Fallen Giant

Sometimes, in defiance of entropy, little knots of complexity form in the universe and awaken. I have always found it deeply unjust that such knots, sooner or later, always stop. Each is unique, each cognizant, and if I were running things, the moment matter developed enough complexity to look around and start asking questions, well, it would have made it. It would go on forever. (Well, except for those clumps of matter who hold beliefs substantially different from mine, I mean.)

I entertain such thoughts whenever I look upon a loved one that I know is doomed to die some day, and I generally keep it to myself. But today I forego that privacy, because today, Arthur C. Clarke is dead. And that should matter to all of you.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Tuesday March 18 2008at 06:03 pm , filed under fellow liars, misc . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

13 Responses to “Fallen Giant”

  1. While this was only inevitable, it seems all the more a loss because of the fact that what Clarke wrote still matters a great deal today. . . Given the state of “today”, that’s an understatement.

  2. Clarke turned me on to SF. I was predisposed, but “2001” crystallized my interest, seriously tweaking my code in the process.

  3. Quantum immortality FTW

  4. Having not read his books (yet), Clarke’s biggest impact on me came in the form of Ellie Arroway in the film adaptation of Contact. Cheesy as it sounds, seeing it at age fifteen, the movie made me realize that I was, in fact, an atheist, and that that was an okay thing to be.

    At any rate, his grave marker really ought to be a plain black rectangle, set somewhere in the African Rift.

    – bp

  5. As a Jules Verne of our time, Clarke will live on not only in his works, but also in the inspiration he has given to countless numbers of dreamers to reach for the stars and not be afraid of the darkness between.

    A new Starchild observes us today…

  6. I made it a point to post this sad news to all forums and friends as I felt a personal obligation to .Truly sad news.

    Heres a link to him speaking on his 90th birthday you may or may not have seen already:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4db_1205893786

    David

  7. Anon.–

    Ellie Arroway is a character in Carl Sagan’s “Contact.”

  8. Did I seriously just confuse Carl Sagan and Arthur C. Clarke? Eesh. Sorry.

    That’s embarrassing.

    Clarke … he did Robocop, right?*

    – bp

    *this is a joke

  9. Clarke was a sort of protestant bat mitzvah for me – Pop was a radio astronomer, so he totally dug the idea that a guy who thought up geosynchronous satellites wrote good sci fi.

    For my 13th birthday, he got me a boxed set of Clarke’s work, and after I read a couple, we “discussed” them. I think he was delighted that I was becoming sentient enough to discuss literature, and I was so very flattered that he thought I was grown up enough to read Childhood’s End.

    Not on topic, I thought of this blog when I read:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/03/expelled.php

  10. bp said

    At any rate, his grave marker really ought to be a plain black rectangle, set somewhere in the African Rift.

    Damn. That would be perfect.

  11. I spent more time in the eighth grade reading his stuff than I did doing homework. The man #$# ruled. Till the singularity, sir.

  12. Since ACC wrote so much and sat for so many interviews, there is plenty of data available for a personality reconstruction once that technology becomes available, as it will, as the singularity draws nigh.

    So all you techies who miss him should get back to work right now, to hasten the day of his return.

  13. At any rate, his grave marker really ought to be a plain black rectangle, set somewhere in the African Rift.

    Damn. That would be perfect.

    In my opinion, almost perfect. Let me clarify immediately and state I would whole-heartedly support any initiative to set up such a marker. But, better would be a plain black rectangle orbiting the sun more lonesomely, for example at the L4 point of the Earth-Sun system.

    It would last longer. The African Rift Valley is a geological feature that will probably not last much longer than a few tens of millions of years. Solar orbit in a stable Lagrange point should last billions to tens of billions of years.