John Strubhart's Reviews > Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium

Billions & Billions by Carl Sagan
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it was amazing

Thought Provoking and Inspirational

Carl Sagan's last book inspires, provokes, entertains and informs. Although much of the material is dated, each article has a theme that is much more important than the information it contains, and not at all dated. How should we approach the questions of abortion, climate change, military spending, the threat of nuclear war, faith, reason, education, equality, politics, love, life and death? Carl has been my inspiration since 1980. I can't see a day when his musings won't inspire me. While Carl is my hero, I don't accept all of his assertions and conclusions, and Carl would approve. Republicans as a party are anti-science, but I would not put that label on someone for being conservative as he does. Shouldn't military spending be viewed as a percentage of a country's GDP rather than just dollars? Isn't the presence of brain activity just as arbitrary as any measurable property of a fetus in considering the ethics of abortion? While I don't always agree with him, I do appreciate him tackling the hardest of questions. That he does so respectfully and compassionately is inspiring. I miss him every day.

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Quotes John Liked

Carl Sagan
“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.”
Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium

Carl Sagan
“It’s hard to talk about the Cosmos without using big numbers. I said “billion” many times on the Cosmos television series, which was seen by a great many people. But I never said “billions and billions.” For one thing, it’s too imprecise. How many billions are “billions and billions”? A few billion? Twenty billion? A hundred billion? “Billions and billions” is pretty vague. When we reconfigured and updated the series, I checked—and sure enough, I never said it.”
Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium

Reading Progress

September 8, 2010 – Shelved
February 23, 2015 – Started Reading
February 23, 2015 –
3.0% "This is gonna make me sad."
February 24, 2015 –
14.0% "I still want jousting to make a comeback."
February 25, 2015 –
20.0% "Roses are red. Violets are blue. Anthocyanin makes them look the way they do."
February 26, 2015 –
23.0% "Chapter 5 is seriously dated. I don't know why the publisher can't add footnites and links to remedy this. Carl would have approved and he would have criticized their failure to do so as this failure hinders the promotion of science literacy. I consider this compelling evidence in support of the claim that the major publishibg houses care only about the bottom line and have zero interest in promoting literacy."
February 27, 2015 –
26.0% "carl's predictions were essentially right."
February 27, 2015 –
28.0% "One world is enough for all of us."
March 5, 2015 –
41.0% "Clearly, Carl has a bias here that sides with liberals. I can't help but wwonder if all the research he cited was peer reviewed and replicated That he is right isn't so much the issue as that he seems to be attacking conservatives for being conservative. It is abundantly clear that Republicans as a party are anti-science, and he makes a good case for that claim, but that is not how he framed the essay."
March 10, 2015 –
49.0% "It's telling that there is no significant scientific opposition to the scientific consensus that climate change is anthropogenic despite the fact that legitimate scientific refutation of the claim would likely ensure professional and financial reward for a scientist. It seems to me that every objection I've ever heard to the claim is based on some combination of greed, political ideology and religious fanaticism."
March 11, 2015 –
56.0% "Keep it green. Keep it clean. Use renewables. You know what I mean."
March 12, 2015 –
61.0% "Religion is the infection. Science is the cure."
March 13, 2015 –
68.0% "Ths is why nationalism and exceptionalism are such dangerous attitudes to hold. We are one species separated from each other by artificial borders."
March 16, 2015 –
75.0% "Abortion has always been a contentious issue with ambiguous and arbitrary designations of when human life begins. Whatever the designation, it should not be based on religious doctrine, but on scientific and ethical grounds."
March 17, 2015 –
80.0% "I like the strategy of cooperating first and then doing what my opponent does in successive ounds."
March 18, 2015 –
86.0% "It seems to me that the bulk of the US military budget exists to support corporate greed."
March 18, 2015 –
90.0% "" 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 to be." - Carl Sagan"
March 18, 2015 – Finished Reading

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John Strubhart Footnotes (not footnites)

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