Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Genius of Arthur C. Clarke

The "magic" Google News aggregation software has transmitted to my eyes the news that the visionary legend Arthur C. Clarke has passed from his mortal shell, back into the infinity of the universe.

Arthur C. Clarke,
Premier Science Fiction Writer,
Dies at 90

He was a generally inspiring personality, but here are the 3 particular things from the brilliant Sir Arthur that have influenced me the most.

Future Monkey & Past Monkey
are One.

• "2001: A Space Odyssey"

If you don't find this classic movie to be an aesthetic & conceptual masterpiece, then you are really no better off than the ape-man tossing a femur bone into the sky.

I read somewhere that the black monolith (which appears during each of man's 3 quantum leaps of consiousness) had measurements equal to the dimensions of an actual movie screen. The implication is that the movie itself, and art in general, were vehicles for the evolution of the soul/psyche.

Unfortunately, the world has been overwhelmingly influenced by the violence of tyrants, the unbridled greed of faceless institutions, and man's own infinitely chaotic nature - all which prevent the human race from achieving exactly what Clarke envisioned. Therefore, the movie's optimistic projection of 21st century technology hasn't come to fruition.. yet. This hasn't stopped "2001" from being a continual source of admiration & interpretation now that the iconic year as come and gone.

• "Clarke's 3 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.

Last, but certainly not least...

• "Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World"

Absolutely one of my favorite TV shows of all time. I used to watch it back in the day when there was nothing else like it on. From his jungle home in Sri Lanka, Arthur C. Clarke assured my young mind that our world was, in fact, as completely weird & crazy as I thought it was!

Sir Arthur engaged imaginations around the world with ideas that revealed the mysteries and the endless potential of the human race.

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