Today (March 19, 2008), this world lost a great mind and great person with the passing of Arthur C. Clarke. I suspect another world gained an equal or greater amount.
While I am not personally a big science fiction reader or watcher, I have long been fascinated by and most respectful of the thinking and perspectives of Arthur C. Clarke. Although I'm sure there will be a LOT of articles and other posts on this event, his passing gives me a chance to connect you to a phenomenal resource—fellow Canadian Stephen Downes. He is one of the most active researchers and readers I know and a prolific and talented writer—skills I admire greatly. While our perspectives are very different, Stephen and I are usually in "heated agreement" on most things and share a common sense about the priorities in life and learning. I highly recommend that you check out some of Stephen's many sites and resources, such as his OLDaily "Online Learning Daily" and his "Half an Hour". blog.
And you will also understand my sentiments when you read this Wired article about him, where they remember that when asked by Wired in 1993 if he had put any thought into what he would want on his epitaph, Clarke said he had:
"Oh, yes," he said. "I've often quoted it: 'He never grew up; but he never stopped growing.'"
May we all strive to find this often tricky balance between staying young at heart and in mind, yet constantly growing and "getting better at getting better"** as Doug Engelbart so concisely put it. Sure helps to guide me through my journey in life.
Thanks Arthur! You will be sorely missed but never forgotten.