Stranger In A Strange Land
by Robert A. Heinlein
They were all three amazingly beautiful; they were also amazingly good secretaries. In Harshaw's opinion the principle of least action required that utility and beauty be combined.
She put her head down on the controls and started to cry.
"There, my dear," Harshaw said gently, "Very few corpses are worth it."
Whereupon people would come barging into his sanctuary, asking stupid questions and making stupid demands . .. and he, Jubal Harshaw, would have to make decisions and take action. Since he was philosophically convinced that all action was futile, the prospect irritated him.
"Where the hell have you been all day?"
"Doesn't pay to. Just makes you discontented with what you see around you. Any results?"
"Yes. I've decided that what Mike eats, or doesn't eat, is no business of mine."
"Congratulations! A desire not to butt into other people's business is at least eighty percent of all human wisdom ... and the other twenty percent isn't very important."
"Big money isn't hard to come by. All it costs is a lifetime of single-minded devotion to acquiring it and making it grown into more money, to the utter exclusion of all other interests. They say that the age of opportunity has passed. Nonsense! Seven out of ten of the wealthiest men on this planet started life without a shilling -- and there are plenty more such strivers on the way up. Such people are not stopped by high taxation nor even by socialism."
"Of all the nonsense that twists the world, the concept of altruism is the worst."
She was a fine example of modern functional design ...
The Reverend Foster had realized early that, when it came to upholding religious freedom, brass knucks, clubs, and a willingness to tangle with cops was worth far more than passive resistance.
"I refuse to grow any younger for any reason. I came by my decrepitude the hard way and I propose to enjoy it."