"We don't believe in things we can see. We believe in things we can't see."
A wizard may be safely defined as a large ego which comes to a point at the top.
He [Ponder Stibbons] had long been the Reader in Invisible Writings, had drifted into the new post as Head of Inadvisably Applied Magic and had walked in all innocence into the office of Praelector, which is a university title meaning 'person who gets given the nuisance jobs'.
"I'm on your side, you damn fool!" he said.
"You can't be! You made such a good target!"
[ footnote: And in this short statement may be seen the very essence of wizardry.]
Rincewind was the least senior member of the faculty. Indeed, the Archchancellor had made it clear that in seniority terms he ranked somewhat lower than the things that went 'click' in the woodwork.
"See them all watching us?"
"See that strange expression they have?"
"You wonder what they're thinking?"
"Nothing, believe me. That expression means that they're waiting for the next thought to turn up."
Just like any business meeting, really.
"If someone comes along and paints that god as a big bearded chap in the sky, it's not going to be long before people say, don't be silly, there can't be a big bearded man on a cloud somewhere, let's go and invent Logic.
Renaissance in action...
"Can we just pretend for a moment that this is true?"
"For the sake of argument?"
"Well, for the sake of not having an argument, really."
Ponder Stibbons is getting to know how the Archchancellor's mind works.
There are some laws, though, that are coded into the very nature of the universe, and one is: There Is Never Enough Shelf Space.
Great art takes place in the god's honour, and every pious brush-stroke generally kills what it paints. The wise man says "But this is just a metaphor!" and the ape says "Yeah, but those tiny wings couldn't lift a cherub that fat!"
"A pointy hat always commands respect in any culture," said Ridcully.
"Then why have several of them tried to eat it?" said the Lecturer in Indefinite Studies.
Information is not a thing, but a concept. However, the human tendency to reify concepts into things has led many scientists to treat information as if it is genuinely real. And some physicists are starting to wonder whether the universe, too, might be made from information.
We may, indeed, share 98% of our genes with chimpanzees, but then, we share 47% with cabbages.
... and, of course, some would appear to share a much higher percentage.
"Look, it's like having a pot plant," said Ponder. "If it has greenfly, you try to squash them."
"I never do that," said Rincewind. "Greenfly may be small but there's a lot of them ... I mean, supposing they decide to gang up?"
"Well, I've always been good at understanding other people enough to get an inkling of when to start running," said Rincewind.
"You don't always have to run, do you?"
"Yes. Of course. The important thing is to know when it's the appropriate moment, though."
Like many people, wizards often have secrets they don't want themselves to know.
The pictures on radio are always so much better than those on TV.