March 18, 2008

Hail, and Farewell, Sir Arthur.

Arthur C. Clarke died today.

He was a pillar of science fiction, and his vision of the future helped to shape the world we live in today. Like the best sci-fi authors, he was an actual scientist, one of the men who first proposed using satellites in orbit around the earth to facilitate communications. He also developed Ground Approach Radar during World War II, and wrote about its creation the novel Glide Path.

He didn't simply write about aliens and space, he accurately described how we would live there, and how we'd have to adapt. While his 2001: A Space Odyssey script was optimistic in its time frame, much of that world can be found around us today.

This was how Sir Arthur viewed science, a formulation known as "Clarke's 3 Laws of Prediction:"
  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.

He was a giant among us, and we are poorer for his passing.


  1. Chris - not related to the article but I wanted to know what your thoughts were on the alternative plans that were discussed this past week regarding the Coconut Grove Playhouse? What's your view on it?


  2. It's a lot of talk, but no substance. The Grove's board had talked about creating a University partnership; as I predicted, UM wasn't interested, and FIU doesn't have the finances. Barry doesn't even have a theatre program anymore. The board still claims they're working on it.

    The partnership with a developer is about as popular with Grovites as I predicted; not at all.

    This board of directors have already screwed up; they let the Playhouse get into a massive debt in the first place. They screwed over their most valuable assets, their employees, and have failed to find an arts leader to take charge of their recovery efforts.

    Until some serious arts leader takes up their cause, I don't hold out much hope for the Grove.