Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thanks for the Dreams

Arthur C. Clarke has passed away at age 90 in his adopted home of Sri Lanka. Clarke was one of my heroes growing up and I have him to thank for many hours of exciting and wonderful adventures. I consider him one of my spiritual fathers along with Robert Heinlein, Alan Watts and a few others.

As a Royal Air Force officer during World War II, Clarke took part in the early development of radar. In a paper written for the radio journal "Wireless World" in 1945, he suggested that artificial satellites hovering in a fixed spot above Earth could be used to relay telecommunications signals across the globe.

He is widely credited with introducing the idea of the communications satellite, the first of which were launched in the early 1960s. But he never patented the idea, prompting a 1965 essay that he subtitled, "How I Lost a Billion Dollars in My Spare Time."

His best-known works, such as "2001" or the 1953 novel "Childhood's End," combined the hard science he learned studying physics and mathematics with insights into how future discoveries would change humanity.

Thanks for the dreams Arthur.

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