Friday, November 6, 2015

Clarke's Three Laws.

Sri Lankabhimanya Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS (12-16-1917 to 3- 19-08) was a British-Sri Lankan science fiction writer, science writer and futurist, inventor and undersea explorer. He is perhaps most famous for being co-writer of the screenplay for the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, widely considered to be one of the most influential films of all time.

Here at the Tek-Gnostics Network, Clarke is most highly regarded as the creator of “Clarke’s Three Laws” of prediction.  They are:

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.

Clarke's First Law was proposed by Clarke in the essay "Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination", in Profiles of the Future (1962).

The second law is offered as a simple observation in the same essay. Its status as Clarke's Second Law was conferred by others. In a 1973 revision of Profiles of the Future, Clarke acknowledged the Second Law and proposed the Third. "As three laws were good enough for Newton, I have modestly decided to stop there".

The Third Law is the best known and most widely cited, and appears in Clarke's 1973 revision of "Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination". It echoes a statement in a 1942 story by Leigh Brackett: "Witchcraft to the ignorant, ... simple science to the learned". An earlier example of this sentiment may be found in Wild Talents (1932) by the author Charles Fort, where he makes the statement: "...a performance that may some day be considered understandable, but that, in these primitive times, so transcends what is said to be the known that it is what I mean by magic." Even earlier, Rider Haggard's novel She (1886) expresses the sentiment multiple times, such as in chapter 17: 

"Fear not, my Holly, I shall use no magic. Have I not told thee that there is no such thing as magic, though there is such a thing as understanding and applying the forces which are in Nature?"

- sourced from Wikipedia

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