Arthur C. Clarke, 1917 - 2008

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caliban
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Arthur C. Clarke, 1917 - 2008

Postby caliban » Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:00 pm

Arthur C. Clarke has passed away at the age of 90. The last of the giants is gone.
"Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work." --Thomas A. Edison

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Windwalker
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Postby Windwalker » Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:22 pm

Yes, the end of an era... the last of the Golden Age authors. Weak on characters, but rich in exciting ideas.
For I come from an ardent race
That has subsisted on defiance and visions.

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Postscript

Postby Windwalker » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:39 pm

I think of Arthur C. Clarke as the last of the romantic optimists. I enjoyed his aphorisms and predictions more than his novels... and this still makes my throat tighten, both as a scientist and a human: "All these worlds are yours -- except Europa."

Here is a collection of his quotes:

Clarke's Laws:
1. "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
2. "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
3. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

"New ideas pass through three periods:
1 - It can't be done.
2 - It probably can be done, but it's not worth doing.
3 - I knew it was a good idea all along!"

"Human judges can show mercy. But against the laws of nature, there is no appeal."

"As our own species is in the process of proving, one cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying."

"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert."

"Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all."

"Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not. In either case the idea is quite staggering."

Concerning UFOs: "They tell us absolutely nothing about intelligence elsewhere in the universe, but they do prove how rare it is on Earth."

"We are just tenants on this world. We have just been given a new lease, and a warning from the landlord."

"Somewhere in me is a curiosity sensor. I want to know what's over the next hill. You know, people can live longer without food than without information. Without information, you'd go crazy."

"We should always be prepared for future technologies, because otherwise they will come along and clobber us."

"It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value."

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum."

"It may be that the old astrologers had the truth exactly reversed, when they believed that the stars controlled the destinies of men. The time may come when men control the destinies of stars."

"The inspirational value of the space program is probably of far greater importance to education than any input of dollars... A whole generation is growing up which has been attracted to the hard disciplines of science and engineering by the romance of space."
For I come from an ardent race
That has subsisted on defiance and visions.


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