110)CLARKE'S FIRST LAW: If an elderly but distinguished scientist says something is possible he is almost certainly right, but if he says that it is impossible he is very probably wrong.
Arthur C. Clarke New Yorker magazine (9/9/69) [OM]
753)CLARKE'S SECOND LAW: The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
Arthur C. Clarke "Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination" in Profiles of the Future (1962; rev. 1973) posted by Deven Naniwadekar [UAQ] (4/23/95)
109)CLARKE'S THIRD LAW: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke "Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination" in Profiles of the Future (1962; rev. 1973)
Commentary and Variations
751) Perhaps the adjective 'elderly' requires definition. In physics, mathematics, and astronautics it means over thirty; in the other disciplines, senile decay is sometimes postponed to the forties. There are, of course, glorious exceptions; but as every researcher just out of college knows, scientists of over fifty are good for nothing but board meetings, and should at all costs be kept out of the laboratory!
Arthur C. Clarke comment on Clarke's First Law in "Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination" in Profiles of the Future (1962; rev. 1973) posted by Deven Naniwadekar [UAQ] (4/23/95)
752) When, however, the lay public rallies round an idea that is denounced by distinguished but elderly scientists and supports that idea with great fervor and emotion - the distinguished but elderly scientists are then, after all, probably right.
Isaac Asimov comment on Clarke's First Law Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (c.1977) posted by Joachim Verhagen [UAQ] (4/24/95)
111) When an official declares something false, chances are that it is. When he or she says it is absolutely false, chances are it is true. [...] The overemphasis sticks out like Pinocchio's nose.
Jack Rosenthal "On Language: Frame of Mind" New York Times Magazine (9/21/94)
647) Clarke's Third Law doesn't work in reverse. Given that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," it does not follow that "any magical claim that anybody may make at any time is indistinguishable from a technological advance that well come some time in the future." [...] [T]here have admittedly been occasions when authoritative, pontificating skeptics have come away with egg on their faces, even within their own lifetimes. But there have been a far greater number of occasions when magical claims have never been vindicated. An apparent magical claim might eventually turn out to be true. In any age there are so many magical claims that are, or could be, made. They can't all be true; many are mutually contradictory; and we have no reason to suppose that, simply by the act of sitting down and dreaming up a magical claim, we shall make it come true in some future technology. Some things that would surprise us today will come true in the future. But lots and lots of things that would surprise us today will not come true ever.
Richard Dawkins "Putting Away Childish Things" Skeptical Inquirer (Jan-Feb/95)
754) Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
Gehm's Corollary to Clarke's Third Law posted by Deven Naniwadekar [UAQ] (4/23/95)
755) Any sufficiently retarded magic is indistinguishable from technology.
Gehm's Other Corollary to Clarke's Third Law posted by Deven Naniwadekar [UAQ] (4/23/95)
1402) Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from doubletalk.
George Alec Effinger SF-LIT mailing list (10/11/95)
1013) Any sufficiently advanced chaos is indistinguishable from Usenet.
"sig" (signature) of Andrew Hackard, seen on rec.arts.sf.written (6/10/95)
1057) Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.
Kulawiec (attributed) posted by Kevin Harris [UAQ] (6/16/95)
[OM] - The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations (1991) [UAQ] - Usenet alt.quotations newsgroup
Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began). As of today, there are 562 days remaining in the administration of the worst President ever.
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
(click on image for more info)
Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.
If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.
(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)
Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.