Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space➽ [Reading] ➿ Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space By Carl Sagan ➲ – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk Pulitzer Prize winning author Carl Sagan traces our exploration of space and suggests that our very survival may depend on the wise use of other worlds This stirring book reveals how scientific discov Pulitzer Prize winning author Dot: A Epub Ù Carl Sagan traces our exploration of space and suggests that our very survival may depend on the wise use of other worlds This stirring book reveals how scientific discovery has altered our perception of who we are and where we stand, and challenges us to weigh what we will do with that knowledge Photos, many in color. For the majority of my life, reading was never an interest At all I spent most of my childhood watching movies and playing video games and football Reading was boring, time consuming and pointless But then, when I was around sixteen or so, something happened that changed my life drastically I discovered Carl Sagan I still remember buying Cosmos, unpacking it, excitedly starting it, and turning the volume up to the max I watched all the episodes in a day I couldn t stop And then it happe For the majority of my life, reading was never an interest At all I spent most of my childhood watching movies and playing video games and football Reading was boring, time consuming and pointless But then, when I was around sixteen or so, something happened that changed my life drastically I discovered Carl Sagan I still remember buying Cosmos, unpacking it, excitedly starting it, and turning the volume up to the max I watched all the episodes in a day I couldn t stop And then it happened For the first time in my life, I ordered some books The first three books I ever bought were all by Carl The Demon Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark, Billions Billions Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium, and finally, Pale Blue Dot A Vision of the Human Future in Space Pale Blue Dot was the first I read, and it was mindblowing for me at the time It was so illuminating It s hard to describe the impact it had on me Coupled with Cosmos and a number of videos on Youtube of Carl speaking, it completely changed my life for the better When I discovered Carl and in extension, books, science, philosophy I was horribly depressed and struggling a lot with a variety of things Upon discovering him, I realised that there isto life than bad movies, football, and wasteful video games.I still remember reading him, or watching Cosmos, or watching a lecture of his on Youtube, and listening attentively I would then go to my parents and sit there for an hour or , lecturing them about what I just heard or read Probably I did not convey everything accurately but that wasn t the point either I bought a telescope, and stayed up all night looking at the stars and the moon and listening to him on my MP3 Somehow, looking at those stars, and listening to him, and not only listening but finding what he said logical, reasonable an explanation as to why we are here that isn t religious or superstitious, but still muchbeautiful than what any religion can come up with it gave some much needed meaning to my life It s strange how you can be punched in the gut by the vast meaninglessness of it all, and that s exactly where you find meaning.This is where it all started for me Because of Carl and yes, I will persist in calling him Carl , damn it , I discovered Richard P Feynman Because of Feynman I discovered Paul Dirac All of this science related This led me to Arthur C Clarke and 2001 A Space Odyssey Eventually I discovered George Orwell, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Albert Camus, and all those other writers who have enriched my life ever since So it was Carl, and this book in combination with Cosmos, that paved way for it all My entire intellectual life is all because of him It is almost certain that had I not come across Carl when I did, I would have remained depressed Although my interest in science has waned primarily because of my lack of proficiency in mathematicsthan anything else , and my opinions and thoughts have changed and continue to change all the time I am still eternally grateful to Carl for opening the door for me to, well, thought Most importantly, though, he showed me that life might be worth living after allA book is made from a tree It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts still called leaves imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another Books break the shackles of time proof that humans can work magic I recently came across several references to this book while reading the superb God Delusion I was intrigued, and since it had been quite a while since I read Cosmos, I decided to give Carl Sagan another go.Besides his beautiful evocative descriptions of moons and worlds in our own Solar system, Sagan gave us a surplus of inspirational and cautionary passages in this work which even as an adult make you want to grow up to be an astronaut. Once, in German class, I recommended Carl Sagan s magnificent Cosmos television series to a classmate Wow, she said That s the first time somebody suggested Carl Sagan to me who wasn t a pothead I wasn t sure if that was an insult or a compliment I said thanks anyway.Although I m sure Carl Sagan can be enjoyed in a variety of altered states, he can be enjoyable for those of us here on earth too In fact, the message of this book can if one can stomach the clich justly be described a Once, in German class, I recommended Carl Sagan s magnificent Cosmos television series to a classmate Wow, she said That s the first time somebody suggested Carl Sagan to me who wasn t a pothead I wasn t sure if that was an insult or a compliment I said thanks anyway.Although I m sure Carl Sagan can be enjoyed in a variety of altered states, he can be enjoyable for those of us here on earth too In fact, the message of this book can if one can stomach the clich justly be described as sobering It is, at the very least, serious.There are several components to Sagan s message, though they are all intertwined The first is simply to bring home how huge, how tremendously large, how stunningly vast, is the universe The cosmos is bigger andcomplex than anyone had dared thought Humans are wont to place themselves in the center of things We have invented a thousand cosmologies, full of heroes and villains, gods and beasts yet, fecund as it is, the human imagination seems particularly unable or perhaps unwilling to imagine ourselves as we are insignificant.Sagan goes through every human conceit he can get his hands on, and not without a smile of satisfaction proceeds to knock them all down The universe appears to be sublimely indifferent to our survival This is scary At least, Sagan thinks so and he wants you to think so too Sagan would have us do our best, despite our reluctance, to think of the earth, not as the stage of our petty dramas, but as it appears from the outside a speck in space.This leads Sagan to his next general point we are all in this together As we contemplate our cosmic insignificance, our various provincial loyalties seem eveninsignificant still If the universe is indifferent to human life, it is surely indifferent to this year s election results, to religious struggles, to racist conceits We are, in short, on our own and since no help is coming from outside, we have to help one another The earth is not the mighty center of things we had once thought it is, instead, fragile And faced with this infinite dark, we must realize that what unites humans far outweighs what divides us.But added to the general hazards that come with living on a bit of cosmic dust, we have invented hazards for ourselves For the first time in our species s history, we have developed technologies capable of destroying human life altogether Some of these are intentionally malicious, such as nuclear warheads but others result from a lack of prudence, such as our enthusiastic fossil fuel burning Sagan sees the human race at present as a bunch of pre teens playing with daddy s gun he wants us to keep the safety on.Technology isn t, however, all bad we have also used our technology to make great strides We have explored the solar system, sending out probes to distant planets and this information has allowed scientists to better understand our own planet It is because of our space exploration that we now understand our own fragility But space exploration has not only yielded knowledge it has created opportunities Sagan is very optimistic about the human future in space Not only does he think it can happen, but he thinks it must happen, if we are to survive in the long run The dinosaurs were destroyed by an asteroid why not us We need to spread ourselves out, as a kind of cosmic insurance policy We will travel throughout the solar system and beyond, carving out hospitable environments for human life on other worlds.This is the final piece of the puzzle Technology is, in itself, indifferent it can be used creatively or destructively We have, at present, weapons unimaginable to people living just 100 years ago we have also medicine incomparably better What will make the difference in the long run, says Sagan, is not technology per se, but technology combined with good judgment And how does one cultivate good judgment It has many facets a skeptical attitude, a willingness to learn, a pragmatic approach, and a readiness to place truth over dogma, facts over wishes And all these are embodied in the scientific attitude That s why books like this are so important they teach science to the world.So there s his argument It doesn t require any drugs to appreciate that, right As a side note, I d like to recommend the audiobook version of this work It is mainly narrated by Sagan, whose deep, booming voice never fails to give me goosebumps Annoyingly, Sagan sometimes trades off with another voice actor, who has a very nasal and uninspiring voice but Sagan does read most of the lyrical bits.Speaking of lyrical bits, there are some parts of this book that are quite simply beautiful Sagan is a consistently strong writer but he is occasionally able to reach remarkable heights What is, I think, the secret of his eloquence is his awe for the natural world Wonder is simply not a strong enough word for the breathless astonishment he feels when looking up at the night sky Sagan manages to combine a sense of both religious reverence and scientific scrutiny This is no mean feat For my part, I find the two feelings opposed to one another.I could go on about the fascinating descriptions of other worlds, the interesting facts about NASA s various missions, Sagan s remarkable breadth of knowledge, and his love of aliens but I think I ll leave that for my fellow reviewers After all, Goodreads, like the International Space Station, is a cooperative venture, international in scope, and exploratory in nature Inspirational.As Oscar Wilde once said we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.Carl Sagan is one of those thought leaders who direct our sights and aspirations to the best of what humankind can potentially achieve, and inspires us to find the courage to ask the deeper questions, and to nurture our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good. There was a time when I simply could NOT get enough of Carl Sagan I read everything he wrote, watched every documentary that he made I adore him still Pale Blue Dot is NOT like Cosmos, the book with which most people are familiar Cosmos dealt with astronomy and gave you a basic understanding of the entire cosmos in a way that you would understand It s one of the reasons it is so popular In Pale Blue Dot, Sagan is speaking to those who love the Earth, love its relationship to the Cosmos, There was a time when I simply could NOT get enough of Carl Sagan I read everything he wrote, watched every documentary that he made I adore him still Pale Blue Dot is NOT like Cosmos, the book with which most people are familiar Cosmos dealt with astronomy and gave you a basic understanding of the entire cosmos in a way that you would understand It s one of the reasons it is so popular In Pale Blue Dot, Sagan is speaking to those who love the Earth, love its relationship to the Cosmos, how it is all interconnected together and how the pale blue dot has to survive in order for the rest of the cosmos to survive It is a book about space, the future of space exploration and our future there and whether it will save us all This book is truly Carl Sagan at his very best and, if you are Sagan fan, I dare you to read it without hearing the words, Billllions and Billlions of years ago in a way only he could do WOW.WOW.WOW Carl Sagan, what a champ Fiction from scientists astrologists may be a bummer see Contact , but Carl drops the BOMB in this work Truly ahead of his time and a great american A great intro into science astrology and really helped me understand a lot about all the planets and their make up Once we kill earth pretty soon , perhaps we aren t TOTALLY fucked, their are other options out there if we get with itbut hey, we killed earth so why listen to Sagan I drive an SUV, WOW.WOW.WOW Carl Sagan, what a champ Fiction from scientists astrologists may be a bummer see Contact , but Carl drops the BOMB in this work Truly ahead of his time and a great american A great intro into science astrology and really helped me understand a lot about all the planets and their make up Once we kill earth pretty soon , perhaps we aren t TOTALLY fucked, their are other options out there if we get with itbut hey, we killed earth so why listen to Sagan I drive an SUV, i m totally an asshole.but whatver you may be a fat capitalist.Here is a great quote from the book that I spread around on Earth DayBy this point your expedition to the Earth must be considered highly successful You ve characterized the enviroment you ve detected life you ve found manifestations of intelligent beings you may even have identified the dominant species, the one transfixed with geometry and rectilinearity Surely this planet is worth a longer anddetailed study That s why you ve now inserted your spacecraft into orbit around the Earth.Looking down on the planet, you uncover new puzzles All over the Earth, smokestacks are pouring carbon dioxide and toxic chemicals into the air So are the dominant beings who run on the roadways But carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas As you watch, the of it in the atmosphere increases steadily, year after year The same is true of methane and other greenhouse gases If this keeps up, the temperature of the planet is going to increase Spectroscopically, you discover another class of molecules being injected into the air, the chlorofluorocarbons Not only are they greenhouses gases, but they are also devastatingly effective in destroying the protective ozone layer.You lookclosely at the center of the South American continent, which as you know by now is a vast rain forest Every night you see thousands of fires In the daytime, you find the region covered with smoke Over the years, all over the planet, you find less and less forest andandscrub desert.You look down on the large island of Madagascar The rivers are colored brown, generating a vast stain in the surrounding ocean This is topsoil being washed out to sea at a rate so high that in another few decades there will be none left The same thing is happening, you note, at the mouths of rivers all over the planet.But no topsoil means no agriculture In another century, what will they eat What will they breathe How will they cope with a changing anddangerous enviroment From your orbital perspective, you can see that something has unmistakably gone wrong The dominant organisms, whoever they are who have gone to so much trouble to rework the surface are simultaneously destroying their ozone layer and their forests, eroding their topsoil, and performing massive, uncontrolled experiments on the planet s climate Haven t they noticed what s happening Are they oblivious to their fate Are they unable to work together on behalf of the enviroment that sustains them all Perhaps, you think, it s time to reassess the conjecture that there s intelligent life on Earth I was impressed by how much I enjoyed this one I ve not read any Sagan before, so I didn t know what to expect, but he s one of those brilliant scientists who understands how to clearly explain things to laypeople His story I use the term though it readslike a collection of journal entries or brief reports covers wide ranging topics about the implications and necessity of space travel, posing questions frequently, answering them occasionally, and leading inexorably to a single conclusi I was impressed by how much I enjoyed this one I ve not read any Sagan before, so I didn t know what to expect, but he s one of those brilliant scientists who understands how to clearly explain things to laypeople His story I use the term though it readslike a collection of journal entries or brief reports covers wide ranging topics about the implications and necessity of space travel, posing questions frequently, answering them occasionally, and leading inexorably to a single conclusion the human species must press outward into space.Though not nearly as reactionary or thrill seeking as a recent string of fiction films dealing with space flight specifically, Mission to Mars and Armageddon come to mind while reading this book , a case is made for the urgent need and dangerous potentials of further human spaceflight Appropriately balanced, however, Sagan s conclusions bring an optimism not often found in the writings of modern scientists focused on a global perspective The title of the book, Pale Blue Dot, was taken from the instantly infamous Pale Blue Dot photograph taken by Voyager 1 in 1990 The back story to that image is worth describing before actually talking about the book itself.Here is the image,Can you see Earth Can you see our tiny little Earth Look harder There, suspended in a sunbeam, is a tiny pale blue dot.This is what Sagan had to say From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest But for us, itThe title of the book, Pale Blue Dot, was taken from the instantly infamous Pale Blue Dot photograph taken by Voyager 1 in 1990 The back story to that image is worth describing before actually talking about the book itself.Here is the image,Can you see Earth Can you see our tiny little Earth Look harder There, suspended in a sunbeam, is a tiny pale blue dot.This is what Sagan had to say From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest But for us, it s different Consider again that dot That s here That s home That s us On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, 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 sunbeamA great book It s worth every page Highly recommend reading Take Carl s revered Pale Blue Dot speech, and multiply it by, say, the power of ten That s Pale Blue Dot And the fact that it s only by the power of ten well, that s how great that speech is. Pale Blue Dot refers to the Earth as photographed from the Voyager craft at a point beyond the orbit of Neptune Of course at that distance, the Earth is barely discernible a very small, unremarkable, pale blue dot among a myriad of billions of other unremarkable points of light Yet all our history, civilization, and culture that we have ever known has occurred on that dot.Even though our ingrained geo centric and ethno centric biases cause us to become deflated and even depressed at the real Pale Blue Dot refers to the Earth as photographed from the Voyager craft at a point beyond the orbit of Neptune Of course at that distance, the Earth is barely discernible a very small, unremarkable, pale blue dot among a myriad of billions of other unremarkable points of light Yet all our history, civilization, and culture that we have ever known has occurred on that dot.Even though our ingrained geo centric and ethno centric biases cause us to become deflated and even depressed at the realization of the truth of our insignificance in the vast universe, this book is actually meant to inspire hope in all of us Its subtitle, A Vision of the Human Future in Space, is what this book is all about Carl Sagan was a big believer in space exploration, and he inspired millions of others to be also.There are two reasons why I find it really difficult to have the optimism that Carl Sagan has First, he talks of traveling the vast distances from star to star and eventually even to other galaxies The reality of the limit of the speed of light and the extreme difficulty and power requirements to just achieve a fraction of that speed, just seem to be insurmountable obstacles Second, the human race is obviously incapable of even responsibly managing its own affairs on its own home planet, and we are likewise extremely resistant to even subtle changes that require collective mandates examples American attempts to implement the metric system, dollar coins, orfair and cost saving health care reform, not to mention our inability to address farpressing crises like population control and global warming.Overall, I loved this book It is the best of the five Carl Sagan books I have read yet, and I recommend it for everyone

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space PDF
  • Paperback
  • 384 pages
  • Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
  • Carl Sagan
  • English
  • 21 October 2019
  • 0345376595