If Ideas Had Shapes

A quoteblog ranging from philosophers in bathrobes to galaxy-rises

Category: Satire

Neil Gaiman – Trigger Warning (2015)

…The new mother did not like the girl and treated her badly, always favoring her own daughter, who was indolent and rude. One day, her stepmother gave the girl, who was only eighteen, twenty dollars to buy her drugs. “Don’t stop on the way,” she said.

So the girl…

“Diamonds and Pearls: A Fairy Tale”

Stanislaw Lem – A Perfect Vacuum: Perfect Reviews of Nonexistent Books (1971)

“…the conscious is not – not at all – the highest, serene, sovereign helmsman of all mental phenomena but more nearly a cork upon the fretful waves…”

excerpt (“Non Serviam”) appears in The Mind’s I, ed. Daniel Dennett and Douglas R. Hofstadter, 1981

Douglas Adams – The Salmon of Doubt (2002)

An old sign on the main gate said BEWARE OF THE DOG, beneath which someone had scrawled, “Why single out the dog particularly?”

Douglas Adams – The Salmon of Doubt (2002)

“Yeah, well I’m not talking about that, am I?” said the cabbie, irrefutably. “I’m talking about the power of the media to selectively distort reality. That’s what I’m talking about. I mean, when it comes down to it, we all live in our own different reality, don’t we, I mean when it comes down to it.”

(I wonder if he lives on an anarcho-syndicalist commune.)

Douglas Adams – The Salmon of Doubt (2002)

Normally, if you were tailing somebody, it was a problem if they unexpectedly jumped onto a bus, but it was almost more of a problem if you unexpectedly jumped on one yourself.

Douglas Adams – The Salmon of Doubt (2002)

He had collected a representative sample of the newspapers of the last few weeks from under the dog, under the sofa, under his bed, scattered around his bathroom, and, crucially, had managed to secure two damp but vital copies of the Financial Times from an old tramp in return for a blanket, some cider, and a copy of The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.

Douglas Adams – The Salmon of Doubt (2002)

Dirk stood up and took a deep breath. What the hell was going on? He felt that his whole world was spinning very slowly in what was, as far as he could judge, an anticlockwise direction. That prompted a vague recollection that the last time he had drunk any tequila, it had made his world spin slowly in a clockwise direction. That was obviously what he needed if he was going to be able to think about this clearly.

Douglas Adams – The Salmon of Doubt (2002)


“Yes, Dirk?”

“You would tell me if you thought I was going mad or anything, wouldn’t you?”

“That’s what friends are for.”

“Are they?” mused Dirk. “Are they? You know, I’ve often wondered. The reason I ask is that when I phoned myself up…”


“I answered.”

Douglas Adams – The Salmon of Doubt (2002)

The odd thing about this was that the cat seemed quite unaffected. This is not to suggest that he had learnt to live with his sad affliction, or that he was courageously making the best of things. He was, quite simply, unaffected. He didn’t seem to notice. Not content with ignoring the normal requirements of biology, the cat was also in clear breach of the laws of physics. He moved, jumped, promenaded, sat, in exactly the same way as if his rear half were present.

Douglas Adams – The Salmon of Doubt (2002)

Before launch, the material structure of this section had been battered, rammed, blasted, and subjected to every assault its builders knew it could withstand, in order to demonstrate that it could withstand them.