- Jan 2019
Via Stanford Encyclopedia - History of Utilitarianism: "Though there are many varieties of the view discussed, utilitarianism is generally held to be the view that the morally right action is the action that produces the most good. There are many ways to spell out this general claim. One thing to note is that the theory is a form of consequentialism: the right action is understood entirely in terms of consequences produced. What distinguishes utilitarianism from egoism has to do with the scope of the relevant consequences. On the utilitarian view one ought to maximize the overall good — that is, consider the good of others as well as one's own good."
challenges the heroic ethos that buttressed patriotism
James Redfield in his review of "Carmina Archilochi: The Fragments of Archilochus translated by Guy Davenport titled "Archilochus not quite Revived" (February 1965) writes about this poet's non-epic voice: "Archlochus is celebrated as the first Greek poet to break with the epic dialect and write in his own voice."
Archilocus employs the motif of the abandoned shield in his poems. "In one famous poem, Archilochus tells, without embarrassment or regret, of throwing his shield away in battle. ('I saved my life. What do I care about my shield? The hell with it! I’ll buy another just as good.') The motif of the abandoned shield appears again in the lyric poems of Alcaeus and Anacreon, in a parody by Aristophanes (Peace), and in a learned variation by the Latin poet Horace (Carmina)." Here is an example in Greek: Ἀσπίδι μὲν Σαΐων τις ἀγάλλεται, ἥν παρὰ θάμνῳ ἔντος ἀμώμητον κάλλιπον οὐκ ἐθέλων· αὐτὸν δ' ἔκ μ' ἐσάωσα· τί μοι μέλει ἀσπὶς ἐκείνη; Ἐρρέτω· ἐξαῦτις κτήσομαι οὐ κακίω. Translation: Some Saian (Thracian tribe) is glorying over my shield, an impeccable itemOf gear that I had to leave under a bush.But I got out alive, who gives a fig for that shield?Let it go to hell. I’ll buy a new one, no worse.
German for "light and popular literature, light fiction" https://en.langenscheidt.com/german-english/unterhaltungsliteratur
Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out. [ Urbigenous Library ]
On page 63 of Paul J. Nahin's book "Holy Sci-Fi!: Where Science Fiction and Religion Intersect" written on the chapter with the heading "Time, Space, God's Omniscience and Free Will"; he writes about the required timing for the stars to go out at just the exact time: "The required omniscience of God's part is, of course, due to the finite speed of light. Many (if not nearly all) of those stars must have been extinguished by God long ago, long before King Tut was born (and certainly before the priests even began their work three centuries before), in order for their synchronous vanishing to appear on Earth just as the Mark V finishes its job and when George and Chuck look towards the heavens"
Probably referring to the Douglas C-3 plane (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_DC-3)
After that — well, of course, for him there just isn’t any After That....”
In page 248 of Melford Spiro's book "Buddhism and Society: A Great Tradition and Its Burmese Vicissitudes", he writes: "In normative Buddhism there is no soul; hence, nothing survives death of the body."
“Well, they believe that when they have listed all His names — and they reckon that there are about nine billion of them — God’s purpose will be achieved. The human race will have finished what it was created to do, and there won’t be any point in carrying on. Indeed, the very idea is something like blasphemy.”
Sci-Fi Stack Exchange has a good thread on what this story signified https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/102956/what-does-the-end-of-nine-billion-names-of-god-signify
Shang-rila was a fictional place which was the setting of the 1933 novel, Lost Horizon, written by James Hilton (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shangri-La)
Sam Jaffe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Jaffe) played the role of High Lama in the movie Lost Horizon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Horizon_(1937_film) which was set in the Himalayan mountains.
“I see. You’ve been starting at AAAAAAA... and working up to ZZZZZZZZ....” “Exactly — though we use a special alphabet of our own. Modifying the electromatic typewriters to deal with this is, of course, trivial. A rather more interesting problem is that of devising suitable circuits to eliminate ridiculous combinations. For example, no letter must occur more than three times in succession.” “Three? Surely you mean two.” “Three is correct: I am afraid it would take too long to explain why, even if you understood our language.”
Mark V Computer
Since the story was written in 1954, Clarke was probably anticipating the Harvard Mark V. The Mark IV machine was developed in 1952 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Mark_IV) while the Mark V was built in 1960 (http://museum.ipsj.or.jp/en/computer/dawn/0034.html) so Clarke was 6 years ahead of his time.
Automatic Sequence Computer
The Harvard Mark 1 was an ASCC or an Automated Sequence Controlled Calculator(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Mark_I) - so Clarke was using this term for what was possibly the most powerful computer during his time. Our smartphones now are more powerful than several of these ASCCs
The Nine Billion Names of God Arthur C. Clarke
This short story won the Retro Hugo in 2004 (http://www.thehugoawards.org/hugo-history/1954-retro-hugo-awards/)
- Sam Jaffe
- Harvard Mark I
- Melford Spiro
- Lost Horizon
- Andrew Oakley
- Mark IV
- Automatic Sequence Computer
- Normative Buddhism
- Mark V
- James Hilton
- Sci-Fi Stack Exchange
- Paul J. Nahin