Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Fiction Review/Rebuttal: The Early Arthur C. Clarke's Definition of Civilization

In his short story, "The Sentinel", originally published in
Ten Story Fantasy, Spring, 1951, (which eventually
evolved into the book and film, "2001") the esteemed
author/inventor surprises with a categorical statement:
Our civilization must prove its fitness to survive only by
crossing space and " escaping from the Earth, our
cradle. It is a double challenge, for it depends on the
conquest of atomic energy and the last choice between
life and death."

--WELL. I object to Clarke's pronouncement that the
harnessing of atomic power and space travel are
THE signal, defining characteristics of an advanced

My list of  "fit civilizations indicators" is longer and different:

(1) Solar power safely harnessed, with geothermal and
wind power in an energy mix;
(2) Peace, justice, respect and freedom are the norm;
(3) Overpopulation overcome at last.


I should add that Mr. Clarke was a polymath who
actually changed the world with his inventions as
much as with his insights. Here's to Arthur AND
to divergent views!

1 comment:

  1. Amber Yes! Well stated.

    Frightening and sad. your definitions of civilization do not describe in any way our current world situation. If any thing it is oposite and getting worse.