Another entry in the Sagan Series, a collection of videos in the master’s own voice about space, science, and the beauty of discovery.
The ending text makes me glum, however. The bar chart comparing what we spend on guns vs. butter, for example; in this case ‘butter’ meaning the exploration of the universe we live in. That and the fact that we haven’t sent a person beyond low earth orbit since 1972. Imagine telling a person in the early 1970s that they should enjoy this time of world-exploring because it isn’t going to happen again for another four decades at least. I think that they would think that you were narrow-minded, cowardly, and perhaps crazy.
I’m a big fan of Carl Sagan, and particularly the Sagan Series, a collection of videos featuring our planet in its glories and perils along with the unique and familiar voice of Sagan.
The human race has a particular trait, in that because we need to eat and sleep and other things of basic survival every single day, we tend to focus only on the here and now. We’re like cattle, heads held down low, munching on a tuft of grass. When that one’s eaten, we move on to the next tuft, still with our heads down low, eyes fixed just a few inches before us. Then we munch more grass, then more a little ways ahead, and still more. And after a while, when we finally lift our heads and look around . . . we have no idea where we are. We’ve wandered far astray for the simple reason that we’ve only been watching our feet and the ground directly in front of us.
It’s hard, and not popular, but Sagan encourages us to lift our heads sooner rather than later, to measure how far we’ve come and we we are going, lest we find ourselves trapped in a peril of our own making.