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But in the military you don't get trusted positions just because of your ability. You also have to attract the notice of superior officers. You have to be liked. You have to fit in with the system. You have to look like what the officers above you think that officers should look like. You have to think in ways that they are comfortable with.

The result was that you ended up with a command structure that was top-heavy with guys who looked good in uniform and talked right and did well enough not to embarrass themselves, while the really good ones quietly did all the serious work and bailed out their superiors and got blamed for errors they had advised against until they eventually got out.

That was the military.


Orson Scott Card

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ORSON SCOTT CARD
Humans mate with beings who challenge their supremacy. They have conflict between mates, not because...
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The lives of all people flow through time, and, regardless of how brutal one moment may be, how fill...
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When you hear a true story, there is a part of you that responds to it regardless of art, regardless...
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Nights were so real that days began to seem dreamlike to him.
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We don't read novels to have an experience like life. Heck, we're living lives, complete with all th...
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It was possible, wasn't it, that he loved her, and that in this time of terrifying opportunity he wa...
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Because never in my entire childhood did I feel like a child. I felt like a person all along--the sa...
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He knew he could always be smart later, if that turned out to be a better strategy. But once you adm...
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The other four houses yielded jewelry, wallets, credit cards, laptops, iPads and Kindles, even a cou...
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Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf.
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Ender Wiggin isn't a killer. He just wins—thoroughly.
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I fell into playwriting accidentally, took some classes in it, and also took creative writing classe...
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Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden.
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Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it i...
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I listen to music constantly while writing.
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But in the meantime I became accustomed to the writing life and it would be hard to change now - par...
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God, our genes, our environment, or some stupid programmer keying in code at an ancient terminal - t...
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Working is hard and distracts from having fun.
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I don't believe that there are aliens. I believe there are really different people.
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Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.
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Personal affection is a luxury you can have only after all your enemies are eliminated. Until then, ...
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Human beings may be miserable specimens, in the main, but we can learn, and, through learning, becom...
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Fiction, because it is not about somebody who actually lived in the real world, always has the possi...
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I also remembered that you were beautiful."
"Memory does play tricks on us."
"No. Your fac...
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I don't care if I pass your test, I don't care if I follow your rules. If you can cheat, so can I. I...
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The story is one that you and I will construct together in your memory. If the story means anything ...
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The story itself, the true story, is the one that the audience members create in their minds, guided...
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We have to go. I'm almost happy here.
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Ethan Wyeth: I hope you're thirsty."
Gideon Wyeth:"Why?"
Ethan: "Cause your dumb and ugly,...
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You know how writers are... they create themselves as they create their work. Or perhaps they create...
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Soldiers can sometimes make decisions that are smarter than the orders they've been given.
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Our great civilizations are nothing more than social machines to create the ideal female setting, wh...
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Happiness can depend as easily on useless things as on useful ones.
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Hive Queen: They never know anything. They don't have enough years in their little lives to come to ...
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It was not right, thought Han Fei-tzu, for his wife to die before him: her ancestor-of-the-heart had...
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Others find humanity by looking in their own hearts. Only lost souls need to search for it outside t...
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Quing-Jao: I am a slave to the gods, and I rejoice in it.
Jane: A slave who rejoices is a slave...
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It's the most charming thing about humans. You are all so sure that the lesser animals are bleeding ...
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I realized that everything important in sci-fi showed up in the magazines first. It's the proving gr...
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Eko brushed a tear from her eye, and Immo jeered at her, but father held up a hand. "Never mock a te...
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In order to learn, one must change one's mind
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Most people I know are trying very hard to be good people ... that's how we define virtue,
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It's the middle class that feels the luxury of being able to have causes.
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I wonder sometimes if the motivation for writers ought to be contempt, not admiration.
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For he loved her, as you can only love someone who is an echo of yourself at your time of deepest so...
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The enemy's gate is down.
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"Dread is the first and strongest of the...kinds of fear. It is that tension, that waiting that come...
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Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man stupid and blind in the eyes
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[That wall] might be breached sometime in the future, but for now the only real conversation between...
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Anything can become a children's book if you give it to a child...Children are actually the best (an...
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Music isn't just a pleasure, a transient satisfaction. It's a need, a deep hunger; and when the musi...
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Parents always make their worst mistakes with their oldest children. That's when parents know the le...
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I want to be the kind of boy you are, thought Bean. But I don’t want to go through what you’ve b...
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I don't freeze up because it isn't my battle. I'm helping. I'm watching. But I'm free. Because it's ...
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He would always speak the language of the heart with an awkward foreign accent.
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The highest beings of all are the ones who are willing to pay any personal cost for the good of thos...
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Ender leaned his head against the wall of the corridor and cried until the bus came. I am just like ...
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When you walk on the face of a world, then forgiveness comes.
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Aw, Poke, you poor, kind, decent, stupid girl. You saved me and I let you down.
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