Arthur C. Clarke, dead at 90.
Clarke’s three laws
- 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.
- The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
- Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
The last of the ‘Big Three’ is no more, a great loss for real-life visionaries everywhere. Arthur C. wasn’t merely known for his great contributions in the realm of science fact and science-fiction — he was perhaps one of the first humans (along with Olaf Stapleton) to fully grasp the impact technology would have on the future of our species. While most SF writers of his era happily focused on rocket ships and rayguns, Clarke examined the evolutionary implications that would come with the harnessing of science and the colonization of space. Childhood’s End explored themes of transhumanism and evolutionary ascension. His First Contact novels such as 2001 and Rendez-vous with Rama hypothesized greatly advanced civilizations that exemplified his Third law.
He also predicted that apes would function as house servants by the 1960’s.
Oh well. You can’t be right all the time.