Fans of Arthur C Clarke were stunned today when his spirit revealed “extreme disappointment” that the technology he proposed for geostationary communications satellites would, some 70 years later, boil down to arguments between whether ‘Suunto or Garmin are the best GPS watches.’
Speaking via a medium, Clarke’s ethereal vapours apparently spoke of his initial hope that the space-bound telecommunications relays, delivered to geosynchronous orbit meaning each satellite returns to the same position in the sky after each sidereal day and thus enabling communication across the globe, might enhance humankind and not “give rise to fatuous conversations about the relative merits of devices that use the technology.”
“I wouldn’t have proposed the fucking satellite if I’d known it would lead to all this Garmin vs Suunto bollocks,” raged Clarke’s disembodied voice.
“The spirit of Mr Clarke has a point,” added Arnold P Faltermayer of the Geostationary Institute. “The system that his bodily form initially proposed has given rise to long-distance radio and television broadcasts, as well as internet communications, improved telephony, and Pornhub.”
Many scientists agree, considering Clarke’s proposal to have played a pivotal role in the socialisation of the 20th and 21st centuries. Perhaps disgruntled Suunto and Garmin users should realise what they wear on their wrists is the culmination of decades of work from tens of thousands of the cleverest people in human history.
“I feel his pain” said Edwin Z Mate – inventor of the EZm8 brand of condoms. “I invented EZm8 to help with the AIDS epidemic and to offer more durable contraception. Imagine my horror when I realised the biggest use of my innovation was for sweaty runners to drink from, and have debates about how to squeeze my water-filled prophylactics into different-sized breast pockets. People actually email me to complain that their water makes sloshing noises while they run!”
Mate continues, “I’ve since been working on a method of delivering vaccines without needing to break the skin. It would help eradicate numerous diseases and save billions in healthcare costs. However I’ve stopped that now, as I realise the best use of this technology would be to design a race number that does not need gear-piercing pins to attach.”
“About bloody time,” tweeted @therunninginstablogger. “Please sign my petition for them to suspend Brexit negotiations until they’ve developed dehydrated water so I don’t have to carry so much weight around. That would be #awesome”.
“Yet, the puzzle continues,” said runner Theo Kendrick on Facebook group ‘I Like Running Ultras But Prefer Asking Questions’. “I’ve read hundreds of threads on this matter, listened to thousands of opinions and I think I understand the ex-Mr Clarke’s point of view. But still one question for me remains: Which watch should I buy?”