"This idea that a book can either be about character and feeling, or about politics and idea, is just a false binary. Ideas are an expression of the feelings and the intense emotions we hold about the world."
"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."Richard Powers on John F. Kennedy
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress but I repeat myself."Richard Powers on Mark Twain
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."Richard Powers on Plato
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand."Richard Powers on Milton Friedman
"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."Richard Powers on Joseph Stalin
"I write the way you might arrange flowers. Not every try works, but each one launches another. Every constraint, even dullness, frees up a new design."
"The desire to live in our imagination is driven by this suspicion that we're disembodied sensibilities cobbled into our bodies. That idea has infused most of human thought since the very beginning."
"Science is not about control. It is about cultivating a perpetual condition of wonder in the face of something that forever grows one step richer and subtler than our latest theory about it. It is about reverence, not mastery."
"I think that if the novel's task is to describe where we find ourselves and how we live now, the novelist must take a good, hard look at the most central facts of contemporary life - technology and science."
"I really like science because it seems to be that place where you get the big picture, everything connects."