14+ quotes from Timeline by Michael Crichton

Quotes from Timeline

Michael Crichton ·  489 pages

Rating: (165.6K votes)


“In other centuries, human beings wanted to be saved, or improved, or freed, or educated. But in our century, they want to be entertained. The great fear is not of disease or death, but of boredom. A sense of time on our hands, a sense of nothing to do. A sense that we are not amused.”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


“Professor Johnston often said that if you didn't know history, you didn't know anything. You were a leaf that didn't know it was part of a tree.”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


“The purpose of history is to explain the present - to say why the world around us is the way it is. History tells us what is important in our world, and how it came to be. It tells us what is to be ignored, or discarded. That is true power - profound power. The power to define a whole society.”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


“It is especially difficult for modern people to conceive that our modern, scientific age might not be an improvement over the prescientific period.”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


“But where will this mania for entertainment end? What will people do when they get tired of television? When they get tired of movies? We already know the answer—they go into participatory activities: sports, theme parks, amusement rides, roller coasters. Structured fun, planned thrills. And what will they do when they tire of theme parks and planned thrills? Sooner or later, the artifice becomes too noticeable. They begin to realize that an amusement park is really a kind of jail, in which you pay to be an inmate.
‘This artifice will drive them to seek authenticity. Authenticity will be the buzzword of the twenty-first century. And what is authentic? Anything that is not devised and structured to make a profit. Anything that is not controlled by corporations. Anything that exists for its own sake and assumes its own shape. But of course, nothing in the modern world is allowed to assume its own shape. The modern world is the corporate equivalent of a formal garden, where everything is planted and arranged for effect. Where nothing is untouched, where nothing is authentic.”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


“Safety is the last refuge of the scoundrel!”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


“In reality, time doesn't pass; we pass. Time itself is invariant. It just is. Therefore, past and future aren't separate locations, the way New York and Paris are separate locations. And since the past isn't a location, you can't travel to it.”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


“If you [don't] know history, then [you don't] know anything. You [are] a leaf that [doesn't] know it [is] part of a tree.”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


“Because in the late twentieth century, you couldn't seriously ask other people to think that you believed in honor and truth, and the purity of the body, the defense of women, the sanctity of true love, and all the rest of it.
But apparently, Andre really had believed it.”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


“These wafers had entered the mythology of the company, including their names: Tunguska, Vesuvius, Tokyo. The Vesuvius wafer put you on the Bay of Naples at 7:00 a.m. on August 24, A.D. 79, just before burning ash killed everyone. Tunguska left you in Siberia in 1908, just before the giant meteor struck, causing a shock wave that killed every living”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


“Temporal provincials were convinced that the present was the only time that mattered, and that anything that had occurred earlier could be safely ignored.”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


“And in that moment, their situation was clear to him. Their guides were both dead. One machine was gone. Their return marker was shattered. Which meant they were stuck in this place. Trapped here, without guides or assistance. And with no prospect of ever getting back. Not ever.”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


“Today, everybody expects to be entertained, and they expect to be entertained all the time. Business meetings must be snappy, with bullet lists and animated graphics, so executives aren’t bored. Malls and stores must be engaging, so they amuse as well as sell us. Politicians must have pleasing video personalities and tell us only what we want to hear. Schools must be careful not to bore young minds that expect the speed and complexity of television. Students must be amused—everyone must be amused, or they will switch: switch brands, switch channels, switch parties, switch loyalties.”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


“The very concept of time travel makes no sense, since time doesn’t flow. The fact that we think time passes is just an accident of our nervous systems—of the way things look to us. In reality, time doesn’t pass; we pass. Time itself is invariant. It just is. Therefore, past and future aren’t separate locations, the way New York and Paris are separate locations. And since the past isn’t a location, you can’t travel to it.”
― Michael Crichton, quote from Timeline


About the author

Michael Crichton
Born place: in Chicago, Illinois, The United States
Born date October 23, 1942
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