Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Put All the Satellites at Half-Mast

Well, I was going to put up the new KPMG comic proposals I'd done last night, but on my way to Blogger, I took a brief detour over to CNN. And there it is:

About which I have two things to say:

1) Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck fuck fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.

2) There are fewer than five people on Earth that I can say truly molded me into who I am today. And now there's one less. Of course, Clarke is in no way responsible for any of my negative parts. He dreamed a big, optimistic dream of man's place in the cosmos, and dreamed long enough and hard enough that bits of his dream were dragged into reality.

And he wasn't such an innocent that he wasn't aware of the dangers of technology - an early short story of his had someone beaming non-stop pornography over the airwaves into enemy territory to weaken their society from within, and everytime I have occasion to marvel at the sheer volume of porn available online, I can't help but wonder if that's a projection of his that came true.

But the invention in the story that allows that moral decay is Clarke's own - the telecommunications satellite in geosynchronous orbit that he dreamed up in 1945. And, sure - you can now send crap streaming around the world in seconds flat, but that doesn't discount this astounding miracle of technology and foresight. And so much good has come of it as well, and I believe - as Sir Clarke did - that the global web of chatter will eventually prove to be our salvation, having shrunk the globe down to the size and speed of a single photon.

And there are so many other dreams of his in his books and essays just waiting to break out and transform our world into a peaceful, prosperous paradise.

Any takers?

Addendum: In perhaps his final act of prognostication, Sir Clarke predicted that I would write my obituary, and then half an hour later read the obituary on Salon, and that it would turn out that both the Salon eulogist and me would independently take the exact same angle.

We are all living in Clarke's future, now.

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