14.0328 sci-fi and science

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Date: 10/09/00

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 328.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
       [1]   From:    Randall Pierce <rpierce@jsucc.jsu.edu>              (16)
             Subject: quotation
       [2]   From:    Arun-Kumar Tripathi <tripathi@statistik.uni-        (30)
             Subject: Re: 14.0314 modern-day prophets
             Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2000 07:27:38 +0100
             From: Randall Pierce <rpierce@jsucc.jsu.edu>
             Subject: quotation
    Re: the comments of Arun Kuman Tripathi. Indeed, many science fiction
    writers do capitalize on the works of other writers in the genre. Many
    science fiction writers are also respected and acknowledged scientists.
    Mr. Heinlein was a hydraulic engineer. Mr. Clarke has been a member of
    the British interplanetary association for years. "Prophets" and "seers"
    are often looked upon with suspicion or are disparaged. To call a
    fiction work of a scientist  "space opera" would seem to many a
    disparaging  comment. When Dr. Clarke first wrote about communication
    sattelites in 1946, he did so in a fiction format. Science fiction is
    often used to broach ideas that would be ridiculed if they were place in
    professional journals. "Not yet" does not mean "never". A projective
    analysis of trends is always a tool of any scientific endeavor.
    Information technology is no different. I might suggest that for pure
    amusement, some of the correspondents might read A.E. Van Vogt's Voyage
    of the Space Beagle. Randall
             Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2000 07:29:28 +0100
             From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi <tripathi@statistik.uni-dortmund.de>
             Subject: Re: 14.0314 modern-day prophets
    Greetings All,
    Hi..if I am correct..Tom Corbett, much influenced by Robert Heinlein's
    "Space Cadet" developed a radio serious and wrote a novel known as "Danger
    in Deep Space". Tom Corbett was the star of CBS and Space Opera..actually
    the action in Tom Corbett is set in the 24th Century, 2350..speaking from
    space..stay tuned..thanks!
    Best Regards
    Arun Tripathi
    On Thu, 5 Oct 2000, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
      >          Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2000 20:18:39 +0100
      >          From: Randall Pierce <rpierce@jsucc.jsu.edu>
      >           >
      > Mr. Minsky has the right perspective on futuristics. I have heard, as
      > did he, "experts" declare the limits of technology and create "laws"
      > delineating what can be expected from machines. Robert Heinlein, a
      > science fiction writer who died in the late 1980's, devised what might
      > be called the statistical curves of invention and technological
      > development. The bottom line shows a very slightly ascending curve from
      > the past into the future. This is what most "experts" expect. Another
      > curve ascends about twice as fast, and it represents what the inventors
      > and developers of technology forecast. The third and upper curve rises
      > at an expotential rate. It represents actual progress in a field. Man
      > seems to be so "conservative" in his acceptance of progress(whatever
      > that may be defined to be.) He, Heinlein, also said, "A ten-day wonder
      > is accepted as a matter of course on the eleventh day." A final
      > quotation: Arthur Clarke, scientist and science-fiction writer, was
      > quoted: "When a scientist says that something is possible, he is most
      > probably right. When he says that something is impossible, he is
      > probably wrong." We need to listen to our modern-day "prophets" as well
      > as becoming involved in our technology. Thank you for your consideration
      > ... Randall

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