2008-Clarke and Laine

In December 2007, on the occasion of his 90th. Birthday, Arthur C Clarke sent a message to the world via You Tube. In it, he discussed what mankind could become over the next century and the foolishness we have perpetrated on one another during the past millennium.  In March, 2008, he passed away and those of us who revered his accomplishments were saddened at the loss. Now comes word of his unfinished book, The Last Theorem. It seems that during his final weeks Clarke was also stricken with writers block and called upon his old friend, Fredrik Pohl, to help complete it. Working from notes and outlines, Pohl delivered a manuscript to Clarke which he reviewed just prior to his death. Set for an early August release by HarperCollins, rumor abounds as to the topic.One of the topics supposed to be included, brings us to our next topic:                                                                                         Space Elevators.

Much has been written on this blog about this topic and in fact 2 podcasts are completely devoted to this subject; one with Ben Bova and the other with Michael Laine of LIFTPORT.

It seems as if LIFTPORT may be going under thanks in large part to the shortsightedness of the DFISF (Dept. of Financial Institutions Securities Division) of Washington State. LIFTPORT was founded in 2003 with the goal of making Science Fiction, Science Fact. For a description of what is is Laine is trying to build, check out the podcasts or any number of sci-fi books that employ that “technology” (The opening of Friday by Robert Heinlein, for example).

In essence, what this means is that after 4 years of research and development and testing (see the link to their site on our main page), they have until September to turn a profit or close up shop. In a time when America is quickly becoming a second rate technology power, I am stunned at this turn of events.

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Luddite America.

(Pardon me, Francois,  I will take an order of stem cells to go, with vinagrette dressing, please)

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