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Terry Pratchett – Pyramids (1989)

As far as camels were concerned, the way to mighty intellectual development was to have nothing much to do and nothing to do it with.

He reached the crest of the dune, gazed with approval over the rolling sands ahead of him, and began to think in logarithms.

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Charles Mackay – Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841)

Nobody seemed to imagine that the nation itself was as culpable as the South-Sea company. Nobody blamed the credulity and avarice of the people–the degrading lust of gain, which had swallowed up every nobler quality in the national character, or the infatuation which had made the multitude run their heads with such frantic eagerness into the net held out for them by scheming projectors. These things were never mentioned. The people were a simple, honest, hard-working people, ruined by a gang of robbers, who were to be hanged, drawn, and quartered without mercy.

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Frank Herbert – Children of Dune (1976)

“You, Priest in your mufti,” The Preacher called, “you are a chaplain to the self-satisfied. I came not to challenge Muad’dib but to challenge you! Is your religion real when it costs you nothing and carries no risk? Is your religion real when you fatten upon it? Is your religion real when you commit atrocities in its name? Whence comes your downward degeneration from the original revelation? Answer me, Priest!”

But the challenger remained silent.

Salman Rushdie – The Satanic Verses (1988)

‘Ohé, Salad baba, it’s you, too good. What-ho, old Chumch.’ At which the other, a fastidious shadow falling headfirst in a grey suit with all the jacket buttons done up, arms by his sides, taking for granted the improbability of the bowler hat on his head, pulled a nickname-hater’s face.