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Arthur C. Clarke R.I.P.

Sci-fi author and futurist Sir Arthur C. Clarke has died at the age of 90 at his home in Sri Lanka. Author of more than 100 books, of which 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most famous, Clarke was also uncannily prescient about space exploration, having predicted the invention of geosynchronous communications satellites more than a decade before the fact.

Obits appear in The New York Times, the Times, and the Guardian, to name a few. The latter offers this candid portrait:

Tallish, bespectacled, rather big-eared and increasingly thin on top, he tended to be described by his friends as a beaming and highly articulate shambles of a chap, a man to whom convention meant very little. Yet his mind was like a razor.

And, for your contemplation, here are Clarke’s Three Laws of scientific discovery, excerpted from The New York Times:

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.


March 19th, 2008

11:03 am

Category: Book news

Tagged with: obituaries