Aphorisms of Lazarus Long, the 2,000-year-old protagonist of Robert A. Heinlein’s 1973 novel Time Enough for Love:
- Always store beer in a dark place.
- Small change can often be found under seat cushions.
- If you don’t like yourself, you can’t like other people.
- It’s amazing how much “mature wisdom” resembles being too tired.
- Certainly the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you; if you don’t bet, you can’t win.
- Get a shot off fast. This upsets him long enough to let you make your second shot perfect.
- The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility. And vice versa.
- A brute kills for pleasure. A fool kills from hate.
- 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.
- If it can’t be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion.
- Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate — and quickly.
- Cheops Law: Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.
- No state has an inherent right to survive through conscript troops and, in the long run, no state ever has. Roman matrons used to say to their sons: “Come back with your shield, or on it.” Later on, this custom declined. So did Rome.
- Never appeal to a man’s “better nature.” He may not have one. Invoking self-interest gives you more leverage.
- By the data to date, there is only one animal in the Galaxy dangerous to man — man himself. So he must supply his own indispensable competition. He has no enemy to help him.
- A zygote is a gamete’s way of producing more gametes. This may be the purpose of the universe.
And “A generation which ignores history has no past — and no future.”