Author Topic: Centenary of Arthur C Clarke's birth.  (Read 265 times)

Dave

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Centenary of Arthur C Clarke's birth.
« on: December 15, 2017, 06:11:12 AM »
Whilst recognising that Clarke is best known as a science fiction aurhor his factual predictions that approached and even acheived reality cannot be ignored. I feel that he at least equalled Isaac Asimov in his predictive vision.

He conceived the idea of the geostationary communications satellite. Later, in "I Remember Babylon", he uses the comms sattelite idea to warn of the subversive effects that global media could have on society:

Quote
The story takes the form of a non-fiction article by Clarke in which he warns the United States that the People's Republic of China is planning to, using a Russian rocket, launch a communications satellite in geostationary orbit to broadcast directly to Americans. The satellite will offer an uncensorable mix of heterosexual and homosexual pornography (using the Kinsey Report as market research), gore (such as details of bullfights and photographic evidence from the Nuremberg trials), and communist propaganda. The American ex-ad man and Communist sympathizer that reveals the plan to Clarke thanks his influential 1945 article on satellite transmission for giving China the idea, and boasts that "History is on our side. We'll be using America's own decadence as a weapon against her, and it's a weapon for which there's no defence".

One of the pornographic films in the story is described as depicting the erotic sculptures of the Konark Sun Temple in Odisha (Clarke uses the variant spelling of "Konarak").
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Remember_Babylon

There are many other things Clarke touched on in his talks or used as concepts in his stories. He tslked of a time when people vould speak to anyone, anywhere on Earth without actually knowing where they are... Perhaps luckily his idea of "superchimps" being our servants has not yet been achieved. He did suggest that they might form trade unions.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_C._Clarke

https://www.clarkefoundation.org/2016/08/launch-of-arthur-c-clarke-centenary/



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Tank

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Re: Centenary of Arthur C Clarke's birth.
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2017, 10:28:37 AM »
He rally was a visionary.
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Icarus

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Re: Centenary of Arthur C Clarke's birth.
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2017, 06:22:29 AM »
I have admired Clarke for a long time. He was a superb intellect and visionary.

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Re: Centenary of Arthur C Clarke's birth.
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2017, 06:49:39 PM »
Clarke and Asimov agreed to what become known as the "Clarke-Asimov Treaty" in which each would answer questions about their respective writing in the following way: Clarke is the best science fiction writer, Asimov is the best science writer.  :)
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Dave

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Re: Centenary of Arthur C Clarke's birth.
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2017, 08:17:55 PM »
Clarke and Asimov agreed to what become known as the "Clarke-Asimov Treaty" in which each would answer questions about their respective writing in the following way: Clarke is the best science fiction writer, Asimov is the best science writer.  :)

I eould have ssid "better" rsther tgsn "bedr". But yes, Asimov was a renowned scientist whereas Clarke had an engineering background where vision not based on scientific principles was more acceptable. These days the line between science and engineeting gets a bit blurred, but in the 40s and 50s, maybe into the 60s, it was a bit more rigid I think.

Now the box is far more elastic. As Clarke said, to discover the limits of the possible you have too venture past them into the impossible.

Could have been interesting sitting in on a conversation between those two and Buckminster Fuller!
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Re: Centenary of Arthur C Clarke's birth.
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2017, 11:11:56 PM »
I would have said "better" rather than "best". But yes, Asimov was a renowned scientist whereas Clarke had an engineering background where vision not based on scientific principles was more acceptable. These days the line between science and engineeting gets a bit blurred, but in the 40s and 50s, maybe into the 60s, it was a bit more rigid I think.

Now the box is far more elastic. As Clarke said, to discover the limits of the possible you have too venture past them into the impossible.

Could have been interesting sitting in on a conversation between those two and Buckminster Fuller!

They had a good-natured rivalry that lasted for years. I know more about Asimov than Clarke, but the "best" would be consistent with kidding braggadocio that at least Asimov was known to engage in.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken