An Awful Waste of Space

“Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” – Arthur C. Clarke, as quoted in Visions : How Science Will Revolutionize the Twenty-First Century (1999) by Michio Kaku

“Since, in the long run, every planetary society will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring — not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive.” – Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean. Arthur C. Clarke

2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke in Kubrick’s apartment office on Central Park West, New York, during the writing of 2001.

Clarke’s first venture into film was the Stanley Kubrick directed 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick and Clarke had met in New York City in 1964 to discuss the possibility of a collaborative film project. As the idea developed, they decided to loosely base the story on Clarke’s short story, The Sentinel, written in 1948 as an entry in a BBC short story competition. Originally, Clarke was going to write the screenplay for the film, but Kubrick suggested during one of their brainstorming meetings that before beginning on the actual script, they should let their imaginations soar free by writing a novel first, on which they would base the film.

“This is more or less the way it worked out, though toward the end, novel and screenplay were being written simultaneously, with feedback in both directions. Thus I rewrote some sections after seeing the movie rushes—a rather expensive method of literary creation, which few other authors can have enjoyed.” Arthur C. Clarke

“If it is just us, seems like an awful waste of space”.- Carl Sagan – Contact

“I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.” – Bill Watterson, in his comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes (spoken by the character Calvin).

It is not easy to see how the more extreme forms of nationalism can long survive when men have seen the Earth in its true perspective as a single small globe against the stars. Arthur C. Clarke

“If it is just us, seems like an awful waste of space”.- Carl Sagan – Contact

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