Pale Blue Dot

As I was puttering around this morning instead of getting ready for work, I came across this. Take a few minutes.

As I look back, Cosmos was a seminal step in developing my love of science. If Sagan hadn’t made that show, I wonder if I might have taken a different path.


17 thoughts on “Pale Blue Dot

  1. Oh dear, I’m going to sound like some contrarian downer: but I saw Carl Sagan speak at Berkeley years ago (I almost want to say “BIL-lion and BIL-ions of years ago”), and he struck me as a self-congratulatory prig. He was criticizing New Age “baloney” and accused Californians and Bay Area residents specifically of encouraging the spread of superstition and bogus science in contemporary thought. I was irked because it was a gross generalization of the West Coast—a lot of us didn’t subscribe to faith healing, ESP, transcendental meditation and their ilk—and because I felt he was talking down to us, as if we were a bunch of medieval peasants looking to burn a witch. The audience was packed with his fans however, and he was wildly applauded by them even as some of us rolled our eyes afterwards.

    I will admit, some 30-odd years later, that he may have been right: there does seem to be a giant baloney-generator out there, creating pseudoscientific “theories” that somehow gain credence on the internet. The problem is that it’s not just located in Marin County or Berkeley, but all over the country now.

    • Well, I happen to appreciate “contrarian downers” because they always keep me grounded and keep me alert to seeing all sides to a subject. Interesting about Sagan!
      I never saw him speak personally, but that kind of generalizing is not a good thing!

    • HG — there was no doubt that Sagan was smug, which I think put a lot of people off. He certainly had no patience for pseudo-science. I can only think of how he’d cringe at the increasing science-illiteracy today.

  2. Pingback: Pale Blue Dot (via Stevil) «

  3. Well, that made me teary-eyed—the power of his words, and his great choice of soundtrack (which is from Heaven & Hell, by Vangelis).

    The Demon-Haunted World was a terrific polemic against pseudo-science, superstition, and all kinds of balderdash. He might have been smug, but I found precious little to disagree with there.

    • phantom — I had the Cosmos soundtrack on both vinyl and cassette tape. Seeing this video again has made me determined to track down the CD, even though it seems to be out of circulation.

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