“Every living thing is, from the cosmic perspective, incredibly lucky simply to be alive. Most, 90 percent and more, of all the organisms that have ever lived have died without viable offspring, but not a single one of your ancestors, going back to the dawn of life on Earth, suffered that normal misfortune. You spring from an unbroken line of winners going back millions of generations, and those winners were, in every generation, the luckiest of the lucky, one out of a thousand or even a million. So however unlucky you may be on some occasion today, your presence on the planet testifies to the role luck has played in your past.”—Philosopher and cognitive scientist Dan Dennett, who is 70 today.
“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”—C.S. Lewis