"When you make something, when you go through the process, all the steps, and at the end you have a finished product that you made with your own hands out of your own mind that is your own design, it's a reflection of your soul."
"I do think all politics is tribal. And just as some people are dog people and others are cat people, some have a chip in their brain to be Democrats and others to be Republicans. We have Kennedy; you have Reagan. We have marijuana; you have Metamucil. We want gays in the military; you want them in the airport restroom."
"Here we are a year after 20 elementary school children were literally blown to pieces in their classrooms. And the president stood there a few days later and said, 'I will take action.' And here we are a year later and absolutely nothing has been done. Nothing. No background checks brought in, no ban on assault weapons, no ban on high capacity magazines. Nobody in Washington has done anything to try and prevent this from happening again."
"I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air--
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.
It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath--
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.
God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous."
"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light."
"The three delightful children who are everything to me and who are my only chance at even a glimpse of a second life, let alone an immortal one. And I'll tell something, if I was told to sacrifice them to prove my devotion to God, if I was told to do what all monotheists are told to do and admire the man who said, 'Yes, I'll gut my kid to show my love of God.', I'd say, 'No, fuck you.'"
"Let's say that the consensus is that our species, we being the higher primates, homo sapiens, has been on the planet for at least one-hundred thousand years. In order to be Christian, you have to believe that for ninety-eight thousand years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about twenty-five, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery. All of that for ninety-eight thousand years. Heaven watches it with complete indifference. And then two thousand years ago thinks that's enough of that, it's time to intervene. The best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the middle east. Let's not appear to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let's go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense. It can't be believed by a thinking person."
"The photo of Earth rising over the lunar landscape, we all know it: 'Earthrise Over the Moon.' There was Earth, seen not as the mapmaker would have you identify it. No, the countries were not color-coded with boundaries; it was seen as nature intended it to be viewed. Oceans, land, clouds. We went to the Moon, and we discovered Earth."
"We need to look at NASA, not as a handout, but as an investment. Because, as goes the health of space fairing ambitions, so too goes the spiritual, the emotional, the intellectual, the creative, and the economic ambitions of a nation. So goes the future of America."
"The more you focus, the more that focus becomes a habit. So, willpower is like a muscle, right? It's this muscle that you can build up, and it gets tired, but the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. The same is true of our ability to focus. The more you practice focusing, the easier focusing becomes. And so the other answer for procrastination is, don't beat up on yourself. Let yourself practice going longer and longer and longer without taking a five-minute break to check Facebook because after three or four weeks, after three or four months you'll be able to sustain focus much longer, but the key is, you can't change everything overnight."
"The more you focus, the more that focus becomes a habit. So, willpower is like a muscle, right? It's this muscle that you can build up, and it gets tired, but the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. The same is true of our ability to focus. The more you practice focusing, the easier focusing becomes."
"When you consider that the earth is almost entirely solar powered today and the fact that we're not a frozen ice ball at 4 degrees kelvin and it's just due to the sun. And the whole ecosystem is powered by the sun. There's just an itty bitty amount of energy that we need to do complicated human things. It's a tiny amount of energy compared to what the sun puts on the earth every day. And we just need to capture a little bit of that and turn it into electricity. So we have to try to accelerate that with innovation. And that's what SolarCity is about."
"The U.S. does not have a policy of striking nations that use weapons of mass destruction automatically. If we had such a policy, one would wonder where the policy has been before now. Because the reality of the policy is, if a nation use weapons of mass destruction, we write that down and we put it in a folder. And if we need to go after that nation for some other reason in the future, we'll pull out that little folder and say, ' Well look at the list of abuses that this regime has been involved in.'
I mean, one of the things we used as a justification to go after Saddam Hussein was his use of chemical weapons, especially against his own people. We just didn't bring up that he had done that a decade before. And, oh yeah, with our passive agreement to that."
"This has always happened. We just finished a show on the Spanish-American War era, and Teddy Roosevelt is trying to tell people in the U.S. Congress who keep bringing up The Constitution, 'That might have been fine in the age of sail, but we live in the age of steam now. And all of a sudden Europe isn't that far away. And these oceans aren't protecting us as much as they used to.'
We've been dealing with that pretty much since minute one. So I think you can make that argument, 'We're in the age of drones now.' Either they're timeless and they're human rights and you're born with them, or as soon as things get dangerous enough, they're gone."
"If you want to know the scientific basis of atheism, you wanna talk to Richard Dawkins. If you want the historical and philosophical breakdown, you wanna talk to Sam Harris. If you want a modern day global feel of atheism, you talk to Christopher Hitchens. If you want a psychological breakdown of atheism, you talk to Daniel Dennett. If you want an atheist who dropped his cock in a blow-dryer, you talk to Penn Jillette."