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"There's no point in making a mistake unless you understand the mistake so that you donít make it again."
- Alfred Bester

Absolute Black  
  A material so absolutely black that it absorbed all incident light.  

Here's the quote about the stuntship whose sole purpose was to fly into the sun to provide spectacular effects for a rock concert.

"That," he said, "that... is really bad for the eyes."

It was a ship of classic, simple design, like a flattened salmon, twenty yards long, very clean, very sleek. There was just one remarkable thing about it.

"It's so... black!" said Ford Prefect. "You can hardly make out its shape... light just seems to fall into it!"

The blackness of it was so extreme that it was almost impossible to tell how close you were standing to it.

"Your eyes just slide off it..." said Ford in wonder.

From Restaurant at the End of the Universe, by Douglas Adams.
Published by Not known in 1980
Additional resources -

The earliest reference to this idea (that I can find, anyway) is the black coating from E.E. 'Doc Smith's 1939 novel Gray Lensman.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Restaurant at the End of the Universe
  More Ideas and Technology by Douglas Adams
  Tech news articles related to Restaurant at the End of the Universe
  Tech news articles related to works by Douglas Adams

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