People can be teachers and idiots; they can be philosophers and idiots; they can be politicians and idiots … in fact I think they have to be … a genius can be an idiot. The world is largely run for and by idiots; it is no great handicap in life and in certain areas is actually a distinct advantage and even a prerequisite for advancement.

People were always sorry. Sorry they had done what they had done, sorry they were doing what they were doing, sorry they were going to do what they were going to do; but they still did whatever it is. The sorrow never stopped them; it just made them feel better. And so the sorrow never stopped.

Horza recalled that the Culture’s attitude to somebody who believed in an omnipotent God was to pity them, and to take no more notice of the substance of their faith than one would take of the ramblings of somebody claiming to be Emperor of the Universe. The nature of the belief wasn’t totally irrelevant – along with the person’s background and upbringing, it might tell you something about what had gone wrong with them – but you didn’t take their views seriously.

Hair on a man’s head is like the opposite of salt in a dish; you can take it away but you can’t add it in.

… as fur sneak nuclear attacks on anithir country, there was only wan state in history had ever done that, an it wiznae the fuckin Soviet Union.’ – McCann

As a writer, you get to play, you get to alter time, you get to come up with the smart lines and the clever comebacks you wish you’d thought of.

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