Sunday, July 18, 2010


Robert Anson Heinlein was born 7 July 1907.  Happy Birthday!
"Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as "bad luck."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, 'Time Enough for Love', 1973

"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch."  (TANSTAAFL)
-- Often misattributed to Robert A. Heinlein or Milton Friedman, but the phrase was common in the1930s. Heinlein's contribution was to make the acronym for it, and record it for history

"There comes a time in the life of every human when he or she must decide to risk "his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor" on an outcome dubious. Those who fail the challenge are merely overgrown children, can never be anything else."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, 'Stranger in a Strange Land', 1961

"It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion. And usually easier."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, 'Time Enough for Love', 1973

Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.
-- Robert A. Heinlein, 'Time Enough for Love', 1973

"Always store beer in a dark place."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, 'Time Enough for Love', 1973

"If the universe has any purpose more important than topping a woman you love and making a baby with her hearty help, I've never heard of it."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, 'Time Enough for Love', 1973

"Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, 'Time Enough for Love', 1973

"A generation which ignores history has no past — and no future."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, 'Time Enough for Love', 1973

"When a place gets crowded enough to require ID's, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, 'Time Enough for Love', 1973

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, 'Time Enough for Love', 1973

I read every Heinlein book several times while deployed aboard a Destroyer.
Still have three items on my Heinlein To-Do list.
... Two should be done within a year.
... The third, I'll put off as long as possible.


Rose said...

Must reads. Love the quotes. Thanks!

HFDean said...

Great post sofa. Have always enjoyed his writing, a master.
Tks for the post.

A'Esquecida said...

what happened to all your great links??

sofa said...

A'Esquecida - Reworking the blog, and encountered some 'technical issues'. The links will be back soon.
Sorry for the inconvenience.

Anonymous said...

Just when I think I appreciate Heinlein enough I am reminded (nay, humbled) by his simple and fundamental wisdom that was his genius. Thank you for another reminder!

Ahab said...

Yo, Sofa,

I'm brand new to your blog; but, I like what I see. Will follow you.

I do have a question for clarification though, if you don't mind.

In the Heinlein post at the bottom, you indicate you still have three items to accomplish. Do you mean three things you've gleaned from Robert A's writings, i.e., "always store beer in a dark place?"

Yes, I know, might seem a silly question, but today was my first exposure to you via Western Rifle Shooters Association, and I don't know your thought processes.

sofa said...

ahab - Three items on that last list.

"die gallantly" is the one I'd like to put off as long as possible.

"pitch manure" is one that has somehow not yet transpired (not more than a shovel or two at a time); but that's easy enough to fix in the short term.

"write a sonnet" This item stands there mocking me. As the only outlier on what is otherwise a good list, I suppose I need to 'man up' and just do it! It could could happen, with wifey's birthday, our anniversary, and Christmas before us...


Where do you guys stand?

And are there other 'bucket lists' to consider?

cmblake6 said...

There were very few authors, ever, the equal. Love Heinlein!