Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh boy - he knows how to make us realize our smallness...

I'm en route to Malaysia right now (sitting at JFK in NY) for a research trip. I have never been been to Malaysia so I'm really looking forward to it. In the mean time, I wanted to keep you busy pondering about our existence. Here is another 9 minute excerpt from Sagan's Pale Blue Dot (see earlier post Sagan on Science, Religion, and the Universe). I think Pale Blue Dot was the only book that Sagan read for an audio book, and the person putting these clips out is doing a great job of utilizing it. I also have it somewhere on a cassette - but don't have any means to play it anymore (a "morbid obsession with Sagan"? ;) ).

So here is Sagan - Consider again that pale blue dot:


Brian said...

Thanks, watching that just made my morning. I understand your fascination with Sagan. Really wonderful stuff.

hedge said...

You know, they do still sell tape decks. You need not be deprived of your entire Sagan collection.

Tangentially related, I help run a big science fiction convention in July in MN. There are always a lot of great costumes, but my favorite from this year was a guy wearing a maroon turtleneck and tan corduroy blazer. He'd written out billions and billions on ticker tape and was wearing it draped around his shoulders. Brilliant!

Akbar said...

The odds of creation of an environment suitable for life, sustained long enough for the life to create itself, then propagate to form intelligent form to observe the Universe, (as if the Universe wanted itself to be witnessed and observed one day)...anyone who knows simple physics and chemistry would argue that these odds are so meagre that the number of chances needed for it to happen by itself, even only once, are perhaps millions of times more than the number of subatomic particles in the Universe and number of femto-seconds passed since the Big Bang.
I really need to screw up the last bit of any talent left in my skull to join this Pale Blue Dot Cult.

Akbar said...

One might very well ask...how come the Universe and life got created then, if it wasn't by itself? God? Proof?. I would simply say...well I don't know. And being an amateur astronomers and a (proto)scientist, I wouldn't start commenting on things and making judgements and drawing conclusions about things I have little knowledge of...neither ridicule any. I am not one from Sagan's troupe.

Snuze said...

I hope you have a great flight and a wonderful time in Malaysia. *grin*

It's semi-rainy season at the moment, so it can get pretty wet here. Public transport is kinda spotty, but navigable. Drivers on the roads are a little insane; but jaywalking is expected.

However, we are a friendly and warm bunch. If you are staying until Ramadhan, you will get to enjoy the crazy variety we have to offer for iftar.

Anywhich, I hope you have a good time!

Atif Khan said...

Thanks once again for posting Carl Sagan's great stuff. You seem to be a bigger Sagan fan than me :).

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