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May 22, 2003

A Pale Blue Blob

"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 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 this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, 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."

-- Carl Sagan
From "Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space," Random House, 1994

Posted by Chris at May 22, 2003 02:49 PM


It's funny how angry I get at the way that people treat, use up, abuse their neighbors and the land they live on, when I also totally believe Sagan is right. Perhaps we can't live with a complete sense of distance? Perhaps that sense of distance would eventually provide an equally powerful sense of powerlessness, lack of purpose, futility? Believing that a goal or view is important can give a sense of direction, of focus. How to maintain the important perspective of which Sagan writes without giving up being an acting agent in your own life: it's an interesting place to be.

Posted by: Karen at May 31, 2003 08:28 AM

we protect our freaks

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