2001 grabs me by the eyeballs.

Gridlinked has been kind of boring me and I am sitting on the couch, IMing with Rich, thinking about lunch when I pick up 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke and read the Forward:

“Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet earth.

Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this Universe there shines a star.

But everyone one of those stars is a sun, often far more brilliant and glorious than the small, nearby star we call the Sun. And many -perhaps most- of those alien suns have planets circling them. So almost certainly there is enough land in the sky to give every member of the human species, back to the first ape-man, his own private, world-sized heaven -or hell.

How many of those potential heaven or hells are now inhabited, and by what manner of creatures, we have no way of guessing; the very nearest is a million times farther away than Mars or Venus, those still remote goals of the next generation. but the barriers of distance are crumbling; one day we shall meet our equals, or our masters among the stars.

Men have been slow to face this prospect; some still hope that it may never become a reality. Increasing numbers, however, are asking: “Why have such meetings not occurred already, sine we ourselves are about to venture into space?”

Why not, indeed? Here is one possible answer to that very reasonable question. But please remember: this is only a work of fiction.

The truth, as always, will be far stronger.

A.C.C.”

You’ve got me.

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “2001 grabs me by the eyeballs.

  1. It’s beautiful writing.

    I’ve always heard that the number of people alive today equals the number of people who have ever lived because of the roughly geometric progression of population since homo sapiens sapiens became a species.

  2. It’s beautiful writing.

    I’ve always heard that the number of people alive today equals the number of people who have ever lived because of the roughly geometric progression of population since homo sapiens sapiens became a species.

  3. It’s beautiful writing.

    I’ve always heard that the number of people alive today equals the number of people who have ever lived because of the roughly geometric progression of population since homo sapiens sapiens became a species.

  4. Daddy Daddy, it was just like you said Now that the living outnumber the dead. Where I come from it’s a long thin thread Across an ocean. Down a river of red. Now that the living outnumber the dead. Speak my language. Hello. Hello. Here come the quick. There go the dead. Here they come. Bright red. Speak my language.

    – Laurie Anderson, Speak My Language

  5. Daddy Daddy, it was just like you said Now that the living outnumber the dead. Where I come from it’s a long thin thread Across an ocean. Down a river of red. Now that the living outnumber the dead. Speak my language. Hello. Hello. Here come the quick. There go the dead. Here they come. Bright red. Speak my language.

    – Laurie Anderson, Speak My Language

  6. Daddy Daddy, it was just like you said Now that the living outnumber the dead. Where I come from it’s a long thin thread Across an ocean. Down a river of red. Now that the living outnumber the dead. Speak my language. Hello. Hello. Here come the quick. There go the dead. Here they come. Bright red. Speak my language.

    – Laurie Anderson, Speak My Language

      • Re: Clark

        Oh, re: CoE.

        I find that the English have a curious characteristic that they believe that the world is like England, Humans are like the English, and therefore, human religion is like the Church of England. Cosmic mystery is treated from within that framework and he’s writing about cosmic mysteries.

        You’ll see what I mean.

      • Re: Clark

        Oh, re: CoE.

        I find that the English have a curious characteristic that they believe that the world is like England, Humans are like the English, and therefore, human religion is like the Church of England. Cosmic mystery is treated from within that framework and he’s writing about cosmic mysteries.

        You’ll see what I mean.

  7. Re: Clark

    Oh, re: CoE.

    I find that the English have a curious characteristic that they believe that the world is like England, Humans are like the English, and therefore, human religion is like the Church of England. Cosmic mystery is treated from within that framework and he’s writing about cosmic mysteries.

    You’ll see what I mean.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s