Philip K. Dick quotes

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Occupation: Writer

#37221 Philip K. Dick

Can any of us fix anything? No. None of us can do that. We're specialized. Each one of us has his own line, his own work. I understand my work, you understand yours. The tendency in evolution is toward greater and greater specialization. Man's society is an ecology that forces adaptation to it. Continued complexity makes it impossible for us to know anything outside our own personal field - I can't follow the work of the man sitting at the next desk over from me. Too much knowledge has piled up in each field. And there are too many fields. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about knowledge
#37222 Philip K. Dick

Doctor Labyrinth, like most people who read a great deal and who have too much time on their hands, had become convinced that our civilization was going the way of Rome. He saw, I think , the same cracks forming that had sundered the ancient world, the world of Greece and Rome; and it was his conviction that presently our world, our society, would pass away as theirs did, and a period of darkness would follow. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about time
#37223 Philip K. Dick

One long-past innocent day, in my prefolly youth, I came upon a statement in an undistinguished textbook on psychiatry that, as when Kant read Hume, woke me forever from my garden-of-eden slumber. "The psychotic does not merely think he sees four blue bivalves with floppy wings wandering up the wall; he does see them. An hallucination is not, strictly speaking, manufactured in the brain; it is received by the brain, like any 'real' sense datum, and the patient act in response to this to-him-very-real perception of reality in as logical a way as we do to our sense data. In any way to suppose he only 'thinks he sees it' is to misunderstand totally the experience of psychosis." .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about reality
#37224 Philip K. Dick

Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about night
#37225 Philip K. Dick

In one of the most brilliant papers in the English language [David] Hume made it clear that what we speak of as 'causality' is nothing more than the phenomenon of repetition. When we mix sulphur with saltpeter and charcoal we always get gunpowder. This is true of every event subsumed by a causal law - in other words, everything which can be called scientific knowledge. "It is custom which rules," Hume said, and in that one sentence undermined both science and philosophy. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about philosophy
#37226 Philip K. Dick

I, for one, bet on science as helping us. I have yet to see how it fundamentally endangers us, even with the H-bomb lurking about. Science has given us more lives than it has taken; we must remember that. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about science
#37228 Philip K. Dick

Spinoza saw... that if a falling stone could reason, it would think, "I want to fall at the rate of thirty-two feet per second." .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about reason
#37230 Philip K. Dick

My major preoccupation is the question, 'What is reality?' Many of my stories and novels deal with psychotic states or drug-induced states by which I can present the concept of a multiverse rather than a universe. Music and sociology are themes in my novels, also radical political trends; in particular I've written about fascism and my fear of it. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about fear
#37231 Philip K. Dick

People just have no criterion left to evaluate the importance of things. I think the only thing that would really affect people would be the announcement that the world was going to be blown up by the hydrogen bomb. I think that would really affect people. I think they would react to that. But outside of that, I don't think they would react to anything. "Peking has been wiped out by an earthquake, and the RTD -- the bus strike is still on." And some guy says, "Damnit! I'll have to walk to work!" .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about art
#37232 Philip K. Dick

I think that, like in my writing, reality is always a soap bubble, Silly Putty thing anyway. In the universe people are in, people put their hands through the walls, and it turns out they're living in another century entirely. ... I often have the feeling -- and it does show up in my books -- that this is all just a stage. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about writing
#37233 Philip K. Dick

Giving me a new idea is like handing a cretin a loaded gun, but I do thank you anyhow, bang, bang. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about you
#37234 Philip K. Dick

All page numbers from the 2003 Vintage trade paperback edition .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about age
#37235 Philip K. Dick

Ramp hawkers were peddling “methods,” low priced sure-fire theories guaranteed to predict bottle twitches and beat the whole Minimax game. The hawkers were ignored by the hurrying throngs of people; anybody with a genuine system of prediction would be using it, not selling it. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about people
#37236 Philip K. Dick

In the early twentieth century the problem of production had been solved; after that it was the problem of consumption that plagued society. In the 1950s and '60s, consumer commodities and farm products began to pile up in vast towering mountains all over the Western World. As much as possible was given away - but that threatened to subvert the open market. By 1980, the pro tem solution was to heap up the products and burn them: billions of dollars of worth, week after week. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about society
#37237 Philip K. Dick

Skill is a function of chance. It’s an intuitive best-use of chance situations. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about fun
#37238 Philip K. Dick

“But what are you supposed to do in a society that’s corrupt? Are you supposed to obey corrupt laws? Is it a crime to break a law that’s a rotten law, or an oath that’s rotten? “It’s a crime,” Cartwright admitted slowly. “But it may be the right thing to do.” “In a society of criminals,” Shaeffer offered, “the innocent man goes to jail.” “Who decides when the society is made up of criminals? Benteley demanded. “How do you know when your society has gone wrong? How do you know when it’s right to stop obeying the laws?” “You just know,” Rita O’Neill said fiercely. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about art
#37239 Philip K. Dick

“We should celebrate,” Rita said. “Yes. I'm where I wanted to be.” Benteley sipped the remains of his drink. “Working for the Directorate. Sworn in to the Quizmaster. That’s what I set out for, that day. It seems like a long time ago. Well, I've finally arrived.” He gazed down at his glass and was silent. “How do you feel?” “Not much different.” .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about time
#37240 Philip K. Dick

I'm a sick man. And the more I see, the sicker I get. I'm so sick I think everybody else is sick and I'm the only healthy person. That's bad off, isn't it? .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about man
#37241 Philip K. Dick

I'm a strange person. Sometimes I hardly know what I'm going to do or say next. Sometimes I seem a stranger to myself. Sometimes what I do surprises me and I can't understand why I do it. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about time
#37242 Philip K. Dick

Odd that the brain could function on its own, without acquainting him with its purposes, its reasons. But the brain was an organ, like the spleen, heart, kidneys. And they went about their private activities. So why not the brain? .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about art
#37243 Philip K. Dick

An Irishman hears that the banks are failing. He runs into the bank where he keeps his money and demands every cent of it. 'Yes sir,' the teller says politely. 'Do you want it in cash or in the form of a check?' The Irishman replies: 'Well, if you have it, I don't want it. But if you haven't got it, I must have it immediately.' .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about money
#37244 Philip K. Dick

All page numbers from the 2012 Mariner trade paperback edition .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about age
#37245 Philip K. Dick

The hell with him, he thought bitterly. The hell with patriotism in general. In the specific and the abstract. Birds of a feather, soldiers and cops. Anti-intellectual and anti-Negro. Anti-everything except beer, dogs, cars and guns. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about thought
#37246 Philip K. Dick

“Cats have no souls,” Hamilton said morbidly, watching his tomcat avidly feed. “The most majestic cat in the universe would balance a carrot on his head for a bite of pork liver.” .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about soul
#37247 Philip K. Dick

“Explain it,” Hamilton muttered. “This place—this bar. Why doesn’t God erase it? If this world operates by moral laws—” “This bar is necessary to the moral order. This is a sinkpit of corruption and vice, a fleshpot of iniquity. You think salvation can function without damnation? You think virtue can exist without sin? That’s the trouble with you atheists; you don’t grasp the mechanics of evil. Get on the inside and enjoy life, man. If you’re one of the Faithful, you’ve got nothing to worry about.” “Opportunist.” “Bet your sweet soul.” .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about life
#37248 Philip K. Dick

“You know what you can buy at the supermarket?” Laws inquired acidly. “I’ll tell you. Canned burnt offerings.” “You know what you can buy at the hardware store?” Hamilton answered. “Scales to weigh your soul on.” “That’s silly,” the blond said petulantly. “A soul doesn’t have any weight.” “Then,” Hamilton reflected, “you could put one through the U. S. mail for nothing.” “How many souls,” Laws conjectured ironically, “can be fitted into one stamped envelope? New religious question. Split mankind in half. Warring factions. Blood running in the gutters.” “Ten,” Hamilton guessed. “Fourteen,” Laws contradicted. “Heretic. Baby-murdering monster.” “Bestial drinker of unpurified blood.” “Accursed spawn of filth-devouring evil.” .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about war
#37249 Philip K. Dick

“Why?” Hamilton lashed out suddenly and loudly. “Why the hell did God answer that prayer? Why not some of the others? Why not Bill Laws’s?” “God approved of your prayer,” Silky said. “After all, it’s up to Him; He has to decide how He feels about it.” “That’s terrible.” Silky shrugged. “Maybe so.” “How can you live with that? You never know what’s going to happen—there’s no order, no logic.” It infuriated him that she did not object, that it seemed natural to her. “We’re helpless; we have to depend on whim. It keeps us from being people—we’re like animals waiting to be fed. Rewarded or punished.” .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about war
#37250 Philip K. Dick

This time, there was no punishment from above. Sighing, Hamilton almost wished there had been; the capricious personality element infuriated him. There was just too little relationship between deed and punishment; the lightning was probably cutting down some totally innocent Cheyennite, on the far side of town. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about time
#37251 Philip K. Dick

The hymns were unfamiliar to him, but he quickly picked up the general beat. The hymns had a redundant simplicity; the same phrases and tones appeared and reappeared. The same monotonous ideas, repeated indefinitely. The appetite of (Tetragrammaton) was insatiable, he concluded. A childish, nebulous personality that required constant praise—and in the most obvious terms. Quick to anger, (Tetragrammaton) was equally quick to sink into euphoria, was eager and ready to lap up these blatant flatteries. A balance. A method of lulling the Deity. But what a delicate mechanism. Danger for everyone...The easily-aroused Presence that was always nearby. Always listening. .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about anger
#37252 Philip K. Dick

“Time to get up,” he informed her. “Don’t you hear the Almighty bellowing in the living room?” “What’s he saying?” Marsha murmured crossly. “Nothing in particular. Repent or suffer eternal damnation. The usual tribal tub-thumping.” .

Philip K. Dick Quotes about art

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