Chapterhouse: Dune notes

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Page 68 − “All of us are descendants of people who did nasty things, Rabbi. Remember, it is the victors who breed. … victory is sometimes acheived at a moral price. … Barbarism is not even the proper word for some of the evil things our ancestors did.” − Jessica, Jewish Wild Reverend Mother

Page 78 − “Rules are often an excuse to ignore compassion” − Odrade

Page 103 − “Many things we do naturally become difficult only when we try to make them intellectual subjects. It is possible to know so muh about a subject that you become totally ignorant.” − Mentat Text

Page 137 − “Survival of humankind took precedence over survival of the Sisterhood. Else our grail of human maturity is meaningless. … But oh, the perils of leadershipin a species so anxious to be told what to do. How little they knew of what they created by their demands. Leaders made mistakes. And those mistakes, amplified by the numbers who followed without questioning, moved inevitably toward great disasters. … Lemming behavior. − Odrade

Page 154 − “Isn’t it odd how rebels all too soon fall into old patterns if they are vistorious? it’s not so much a pitfall in the path of all governments as it is a delusion waiting for anyone who gains power. … Power attracts the corruptible.” − Lucilla

Page 154/155 − “…we believe there’s a morality above any law, which must stand watchdog on all attempts at unchanging regulation. … Laws are dangerous to everyone—guiilty and innocent alike. … They have no understanding in and of themselves. … Laws must always be interpreted. The law-bound want no latitude for compassion. No elbow room. ‘The law is the law!’ … That’s a dangerous idea, especially for the innocent. People know this instinctively and resent such laws. Little things are done, often unconsciously, to mastring ‘the law’ and those who deal in that nonsense. And the law, personified by all whose livelihoods depend on it, becomes resentful hearing [such] words … ‘More law! We need more law!’ So you make new instruments of non-compassion and, incidentally, new niches of employment for those who feed on the system. … It’s a rondo. It tolls and tolls until it injures the wrong person or the wrong group. Then you get anarchy. Chaos. Rebels, terrorists, increasing outbursts of raging violence. A jihad! And all because you created something nonhuman. … A top-heavy bureaucracy the electorate cannot touch always expands to the system’s limits of energy.” − Lucilla

Page 157 − 158 − “The first rule of our democracy: no laws restricting juries. Such laws are stupid. It’s astonishing how stupid humans can be when acting in small, self-serving groups. … There seems to be a rule of nature that says it’s almost impossible for self-serving groups to act enlightened.” − Lucilla

Page 169 − 170 − “Sympathy for the enemy − a weakness of police and armies alike. Most perilous are the unconscious sympathies directing you to preserve your enemy intact because the enemy is your justification for existence.” − Miles Teg

Page 178 − “Ready comprehension is often a knee-jerk response and the most dangerous form of understanding. It blinks an opaque screen over your ability to learn. The judgmental precedents of law function that way, littering your path with dead ends. Be warned. Understand nothing. All comprehension is temporary.” − Mentat Fixe

Page 182 − “Major flaws in government arise from a fear of making radical internal changes even though a need is clearly seen.” − Odrade

Page 216 − “Many histories are largely worthless because prejudiced, written to please one powerful group or another. … Never follow a leader without asking your own questions.” − Odrade

Page 217 − “There are many kinds of ignorance. The basest is to follow your own desires without examining them. Sometimes, we do it unconsciously. Hone your sensitivity. Be aware of what you do unconsciously. Always ask: ‘When I did that, what was I trying to gain?’” − Odrade

Page 237 − “Give me the judgment of balanced minds in preference to laws every time.Godes and manuals create patterned behavior. All patterened behavior tends to go unquestioned, gathering destructive momentum.” − Odrade

Page 282 − “What you really want it to conjoin our experiences, make me sufficiently like you that we can create trust between us. That’s what all education does.” − Murbella

Page 306 − “War is behavior with roots in the single cell of the primeval seas. Eat whatever you touch or it will eat you.” − Leto II/Duncan Idaho

Page 314 − “Beware jargon. It usually hides ignorance and carries little knowledge.” − Odrade

Page 327 − “Avoid excesses. Overcorrect and you always have a fine mess on your hands, the necessity to make larger and larger corrections. Oscillation. Fanatics are marvelous creators of oscillation.” − Odrade

Page 329 − “Share witness. You see what our ancestors have done. They debase the worst curse you can invent. Don’t make excuses about necessities of the times! Just remember: there are no innocents!” − Murbella (Mohalata guide during Agony)

Page 338 − “Any damned fool knows that one horse can run faster than another.” − Odrade

Page 359 − 360 − “It is naive to expect any bureaucracy to take brilliant innovations and put them to good use. Bureaucracies ask different questions. ‘Who gets the credit? Who will be blamed if it causes problems? Will it shift the power structure, costing us jobs? Or will it make some subsidiary department more important?’ These are political questions. The demonstrate how motives of bureaucracy are directly opposed to the need for adapting to change. Adaptability is a prime requirement for life to survive.” − Odrade