"Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you've got to go deeper. Down deep the fish are more powerful and more pure. They're huge and abstract. And they're very beautiful."
"The recognition of human wretchedness is difficult for whoever is rich and powerful because he is almost invincibly led to believe that he is something. It is equally difficult for the man in miserable circumstances because he is almost invincibly led to believe that the rich and powerful man is something."
"Star Trek speaks to some basic human needs: that there is a tomorrow — it's not all going to be over with a big flash and a bomb; that the human race is improving; that we have things to be proud of as humans. No, ancient astronauts did not build the pyramids — human beings built them, because they're clever and they work hard. And Star Trek is about those things."
"Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood."
"The only thing that's been a worse flop than the organization of nonviolence has been the organization of violence."
"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
"Nobody’s going to pay for smart in the future because the smarter the doctor, the smarter the lawyer, the smarter the engineer, the smarter the financier, that’s all going onto software.
So we move up the ladder and we say that what we really value and what will rise to the top is intelligence. And what is that? That’s the ability to figure things out that you’ve never learned before."
"What is a scientist after all? It is a curious person looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what's going on."
"The first step — especially for young people with energy and drive and talent, but not money — the first step to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the music. Shoot the films. Paint the art."
"The world and our perceptions have changed a lot, even since the '70s, but there are lingering stereotypes. If you ask an 11-year-old to draw a scientist, she's likely to draw a geeky guy with a pocket protector. That's just not an image an 11-year-old girl aspires to."
"I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can't say — I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger."
"We don't have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it."