Caroline's Reviews > Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan
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Aug 26, 12

bookshelves: pursuit-of-perspective, adult, behold-science, nonfiction
Read from July 01 to August 26, 2012

Sagan charts the trajectory of human exploration into the future and, ultimately by necessity, off-world. As always, visionary but not moon-eyed:

But we're not ready yet, you may be thinking. As Voltaire put it in his Memnon, 'our little terraqueous globe is the madhouse of those hundred thousand millions of worlds.' We, who cannot even put our own planetary home in order, riven with rivalries and hatreds, despoiling our environment, murdering one another through irritation and inattention as well as on deadly purpose, and moreover a species that until only recently was convinced that the Universe was made for its sole benefit--are we to venture out into space, move worlds, re-engineer planets, spread to neighboring star systems?

I do not imagine that it is precisely we, with our present customs and social conventions, who will be out there. If we continue to accumulate only power and not wisdom, we will surely destroy ourselves. Our very existence in that distant time requires that we will have changed our institutions and ourselves. How can I dare to guess about humans in the far future? It is, I think, only a matter of natural selection. If we become even slightly more violent, shortsighted, ignorant, and selfish than we are now, almost certainly we will have no future.


Link to something beautiful:
Beautiful Blue Dot (2011 ISS aurora footage)
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07/10/2012 page 232
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