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بلايين وبلايين: أفكار حول الحياة والموت على حافة الألفية

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يستعين ساجان بالضوء المسلط على شهرته ليلقى ضوءًا على هاوية النفايات التي قد يدفعنا إليها الغباء، والجشع، والتلهف على القوة. وكل هذه الأمور والقضايا المهمة مثارة في بلايين وبلايين.
- واشنطن بوست بوك وورلد

308 pages, Paperback

First published June 2, 1997

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About the author

Carl Sagan

180 books11.1k followers
In 1934, scientist Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. After earning bachelor and master's degrees at Cornell, Sagan earned a double doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1960. He became professor of astronomy and space science and director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University, and co-founder of the Planetary Society. A great popularizer of science, Sagan produced the PBS series, "Cosmos," which was Emmy and Peabody award-winning, and was watched by 500 million people in 60 countries. A book of the same title came out in 1980, and was on The New York Times bestseller list for 7 weeks. Sagan was author, co-author or editor of 20 books, including The Dragons of Eden (1977), which won a Pulitzer, Pale Blue Dot (1995) and The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark (1996), his hardest-hitting on religion. With his wife, Ann Druyan, he was co-producer of the popular motion picture, "Contact," which featured a feminist, atheist protagonist played by Jodie Foster (1997). The film came out after Sagan's death, following a 2-year struggle with a bone marrow disease. Sagan played a leading role in NASA's Mariner, Viking, Voyager, and Galileo expeditions to other planets. Ann Druyan, in the epilogue to Sagan's last book, Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium (published posthumously in 1997), gives a moving account of Carl's last days: "Contrary to the fantasies of the fundamentalists, there was no deathbed conversion, no last minute refuge taken in a comforting vision of a heaven or an afterlife. For Carl, what mattered most was what was true, not merely what would make us feel better. Even at this moment when anyone would be forgiven for turning away from the reality of our situation, Carl was unflinching. As we looked deeply into each other's eyes, it was with a shared conviction that our wondrous life together was ending forever."

For his work, Dr. Sagan received the NASA medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and (twice) for Distinguished Public Service, as well as the NASA Apollo Achievement Award. Asteroid 2709 Sagan is named after him. He was also awarded the John F. Kennedy Astronautics Award of the American Astronautical Society, the Explorers Club 75th Anniversary Award, the Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Medal of the Soviet Cosmonauts Federation, and the Masursky Award of the American Astronomical Society, ("for his extraordinary contributions to the development of planetary science…As a scientist trained in both astronomy and biology, Dr. Sagan has made seminal contributions to the study of planetary atmospheres, planetary surfaces, the history of the Earth, and exobiology. Many of the most productive planetary scientists working today are his present and former students and associates").

He was also a recipient of the Public Welfare Medal, the highest award of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Sagan was elected Chairman of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, President of the Planetology Section of the American Geophysical Union, and Chairman of the Astronomy Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For twelve years he was the editor-in-chief of Icarus, the leading professional journal devoted to planetary research. He was cofounder and President of the Planetary Society, a 100,000-member organization that is the largest space-interest group in the world; and Distinguished Visiting Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

In their posthumous award to Dr. Sagan of their highest honor, the National Science Foundation declared that his "research transformed planetary science… his gifts to mankind were infinite." D. 1996.

More: https://ffrf.org/news/day/dayitems/it...

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Profile Image for هدى يحيى.
Author 8 books16k followers
August 22, 2020

ما الذي يمكنك قوله عن كتاب تشاهد فيه ابتسامة واحد من أعز الناس على قلبك وهي تخفت

ما الذي يمكنك فعله وأنت تقرأ كلماته الأخيرة
وتشعر بأوجاعه تشتد قرب النهاية فلا تملك إلا البكاء مع ابتسامة سكينة تملأ وجهك

لا يمكنك مع كارل ساجان إلا الشعور بالسكينة والطمأنينة مهما كنت تتوجع

اختتمت آن زوجته الكتاب وهي تصف بحزن نبيل لحظات كارل الأخيرة
معاناته والجو المحيط به حينما عاد لأجداده النجوم مرة أخرى


في كتابات كارل الأخيرة تلحظ دوماً إنشغاله الشديد بقضية البشرية ومستقبلهم على هذه الأرض

كيف يمكننا إطالة عمر البشرية على الأرض ، وهل يمكننا بعد وقت مقبول السفر والانتقال لكواكب أخرى بعد تهيئتها للمعيشة
كان متلهفاَ للغاية لإنقاذ الأرض من عبثنا اللانهائي بها وتعريضها كل يوم للتلوث والخطر و الهوس النووي الذي يتملك حكام العالم

قال كارل كلمته ومضى كالنسيم
اعتقل بسبب هجومه على الحكومة فلم يبال
سخر منه البعض فاستمر يدافع عن مبادئه
وكان دوماً نصيراً للبشرية بلا تفرقة عنصرية من أي نوع

استمر كارل سيجن بيننا بعقل نابغة وقلب طفل
نفس الطفل الصغير الذي كان يتمنى حصوله على لعبة قطار لا يستطيع والده عامل المصنع الفقير توفيرها

وهو الذي علمنا متعة الدهشة
وكيف يمكن للعلم الحقيقي أن يكون مثيراً أكثر مما قد تكون أي حكاية خرافية

الكلام شديد الصعوبة عن هذا الكتاب
فآخر جملة فيه كتبها كارل بينما كان يغوص في آلام مرضه الأخير

"ليس أمامي سوى الأمل"


ما الذي جعلني أقرأ هذا الكتاب الآن لأغرق نفسي في الكآبة
لا أدري
ولكنني على الأقل سأعيد إحياء كارل سيجن بطريقتي وأقرأ مزيداً من الكتب له

سأحاول تجميع شتات نفسي لأكتب مفصلاً عن مقالات الكتاب

Profile Image for Chris.
384 reviews146 followers
March 13, 2014
I am a great fan of Carl Sagan and it is with some sadness that I can recommend this, his last book, only partially. It is a collection of nineteen essays, organized into three mostly unrelated parts. Some items are well worth reading—particularly the last—but some not at all.

Part 1, "The Power and Beauty of Quantification," is merely a simple echo of his famous book Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980). The first chapter on large numbers, from which the "Billions and Billions" of this book's title is taken, is just too basic. Experienced popular science readers should skip this part entirely. Those interested in cosmology, the vastness of space, and the possibility of multiple universes should look instead to Sagan's own classic Cosmos or for the up-to-the minute (and deep) account, see Max Tegmark's Our Mathematical Universe (2014).

Part 2, "What Are Conservatives Conserving," is a series of dated essays covering the relatively new (at the time Sagan was engaged with them in the 1980s and early 1990s) environmental concerns of ozone depletion and global warming. Their outdatedness stems not from any later final solutions, but rather because research has progressed substantially in the last few decades. Another problem is that he links these essays politically to the Carter and Reagan eras, which realistically are too distant for most younger readers. Instead, for an insider's view on global warming politics read Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It (2006). For the science, which despite its over-the-top title is definitive, refer to James Hansen's work from 2009 Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About The Climate Catastrophe And Our Last Chance To Save Humanity. (Hansen is the NASA climate researcher credited for "discovering" global warming.)

Happily, in Part 3, "Where Hearts and Minds Collide," Sagan includes more timeless essays covering the politics of abortion, basic morality, a powerful address at the Gettysburg peace memorial rededication, and a useful look back at the accomplishments of the twentieth century. These display Sagan at his best, and are reminiscent of the sustained intellectual wonder that is his best book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995).

Sagan closes with one of the most affecting short essays I have ever read, "In the Valley of the Shadow," where he recounts his battles over the disease that killed him after he finished Billions and Billions but before it was published. He displays ferocious optimism in his own future, and also for humanity. If nothing else, read this eight-page essay at your local bookstore or online. It will move you as it has countless readers and reviewers.

With great respect, and with an irresistible fantasy, and indeed hope, that he is now in some way out there among the stars, merged with his beloved cosmos, I leave the last word to Carl:

I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.
The world is so exquisite, with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there is little good evidence. Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look Death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.
Profile Image for Jenny GB.
841 reviews3 followers
July 1, 2012
Carl Sagan writes about many topics in this book, but manages to make them all readable and understandable. My favorites are his essays on exponential growth and decay, the universe, and abortion. He really clearly lays out his thoughts and makes hard to understand concepts reachable in science and mathematics. He makes what is probably the most logical argument I have ever read in the abortion debates about our need to decide what makes us human and determine at what point that happens. His short explanation of the history of abortion was enlightening (no, it never used to be a religious issue until recently). His arguments about the need to address global warming and the need to decrease nuclear arms are as timely now as they were 15 years ago. I am sad that our world has lost such a knowledgeable and persuasive man, but I am glad to know he has inspired so many others to follow in his footsteps. The world needs more intellectuals that don't blindly side with party lines, but look at facts and evidence. We need more people to stand up and honestly educate people about what is happening in our world.
Profile Image for Marijan Šiško.
Author 1 book63 followers
May 9, 2017
Posljednja knjiga koju je Sagan napisao prije svoje prerane smrti. U ovom djelu veliki humanist iznosi svoje viđenje nekoliko svjetskih problema, kao i svoju viziju poterncijalnih rješenja. Ražalostolo me zapravo, što se u dva desetljeća otkad je djelo napisano toliko malo pomaklo na bolje. strah, paranoja, iracionalnost, fanaticizam i zatvaranje očiju pred dugotrajnim rješenjima radi kratkotrajne koristi vladaju svijetom više nego ikada. Ima li nade za nas?
Profile Image for Whitney.
98 reviews482 followers
September 16, 2017
I will never tire of reading Carl Sagan's thoughts on anything and everything.

We’ve been here for only about a million years, we, the first species that has devised means for its self-destruction. We are rare and precious because we are alive, because we can think as well as we can. We are privileged to influence and perhaps control our future. I believe we have an obligation to fight for life on Earth—not just for ourselves, but for all those, humans and others, who came before us, and to whom we are beholden, and for all those who, if we are wise enough, will come after. There is no cause more urgent, no dedication more fitting than to protect the future of our species. Nearly all our problems are made by humans and can be solved by humans. No social convention, no political system, no economic hypothesis, no religious dogma is more important.
Profile Image for Olethros.
2,617 reviews428 followers
March 6, 2017
-Un poco de cada cosa, llamada de atención y testamento en muchos sentidos.-

Género. Ensayo (pero “blando”, de divulgación científica).

Lo que nos cuenta. Recopilación de distintos ensayos de la última parte de la producción (y la vida) del autor, divididos en tres bloques distintos que hablan del universo, de las amenazas tanto al ecosistema como a la convivencia internacional y de asuntos mucho más cercanos y personales en el último bloque, incluyendo el propio camino de Sagan hacia el final de sus días.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

Profile Image for Santhosh.
128 reviews152 followers
January 3, 2016
The core premise of Sagan's final book is, to paraphrase an old Native American saying, "We have not inherited the Earth from our ancestors, but have borrowed it from our children." So stop the F screwing it up.

Presented as 3 parts of 19 essays in total, some of the essays, especially in the first part, are similar to the material he covered in Cosmos: cosmology and the vastness of space, our history as a species, general physics, life outside Earth. Some of the other essays are about then emerging discoveries of our effect on nature such as global warming, the ozone depletion, deforestation, and fossil fuels. Sagan does what he does best in these pieces: explain in the common tongue how the entire setup is set up, what are the various set pieces in it and their roles, and how what we're doing is causing whatever it is that's happening. Though these essays were written in the 80's and 90's and so might come across as a bit dated, they do cause some serious introspection and a poignant reminder on how much we have actually NOT progressed in dealing with and controlling them.

There is an absolutely brilliant essay on the abortion debate between pro-choice and pro-life, which I think covers almost all points on either side while also clinically arriving at a practical and workable answer. A few of the essays do end up being dated, where he exhorts the need to end the cold war between the Soviet and USA, and urges everyone to stop the madness that was the nuclear race. The final essay, "In the Valley of the Shadow," where he recounts his battles over the disease that eventually killed him, is so simple and beautifully written that it is both positive and haunting.

Throughout the book, though, as always with Sagan, what does come across is his child-like love and wonder for science and nature, and his enthusiasm in talking about what he loves.

In the last words of Sagan himself, I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. I want to grow really old with my wife, Annie, whom I dearly love. I want to see my younger children grow up and to play a role in their character and intellectual development. I want to meet still unconceived grandchildren. There are scientific problems whose outcomes I long to witness—such as the exploration of many of the worlds in our Solar System and the search for life elsewhere. I want to learn how major trends in human history, both hopeful and worrisome, work themselves out: the dangers and promise of our technology, say; the emancipation of women; the growing political, economic, and technological ascendancy of China; interstellar flight. If there were life after death, I might, no matter when I die, satisfy most of these deep curiosities and longings. But if death is nothing more than an endless dreamless sleep, this is a forlorn hope. Maybe this perspective has given me a little extra motivation to stay alive. The world is so exquisite, with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look Death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.
Profile Image for Jorge Zuluaga.
282 reviews294 followers
February 5, 2021
Recordaré siempre a "Miles de millones" como la triste historia del fin de Carl Sagan.

Es obvio que este no es un libro autobiográfico (seguro lo saben si leyeron la descripción) pero al tratarse de los últimos ensayos del científico que inspiro a una o dos generaciones a mirar con una sensibilidad mucho más amplia al Universo afuera y alrededor nuestro, no puedes dejar de pensar en él libro como una especie de despedida. Cada ensayo podría subtitularse "lo último que Sagan escribió sobre...".

Este es el segundo libro que leo completo de Sagan, quien ha sido para mí desde que tengo uso de razón, un ídolo intelectual, profesional y humano. Pero no me culpen. Sagan es de esos autores que todos decimos conocer, pero que en realidad no hemos leído lo suficiente.

Lo mejor del libro: la diversidad de temas y de aproximaciones, una de los más queridos atributos de Sagan.

En Miles de Millones encontrarás desde pequeños ensayos anecdóticos ("Miles de millones") o didácticos ("El ajedrez persa", "El mundo que llego por correo", "Las reglas del juego"), pasando por una mirada al futuro de las grandes preguntas de la astronomía, la búsqueda de vida en el universo o
la exploración del sistema solar ("Cuatro preguntas cósmicas", "Tantos soles, tantos mundos"); hasta llegar a los temas que más preocuparon a Sagan durante su vida, la amenaza de un enfrentamiento nuclear suicida ("El enemigo común"), la degradación del medio ambiente ("Falta un pedazo de cielo", "Emboscada: el calentamiento del mundo", "Huir de la emboscada") y la relación de la ciencia y la religión ("Religión y ciencia, una alianza").

De todos los ensayos tres me impactaron particularmente: "El mundo que llego por correo", que creo es un ensayo que deberían leer todos los maestros de la educación básica con sus estudiantes; una verdadera lección sobre la fragilidad del Planeta. "Religión y ciencia: una alianza", una aproximación espectacular a la relación entre la ciencia y la naturaleza, marcada históricamente por la religión y de la manera como ambas, ciencia y religión podrían cooperar para hallar una salida a los problemas que enfrenta el planeta. Y finalmente "Aborto: ¿es posible tomar al mismo tiempo partido por 'la vida' y 'la elección'?", un ensayo escrito a dos manos con la también increíble Ann Druyan (su segunda esposa), en la que aborda un tema muy "peliagudo" (pero todavía de gran actualidad) desde distintas perspectivas, científicas y morales. ¿Cuándo esperarías leer un artículo de Sagan con su esposa sobre el Aborto? Aquí lo tienen ¡y es genial! (genialmente inconcluso).

Los últimos dos capítulos duelen.

El penúltimo ("En el Valle de las Sombras"), escrito por Sagan, describe el descubrimiento de su enfermedad en 1994 (una "mielodisplasia", extraña enfermedad emparentada con el cáncer y que afectaba su sangre) y sus pensamientos y sentimientos frente a una condición sin reversa y que se lo llevo en tan solo 2 años.

El último ("Epílogo"), y el más duro, cuenta la historia, desde la perspectiva de su esposa, Ann Druyan de esos últimos años o meses de Sagan, pero también del inicio de su espectacular relación.

Sagan ha muerto. ¡Larga vida a sus libros!
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,173 reviews421 followers
October 14, 2022
First it was Ann Druyan’s bittersweet epilogue, and then the very next page Carl’s unfinished acknowledgements began with his words to Annie: “I want to be like you when I grow up.”

*wipes tear*
Profile Image for Paul Martin.
37 reviews29 followers
June 25, 2015
Six times now have I looked Death in the face. And six times Death has averted his gaze and let me pass. Eventually, of course, Death will claim me - as he does each of us. It's only a question of when. And how.

I've learned much from our confrontations - especially about the beauty and sweet poignancy of life, about the preciousness of friends and family, and about the transforming power of love. In fact, almost dying is such a positive, character-building experience that I'd recommend it to everybody - except, of course, for the irreducible and essential element of risk.

The world is so exquisite , with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look Death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.

Profile Image for Zhraa زهراء.
355 reviews204 followers
June 8, 2022
اسم حساب معجبي كارل ساجان على موقع انستاغرام -والتي يبلغ عدد متابعيه حوالي المائة ألف- هو "الساجانية "
حسنا ...مصطلح الساجانية معبر جدا ، وخلال جولتي في الكتاب لم يفارق رأسي

تسألني ما معناها؟

لنقرأ معا بنود الساجانية :
كوكبنا لا يتجزأ؛ ففي أمريكا الشمالية نتفس الاكسجين الناتج من الغابات الممطرة في البرازيل ، والماء الحمضي من الصناعات الملوثة للبيئة في وسط غرب الولايات المتحدة يدمر الغابات الكندية ، والنشاط الاشعاعي الناجم عن الحادث النووي في اوكرانيا يعرض اقتصاد وثقافة لابلاند للخطر ، وحرق الفحم في الصين يرفع الحرارة في الارجنتين ، والكلوروفلوروكاربونات الناتجة من أجهزة التكييف في نيوفاولاند تساهم في إحداث إصابات بسرطان الجلد في نيوزلاند ، والامراض سريعة الانتشار في الشرق الاقصى تنطلق في العالم كله وتتطلب جهدا طبيا عالميا لاستئصالها. وبالطبع فان الحرب النووية واصطدام كويكب بالارض يعرض الجميع للخطر.
وأيا يكن رأيك ،فإننا نحن البشر مرتبطون برفاقنا، وبالنباتات الاخرى والحيوانات في العالم كله، وحياتنا جميعا مجدولة بشكل مشترك.

ليس لأي جنس ضمان ملكية على هذا الكوكب ،ونحن هنا منذ نحو مليون سنة فقط، ونحن أول جنس ابتكر وسائل لتدمير نفسه، ونحن نادرون وأعزاء لأننا أحياء، ولأنه يمكننا التفكير بشكل جيد بقدر ما في استطاعتنا. ولدينا امتياز التأثير على مستقبلنا وربما السيطرة عليه، وأعتقد أننا مضطرون للدفاع عن الحياة على الأرض، ليس فقط للدفاع عن أنفسنا ، ولكن أيضا عن كل هؤلاء البشر والآخرين ،الذين أتو قبلنا والذين ندين لهم بالفضل ،ولكل هؤلاء الذين سيأتون بعدنا، إذا توافر لدينا ما يكفي من الحكمة .ولا يوجد واجب أكثر إلحاحا ولا تفان أكثر ملاءمة من حماية مستقبل جنسنا. وكل مشاكلنا تقريبا ناتجة عن البشر ويمكن أن يحلها البشر. وليس هناك ميثاق اجتماعي ولا نظام سياسي ولا افتراضات اقتصادية ،ولا عقيدة دينية أهم من ذلك.

ربما هناك نوع من الجانب المشرق لمحنة المشاكل البيئية العالمية، لأنها ترغمنا، طوعا او كرها ،مهما كنا كارهين لذلك، على نوع جديد من التفكير ،حيث بطريقة أو بأخرى يأخذ صالح الجنس البشري أسبقية عن المصالح القومية ومصالح الشركات .ونصبح جنسا واحدا حين يجد الجد.

لا معنى لعقيدة الحرية إذا كانت حريتنا الخاصة هي التي تهمنا، الناس في أماكن أخرى يصيحون: "لا ضرائب بدون تمثيل نيابي " وفي غربي وشرقي أفريقيا أو في الضفة الغربية من نهر الاردن او في اوربا الشرقية، او في امريكا الوسطى ،يصيحون بأعداد متزايدة "أعطونا الحرية او الموت"، لماذا نعجز عن سماع أغلبهم ؟ لدينا نحن الامريكيين وسائل إقناع قوية غير عنيفة متاحة لنا ،لماذا لا نستخدم هذه الوسائل؟

"بلا حقد تجاه أي احد، وبالمحبة من أجل الجميع " فكر في مايعني�� ذلك . هذا هو المتوقع منا، ليس لمجرد أن أخلاقنا تأمرنا به، ولأن أدياننا تعظ به ،لكن لأنه ضروري لبقاء البشر.
نحتاج الى ما هو اكثر من التعاطف السنوي، ما هو أكثر من ولاء ووطنية الاعياد، وعندما يكون ذلك ضروريا، يجب ان نواجه ونتحدى الحكمة التقليدية . حان الوقت لنتعلم من الذين سقطوا هنا، والتحدي الذي يواجهنا هو أن نسوي الخلافات، ليس بعد المذبحة والقتل الجماعي ، ولكن بدلا من المذبحة والقتل الجماعي . حان الوقت لكي ننطلق لنتعانق معا.

عندما تغمرنا الشكوك في طيبة الدافع البشري، يتمثل طوق نجاتنا في تذكر مدى انتشار الطيبة .

دعونا نتنافس في التوصل إلى طرق لعكس اتجاه سباق التسلح النووي وللتخفيض الضخم من القوات التقليدية ،مع التخلص من الفساد الحكومي، في أن نجعل أغلب العالم مكتفيا ذاتيا من الناحية الزراعية .نتافس في الفن والعلم وفي الموسيقى والادب وفي الابتكارات التقنية . فليكن سباقنا أمينا. دعونا نتافس في التخفيف من الالم والجهل والمرض، وفي احترام الاستقلال القومي على مستوى العالم ،في صياغة وتحقيق علم أخلاق لوكالتنا المسؤولة عن كوكب الارض.

هل عرفت ما هي الساجانية الان؟
الساجانية تعني التفاؤل ، والتجرد من الأنانية ، شعارها الولاء للجنس البشري لا لفئة محدودة منه، حب الخير للكل، والسعي للسلام .

هذا هو كارل ساجان..
تخنقني العبرة بمجرد قراءتي لتلك الاقتباسات ، لاأعرف ان كنت أبالغ ،وأعلم ان كارل ساجان ليس أول انسان نقي جاء بهكذا أفكار وروح شفافة عطرة في التاريخ، أعلم انه ليس الأول وليس الأخير ، وربما وجد من هو أكثر منه "ساجانية" لكن..

لكنه المفضل..
Profile Image for Mark.
181 reviews21 followers
December 26, 2015
Sagan is eloquent as always. It helps even more to read it out loud to yourself, (muttering lest someone observe) and make up a Sagan accent as you go. He takes a gentle hand, which I think bespeaks desperation in his last years, his last chance to nudge the ball forward amidst tangible fear that forceful will be deemed strident, erudite will sound preachy, and warning the bitter rantings of an old Cassandra. Carl knows he's on the losing team, he loves humanity, and deeply fears our suicide by institutional stupidity, the tragedy of the commons, and Tainter's unwindable commitment to technological complexity beyond the point of diminishing returns.

Stale stuff, understood by all in my echo chamber, thus barely worth repeating, maybe. But still, he is gone now, the gentle Lorax of our times, replaced by a stronger, similarly poetic champion (Neil) who has taken up the lance, but the windmill doesn't look worried.

I am. I am in arguments I can't win. I lose faith. Like Carl, I fear I cannot push on the rudder enough to effect any change in course. Do you know the thing about Cassandra? ...about all her whining doom-laden prognoses?

She was right. That's the punch line.

Sagan used that and the similar story of Croesus (rich as...) who asked the Oracle at Delphi what would happen if he invaded Persia. He got back the answer: "you will destroy a great empire." He did, but it was his own empire that got destroyed. As leaders with an agenda are wont to do, he listened carefully with an ear tuned to hear what he wanted, and he heard it. That's you, Mr. Cruz, unless you subscribe to the yet more devlish code of knowing the truth and nevertheless perverting it to your will. For your sake I hope you're just stupid, not flatly evil.

I'm afraid I don't think you're stupid.
Profile Image for Bakari.
Author 2 books41 followers
June 28, 2010
This is I think Carl Sagan's last published book, published in 1996. His chapter/essay, entitled "The Twentieth Century," is one of the most insightful summaries of what the universe is that I ever read. Well, maybe not the most insightful, but surely in the top three:

"Perhaps the most wrenching by-product of the scientific revolution has been to render untenable many of our most cherished and most comforting beliefs. The tidy anthropocentric proscenium of our ancestors has been replaced by a cold, immense, indifferent Universe in which humans are relegated to obscurity. But I see the mergence in our consciousness of a Universe of a magnificence, and an intricate, elegant order far beyond anything our ancestors imagined. And if much about the Universe can be understood in terms of a few simple laws of Nature, those wishing to believe in God can certainly ascribe those beautiful laws to a Reason underpinning all of Nature. My own view is that it is far better to understand the Universe as it really is than to pretend to a Universe as we might wish it be."

Just think if this were the type of book students actually studied in school and their parents studied in churches? Nuf said.

Profile Image for Rami Hamze.
317 reviews21 followers
August 3, 2019
Series of articles by the brilliant Carl Sagan in his last book on topics such as humanity, the universe, religion, love and death

i rate this book 3 stars, and a fourth star is just for Carl Sagan as a human who i look up to as the best cosmic citizen ever lived. every sentence i read i imagined from his "cosmos" voice and smile. who else could touch on all topics of science, math, religion, love and emotions in one discussion and reach all levels of people?

last chapter "In the valley of the shadow" he wrote about death in general and his death experience in particular during his sickness just 2 months before his death. very touching, very human. had we had more people like him, the world and even the universe would have been a better place

quoting him: "I looked death in the face 6 times, and six times death averted his gaze and let me pass... from our confrontations i have learned a lot about beauty of life, love, friends and family... Almost dying is such a positive experience i would recommend to everybody"
Profile Image for Emiliya Bozhilova.
1,256 reviews185 followers
April 5, 2021
Препоръчвам "Космос" на Карл Сейгън. Тя илюстрира най-добре идеите му за единен свят и вселена, където прогресът е неделима човешка черта, и същевременно разгръща доста концепции и факти от астрономията, физиката и историята.

Настоящото заглавие е още от същото, в по-лека версия, и нямаше особено много нови моменти.
Profile Image for Ross Blocher.
429 reviews1,376 followers
September 9, 2022
Carl Sagan is always a delight to read: he's warm and humane first and foremost, but equally committed to teaching and promoting the scientific view of the world. Billions & Billions isn't about any one thing, but each chapter presents an interesting reflection on a science topic and often how it relates to public life. The book was published posthumously, the year following Sagan's death in 1996, after losing a battle with myelodysplasia (a disease affecting red blood cell production). He talks about his rapidly declining health in this book, and his wife Ann Druyan concludes for him with a lovely tribute to Sagan's life and their relationship. She also emphasizes that Carl Sagan did not have a "death bed conversion", despite rumors by hopeful (but misguided) Christians.

The title of the book is tongue-in-cheek, as Sagan wants us to know that, just as Rick never said "Play it again, Sam" in Casablanca, he never once uttered the phrase "Billions and Billions" in his famous series Cosmos. While he did emphasize his B's to distinguish Billions from millions, it was late-night host Johnny Carson who parodied this as "Billions and Billions", which emBedded itself in everBody's Brains. He thought it was a ridiculous phrase, and took umbrage when people asked him to repeat it for them... until he learned to find some humor in the confusion. Never one to miss an educational opportunity, Sagan offers some perspective about how increasingly large numbers - from thousands to millions to billions - have become increasingly relevant in describing everything from stars to cells to national budgets. He prepares us for the next relevant scale: trillions.

As I mentioned, Sagan jumps around a bit. There's a conversation about sports, and then one about waves and frequencies and how their interactions translate into what we see and hear. There's a chapter about the formation of solar systems and stars, and another about raising brine shrimp (or sea monkeys, though I don't think he uses either moniker). He doesn't shrink away from tough topics, though. Sagan transitions into insightful chapters on gun control, global warming (excellent commentary), extinction, ozone depletion (the best thing I've read on the topic), energy independence, and even the abortion debate. I just happened to read that chapter, which he co-wrote with Ann Druyan as an article in 1990, right as news came out about the Supreme Court striking down Roe vs. Wade. I was impressed with its care and sense of fairness, as Sagan and Druyan worked to find a way to thread the needle between being both pro-life and pro-choice while also being informed by what science tells us. The science hasn't changed, and the article/chapter remains relevant. You can read that here.

Sagan writes hopefully about how religions can come together to support good science and policy, and how game theory can inform our interactions. He shares a speech he gave at Gettysburg about the danger of nuclear proliferation. There's a chapter about how unsophisticated the medical profession was until the mid-1900s, and another extolling the various wonders that the scientific enterprise has brought us. Billions & Billions is a wonderful collection of parting thoughts, warnings and encouragements from one of the world's greatest science communicators.
Profile Image for fatma.
54 reviews
November 26, 2013
كتاب رائع مهما خالفت معتقداتك افكار كارل ساجان لاتستطيع الا ان تحترمه وتحب فيه انسانيته وشغفه بالعلم وبتوعية الآخرين..الكتاب رائع والمقالات جدا مؤثرة تأخذك الى مستوى مختلف تماما من الوعي والشعور بالمسؤلية حول كوكب الارض وتأثيرنا فيه كبشر ..وينبهك الى خطورة الاسلحة النووية وكيف ان وجودها يمسنا بشكل شخصي ومباشر..اما نهاية الكتاب فقد كانت شديدة التأثير وموجعة حيث تصدمك بفكرة المرض والموت والجدوى من الحياة وقيمة الحب بمواقف من حياة الكاتب نفسه الذي فارق الحياة .. كارل ساجان مازال يضيء عقول الآخرين حتى بعد ان غادر
Profile Image for Schuyler.
208 reviews62 followers
May 27, 2009
Sagan can be a little repetitive but that doesn't mean his words carry no less value. The chapter on abortion is worth your time if you've ever been even mildly divided on the issue, which you should be. Also, I teared up on the bus reading In The Valley of the Shadow, which documents Sagan's fatal battle with myelodysplastic syndrome.
Profile Image for Nathan.
98 reviews11 followers
September 1, 2015
What a great book. It was well written and really touched on a variety of different topics. Though it is dated now, I still feel that I gained a lot by reading it. And the last two chapters where he talked about his disease and views on death really struck deep with me.
Profile Image for Wyatt.
46 reviews
March 14, 2020
Wow. That was nothing short of beautiful. Sagan begins with a little introduction about the long misinterpreted understanding of who really said “Billions and Billions” and now he chooses what was a misconception or humorous parody of him to be the title of his last book. This is a way of him ending his legacy on a note of “thank you for remembering me”. Sagan then talks numbers for a little while to really show how small the big things are or how easily and quickly we can reach them. Once we are grounded to the pale blue dot, he begins talking about his journey through life and his humble guide: science. We are given various interesting scientific facts but the majority of his writing is spent discussing his philosophies and political views in regards to popular topics such as: climate change, abortion, religion, ethics and war. I really enjoyed learning about Sagan and his point of view and whilst doing so felt a connection with him. This is the reason that the ending hit me so hard. I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed a few tears in the last couple chapters of this book. All is revealed when he tells you that he is writing from his hospital bed and is essentially not ready but accepting of his fate. He takes death like a true scientific thinker, never wielding to spiritual safety but rather accepting life for what it is. The book ends with a letter from his wife as she recalls the first time she met Carl, the legacy they built together and being by his bedside when he left. I’m still in the process of accepting that he’s really gone, he would’ve been an amazing person to meet but we can keep him alive by reading his books and staying skeptical about the world we live in and never surrendering to an easy answer but rather seeking what is real and what is true.

If you choose to read this book (which I hope you do) I want to warn you that the structure might deceive you at first because you might be wondering where he is going with his seemingly random topics and this might push you away in the beginning but if you think of this book not as a science book or book trying to say something in particular but rather a journal of someone who is about to die, it will all read a lot more smoothly. If you’re a science enthusiast I highly recommend checking this out!
Profile Image for Dan.
1,104 reviews52 followers
November 16, 2021
Billions and Billions by Carl Sagan

Here are some notes I took while reading this book which was published posthumously in 1997. It was the last book that Sagan wrote before his death in 1996. The content admittedly covers a very wide range of science conundrums facing humanity.

Archimedes is said to have come up with scientific notation in the 3rd century B.C.

Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard in came up with the concept of a nuclear chain reaction in 1933. He quickly calculated that a few pounds of nuclear material if employed in a fission device could generate enough energy to destroy an entire city.

For visible light, the electromagnetic waves hit our eyes at 600 trillion waves per second.

Sagan goes through the chemical equation that gives rise to chlorofluorocarbons and creates ozone holes in our atmosphere. It is largely driven by the fact that a single chlorine atom can interact (over time) with millions of ozone molecules to convert them to oxygen and create the holes.

In combusting a carbon atom (found in fossil fuel) we need oxygen which creates energy and creates a CO2 molecule which contributes to the greenhouse effect. Earth's average temperature is about 55 degrees F and without CO2 it would be -4 degrees F. The problem is with the increase of a few degrees in a few decades that this disrupts the planet and gives the world's living creatures no time to adapt.

Sagan was a huge proponent of investing in solar power.

The Catholic Church from the Council of Vienna in 1312 did not consider abortion to be a sin if conducted in the first trimester.

Approximately 40,000 children die each day globally due to effects of starvation. There are approximately 100,000 global abortions each day.

4 stars. Not his best work but it is still Sagan and thought provoking.
Profile Image for Jaque.
8 reviews15 followers
August 16, 2021
O livro é incrível em toda a sua análise científica, como esperado em qualquer obra de Sagan, mas desta vez tenho que comentar o "lado emocional" do capítulo final.

(Pequeno spoiler a partir daqui)

Eu realmente não esperava um último capítulo tão impactante, ele literalmente me levou às lágrimas, provavelmente por um questão mais pessoal minha: eu admito que ainda não sei lidar com a morte e ter lido este livro em 2021, com sua presença tão constante por conta da pandemia, teve um gosto ainda mais amargo.
No ano em que eu nascia, Carl Sagan descobria uma grave doença que o levaria à morte dois anos depois.

O primeiro "contato" que tive com alguma obra de Sagan foi há cerca de 10 anos, através da série "Cosmos". Foi certamente uma série que ajudou a inspirar em mim o amor pela ciência e direcionou meu olhar para as estrelas.
Com Carl aprendi que não são necessárias superstições para ver beleza no mundo, na vida... Ela está em toda a parte: nas leis que regem o universo, na complexidade molecular da vida, no amor singelo de duas pessoas que compartilham esse precioso instante que é a vida.
Carl vive na marca deixada em cada um que ele inspirou, inclusive em mim.
Profile Image for Jim Razinha.
1,260 reviews61 followers
February 8, 2023
This falls into the Books I Should Have Read Already category, although it could also be in the Small Stacks of Found Books one because I did find it at a used bookstore while looking for something else.

Sagan covered a lot, in his very accessible way, and a reader might get an impression that he ran out of time, which of course, he did. I’ll not summarize here but I will share a few notes I made and observations I flagged... I do want to point out that even good thinkers like Sagan make mistakes; he attributed something to Hitler that Hitler never said. That it was passed around the ether before this book is still no excuse. Because of that, I had to check the Rudolf Hess quote that preceded it, which was more or less the English translation for what Hess did say in 1934.

On language and communication
Ethnocentrism - the idea that our little group, no matter which one it is, is better than any other - and xenophobia - a “shoot first, ask questions later” fear of strangers -are deeply built into us. They are by no means peculiarly human; all our monkey and ape cousins behave similarly, as do many other mammals. These attitudes are at east aided and abetted by the short distance over which speech is possible.
Some humans, and human mimics, have a hard time with that simple fact that we are genetically still rather primitive. Aggression and fear of others is sadly normal.

On the environment
The worse the catastrophe is, the harder it is to keep our balance. We want so badly to either ignore it utterly or to devote all our resources to circumventing it.
Hard truth boiled down to a simple dichotomy. And on the predictions of climate change, for the ignorant “ideologically driven radio talk-show hosts [and wrongwing politicians and media] who insist that the greenhouse effect is a ‘hoax.’”To roughly quote Richard Dawkins, it’s science b*itches! He notes “Considering hw contentious the scientific community is, it is notable that not a single paper is offered claiming that depletion of the ozone layer or global warming are snares and delusions or that global warming is considerably less than the estimated 1 to 4 C for a doubling in the carbon dioxide abundance.” Well, no legitimate scientific peer-reviewed paper - there is a host of cottage industry trolls masquerading as scientists that have cropped up since Sagan’s death spewing gibberish that is eaten up by the wrongwing.

I’d forgotten that the first truly horrendous president of my adulthood, Reagan, had the solar-thermal converter taken off the White House roof. Sagan observes “It was somehow ideologically offensive.” Idiot (not Sagan, of course.) And now the administration of 2017 is bent on rolling back all environmental progress of the last 100 years. Ideological offense has something to do with it, as does lining the pockets of the billionaire cronies. (I should add that maybe solar panels on the roof of a historic landmark building aren't in keeping with the right aesthetic.)

An uncomfortable truth, Sagan, after noting the annexations and occupations of the Soviet Union, turned to the United States
Excluding World Wars and expeditions to suppress piracy or the slave trade, the United States has made [as of 1996] armed invasions and interventions in other countries on more than 130 separate occasions, including China (on 18 separate occasions), Mexico (13), Nicaragua and Panama (9 each), Honduras (7), Columbia and Turkey (6 each), the Dominican Republic, Korea, and Japan (5 each), Argentina, Cuba, Haiti, the Kingdom of Hawaii, and Samoa (4 each), Uruguay and Fiji (3 each), Guatemala, Lebanon, the Soviet Union, and Sumatra (2 each), Grenada, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Chile, Morocco, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Syria, Iraq, Peru, Formosa, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
Add Iraq again, Afghanistan, Syria again, Somalia, and I don't know how many more. Those data came from records of the House Armed Services Committee. We're not clean and never have been.

He talks about abortion and opens "The issue had been decided years ago. The court had chosen the middle ground, You'd think the fight was over." ... well, actually... far from. He'd likely not be surprised, and still somehow remain optimistic.

Ann wrote a heart-tugging epilogue that if you aren't moved after reading, well, you're not human.

I should have read this long ago - I had an unread copy that was lost to a fire. Life's too short to keep making that mistake. I do believe I'll revisit Demon Haunted World this year...we'll see.
Profile Image for Marius Greblikas.
160 reviews7 followers
September 14, 2020
Aš taip ir nesiprantu, kas mane traukia tokiose knygose, bet kai jas skaitau, mano smegenys sproginėja ir aš nieko negaliu padaryti ir tai yra nenusakomas malonumas. Kai knyga tau suteikia erdvę mąstyti ir toliau domėti plėsti savo suvokimo ribas, tuomet knyga atlieka savo darbą. Visos šio autoriaus knygos parašyto 20 metų atgal, bet tokios aktualios šiandien, kad net kartai atrodo jis turėjo keliauti laiku, nes taip pataikyti ir nuspėti ateitį neįmanoma ...
Profile Image for Juan Camilo Vélez Johnson.
36 reviews10 followers
April 14, 2021
Este libro se queda grabado en mi memoria como una grandiosa tertulia. Una conversación ñoña de esas que me gustan porque les aclaro que aún no defino que me gusta más sobre el mundo de la lectura. No sé si me gusta más comprar libros, leerlos o hablar de lo leído. Creo que esas tres aristas son mi gran pasión alrededor del bonito acto de leer.

Lo primero que quiero poner en claro sobre mi lectura de Carl Sagan es que es una de las mentes más brillantes que jamás he leído. Pero su profunda inteligencia es amplificada totalmente por su habilidad para comunicarse, por su capacidad para transmitir de manera transmedial sus ideas y esa combinación tan escasa merece la atención del mundo. (Si quiera hicieron los de NatGeo la serie Cosmos con las ideas de Sagan, más que justo, necesario).

En este libro uno puede ver lo adelantado a su época que estaba Carl Sagan. Es impresionante cómo un científico de esta naturaleza tiene la sensibilidad para hablar de la protección de nuestro planeta, del cambio climático y hasta de religión. Su empatía por la especie y por la naturaleza es única y este compilado de ensayos, que se pueden leer en desorden sin ningún problema son una excelente evidencia.

Un dato es que mientras leía Miles de millones también estaba terminando mi tediosa lectura de Colapso, (lo de tediosa lo explico mejor en mi reseña aquí) y fue increíble ver cómo Carl Sagan casi 10 años atrás (perdón si no soy preciso) ya hablaba con bastante más concreción y mejor poder de divulgación de las ideas que Jared Diamond ya iba a compartir en su seriado de libros sobre las sociedades humanas.

Si usted es como yo que le gustan las frases y las citas poderosas este libro es un super destino para nutrirse de ellas. Seguro te llamará la atención tanto las citas que puedes subrayar del texto escrito por Sagan como las citas con las que él mismo inicia cada ensayo. Son citas clásicas, de escritores antiguos que hacen gala y sincronía perfecta con la temática a desarrollar. Nos preguntábamos cómo hacía Sagan sin Google y sin recursos de internet para encontrar citas tan potentes para cada uno de sus ensayos. Seguro leía mucho y seguro tenía un sistema de toma de notas brutal. Ojalá algún día tener ese mecanismo para encontrar tantas frases subrayadas en todos mis libros.

Cierro esta reseña con los criterios que recomiendo que el lector debe cumplir antes de emprender esta corta y sustanciosa lectura. Una de las cosas que me gustaría encontrar en las reseñas que leo es si soy candidato o no a leer un libro particular, por eso me daré a la tarea a futuro de escribir lo que pienso se necesita para leer mis libros reseñados.

Miles de Millones es un libro para personas con uno o más de los siguientes criterios:
- No científicos con interés en temas científicos.
- Curiosidad por diferentes fenómenos culturales, políticos y naturales.
- Pasión por las citas, frases y quotes de todo tipo.
- Interés por el cuidado del planeta.
- Interés por el origen y evolución del universo.
- Gusto por lecturas cortas.
- Admiración por la obra de Carl Sagan.
Profile Image for Rithu Chillal.
17 reviews2 followers
January 3, 2019
I first became enthralled by Sagan at age fourteen when I discovered my dad's copy of Cosmos. Eighteen years later, I finally decided to read this one. I can't remember the last time, if ever, I've teared up at the end of a non-fiction book. The more I read of Sagan and his work, the more I'm humbled and impressed by not only his scope of technical knowledge of the Universe (I appreciate his use of capitalization) but his complete reverence for it.

In this book, this reverence flows down to the Universe's constituents; he shows such empathy and awareness for women (recognizing the tremendous benefits the world would have if they were equally represented in social and political spheres), the poor and oppressed (who suffer the most when our technological endeavors, however noble and beneficial, go awry), and practically pleads everyone in power (and those who put them there) to consider the long-term picture.

Sagan was truly ahead of his time and I wonder what he would make about the state of affairs today, both positive and negative. He would be sorely disappointed by the rampant attack on science and facts, but he would be thrilled at the number of women in the House and Senate compared to the 1990s. He would be horrified over the degradation of our oceans and subsequently our entire ecosystem, but would be excited beyond measure at nanotechnology.

In this book Sagan does go into detail about all the implications of climate change - explaining how if the tiniest microorganisms are wiped out, the step-by-step effects would be disastrous. First it's the plankton, then the fish who feed on the plankton, the animals who feed on the fish, and so forth. This section of the book is incredibly informative and encompassing. Yet Sagan (like many of us) is baffled by how unmoved policymakers are by clear facts.

His vision, wonder and curiosity about the Universe parallel my own so strongly. In this day and age, diving into his books is comforting - both escapist and inspiring. His wife Ann's emotional epilogue describes the last stages of Carl's life and how they both came to terms with it lovingly and peacefully.

I would encourage anyone interested in astronomy/science/technology combined with philosophy/ethics to read this book. Or anyone who has an insatiable sense of wonder about the Universe, or simply needs to feel inspired and hopeful about the world. It's difficult to not feel defeatist with the way our world is heading (and Sagan points this out). The world lost a luminary when Carl Sagan died, but his legacy lives on.
10 reviews
July 13, 2009
Written at the end of his life and published with an post script illuminating his unsuccessful battle with myelodysplasia, as well as a touching epilogue by his widow Ann Druyan. The book starts out with a kind of fleshing-out of humanity by its numbers, things like human population and resource usage and the age of the species are all implicitly synthesized into a description of people by very large numbers. It then touches on social and environmental issues, how people react to them, and what kind of things we do right and wrong when faced with science versus our comfortable beliefs about the planet. There's an essay in which Sagan and Druyan lay out a compromise position on abortion which is based in science and objective facts that neither polar side of the debate should reject. Talk is made about the possibility of a catastrophe from space, and what it'd mean for life on Earth. He writes about the richness of human experience through art, religion, and especially science. The costs and causes of war are explored. There's the almost obligatory devotion to one of Sagan's favorite subjects, the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

The impression one gets throughout the whole book, no matter the subject of the text or the personal opinion of the reader, is the totally infectious nature of Sagan's awe and curiosity about the world in which we live, and even more about the Universe in which the world turns. His talent for phrasing can take something you thought was mundane and spin it into a profound insight, stirring the mind to make old ideas brand new, or crystallize into everyday life something mentioned in passing during highschool physics. With Carl Sagan's pen guiding the reader, fascination is nearly guaranteed.
Profile Image for Gendou.
585 reviews261 followers
January 25, 2022
This book was a real let down. It starts off with with pleasant rambling; like hanging out with stoned Sagan at a party. Then it devolves into a sob story about climate change and war.

When discussing climate change, Sagan takes an irrationally anti-nuclear stance. He proposes we just plant trees to take up CO2, which isn't a solution. He also suggests covering the US with wind farms, but this isn't a solution, either.

Then there's the chapter about that cozies up to religion as though to win it over as as an ally to progressive values. Religion is not and will never will be an ally in this way. This is what the kids call simping.

Then he goes on in the next chapter to simp for the USSR. In doing so he gets quite anti-American and even misanthropic.

Then the next chapter is about abortion... and it's just as bad. He non-ironically uses the concept of "ensoulment" and seems never to have heard of the argument from personal autonomy.

I love Sagan more than anyone. But this book is a middle finger to reason, a capitulating cuckoldry of liberal values, and an ass-backwards approach to solving social problems.

Nobody should read it. We should bury it.
Profile Image for Arthur Novaes.
9 reviews
February 1, 2022
Esse livro é um conjunto de ensaios escritos pelo Carl Sagan no decorrer de sua vida. A primeira parte pode ser um pouco chata pra quem já assistiu Cosmos ou conhece mais sobre ciência, só que conforme o autor vai entrando mais afundo nas discussões o seu lado genial vai aparecendo.
Recomendo muito o capítulo sobre aborto, assunto muito bem abordado em que ele faz suas críticas e depois analisa objetivamente do que se trata de verdade esse debate.
O último capítulo é emocionante pois ele fala da sua batalha contra a doença que posteriormente viria a mata-lo, ele finaliza de forma otimista mas a gente fica com uma melancolia por sua morte.
É um livro muito interessante para entender o ponto de vista dele sobre vários assuntos pertinentes, uma mente brilhante com certeza.

Obs: se tiver a oportunidade em alguma biblioteca dê uma chance e leia o último capítulo, vai valer muito a pena.
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Profile Image for Fulya İçöz.
405 reviews147 followers
September 5, 2016
Carl Sagan en sevdiğim bilim insanıdır. Onun gökbilim için yaptıkları, insanın geleceği için kaygıları, evrenin gizemini çözmek için yanıp tutuşan kalbi beni her zaman derinden etkilemiştir. Daha önce Karanlık Bir Dünyada Bilimin Mum Işığı kitabını okuduğum için bu kitabı onunla kıyaslıyorum haliyle. Karanlık Bir Dünyada... bu kitaba göre daha derli toplu ve daha tematikti. Bu kitap ise daha dağınık ve takip etmesi dolayısıyla daha zor bir derleme. En fazla kürtajla ilgili olan makaleyi sevdiğimi söyleyebilirim. Ancak Sagan, yine bir bilim insanının olması gerektiği gibi tarafsızlığı elden bırakmadan, elindeki durumu verilere dayanarak ve çok yönlü düşünerek yansıtıyor tüm makalelerde.
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