"We probably ought to think that over," Rathbone said.
"That's an odd thing to say," Van Doren replied.
"I'm serious. It simply doesn't make any sense. In a few years, you're going to see it. Maybe you won't or you can't now, but...trust me."
"Unfortunately, we don't think in those terms in the real world. What makes sense here and now is what we go with. Anything else doesn't matter."
"That's terribly short-sighted."
"Again, that doesn't matter. We prefer to flow with current events. It's easier."
"You're asking for trouble."
"Based on all our analysis, and believe me we do plenty of analysis, it makes sense."
"Your analysis is flawed, and I can tell you exactly how. It's myopic. You're using data that doesn't take into account anything but what you want to believe. You're assuming that your hopeful assumptions and wishful thinking will always prove accurate. You're a leaky ship without a plug in sight."
"That's your opinion."
"It's common sense, and what's more, your analysis would serve you better if you instead used comparative analysis, looking at factors other than your own history and ambition. You see what you've been able to accomplish and the methods that have so far proven successful and you assume that this will always work. I'm here to tell you that you're wrong, and you can find countless examples to support this belief. The basic truth I'm trying to make is that you are operating under false pretenses and the only reason you believe that they are anything but is because you want it to be so. When you fail, and you will, your own analysis will tell you what I just did. And you won't even understand why."
"You're a cynical nonconformist."
"I'm a realist. I believe that all observations are not equal. I believe that most people believe only what they want to, and what's more, are foolish enough to despise those who believe differently. What makes it worse is that this vitriol is exhibited by passive aggression. It's maddening!"
"You need to talk to someone else about this. Preferably someone else."
"No, I don't. You're exactly who needs to hear this. You need to take control of your own decisions. You need to think for yourself. You need to be able to reason for yourself."
"We have a structure of authority that simplifies all that."
"As to a certain extent, it works. Where it doesn't work is where people begin to rely exclusively on it, or are otherwise coerced to do so. Anyone who obeys any order is been historically shown to be a villain. 'Villain' is a term, by the way, that was originally derived from the socially superior to belittle the socially inferior. It implied that this social inferiority was somehow an inherent characteristic. It's something we're still fighting today, even though by many standards we seem to have overcome it. Yet every time we allow a structure to subordinate one individual to another without question, we allow 'villain' to be a derogatory term all over again. A villain is someone who does not work in the best interests of the majority, who believes the minority to be trivial, and who only prizes their own interests. They believe in the idea of exclusivity as something that limits, rather than something that is limited. There is only one planet. It is not without merit to assume that some day, a megalomaniac could claim the entire planet and force everyone else to live somewhere else, in no doubt inferior conditions. This is what you support, whether you realize it or not, some idiot claiming the entire planet and forcing everyone else to live inside some bubble on Mars or the moon, someplace that does not inherently support human life. We are actually stupid enough to live in such areas now, because we are always looking to establish exclusivity, usually at the cost of someone else's comfort. That's what you support without even realizing it."
"I stopped listening five minutes ago."
"Everyone hears these thoughts. You can't deny them, only delay them, as everyone has throughout the entire history of man. Usually people finally listen to them on their deathbed. Most people confuse them with religion, which is the method by which humanity has always tried to learn this lesson while they can still use it. Usually, though, they let interpretation get in their way. They lose the message in favor of adopting a new lifestyle, Constantine codifying Christianity and ushering a new world order. That's another thing, stupid paranoia. Maybe some people really do think they can control the world, but it takes so long, why even bother? By the time it works, someone else is trying to figure out how to make it work, if you understand what I'm saying, and you probably don't. But don't worry about it. Very few people do. So few, in fact, that they are always the outsider in society. Sometimes they're lucky and they get to be called philosophers, and a number of people listen to them, but don't understand them, which amounts to being ignored, just as always."
"You're hurting my brain."
"Well, all knowledge hurts the brain. We're really no different from animals. Even the smartest person who ever lived, lived like an idiot."