Cracked Baby

Star Child is Born
Arthur C. Clarke’s death was reported today – age 90. Kubrick’s film, 2001: A Space Odyssey is probably my all-time favorite film, so why don’t I like Clarke? Well, nothing personal, don’t want to speak ill of the dead, but…

The fact is, all that is questionable in 2001 is from Clarke, and all that is good is from Kubrick. Okay, Clarke wrote the story, and the stuff with HAL9000 is wonderful, but the business of extra-terrestrial intervention…only Stanley K. could make a masterpiece out of that fluff, and it’s because he has something to say, while Clarke just has a few pet ideas he recycles endlessly. As for his certainty that intelligent life is out there, I refer his spirit to another recently departed, a real scientist, discussed in this post on SETI.

Arthur C. Clarke could be entertaining -I enjoyed his stories as a teenage reader – but his intellectual crotchets were simply that. He remarked on his 90th birthday that he imagined that machines would in the not-so-distant future take over and treat us fondly as pets – a benign MATRIX, perhaps? To me, this indicates he understood neither machines nor humans. As with so much of his fiction, he takes an idea, intriguing on the surface, and runs with it until it drops into total improbability. This makes for neither literature or science.

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