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    Clarke's three laws

    Clarke's three laws

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    British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke formulated three adages that are known as Clarke's three laws, of which the third law is the best known and most widely cited. They are part of his ideas in his extensive writings about the future.[1]

    Contents

    1 The laws 2 Origins

    3 Variants of the third law

    4 Corollaries 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

    The laws[edit]

    These so-called laws are:

    When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, they are almost certainly right. When they state that something is impossible, they are very probably wrong.

    The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

    Origins[edit]

    One account claimed that Clarke's "laws" were developed after the editor of his works in French started numbering the author's assertions.[2] All three laws appear in Clarke's essay "Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination", first published in (1962).[3] However, they were not all published at the same time. Clarke's first law was proposed in the 1962 edition of the essay, as "Clarke's Law" in .

    The second law is offered as a simple observation in the same essay but its status as Clarke's second law was conferred by others. It was initially a derivative of the first law and formally became Clarke's second law where the author proposed the third law in the 1973 revision of , which included an acknowledgement.[4] It was also here that Clarke wrote about the third law in these words: "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. It was published in a 1968 letter to magazine[5] and eventually added to the 1973 revision of the "Hazards of Prophecy" essay.[6] In 1952, Isaac Asimov in his book (part 1.1 ) wrote down a similar phrase "... an uninformed public tends to confuse scholarship with magicians..."[7] It also echoes a statement in a 1942 story by Leigh Brackett: "Witchcraft to the ignorant, … simple science to the learned".[8] Even earlier examples of this sentiment may be found in (1932) by Charles Fort: "…a performance that may someday 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," and in the short story (1933) by Agatha Christie: "The supernatural is only the nature of which the laws are not yet understood." Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel explicitly compares advanced technology to magic:

    Then she got into the lift, for the good reason that the door stood open; and was shot smoothly upwards. The very fabric of life now, she thought as she rose, is magic. In the eighteenth century, we knew how everything was done; but here I rise through the air; I listen to voices in America; I see men flying – but how it's done I can't even begin to wonder. So my belief in magic returns.

    Clarke gave an example of the third law when he said that while he "would have believed anyone who told him back in 1962 that there would one day exist a book-sized object capable of holding the content of an entire library, he would never have accepted that the same device could find a page or word in a second and then convert it into any typeface and size from Albertus Extra Bold to Zurich Calligraphic", referring to his memory of "seeing and hearing Linotype machines which slowly converted 'molten lead into front pages that required two men to lift them'".[9]

    Variants of the third law[edit]

    The third law has inspired many snowclones and other variations:

    Any sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from God.[9][10] (Shermer's last law)

    Any sufficiently advanced act of benevolence is indistinguishable from malevolence[11] (referring to artificial intelligence)

    The following two variants are very similar, and combine the third law with Hanlon's razor

    Any sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice[12] (Clark's law)

    Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice[9] (Grey's law)

    Any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a genuine kook the viewpoints of even the most extreme crank are indistinguishable from sufficiently advanced satire (Poe's law)

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo[13]

    Any sufficiently advanced idea is distinguishable from mere magical incantation provided the former is presented as a mathematical proof, verifiable by sufficiently competent mathematicians[14]

    Any sufficiently crappy research is indistinguishable from fraud (Andrew Gelman)[15]

    Any sufficiently advanced hobby is indistinguishable from work[16]

    A contrapositive of the third law is:

    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. (Gehm's corollary)[17]

    The third law has been reversed for fictional universes involving magic in fiction:

    "Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!"[18][19]

    Corollaries[edit]

    Isaac Asimov's Corollary to Clarke's First Law: "When, however, the lay public rallies round an idea that is denounced by distinguished but elderly scientists and supports that idea with great fervour and emotion – the distinguished but elderly scientists are then, after all, probably right."[20]

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

    We invited several authors to explain what this quote by Arthur C. Clarke conjures up for them.

    TECHNOLOGY

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” We invited several authors to explain what this quote by Arthur C. Clarke conjures up for them.

    Efraín Foglia Ferran Esteve Lucía Lijtmaer Luis Paadín Óscar Marín Miró Ramon Mas Baucells

    08 NOVEMBER 2018

    Arthur C. Clarke, 1965 | ITU Pictures | CC BY 2.0

    Arthur C. Clarke was a scientist, science writer and author of science fiction stories and novels. This quote of his reflects on the early beginnings of technology and offers us a way of linking up the two exhibitions that have been held this year at the CCCB: Black Light and Stanley Kubrick. We asked a number of authors to offer a personal take on Clarke’s famous quote, giving them free rein to express whatever it evokes for them. This is the result. We hope you find it both interesting and entertaining.

    The “magic” of the Internet, a text by Efraín FogliaArthur C. Clarke, a comic by Luis PaadínThe Blast, a story by Ramon Mas Baucells404, a story by Lucía LitmajerThe Third Law, a gif by Ferran EsteveWas Arthur C. Clarke right?, an interactive piece by Oscar Marín

    The “Magic” of the Internet

    A text by Efraín Foglia

    Arthur C. Clarke

    A comic by Luis Paadín

    Click click ………

    Cccb/Lab Black Light

    …….. Arthur c. Clarke ……..

    Well… the brief is quite broad… I don’t know if that’s good or bad…whatever this sentence makes me think of… “off the top of my head”, it says… “an exercise in experimental style”… Ha! so I’ll do 3 sketches with the first pen I find and call it a day… considering what they pay me anyway…

    ………

    Let’s see… Clarke’s laws on scientific progress, right? that’s it, I could do something science fictiony

    …….. Again? ……..

    Then the opposite. Real things…I could start with an anecdote…

    …….. It went like this:

    Hey! laddy, I can’t make head nor tale of this fax thing…I don’t know, it’s like magic

    ……..

    My gran didn’t have a fax machine, obviously. And that never happened at all, but, well, it could have

    ……..

    Maybe this is just how Clarke himself worked, I don’t know… on the linotype for example

    ……..

    Right, I’m going to look for a real story in these old newspapers before I chuck them…

    ……..

    I can’t believe my luck…this is perfect!!!

    He he…this’ll sum up Clarke’s maxim perfectly

    ……..

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

    ……..

    Which, in terms that Juan Martínez would understand, means that it ain’t magic, it’s just progress.

    ……..

    Clarke wrote this phrase, his 3rd law, in the revised version of this book…to make a nice round number!!!

    ……..

    “As 3 laws were good enough for Newton, I have modestly decided to stop there”, he added.

    …….. Musical interlude ……..

    You might not think that was called for, but I guess it’s what happens when you like drawing faces

    And you’re always banging out hip hop

    ………

    Alexander Bain was Scottish and he invented the fax in 1843

    ……..

    In 1884 Ottmar Mergen-Thaler invented the linotype

    Getting back to the point

    Off the top of my head, a good figure to personify this maxim would be Tesla

    And what would you know?

    I saw it in a film ……..

    I know that at the end of the 19th century in an electrical exhibition in New York he unveiled his “teleautomaton”, a remote-controlled boat… those present were stunned, they had all sorts of theories…magic, telepathy, a monkey hidden inside!!!

    ……..

    Nikola Tesla invented a load of stuff and he died poor

    ……..

    He was also a tad eccentric… he fell in love with a pigeon and he was obsessed with the number

    ……..

    Mathematical interlude

    Think of a number, any number. Times it by 2. Add 6. Divide by 2. Subtract the number you thought of and…

    ……..

    Ha ha, I could talk about numerology! Hmm…no, best not get into pseudoscience…

    And if you don’t believe me, ask the maths!!!

    Let’s see, something current and scientific, very complicated, which seems completely inexplicable…a Roomba!

    Space tourism! No! Not that!

    That’s it…quantum physics. Tunnelling!

    It’s magic!

    This could get messy

    ……..

    I don’t understand it

    Your head’s going to explode

    ……..

    It’s true, this is getting very complicated

    I’m going to start repeating myself or something

    ……..

    No sir, it’s not going to work. Let’s try something else

    ……..

    Source : lab.cccb.org

    Arthur C. Clarke

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    Arthur C. Clarke

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    I hope we've learnt something from the most barbaric century in history — the 20th. I would like to see us overcome our tribal divisions and begin to think and act as if we were one family. That would be real globalisation…

    Perhaps it is better to be un-sane and happy, than sane and un-happy. But it is the best of all to be sane and happy. Whether our descendants can achieve that goal will be the greatest challenge of the future. Indeed, it may well decide whether we have any future.

    Sir Arthur Charles Clarke (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British author, inventor and futurist, famous for his short stories and novels, among them (1968), and as a host and commentator in the British television series . For many years, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Clarke were known as the "Big Three" of science fiction.

    See also: (film)

    Contents

    1 Quotes 1.1 1940s 1.2 1950s 1.2.1 (1956) 1.3 1960s 1.3.1 (1960)

    1.3.2 Clarke's Three Laws, (1962; 1973…)

    1.3.3 (1965) 1.4 1970s 1.4.1 (1979) 1.5 1980s 1.6 1990s 1.6.1 (1996) 1.6.2 (1997)

    1.7 2000s and posthumous publications

    1.7.1 (2000) 1.7.2 (2001)

    1.7.3 A Time Odyssey

    1.7.3.1 (2003) 1.7.3.2 (2005) 1.7.3.3 (2007) 1.7.4 (2007) 1.8 Disputed

    2 Quotes about Clarke

    2.1 Commentary on — or derivatives of — Clarke's Laws

    3 See Also 4 External links

    Quotes[edit]

    1940s[edit]

    I can never look now at the Milky Way without wondering from which of those banked clouds of stars the emissaries are coming. … I do not think we will have to wait for long.

    I can never look now at the Milky Way without wondering from which of those banked clouds of stars the emissaries are coming. If you will pardon so commonplace a simile, we have broken the glass of the fire-alarm and have nothing to do but to wait.

    I do not think we will have to wait for long

    "The Sentinel" (1948), originally titled "Sentinel of Eternity" this is the short story which later provided the fundamental ideas for (1968) written by Clarke and Stanley Kubrick. Full text in , Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring 1951), p. 41. Two versions of the next to the last sentence have been widely published since at least 1951, the other being: "If you will pardon so commonplace a simile, we have set off the fire alarm and have nothing to do but to wait."

    1950s[edit]

    It is not easy to see how the more extreme forms of nationalism can long survive when men have seen the Earth in its true perspective as a single small globe against the stars.

    We stand now at the turning point between two eras. Behind us is a past to which we can never return...

    If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run — and often in the short one — the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative.

    (1951), p. 111

    It is not easy to see how the more extreme forms of nationalism can long survive when men have seen the Earth in its true perspective as a single small globe against the stars.

    (1951), p. 187

    Others, one suspects, are afraid that the crossing of space, and above all contact with intelligent but nonhuman races, may destroy the foundations of their religious faith. They may be right, but in any event their attitude is one which does not bear logical examination — for a faith which cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.

    (1951)

    We stand now at the turning point between two eras. Behind us is a past to which we can never return ... The coming of the rocket brought to an end a million years of isolation ... the childhood of our race was over and history as we know it began.

    (1952)

    I would like to see us kick our current addiction to oil, and adopt clean energy sources. … Climate change has now added a new sense of urgency. Our civilization depends on energy, but we can't allow oil and coal to slowly bake our planet…

    Human judges can show mercy. But against the laws of nature, there is no appeal.

    Source : en.wikiquote.org

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