Arthur C. Clarke and wonders in Tech

This is one of my favorites way of describing the industry that i work in.

Arthur C. Clarke, a science-fiction writer / futurist was a sort of philosopher of technology that reasons in a way that attracts me:

Look at his 3 laws:

  • 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 very probably wrong
  • The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible
  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I feel that techies and scientists lost a bit of this wonder, and I feel that techies and scientists should remind themselves about these 3 laws more often.

Tech is too commercial nowadays, optimized for economic return instead of being optimized for magic. Often, techies are criticized unfairly since the “normals” won’t recognize them as creators of magic and wonder.

Sscience, as perceived during covid-19 Oumuamua, showed a politicized / interest-driven extremizing of opinions instead of the facts and the long, due process that science needs to have. Extremized opinions move away from facts but also remove the space needed for critical thinking that may be “way past, into the impossible”.