Arthur C Clarke on technology and information

December 8, 2003

Arthur C Clarke – Humanity will survive information deluge

“I have great faith in optimism as a philosophy, if only because it offers us the opportunity of self-fulfilling prophecy.”

I don’t know why the above sentence strikes me so, but I keep re-reading it and getting something different out of it. Just the basic mechanics of it, blending ‘faith’ and ‘prophecy’ with ‘philosophy’ brings a smile to my face and warmth to my heart.

However, the next bit is the more practical of advice and even a bit of warning mixed in:

“The Information Age offers much to mankind, and I would like to think that we will rise to the challenges it presents. But it is vital to remember that information – in the sense of raw data – is not knowledge; that knowledge is not wisdom; and that wisdom is not foresight. But information is the first essential step to all of these.”

It is obvious when you think about it, yet it took, for me, a great thinker and communicator to bring it to the front of my mind and imagination.

Thanks Mr. Clarke. Here’s to hoping you are around for years to come. I hope someday to shake your hand and thank you for sparking my imagination and leading me to dream.

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