Sunday, February 16, 2014

Quote of the Day

“Geniuses are justifiably contemptuous of the opinions of their inferiors.”
--Jubal Harshaw, in Robert Heinlein’s Stranger In A Strange Land

1 comment:

allen (in Michigan) said...

That's the kind of crap that soured me on Heinlein.

I know it's tough to generate much drama about ordinary individuals but Heinlein's protagonists are always ubermenschen. They're without exception, unstoppably resilient, unwaveringly self-confident, competent at anything to which they turn their hand and awfully smart.

After a while repeatedly reading essentially the same story got old.

What drove the final nail in though was that the supermen Heinlein wrote about were, at least as far as I'm concerned, an invitation for readers to see themselves in the same light. Besides, Heinlein, the person of Jubal Harshaw, had it entirely wrong. A genius would know that contempt, the supposed privilege of the superior, wasn't worth the trouble it would inevitably draw. A shmuck who saw contempt as evidence of superiority wouldn't be encumbered by such mundane considerations.