Blow Up Quotes (8 quotes)
[On mediocrity] What we have today is a retreat into low-level goodness. Men are all working hard building barbecues, being devoted to their wives and spending time with their children. Many of us feel, “We never had it so good!” After three wars and a depression, we’re impressed by the rising curve. All we want is it not to blow up.
[With] our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition. … We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. We might get away with it for a while, but eventually this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.
Fun years for me, for a guy who used to like to blow up things. We had lots of explosions, lots of blowups.
I have always fancied that the end of the world will be when some enormous boiler, heated to three thousand millions of atmospheric pressure, shall explode and blow up the globe. ... They [the Americans] are great boilermakers.
Is pure science to be considered as something potentially harmful? Answer: Most certainly! Every child knows that it is potentially exceedingly harmful. … The menace of blowing ourselves up by atom bombs, doing ourselves in by chemical or biological warfare, or by population explosion, is certainly with us. I consider the environment thing a trivial question, by comparison—like housekeeping. In any home, the dishes have to be washed, the floors swept, the beds made, and there must be rules as to who is allowed to produce how much stink and noise, and where in the house: When the garbage piles up, these questions become pressing. But they are momentary problems. Once the house is in order, you still want to live in it, not just sit around enjoying its orderliness. I would be sorry to see Caltech move heavily into this type of applied research. … SCIENCE POTENTIALLY HARMFUL? DEFINITELY.
Printer’s ink has been running a race against gunpowder these many, many years. Ink is handicapped, in a way, because you can blow up a man with gunpowder in half a second, while it may take twenty years to blow him up with a book. But the gunpowder destroys itself along with its victim, while a book can keep on exploding for centuries.
Some day science may have the existence of man in its power, and the human race may commit suicide by blowing up the world.
We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most critical elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.