Reflections on a Mote of Dust Carl Sagan 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. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. 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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p86BPM1GV8M Pale Blue Dot Sagan narration
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. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. 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. Carl Sagan 1934-1996 http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLQF-4uyD4Y Contact intro http://www.carlsagan.com/ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/c/carl_sagan.html
The Pioneer plaque, designed as a message to extraterrestrial beings. The plaque shows where Pioneer came from and who sent it. The barbell at top left represents the hydrogen atom; the radial pattern at left center shows the position of the Earth with respect to pulsing stars. Voyager carried the Golden Record into interstellar space in 1977.
"To see the earth as we now see it, small and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the unending night -- brothers who see now they are truly brothers.” Archibald MacLeish MacLeish wondered how modern people could retain hope and keep on living with all the suffering in the world and offered this play as an answer. J. B. learns that there is no justice in the world, that happi- ness and suffering are not deserved, but that people can still choose to love each other and live.
The world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it. Helen Keller The wondrousness of language is exemplified by Helen Keller's well-house discovery of “ water”... Walker Percy: "man became man by breaking into the daylight of language."
"God loves you, and He needs money..." George Carlin Other Carlin quotes ... • I credit that eight years of grammar school with nourishing me in a direction where I could trust myself and trust my instincts. They gave me the tools to reject my faith. They taught me to question and think for myself and to believe in my instincts to such an extent that I just said, 'This is a wonderful fairy tale they have going here, but it's not for me.' New York Times, 20 August 1995, pg. 17 (He attended Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, but left during his sophomore year in 1952 and never went back to school. Before that he attended a Catholic grammar school, Corpus Christi, which he called an experimental school.) .
One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it unless it has all been suffering, nothing but suffering. Jane Austen
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Babel Fish God proof Don't Panic Point of View gun Whale & petunias 42 meaning of life