Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke R.I.P.

Sadly, Arthur C. Clarke, the "inventor" of geo-synchronous orbits that allow satellites to remain stationary relative to the ground, died at the age of 90.

That sucks - it was one of the few persons I hoped I'd still be able to meet personally some day... :(

All I can say is, his thoughts and memory will keep on living with millions of admirers worldwide.

My favorite quotes from him:

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

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. Arthur C. Clarke, "Technology and the Future" (Clarke's second law)

At the present rate of progress, it is almost impossible to imagine any technical feat that cannot be achieved - if it can be achieved at all - within the next few hundred years.

I'm sure we would not have had men on the Moon if it had not been for Wells and Verne and the people who write about this and made people think about it. I'm rather proud of the fact that I know several astronauts who became astronauts through reading my books.

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. (Clarke's first law )

A hundred years ago, the electric telegraph made possible - indeed, inevitable - the United States of America. The communications satellite will make equally inevitable a United Nations of Earth; let us hope that the transition period will not be equally bloody.

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