Arthur C. Clarke posited:
"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 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."
Mr. Clarke's 1972 revision, of his 1962 essay, that codified his three laws, was short-sighted because in his observation science would always push technology. Always had; always will. Science was relatively unfettered by economics. That is to say that appeasing capital was secondary to scientific pursuits. Progress was measured in things other than $$$ and the payday from commercial capitalization, off-shore production and global consumption was barely discussed. "First we make it work. Then we apply it."
A hokey 1987 film, "Amazing Grace and Chuck" explored the existing power structures and the level of influence necessary to effect change.
President: [to Chuck about his protest of the nuclear missiles] Now Chuck I can't deny you the right to protest, that's in the first amendment and God forbid that should change. But there's an old saying: "You can't run into a crowded theater and yell fire!"
Chuck Murdock: But, sir, what if there is a fire?
In a relative blink, in the 1992 classic "Sneakers" Cosmo and Bishop explained real world economics.
Cosmo: Posit: People think a bank might be financially shaky.
Martin Bishop: Consequence: People start to withdraw their money.
Cosmo: Result: Pretty soon it is financially shaky.
Martin Bishop: Conclusion: You can make banks fail.
Cosmo: Bzzt. I've already done that. Maybe you've heard about a few? Think bigger.
Martin Bishop: Stock market?
Martin Bishop: Currency market?
Martin Bishop: Commodities market?
Martin Bishop: Small countries?
The progression in the span of fifty/forty years has all but cemented the Cosmo/Bishop model almost universally. To the point that nearly everything that was generally accepted in 1962, 1972, 1987 has been pushed asunder and the 1992 model is the sole model being refined.
Yes, exceptions still occur and perhaps something pure and simple will emerge that will right all the wrongs, but who do you know that'll make that bet?
Rather than pushing the boundary of possible, we are locked into accelerating absurdities.
Nobody knew and understood absurdity better'n Zappa.
another little snippet from the Playboy interview:
Playboy: But hasn't it affected the mood of the music;
Frank Zappa: No, I haven't started writing sad music. Time is the thing. Time is everything. How to spend time. We all want something to do with our minds. The choices are a major human preoccupation. The people who find the easiest solutions, like beer and football, might be happier if they had just a little dimension to their lives. But most people, once they achieve a certain level of gratification for time disposal, don't go beyond it. They already know how good they're going to feel when a football game comes on, and they have their beer. They don't want to know beyond that. They build a life around it. It's been the same for me since I got cancer as it was before. I have to look way beyond the football game and the can of beer. Once I've gone out there and dabbled on that fringe, I feel as if I may as well bring some artifacts back, in case anybody else is interested. That's what I do. I come back and go, "Here it is. This is what happened after the football game."
Make of this what you will. `Makes sense to me.
Our short to long-term predictable outcomes are well-established. Even MAGIC has been corrupted and co-opted. Just take a peek at the fringes. Then choose a side.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Arthur C. Clarke posited: