More about Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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Frederik Pohl évoque Arthur C. Clarke dans un article sur son blog.

Extrait :
"Arthur wasn’t a religious man in any usual sense — in the instructions he left for his own funeral, he was emphatic that there be no religious aspects to the services. He thought — as is described in The Last Theorem — that the most valuable function of a church was to provide a Sunday school for you to send your children to, on the principle that exposing them to religion in childhood, like inoculating them against polio, would prevent serious religiosity later on.

He wasn’t much of a believer in psionics or any of the other New Age fads of the 20th century, either; he was a hard-headed skeptic who didn’t believe in anything that didn’t provide good evidence of its reality. But bear in mind his famous declaration that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. The obvious corollary to that is that some kinds of magic could perhaps represent a previously unknown technology.

You can see traces of that thought in some of the best Clarkes, like Childhood’s End or the short story “The Nine Billion Names of God.” And he did confess to me once, over a meal at the restaurant next to the old Hotel Chelsea, that he was kind of wondering if it was possible that Uri Geller, the notorious psychic spoon-bender of the 1960s, might really have some new kind of power.

I’m proud to say that I was the one who rescued Arthur C. Clarke from that particular flimflam. Then and there, in the restaurant that evening, I did the Geller spoon-bending trick before his very eyes. "
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