premature anti-fascist (anansi133) wrote in ssf,
premature anti-fascist
anansi133
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Tau Zero

There is a nonfiction essay by Arthur C Clarke that I read only once in high school, and it has focused my thinking more than any other single work of fiction. It talked about matter organizing itself from the lowest, most primative level, to the largest extremes.

Beginning with viruses, moving to bacteria, cells without nuclei, cells with them, multicellular organisms, on up to humans, tribes, city-states, and nations. Then he speculated on how we might organize above the level of squabbling nations, an earthship with 200 "captains". (I'm blurring him with Bucky Fuller, I know)

anyways, from I got the idea from this essay that you can zoom in and out at any level, and still see something interesting. Everything is a hologram of everything else.

I'm trying to think of a fictional work that embodies this notion, and Tau Zero by Poul Anderson comes to mind.
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I just downloaded some older Arthur C Clarke short stories from Audible. I remember reading them when I was young.

Do you have a citation for the essay? I'll have to Ask a Librarian. ;-)