Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Pale Blue Dot - Carl Sagan Tribute

Before I begin, I want to pay tribute and give credit to Carl Sagan - the late astronomer whose ideas and writings have inspired me beyond even his own calculation.

Sagan wrote;
"We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot... Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us... To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known".

- Excerpted from a commencement address delivered May 11, 1996

This is the actual picture he is talking about - taken by the Voyager spacecraft when it was about 4 billion miles away. See the Earth as it really is - in the photo there are three rays of sunshine. In the one furthest to the right (the yellowish one), look VERY closely about the mid point. See that TINY white speck? That's the home planet where ALL of the above, and all that will ever, take place.


Anonymous said...

Richy B! Nice work bro. Psyched to be the first blogger on your blog page. This will be the first of thousands. what a trip.

Anonymous said...

Richie, Vince here.
Revolve man, revolve around the world.
Don't let it revolve around you.

PS: to post a comment, you are supposed to be a member. there has to be better blogging shit out there. that's free

Anonymous said...

Okay, I get it now :)J9

Anonymous said...
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Ritwik Sundar said...

it's depressing and enlightening at sametime