender lo que no puede ser entendido. Eso es lo que nos hambre hombres.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


“they are trained from birth to accept authority.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from The Caves of Steel


About the author

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