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Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
Author: Carl Sagan
Publisher: Published September 8th 1997 by Ballantine Books (first published 1994)
ISBN: 9780345376596
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Sagan traces our exploration of space and suggests that our very survival may depend on the wise use of other worlds. This stirring book reveals how scientific discovery has altered our perception of who we are and where we stand, and challenges us to weigh what we will do with that knowledge. Photos, many in color.

30 review for Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stian

    For the majority of my life, reading was never an interest. At all. I spent most of my childhood watching movies and playing video games and football. Reading was boring, time-consuming and pointless. But then, when I was around sixteen or so, something happened that changed my life drastically. I discovered Carl Sagan. I still remember buying Cosmos, unpacking it, excitedly starting it, and turning the volume up to the max. I watched all the episodes in a day: I couldn't stop. And then it happe For the majority of my life, reading was never an interest. At all. I spent most of my childhood watching movies and playing video games and football. Reading was boring, time-consuming and pointless. But then, when I was around sixteen or so, something happened that changed my life drastically. I discovered Carl Sagan. I still remember buying Cosmos, unpacking it, excitedly starting it, and turning the volume up to the max. I watched all the episodes in a day: I couldn't stop. And then it happened. For the first time in my life, I ordered some books. The first three books I ever bought were all by Carl. The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium, and finally, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. Pale Blue Dot was the first I read, and it was mindblowing for me at the time. It was so illuminating. It's hard to describe the impact it had on me. Coupled with Cosmos and a number of videos on Youtube of Carl speaking, it completely changed my life - for the better. When I discovered Carl (and in extension, books, science, philosophy) I was horribly depressed and struggling a lot with a variety of things. Upon discovering him, I realised that there is more to life than bad movies, football, and wasteful video games. I still remember reading him, or watching Cosmos, or watching a lecture of his on Youtube, and listening attentively; I would then go to my parents and sit there for an hour or more, lecturing them about what I just heard or read. Probably I did not convey everything accurately but that wasn't the point either. I bought a telescope, and stayed up all night looking at the stars and the moon and listening to him on my MP3. Somehow, looking at those stars, and listening to him, and not only listening but finding what he said logical, reasonable -- an explanation as to why we are here that isn't religious or superstitious, but still much more beautiful than what any religion can come up with -- it gave some much-needed meaning to my life. It's strange how you can be punched in the gut by the vast meaninglessness of it all, and that's exactly where you find meaning. This is where it all started for me. Because of Carl (and yes, I will persist in calling him 'Carl', damn it), I discovered Richard P. Feynman. Because of Feynman I discovered Paul Dirac. All of this science-related. This led me to Arthur C. Clarke and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Eventually I discovered George Orwell, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Albert Camus, and all those other writers who have enriched my life ever since. So it was Carl, and this book in combination with Cosmos, that paved way for it all. My entire intellectual life is all because of him. It is almost certain that had I not come across Carl when I did, I would have remained depressed. Although my interest in science has waned (primarily because of my lack of proficiency in mathematics more than anything else), and my opinions and thoughts have changed (and continue to change all the time) I am still eternally grateful to Carl for opening the door for me to, well, thought. Most importantly, though, he showed me that life might be worth living after all. “A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called "leaves") imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Huda Yahya

    من تلك البقعة البعيدة الممتازة قد لا تبدو لكوكب الأرض أي أهمية خاصة ولكن بالنسبة لنا يختلف الأمر. انظر مرة أخرى إلى هذه النقطة. إنه هناك: الوطن. ها نحن. عليها يوجد كل من تحبه، كل من تعرفه، كل من سمعت عنه، كل إنسان كان موجودا في أي وقت. إن جميع أفراحنا ومعاناتنا، وآلاف الأديان والأيديولوچيات والمذاهب الاقتصادية الواثقة، كل قناص أو مغير، كل بطل أو جبان، كل مبدع أو مدمر للحضارة، كل ملك أو فلاح، كل شاب وفتاة متحابين، كل أم وكل أب، كل طفل واعد، كل سياسي فاسد، كل "نجم لامع" من نجوم الفن، كل "قائد أع من تلك البقعة البعيدة الممتازة قد لا تبدو لكوكب الأرض أي أهمية ‏خاصة ولكن بالنسبة لنا يختلف الأمر. انظر مرة أخرى إلى هذه ‏النقطة. إنه هناك: الوطن. ها نحن. عليها يوجد كل من تحبه، كل من ‏تعرفه، كل من سمعت عنه، كل إنسان كان موجودا في أي وقت. إن ‏جميع أفراحنا ومعاناتنا، وآلاف الأديان والأيديولوچيات والمذاهب ‏الاقتصادية الواثقة، كل قناص أو مغير، كل بطل أو جبان، كل مبدع ‏أو مدمر للحضارة، كل ملك أو فلاح، كل شاب وفتاة متحابين، كل أم ‏وكل أب، كل طفل واعد، كل سياسي فاسد، كل "نجم لامع" من نجوم ‏الفن، كل "قائد أعلى"، كل قديس أو آثم في تاريخ نوعنا... قد عاش ‏هنا - على هذه الذرة من الغبار المعلقة في شعاع شمس‏... ----------------- انظر لهذه الصورة جيدا وطننا الذي لا نعرف سواه نحن هذه النقطة المشار إليها بالسهم ها نحن ذا عبر الفضاء كل هذا التاريخ المزيف منه والواقعي حدث عند تلك النقطة نحن..هنا هي صورة التقطها المسبار الفضائي فوياجر لكوكبنا البائس عام 1990‏ وهي من أوحت لسيجن بهذا العنوان ‏وربما لا يوجد توضيح لحماقة تصورات الإنسان أفضل من هذه ‏الصورة المأخوذة عن بعد لعالمنا الصغير. وبالنسبة لي، فإن هذه ‏الصورة تؤكد مسؤوليتنا في التعامل مع بعضنا البعض بمزيد من ‏الرعاية والعطف،ومسؤوليتنا في حماية هذه النقطة الزرقاء الباهتة ‏والاعتزاز بها، فهي الوطن الوحيد الذي عرفناه ::::::::::::::::: إنها رؤية سيجن المستقبلية نحن نتحدث عن مستقبل أحفاد أحفاد أحفادك‏ فمن يا ترى في خضم هذا العالم بمشكلاته الراهنة قد يجد وقتا ‏للتفكير في أشياء كهذه..؟ بالتأكيد ليس أنت ولا أنا ولكن هناك بعض البشر يستطيعون الانغماس في تأملاتهم‏ ووضعها فلسفة وشعر وأدب خالد شاهد على أننا لم نتحول جميعا مسوخ بعد أنه لا يزال هناك نوع من الأمل :::::::::::::::: يقدم العالم العظيم كارل سيجن رؤيته الخاصة‏ عن كوكبنا الأرضي ‏ وجيرانه في المجموعات الشمسية القريبة بمداراتها وأقمارها وغرائبها وألقها‏ ‎ ويحاول أن يتكهن بمستقبلنا في الفضاء كوننا الكائنات الوحيدة العاقلة التي نعرفها حتى الآن ويضع بعض الحلول التي تعتمد على فكرة ‏ انتقالنا يوما إلى كواكب أخرى نستطيع أن نجعل منها أماكن أهلا للحياة البشرية انتقال البشرية إلى آفاق أرحب :::::::::::::::: يرثي سيجن لنا المخلوقات الأرضية وكيف دمرنا أنفسنا بيدينا مرة تلو الأخرى في حروب لا تنتهي وسعي متعطش من الجميع للسيطرة عبر التاريخ‏ ‏ وكيف لا نزال ندمر أرضنا تلك حاكمين عليها بالهلاك باستهتارنا المتواصل بالحفاظ على البيئة لحماية أنفسنا والأجيال القادمة من الشر الكبير الحائق بتلك النقطة ‏الزرقاء التي نعيش بفضلها ‎ ما الأرض سوى بقعة صغيرة للغاية، في مسرحٍ كوني عظيم‎ تأمل لوهلةٍ ﻛﻞ أﻧﻬﺎر اﻟﺪم اﻟﺘﻲ أراﻗﻬﺎ جنرالات الحرب واﻷﺑﺎﻃﺮة من ‏أجل أن يصبحوا أسياداً لحظيين ﻋﻠﻰ ﻛﺴﺮة ﺿﺌﻴﻠﺔ ﻣﻦ ﻫﺬه اﻟﻨﻘﻄﺔ..‏‎ تأمل لوهلةٍ الوحشية التي ملأت قلوب شعب عاش على إحدى زوايا ‏هذه النقطة، ليغور ويتغلب على شعب آخر، عاش على زاوية أخرى ‏منها... إﻧﻨﺎ بالكاد نستطيع تمييز ﺑﻌﻀﻬﻢ البعض‎ ﺗﺮى، ﻣﺎ ﻣﺪى سوء الفهم ﺑﻴﻨﻬﻢ؟‎ ما ﻣﺪى توقهم لقتل أحدهم الآخر؟‎ كم كانت كراهيتهم الشديدة وبغضهم لبعضهم البعض؟‎ ــــــــــــــــ كثير منا يعرف أن رحلات ناسا المتتابعة إلى القمر ‏ كان هدفها الأساسي سياسي ‏ وذلك وقت الحرب الباردة بين أمريكا والسوفييت وقت التسابق المحموم بين الدولتين العظمتين على إثبات الريادة ‏والجدارة لقد أرادت أمريكا أن تسبق السوفيت كي تضع علمها على سطح القمر وتعلن للعالم أنها رقم 1‏ فوق الجميع فأي غرور تغلغل في البشر وكيف منه الخلاص صحيح أنه لم يبقى من كل هذا الهذيان سوى كلمات خالدة That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. ولكن ماذا يعني ذلك سوى مزيد من الدمار ‏ سنجلبه يوما معنا إلى كوكب المستقبل المنشود ذاك ‎ إن أخلاقياتنا تلك هي موضع خوف سيجن‏ إنه يتساءل كيف لنا أن نُستأمن على الكواكب الأخرى ‏ إن حدث واستطعنا الانتقال إلى إحداها يوما :::::::::::::::: صدر الكتاب في عام 1997 ‏ وهو من أواخر مؤلفات العالم الكبير وستشعر فيه بتلك المرارة التي يعانيها مع تقدمه في السن وشعوره ببعض اليأس من كل شيء حوله‏ سواء كان يأسا فلسفيا تحمله تأملاته على التعبير عنه أو يأس من نوع آخر قد لا نتفهمه تماما كميزانية ناسا والأبحاث العلمية عموما فهو ينتقد الدعم المتواصل الذي لا يعرف حدود للتسليح وغيرها من الأمور التي ستؤدي في النهاية إلى دمار البشرية‏ وفي نفس الوقت تستنكر الدولة بسياسييها وأعضاء الكونجرس ‏الموقرين مجرد التفكير في دعم ناسا والبحث العلمي ما قد ينفع البشرية ويقيها الدمار الغبي الذي يهددها في كل لحظة‏‎ ‎ :::::::::::::::: تختلط في الكتاب -كعادة سيجن الفلسفة بالعلم المبسط والأكاديمي أيضا‏ كلهم ممزوجين بعاطفة قوية يبثها سيجن عبر سطوره تلك الرؤية إنسانية التي تحاول محاربة النزعات العرقية والعنصرية ‏الغالبة على بني البشر لينتج في النهاية كتا عظيم جديد قطعة من روح سيجن الأثيرية تركها لنا ورحل إلى أجداده النجوم <3

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    I recently came across several references to this book while reading the superb God Delusion. I was intrigued, and since it had been quite a while since I read Cosmos, I decided to give Carl Sagan another go. Besides his beautiful evocative descriptions of moons and worlds in our own Solar system, Sagan gave us a surplus of inspirational and cautionary passages in this work which--even as an adult--make you want to grow up to be an astronaut.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Roy Lotz

    Once, in German class, I recommended Carl Sagan’s magnificent Cosmos television series to a classmate. “Wow,” she said. “That’s the first time somebody suggested Carl Sagan to me who wasn’t a pothead.” I wasn’t sure if that was an insult or a compliment; I said “thanks” anyway. Although I’m sure Carl Sagan can be enjoyed in a variety of altered states, he can be enjoyable for those of us here on earth too. In fact, the message of this book can (if one can stomach the cliché) justly be described a Once, in German class, I recommended Carl Sagan’s magnificent Cosmos television series to a classmate. “Wow,” she said. “That’s the first time somebody suggested Carl Sagan to me who wasn’t a pothead.” I wasn’t sure if that was an insult or a compliment; I said “thanks” anyway. Although I’m sure Carl Sagan can be enjoyed in a variety of altered states, he can be enjoyable for those of us here on earth too. In fact, the message of this book can (if one can stomach the cliché) justly be described as “sobering.” It is, at the very least, serious. There are several components to Sagan’s message, though they are all intertwined. The first is simply to bring home how huge, how tremendously large, how stunningly vast, is the universe. The cosmos is bigger and more complex than anyone had dared thought. Humans are wont to place themselves in the center of things. We have invented a thousand cosmologies, full of heroes and villains, gods and beasts; yet, fecund as it is, the human imagination seems particularly unable (or perhaps unwilling) to imagine ourselves as we are: insignificant. Sagan goes through every human conceit he can get his hands on, and (not without a smile of satisfaction) proceeds to knock them all down. The universe appears to be sublimely indifferent to our survival. This is scary. At least, Sagan thinks so; and he wants you to think so too. Sagan would have us do our best, despite our reluctance, to think of the earth, not as the stage of our petty dramas, but as it appears from the outside: a speck in space. This leads Sagan to his next general point: we are all in this together. As we contemplate our cosmic insignificance, our various provincial loyalties seem even more insignificant still. If the universe is indifferent to human life, it is surely indifferent to this year’s election results, to religious struggles, to racist conceits. We are, in short, on our own; and since no help is coming from outside, we have to help one another. The earth is not the mighty center of things we had once thought; it is, instead, fragile. And faced with this infinite dark, we must realize that what unites humans far outweighs what divides us. But added to the general hazards that come with living on a bit of cosmic dust, we have invented hazards for ourselves. For the first time in our species’s history, we have developed technologies capable of destroying human life altogether. Some of these are intentionally malicious, such as nuclear warheads; but others result from a lack of prudence, such as our enthusiastic fossil-fuel burning. Sagan sees the human race at present as a bunch of pre-teens playing with daddy’s gun; he wants us to keep the safety on. Technology isn't, however, all bad; we have also used our technology to make great strides. We have explored the solar system, sending out probes to distant planets; and this information has allowed scientists to better understand our own planet. It is because of our space exploration that we now understand our own fragility. But space exploration has not only yielded knowledge; it has created opportunities. Sagan is very optimistic about the human future in space. Not only does he think it can happen, but he thinks it must happen, if we are to survive in the long run. The dinosaurs were destroyed by an asteroid; why not us? We need to spread ourselves out, as a kind of cosmic insurance policy. We will travel throughout the solar system and beyond, carving out hospitable environments for human life on other worlds. This is the final piece of the puzzle. Technology is, in itself, indifferent; it can be used creatively or destructively. We have, at present, weapons unimaginable to people living just 100 years ago; we have also medicine incomparably better. What will make the difference in the long run, says Sagan, is not technology per se, but technology combined with good judgment. And how does one cultivate good judgment? It has many facets: a skeptical attitude, a willingness to learn, a pragmatic approach, and a readiness to place truth over dogma, facts over wishes. And all these are embodied in the scientific attitude. That’s why books like this are so important: they teach science to the world. So there’s his argument. It doesn’t require any drugs to appreciate that, right? As a side note, I’d like to recommend the audiobook version of this work. It is (mainly) narrated by Sagan, whose deep, booming voice almost fails to give me goosebumps. Annoyingly, Sagan sometimes trades off with another voice actor, who has a very nasal and uninspiring voice; but Sagan does read most of the lyrical bits. Speaking of lyrical bits, there are some parts of this book that are quite simply beautiful. Sagan is a consistently strong writer; but he is occasionally able to reach remarkable heights. What is, I think, the secret of his eloquence is his awe for the natural world. “Wonder” is simply not a strong enough word for the breathless astonishment he feels when looking up at the night sky. Sagan manages to combine a sense of both religious reverence and scientific scrutiny. This is no mean feat. (For my part, I find the two feelings opposed to one another.) I could go on about the fascinating descriptions of other worlds, the interesting facts about NASA’s various missions, Sagan’s remarkable breadth of knowledge, and his love of aliens; but I think I’ll leave that for my fellow reviewers. After all, Goodreads, like NASA, is a cooperative venture, international in scope, and exploratory in nature.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mackey

    There was a time when I simply could NOT get enough of Carl Sagan. I read everything he wrote, watched every documentary that he made. I adore him still. Pale Blue Dot is NOT like Cosmos, the book with which most people are familiar. Cosmos dealt with astronomy and gave you a basic understanding of the entire "cosmos" in a way that you would understand. It's one of the reasons it is so popular. In Pale Blue Dot, Sagan is speaking to those who love the Earth, love its relationship to the Cosmos, There was a time when I simply could NOT get enough of Carl Sagan. I read everything he wrote, watched every documentary that he made. I adore him still. Pale Blue Dot is NOT like Cosmos, the book with which most people are familiar. Cosmos dealt with astronomy and gave you a basic understanding of the entire "cosmos" in a way that you would understand. It's one of the reasons it is so popular. In Pale Blue Dot, Sagan is speaking to those who love the Earth, love its relationship to the Cosmos, how it is all interconnected together and how the "pale blue dot" has to survive in order for the rest of the cosmos to survive. It is a book about space, the future of space exploration and our future there and whether it will save us all. This book is truly Carl Sagan at his very best and, if you are Sagan fan, I dare you to read it without hearing the words, "Billllions and Billlions of years ago...." in a way only he could do.

  6. 5 out of 5

    WarpDrive

    Inspirational. As Oscar Wilde once said: "we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars". Carl Sagan is one of those thought leaders who direct our sights and aspirations to the best of what humankind can potentially achieve, and inspires us to find the courage to ask the deeper questions, and to nurture our willingness to embrace "what is true rather than what feels good".

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris Friend

    I was impressed by how much I enjoyed this one. I've not read any Sagan before, so I didn't know what to expect, but he's one of those brilliant scientists who understands how to clearly explain things to laypeople. His story (I use the term though it reads more like a collection of journal entries or brief reports) covers wide-ranging topics about the implications and necessity of space travel, posing questions frequently, answering them occasionally, and leading inexorably to a single conclusi I was impressed by how much I enjoyed this one. I've not read any Sagan before, so I didn't know what to expect, but he's one of those brilliant scientists who understands how to clearly explain things to laypeople. His story (I use the term though it reads more like a collection of journal entries or brief reports) covers wide-ranging topics about the implications and necessity of space travel, posing questions frequently, answering them occasionally, and leading inexorably to a single conclusion: the human species must press outward into space. Though not nearly as reactionary or thrill-seeking as a recent string of fiction films dealing with space flight (specifically, "Mission to Mars" and "Armageddon" come to mind while reading this book), a case is made for the urgent need and dangerous potentials of further human spaceflight. Appropriately balanced, however, Sagan's conclusions bring an optimism not often found in the writings of modern scientists focused on a global perspective.

  8. 5 out of 5

    معتز عناني

    يأخذك كارل ساجان من موطنك ويسافر بك بعيداً عن خارج الأرض ،، ليبدأ عقلك في بناء تصورات صحيحة عن الفضاء وبعيدة عن خرافات الأفلام الغربية التي تُزرع في أدمغتنا مع الوقت . خلال تصفح الكتاب سيحاول الكاتب اقناعك بالفلسفة الوجودية في رسائل مختلفة بالهجوم على الدين في موقع ،، وعلى عابدي الأفكار التقليدية في موقع اخر . تستطيع تخليص الكتاب في : " ان كوكب الارض بكامله مجرد نقطة ، وموقع سكننا الخاص مجرد زاوية متناهية الصغر " وبهذا وجب علينا ان ندرك اننا لسنا عظماء كما ندعي ،، بل علينا ان نتعقل وننضج كبشر لنت يأخذك كارل ساجان من موطنك ويسافر بك بعيداً عن خارج الأرض ،، ليبدأ عقلك في بناء تصورات صحيحة عن الفضاء وبعيدة عن خرافات الأفلام الغربية التي تُزرع في أدمغتنا مع الوقت . خلال تصفح الكتاب سيحاول الكاتب اقناعك بالفلسفة الوجودية في رسائل مختلفة بالهجوم على الدين في موقع ،، وعلى عابدي الأفكار التقليدية في موقع اخر . تستطيع تخليص الكتاب في : " ان كوكب الارض بكامله مجرد نقطة ، وموقع سكننا الخاص مجرد زاوية متناهية الصغر " وبهذا وجب علينا ان ندرك اننا لسنا عظماء كما ندعي ،، بل علينا ان نتعقل وننضج كبشر لنتوقف عن قتل احدنا الاخر ،، ونبدأ للنتعاون في كشف هذا الظلام الخارجي وما يمكن ان نتعلمه من تبعات . الكتاب هو دعوة صريحة للعلم ، واستكشاف المجهول ، ممزوج بالحض على الانسانية والحث على الحفاظ على الطبيعة الأم

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    WOW....WOW....WOW. Carl Sagan, what a champ. Fiction from scientists/astrologists may be a bummer (see Contact), but Carl drops the BOMB in this work. Truly ahead of his time and a great american. A great intro into science/astrology and really helped me understand a lot about all the planets and their make-up. Once we kill earth (pretty soon), perhaps we aren't TOTALLY fucked, their are other options out there if we get with it...but hey, we killed earth so why listen to Sagan. I drive an SUV, WOW....WOW....WOW. Carl Sagan, what a champ. Fiction from scientists/astrologists may be a bummer (see Contact), but Carl drops the BOMB in this work. Truly ahead of his time and a great american. A great intro into science/astrology and really helped me understand a lot about all the planets and their make-up. Once we kill earth (pretty soon), perhaps we aren't TOTALLY fucked, their are other options out there if we get with it...but hey, we killed earth so why listen to Sagan. I drive an SUV, i'm totally an asshole....but whatver you may be a fat capitalist. Here is a great quote from the book that I spread around on Earth Day. "By this point your expedition to the Earth must be considered highly successful. You've characterized the enviroment; you've detected life; you've found manifestations of intelligent beings' you may even have identified the dominant species, the one transfixed with geometry and rectilinearity. Surely this planet is worth a longer and more detailed study. That's why you've now inserted your spacecraft into orbit around the Earth. Looking down on the planet, you uncover new puzzles. All over the Earth, smokestacks are pouring carbon dioxide and toxic chemicals into the air. So are the dominant beings who run on the roadways. But carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. As you watch, the of it in the atmosphere increases steadily, year after year. The same is true of methane and other greenhouse gases. If this keeps up, the temperature of the planet is going to increase. Spectroscopically, you discover another class of molecules being injected into the air, the chlorofluorocarbons. Not only are they greenhouses gases, but they are also devastatingly effective in destroying the protective ozone layer. You look more closely at the center of the South American continent, which (as you know by now) is a vast rain forest. Every night you see thousands of fires. In the daytime, you find the region covered with smoke. Over the years, all over the planet, you find less and less forest and more and more scrub desert. You look down on the large island of Madagascar. The rivers are colored brown, generating a vast stain in the surrounding ocean. This is topsoil being washed out to sea at a rate so high that in another few decades there will be none left. The same thing is happening, you note, at the mouths of rivers all over the planet. But no topsoil means no agriculture. In another century, what will they eat? What will they breathe? How will they cope with a changing and more dangerous enviroment? From your orbital perspective, you can see that something has unmistakably gone wrong. The dominant organisms, whoever they are (who have gone to so much trouble to rework the surface) are simultaneously destroying their ozone layer and their forests, eroding their topsoil, and performing massive, uncontrolled experiments on the planet's climate. Haven't they noticed what's happening? Are they oblivious to their fate? Are they unable to work together on behalf of the enviroment that sustains them all? Perhaps, you think, it's time to reassess the conjecture that there's intelligent life on Earth."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Take Carl’s revered “Pale Blue Dot” speech, and multiply it by, say, the power of ten. That’s Pale Blue Dot. And the fact that it’s only by the power of ten... well, that’s how great that speech is.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kurt

    Pale Blue Dot refers to the Earth as photographed from the Voyager craft at a point beyond the orbit of Neptune. Of course at that distance, the Earth is barely discernible - a very small, unremarkable, pale blue dot among a myriad of billions of other unremarkable points of light. Yet all our history, civilization, and culture that we have ever known has occurred on that dot. Even though our ingrained geo-centric and ethno-centric biases cause us to become deflated and even depressed at the real Pale Blue Dot refers to the Earth as photographed from the Voyager craft at a point beyond the orbit of Neptune. Of course at that distance, the Earth is barely discernible - a very small, unremarkable, pale blue dot among a myriad of billions of other unremarkable points of light. Yet all our history, civilization, and culture that we have ever known has occurred on that dot. Even though our ingrained geo-centric and ethno-centric biases cause us to become deflated and even depressed at the realization of the truth of our insignificance in the vast universe, this book is actually meant to inspire hope in all of us. Its subtitle, A Vision of the Human Future in Space, is what this book is all about. Carl Sagan was a big believer in space exploration, and he inspired millions of others to be also. There are two reasons why I find it really difficult to have the optimism that Carl Sagan has. First, he talks of traveling the vast distances from star to star and eventually even to other galaxies. The reality of the limit of the speed of light and the extreme difficulty and power requirements to just achieve a fraction of that speed, just seem to be insurmountable obstacles. Second, the human race is obviously incapable of even responsibly managing its own affairs on its own home planet, and we are likewise extremely resistant to even subtle changes that require collective mandates (examples: American attempts to implement the metric system, dollar coins, or more fair and cost-saving health care reform, not to mention our inability to address far more pressing crises like population control and global warming). Overall, I loved this book. It is the best of the five Carl Sagan books I have read yet, and I recommend it for everyone.

  12. 5 out of 5

    S.Baqer Al-Meshqab

    The entire Earth is but a point, and the place of our own habitation but a minute corner of it. —MARCUS AURELIUS, ROMAN EMPEROR The is my first packed-with-information book, ever. One might think that it is a pure scientific text which goes on and on about facts and numbers and laws and whatsoever that can drag the soul out of you - not denying that it isn't - but seriously, look at the title - A Pale Blue Dot - isn't poetic enough? As the writer suggests "Knowing how things work doesn't make them The entire Earth is but a point, and the place of our own habitation but a minute corner of it. —MARCUS AURELIUS, ROMAN EMPEROR The is my first packed-with-information book, ever. One might think that it is a pure scientific text which goes on and on about facts and numbers and laws and whatsoever that can drag the soul out of you - not denying that it isn't - but seriously, look at the title - A Pale Blue Dot - isn't poetic enough? As the writer suggests "Knowing how things work doesn't make them less romantic". Of course, the style of writing matters, and this book is so well-written that will make your mind digesting its contents, gladly and with ease, most of the time anyway. Are you interested in understanding the location of Earth, in the sea of space and on the timeline of creation? Are you interested in the objects of the darkness; the emptiness and how they affect and be affected by your blue world? Do you want to know the possibilities of new realms, new lives, at different corners of the solar system? Do you want to see the beauty of Venus, Mars, Titan or Uranus? Do you want to know how far we humans have gone, and how further we can even go? THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU. "There is a new world next door. And we know how to get there." Carl Sagan not only highlights details of the universe and the interrelations of its floating bodies. He raises a number of good questions and outlines the consequences of each course of action humanity will take. Is it important to explore outer space? Is it possible to terraform Mars or the moons of the Jovian Planets? "Can we, who have made such a mess of this world, be trusted with others?". You want answers. What is also more interesting, because this book was published more than a decade a half ago, some unanswered questions have already seen the light today. You are encouraged to learn more and more. It is exactly like excitedly holding a negative film, wanting to see those images with their real colors, only to realize later, that those images are already printed and stored somewhere in your room! you found your sequel of the story, even before it ends. I admit, some ideas got me lost, others were to far-fetched to grasp. Perhaps, because I am new to this kind of books. or perhaps, it is not a book you read only once. It is a mixture of Science and Poetry; "They will gaze up and strain to find the blue dot in their skies. They will love it no less for its obscurity and fragility."

  13. 5 out of 5

    ade_reads

    The title of the book, Pale Blue Dot, was taken from the instantly infamous Pale Blue Dot photograph taken by Voyager 1 in 1990. The back story to that image is worth describing before actually talking about the book itself. Here is the image, Can you see Earth? Can you see our tiny little Earth? Look harder. There, ‘suspended in a sunbeam,’ is a tiny pale blue dot. This is what Sagan had to say: From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s The title of the book, Pale Blue Dot, was taken from the instantly infamous Pale Blue Dot photograph taken by Voyager 1 in 1990. The back story to that image is worth describing before actually talking about the book itself. Here is the image, Can you see Earth? Can you see our tiny little Earth? Look harder. There, ‘suspended in a sunbeam,’ is a tiny pale blue dot. This is what Sagan had to say: From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. A great book. It's worth every page. Highly recommend reading.

  14. 4 out of 5

    John

    Pale Blue Dot was Carl's last book, written while he was battling cancer and published after his death. Sagan was responsible for having NASA rotate a Voyager spacecraft (as it was leaving the solar system) and photograph the planets, including of course the Earth, which was appeared as a pale blue dot. I think Carl Sagan is a must read for any person who wants to be educated. Carl was a true Renascence Man, and his best gift ( of many) was teaching us about perspective. Perspective makes us wis Pale Blue Dot was Carl's last book, written while he was battling cancer and published after his death. Sagan was responsible for having NASA rotate a Voyager spacecraft (as it was leaving the solar system) and photograph the planets, including of course the Earth, which was appeared as a pale blue dot. I think Carl Sagan is a must read for any person who wants to be educated. Carl was a true Renascence Man, and his best gift ( of many) was teaching us about perspective. Perspective makes us wise, and humane. We need perspective and Sagan gives us that not just with science, but with history, and deep time and evolution, and, of course, space. Sagan gets us outside of out heads and out of our very limited little worlds which normally rotate around, us. Pale Blue Dot is not Sagan's best book and if you haven't read Sagan I'd suggest you start with "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" or "Demon Haunted World," both of which are marvels. This book takes the reader through a tour of our Solar System and then the last chapters are Carl's speculations on our future and his desire to see humans resume their nomadic wanderings and colonize Mars and the asteroids and venture into the Universe. I miss Carl Sagan a lot and we should all miss his humour, insight, clarity and optimism.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alej

    I brought this book to work with me during the incredibly slow weeks of the holiday season. The book was repetitive, full of purple prose, and overly sentimental about "science" in a way that reminded me of my parochial school days. I had expected a good book explaining stuff about astronomy, science, whathaveyou, but it was mostly emotional pandering to atheists who think they're morally/intellectually superior to non-atheists. There was a whole lot of nothing for a couple hundred pages that ca I brought this book to work with me during the incredibly slow weeks of the holiday season. The book was repetitive, full of purple prose, and overly sentimental about "science" in a way that reminded me of my parochial school days. I had expected a good book explaining stuff about astronomy, science, whathaveyou, but it was mostly emotional pandering to atheists who think they're morally/intellectually superior to non-atheists. There was a whole lot of nothing for a couple hundred pages that can be summarised with: "The world and universe is super great and I don't understand why religion is a thing." Which, like, congrats, I s'pose. You could've just said it once instead of wanking over it for a million pages. It was kind of silly, which was pretty sad, seeing as I'm a huge fan of some of Sagan's other works and his show, "Cosmos."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shafaet Ashraf

    আকাশের তারা দেখা আমার খুব পরিয় একটা কাজ। আমার দেহের পরমাণুগুলো কোন তারায় তৈরি হয়েছে এটা চিনতা করতেই দারুণ লাগে। মহাকাশ নিয়ে ডকুমেনটারী, বই পেলেও ছাড়িনা। আর বইটা যদি কারল সযাগানের লেখা হয় তখন সেটা অনয লেভেলে চলে যায়। কারল সযাগান মনে করতেন মানবজাতিকে টিকে থাকতে হলে তারায় তারায় ছড়িয়ে যাওয়া ছাড়া কোনো উপায় নেই, মূলত সেটা নিয়েই এই বই। কারল সযাগান এমন একজন লেখক যার ননফিকশন বই যেকোন সেরা শবাসরুদধকর ফিকশনের মত টেনে ধরে রাখতে পারে, তবে ফিকশনের মত দরুত পড়ে ফেলা যায় না, একটা একটা লাইন অনেকষণ ধরে উপভোগ আকাশের তারা দেখা আমার খুব প্রিয় একটা কাজ। আমার দেহের পরমাণুগুলো কোন তারায় তৈরি হয়েছে এটা চিন্তা করতেই দারুণ লাগে। মহাকাশ নিয়ে ডকুমেন্টারী, বই পেলেও ছাড়িনা। আর বইটা যদি কার্ল স্যাগানের লেখা হয় তখন সেটা অন্য লেভেলে চলে যায়। কার্ল স্যাগান মনে করতেন মানবজাতিকে টিকে থাকতে হলে তারায় তারায় ছড়িয়ে যাওয়া ছাড়া কোনো উপায় নেই, মূলত সেটা নিয়েই এই বই। কার্ল স্যাগান এমন একজন লেখক যার ননফিকশন বই যেকোন সেরা শ্বাসরুদ্ধকর ফিকশনের মত টেনে ধরে রাখতে পারে, তবে ফিকশনের মত দ্রুত পড়ে ফেলা যায় না, একটা একটা লাইন অনেক্ষণ ধরে উপভোগ করতে হয়। ভবিষ্যতের মানুষ কেমন হবে? পৃথিবীর ভবিষ্যত কি? পৃথিবীতে এখনো মানুষ না খেয়ে মরে, সেই অবস্থায় মহাকাশ গবেষণায়, মঙ্গল গ্রহে মানুষ পাঠায় কোটি কোটি ডলার খরচ করা কি যৌক্তিক? এগুলো নিয়ে এই বইতে আলোচনা করা হয়েছে, স্যাগান দেখিয়েছেন মহাকাশ গবেষণা ছাড়া মানুষের টিকে থাকা অসম্ভব। ।ন্য গ্রহ নিয়ে জানতে গিয়ে আমরা পৃথিবীকে নিয়ে অনেক কিছু জেনেছি যেটা আগে জানতাম না। তার একটা উদাহরণ হলো CFC গ্যাস যে ওজোন স্তরের ক্ষতি করে সেটা মানুষ জানতে পেরেছে ভেনাস গ্রহের বায়ুমন্ডল নিয়ে গবেষণা করতে গিয়ে, এটা জানতে না পারলে আমরা এতদিনে আরো বেশি বেশি CFC ব্যবহার করে ওজন স্তরের আরো ১২টা বাজায় ফেলতাম। শেষ কথা, স্যাগানের বই যে পড়ল না সে জীবনে অনেক কিছু মিস করল!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sanabel Atya

    رؤية عن الأرض و "أقرب" ما يحيط بها أي المجموعة الشمسية على الأخص.. شرح،ألمّ بكل ما توصل إليه العلم بخصوص جاراتنا الكواكب وأقمارها،حتى تاريخ كتابة الكتاب. في حديث الكاتب عن مستقبلنا في الفضاء،كمكانٍ للسكنى،أو للسيطرة..آثر الحديث عن أخلاقياتنا على الأرض،، وكيف أنها أضرت بنا"كنوع" وأضرت بالأنواع الأخرى.. وبالأرض ذاتها.. وكيف لنا أن نُستأمن على الكواكب الأخرى ؟!! تحدث عن أنه "يجب علينا" كأمة أرضية واحدة.. أن نتحد إن فكرنا يوماً باستعمار الفضاء..لئلا ننقل الحروب إلى هناك.. حتى أنه،في عرضه لحل بعض المشكل رؤية عن الأرض و "أقرب" ما يحيط بها أي المجموعة الشمسية على الأخص.. شرح،ألمّ بكل ما توصل إليه العلم بخصوص جاراتنا الكواكب وأقمارها،حتى تاريخ كتابة الكتاب. في حديث الكاتب عن مستقبلنا في الفضاء،كمكانٍ للسكنى،أو للسيطرة..آثر الحديث عن أخلاقياتنا على الأرض،، وكيف أنها أضرت بنا"كنوع" وأضرت بالأنواع الأخرى.. وبالأرض ذاتها.. وكيف لنا أن نُستأمن على الكواكب الأخرى ؟!! تحدث عن أنه "يجب علينا" كأمة أرضية واحدة.. أن نتحد إن فكرنا يوماً باستعمار الفضاء..لئلا ننقل الحروب إلى هناك.. حتى أنه،في عرضه لحل بعض المشكلات التي تأتينا من الفضاء- كاصطدام الكويكبات السيارة بالأرض-، طرح حلولاً،كلها توقفت على مدى حسن استغلال الإنسان لها،،لتكن فقط لتدمير الكويكب السيارة،، لا أن توجهه إحدى الدول لقضاء على أخرى ..في إحدى نزوات القائمين عليها مثلاً!! حتى حمايتنا من الخارج.. بحاجة لأن نكن بأخلاقيات الواحد !! ~~~~ رحلة أو رحلات أبولو "المتتابعة"إلى القمر كانت ذات هدف سياسي لا علميّ ! إذ بدأت في الحرب الباردة،بأمر من الرئيس كيندي، وبدعم غير مسبوق من الدولة لبرنامج ناسا الفضائي.. وذلك لسبب،،أن تسبق أمريكا السوفييت في السباق الفضائي!!! وما إن أتمت هذه الرحلات هدفها.. حتى تم إيقافها،وإيقاف دعمها.. حتى يومنا هذا !! حتى اللحظة لم يخرج كائن بشري،باستثناء رواد القمر في رحلات ابولو، خارج مدار الأرض..والمحطة الدولية ! ~~~~ ميزانية ناسا تُعادل 5% فقط من ميزانية وزارة الدفاع الأمريكية !!ويظن الناس أنها تعادل أضعافاً، وتستهلك من المواطن !! فينتقد الكاتب.. كل هذا الدعم لتدمير البشرية، وإبخاس الدولة فيما هو -قد- ينفع البشرية يوماً ! ~~~ كمعلومة قصيرة//أغلب اختراعتنا اليوم،صُنعت من أجل أبحاث الفضاء أو الأبحاث العسكرية -كما يعلم الكثير منا- حتى أن اكتشاف اثر الكلوروفلوركربون على طبقة الأوزون،جاء عن طريق دراسات مناخ الكواكب الأخرى !! ~~~ على سبيل التهكم// هنالك معاهدة وُقعت في واشنطن،لا اذكر السنة، تمنع على أي دولة من دول الكرة الأرضية،أن تستعمر الفضاء باسمها.. كأن يصل روادها لكوكب المريخ -مثلاً- وتقول الدولة.. المريخ لنا !!! ~~~~ لقد أدهشني كم المعلومات في هذا الكتاب،، كما أدهشني صبر علماء الفضاء, عبقرية الإنسان في حله للمشكلات المستعصية حتى عن بُعد حينما تكون سابحة في هذا الفضاء الشاسع !! ~~~~ أخيراً ، يقول الكاتب.. هل يمكننا نحن الذين أوقعنا مثل هذه الفوضى في عالمنا، أن نكون أهلاً للثقة بالنسبة للعوالم الأخرى. هل من الممكن -إن استوطن الإنسان الفضاء- في القرنا لثاني والعشرين،، أن نصل لمرحلة حروب الفضاء.. كما يُعرض في أفلام الخيال العلمي مثلاً؟! أعتقد أن نعم.. بتاريخنا الأرضي الدموي.. نعم !!! ويستحضرني مسلسل الكرتون"أجنحة كاندام" في صراع أبناء الأرض مع "المهاجرين" الذي استوطنوا القرى الفضائية، ورغبتهم في العودة للوطن الأم !! ومعارضة "إخوة الوطن الأم في ذلك"!!!! وكأن الأرض أضحت حصراً على من لم يُهاجر ! على أي حال... لو أضحت كواكب المجموعة الشمسية كلها،مستعمرات جديدة.. فلا أرَ غير الأرض.. مكاناً يستحق العيش فيه،،هذا في حال لم تُصبح قاحلة من كل ما هو جميل !

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Very well-written book about the history of space travelling/exploration and its possible future. When I started reading it, I felt like I was reading poetry. Sagan had a really compelling, engaging and precious way of writing. It's something that definitely makes the reading experience much more attractive and delighting. I am not a huge fan of the topic, but after reading this, I can't deny that is utterly interesting. The book is clearly out of date, but I like the undertone that it has. Furthe Very well-written book about the history of space travelling/exploration and its possible future. When I started reading it, I felt like I was reading poetry. Sagan had a really compelling, engaging and precious way of writing. It's something that definitely makes the reading experience much more attractive and delighting. I am not a huge fan of the topic, but after reading this, I can't deny that is utterly interesting. The book is clearly out of date, but I like the undertone that it has. Further, it's not totally focused on space travelling itself, but also on the political/ethical/social issues behind it. It's also interesting how he questions the reasons for extraterrestrial exploration, are those reasons good enough that matter risking people's lives/institution's prestige/state money? he offers really good reasons in favor of it, but I feel it's a question that is still up in the air.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Христо Блажев

    Бледа синя точица – всичко, което имаме и което трябва обезателно да напуснем: http://knigolandia.info/book-review/b... Без напускане на планетата, цивилизацията ни е обречена. Сейгън е посветил цяла глава на космическото насилие, което съпътства Слънчевата система от създаването й (пореден добър довод срещу креационизма) и на който неминуемо Земята ще се окаже жертва рано или късно. Няма връщане назад към природата, няма отказ от технологиите – рано или късно голям астериод ще нацели планетата Бледа синя точица – всичко, което имаме и което трябва обезателно да напуснем: http://knigolandia.info/book-review/b... Без напускане на планетата, цивилизацията ни е обречена. Сейгън е посветил цяла глава на космическото насилие, което съпътства Слънчевата система от създаването й (пореден добър довод срещу креационизма) и на който неминуемо Земята ще се окаже жертва рано или късно. Няма връщане назад към природата, няма отказ от технологиите – рано или късно голям астериод ще нацели планетата ни: само и единствено технологичното развитие и разселване по другите небесни тела може да осигури оцеляването на вида ни. А това върви ръка за ръка с осъзнаване на човечеството, повишаване на образоваността му, на рационалността му, на умението да се мисли критично и основателно. Издателство "Изток-Запад" http://knigolandia.info/book-review/b...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    This book was very well written by an excellent physicist. It was one of those books that really makes you consider the world around you and the massive scale of the Universe. The first chapter contemplated the arrogance and self-centred nature of humans, and presented the notion that humans are exceedingly small compared to the vast Universe. For the first time I really comprehended how tiny our species are. It is quite an obvious concept that gets lost in everyday worries, fears and troubles. N This book was very well written by an excellent physicist. It was one of those books that really makes you consider the world around you and the massive scale of the Universe. The first chapter contemplated the arrogance and self-centred nature of humans, and presented the notion that humans are exceedingly small compared to the vast Universe. For the first time I really comprehended how tiny our species are. It is quite an obvious concept that gets lost in everyday worries, fears and troubles. Now everytime I am stressed or anxious I think of how insignificant it is compared to the world, compared to the Universe, and perhaps how some far-off civilisation would view our world and its problems. Another thing the book did was allowed the reader to take an objective perspective of the Earth, for example, it made me realise how irrelevant political and social problems such as war and money are; the Universe is so much bigger, so much more significant than the miniscule conflicts that we create here on Earth. But it also made me realise the grandeur of the human race: how much we have accomplished, how much we still don't know, how far we're willing to go to find answers to scientific problems. The book also touched on the Solar System and the many diverse environments close to our planet, which was well explained. It was amusing to see that little information was available regarding what Titan is like since the probe would reach there in 2004 (the book was written in 1995)! I had to seek reference in another book to find the answers and alleviate my curiosity about this strange moon. However, the positive to this lack of information is that it elucidated the fact that science is always growing; new phenomena are constantly being discovered so that books written almost 20 years ago are immediately out of date. Carl Sagan also discussed the prospect of sending robots to Mars, which again made me laugh given Curiosity's recent successful landing. As the book went on, I found that it lost momentum. The last 8 or so chapters were quite repetitive and tedious; Sagan was mainly speculating about future possibilities instead of introducing new facts. Nevertheless, I found it quite interesting to read about potential trips to other galaxies, or terra-forming of Mars and asteroids - it would make for an excellent science fiction novel! The last chapter recapitulated much of the whole book so that I was left feeling that sense of awe and wonder at the majestic of the Universe and of humanity's scientific advancement. In conclusion, this was a fantastic book that really makes the reader contemplate the vastness of the Universe, feel patriotic towards Earth and want to make exploration of the Universe a possibility.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bipul Roy

    Must read this book, when ever you frown at someone at their small mistake and showing your egoistic authority at someone. This book will surely prove to be ego diminishing. Read it when ever your mind is facing giant storm of the "I" concept, all you feeling of self significance will vanish away. Best one from Carl Sagan(about earth on watching its picture taken from the robotic probe at about 7-8 billion miles away,from the edge of solar system the earth appeared to be a dust particle): "Look a Must read this book, when ever you frown at someone at their small mistake and showing your egoistic authority at someone. This book will surely prove to be ego diminishing. Read it when ever your mind is facing giant storm of the "I" concept, all you feeling of self significance will vanish away. Best one from Carl Sagan(about earth on watching its picture taken from the robotic probe at about 7-8 billion miles away,from the edge of solar system the earth appeared to be a dust particle): "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. 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. 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. 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. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known." — Carl Sagan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I miss Carl Sagan. I really do. There are no shortage of brilliant scientists out there, imaginative and innovative people who are dedicated to the advancement of science and the betterment of the human race. The difference between Sagan and the rest of them is that he was able to make it beautiful. When he talked, you could feel his excitement, his joy at knowing that there was a wonderful universe out there, waiting for us to discover it. In his most famous work, Cosmos, he introduced the wonder I miss Carl Sagan. I really do. There are no shortage of brilliant scientists out there, imaginative and innovative people who are dedicated to the advancement of science and the betterment of the human race. The difference between Sagan and the rest of them is that he was able to make it beautiful. When he talked, you could feel his excitement, his joy at knowing that there was a wonderful universe out there, waiting for us to discover it. In his most famous work, Cosmos, he introduced the wonders of science to people who had never thought about it before. Through his eyes, the cold, vast emptiness of space was a limitless field of discovery, an infinite storehouse of wonders for us to find. In this book, he tries to chart the future of space travel for humankind. He talks about the possibilities of moving to Mars, taking up homes in the asteroid belt, making our way through the solar system and outward. He believes that we have within us the potential to spread throughout the galaxy, given the will and the fortitude to do it. He marvels at the technological fortitude of the Voyager probes and the Apollo missions, and he sorrows at our timidity in no longer stepping outside our own orbit. He's not a - forgive the pun - starry-eyed optimist. He's very well aware of the history of the human race, our potential for self-destruction and our congenital short-sightedness. The same technology that would allow us to terraform is also destroying our own planet. The methods we could use to safeguard our world against meteor impacts could also turn those meteors against ourselves. A world as splintered and chaotic as ours may not be ready to take those next steps out into the greater Cosmos. We may even obliterate ourselves before we have the chance to find out. But one way or the other, he says, we have to go. The impulse for exploration is hard-wired into our DNA, and if we all stay on this one world, our chances for survival as a species are next to none. Sagan was a fantastic scientist, and more than that, he was an excellent communicator. He knew how to cut through the apparent soullessness of science and bring wonder to the hearts and minds of ordinary people. And, frankly, I think we need that right now. There's such a.... resistance to science these days, a fear of the universe, and people are starting to backslide to irrationality. If there's someone out there like that, we need that person desperately right now. So, you know, speak up.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Villines

    It's been my experience that people express themselves best when they are discussing the most exciting aspects of their lives. Give me an inch of enthusiasm for engineering and I can throw back a mile's worth of discussion regarding hydrology, hydraulics, and past projects. By opening Pale Blue Dot, the reader might as well be asking Sagan about his career as a scientist. And unlike engineering, Sagan's career has been amazing. For most inquisitors, and probably to the discouragement of Sagan, hi It's been my experience that people express themselves best when they are discussing the most exciting aspects of their lives. Give me an inch of enthusiasm for engineering and I can throw back a mile's worth of discussion regarding hydrology, hydraulics, and past projects. By opening Pale Blue Dot, the reader might as well be asking Sagan about his career as a scientist. And unlike engineering, Sagan's career has been amazing. For most inquisitors, and probably to the discouragement of Sagan, his reply of scientific knowledge would likely send the casual conversationalist looking for a different partner. However, for a few, Sagan's reply signals an opportunity to discover the truth about our existence and to learn about the realities that surround us. So with the passion of a scientist, Sagan tells us about where we all collectively live and continues with the passion of a human to explain why our days here on Earth are numbered. The result is an impassioned narrative told by man that holds the truth in the highest level of regard. While not an autobiography in the traditional sense, Pale Blue Dot is an account of Sagan's scientific life, boiled down to the essentials that gave his life purpose and the message that he wanted to send forth into humanity's future. As for content, Pale Blue Dot presents a relatively concise point in time. The narrative presents a summary of humanity's knowledge of our home world, our fellow planets, and their moons as we knew them near the end Sagan's life. But more importantly to Sagan, this information is what humanity knew when we collectively achieved the technological enlightenment needed to affect our own extinction. Sagan, the eternal scientist, also presents his hope for our future in true scientific fashion. While the future cannot be known, qualitative factors that could affect our future are presented and weighed by Sagan. He presents the evidence against us but he also presents the ideas needed to move beyond this perilous time in our existence.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shruti Badole

    Pale Blue Dot: literally one of the best books I have read. You might think I am enlisting the book in that category because I am an Astrophysics student. I won’t deny that I might be ‘biased’ that way, but in all honesty, I feel that this is one book that every person should give a read. Having watched and thoroughly enjoyed the Cosmos series by Carl Sagan, I couldn’t wait to read his books (although, I did wait. I watched that series more than three years ago!). Insightful, inspiring and refre Pale Blue Dot: literally one of the best books I have read. You might think I am enlisting the book in that category because I am an Astrophysics student. I won’t deny that I might be ‘biased’ that way, but in all honesty, I feel that this is one book that every person should give a read. Having watched and thoroughly enjoyed the Cosmos series by Carl Sagan, I couldn’t wait to read his books (although, I did wait. I watched that series more than three years ago!). Insightful, inspiring and refreshing. Was the Pale Blue Dot just what I had expected? No, it was much more. This is one of the richest books I have read, in terms of content, style and language. Sagan has the ability to capture the imagination of even those people who are least interested in space science. His words are arresting, his style intelligent (what else could you expect from a world-renowned astrophysicist and science communicator?). This beautiful excerpt from the book, known to probably every science enthusiast, is just an example. "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam." (Follow the link https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/2300... for the full quote. It’s breathtaking.) In the 380+ pages-long journey that Sagan takes us, he talks about a variety of things. The central theme of the book is the human race: our past, present and future in the cosmic arena. He talks about our ‘wandering’ ancestors, the times of Copernicus and Galileo when the geocentric theory was popular, the various advances humankind has made in technology and space science, and what the future is expected to hold for us. He also addresses a point that would concern any ethical person: the use and misuse of science and technology, and its repercussions. Is it right to spend billions of taxpayer money on space research that does not guarantee immediate tangible positive outcomes? Is space travel really important? Are we, as humans, capable of preserving this pale blue dot we call our home? Are we prudent enough to settle on other worlds, not destroy them and form another civilization off-Earth? Questions of human race, questions of science, and answers to them. This is what Sagan talks about. Needless to say, Sagan was a brilliant astrophysicist and a visionary. He was aware of the follies and complexities of human race, our incredible potential to achieve things unimagined before and also our great capability to destroy ourselves. As a budding astrophysicist and an advocate of science, I think everyone needs to hear what Sagan has to say. I greatly recommend the Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Utsob Roy

    বইটা পড়তে অনেকটা সময় লাগলো নানা বযসততায়। তবে তাড়িয়ে তাড়িয়ে পড়েছি, তাড়া দিইনি নিজেকে। সেগানের লেখা আমার আর দশটা জনপরিয় বিজঞান লেখকদের চেয়ে ভালো লাগে। তার কাবযিকতা অসাধারণ। এক তারা কমেছে বইটা শেষে একটু ঝুলে গেছে বলে। এই বইয়ের পরথমদিকের অধযায়গুলো চমৎকার। ইতমধযে আপনি যদি জযোতিরবিজঞান সমপরকে ভালো ধারণা না রাখেন এবং এই মহাবিশবে আপনার ছোট গণডিতে নিজেকে একটাকিছু মনে হয় তবে এই অধযায়গুলো আপনাকে আঘাতও করতে পারে। এবং, সেগান, ঠোঁটকাটা সেগান কোনোকিছুই ছাড়েনি, ছোটমানুষের ছোট ঈশবরকেও না। "In some respects, scienc বইটা পড়তে অনেকটা সময় লাগলো নানা ব্যস্ততায়। তবে তাড়িয়ে তাড়িয়ে পড়েছি, তাড়া দিইনি নিজেকে। সেগানের লেখা আমার আর দশটা জনপ্রিয় বিজ্ঞান লেখকদের চেয়ে ভালো লাগে। তার কাব্যিকতা অসাধারণ। এক তারা কমেছে বইটা শেষে একটু ঝুলে গেছে বলে। এই বইয়ের প্রথমদিকের অধ্যায়গুলো চমৎকার। ইতমধ্যে আপনি যদি জ্যোতির্বিজ্ঞান সম্পর্কে ভালো ধারণা না রাখেন এবং এই মহাবিশ্বে আপনার ছোট গণ্ডিতে নিজেকে একটাকিছু মনে হয় তবে এই অধ্যায়গুলো আপনাকে আঘাতও করতে পারে। এবং, সেগান, ঠোঁটকাটা সেগান কোনোকিছুই ছাড়েনি, ছোটমানুষের ছোট ঈশ্বরকেও না। "In some respects, science has far surpassed religion in delivering awe. How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed”? Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.”" এবং শেষেরদিকের বৈজ্ঞানিক দৃষ্টিভঙ্গি নিয়ে এই কথাগুলো ভালো লেগেছে, "but this would be self-indulgent and foolish. We must surrender our skepticism only in the face of rock-solid evidence. Science demands a tolerance for ambiguity. Where we are ignorant, we withhold belief. Whatever annoyance the uncertainty engenders serves a higher purpose: It drives us to accumulate better data. This attitude is the difference between science and so much else. Science offers little in the way of cheap thrills. The standards of evidence are strict. But when followed they allow us to see far, illuminating even a great darkness."

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eti Mishra

    You can read full review here Wow! this book is just wow. I remember, in 2014 I watched this short film called Wanderers, and you know I loved it. I have read few more books by Carl Sagan, but I got to know about this book after watching this video. And after reading this book, I can say that it was my favorite book of the year 2015 and I'm very happy that I ended my year with this book. If I talk about Carl Sagan, do you know what separate him or distinguish him from other brilliant people out th You can read full review here Wow! this book is just wow. I remember, in 2014 I watched this short film called Wanderers, and you know I loved it. I have read few more books by Carl Sagan, but I got to know about this book after watching this video. And after reading this book, I can say that it was my favorite book of the year 2015 and I'm very happy that I ended my year with this book. If I talk about Carl Sagan, do you know what separate him or distinguish him from other brilliant people out there? His excitement and enthusiasm with which he express himself. You can feel it in his writing. And I liked how he can explain things with such simplicity, while maintaining the beauty. I would say this book is glorious and it makes me wonder, it illuminates me, through a light on the significance of our lives, and how special we are. He quoted in the book: "The Universe seems designed for human beings. It's difficult to contemplate these circumstances without experiencing stirrings of pride and reassurance. The entire Universe, made for us! We must really be something." In this world, as of now we are the only living, thinking beings and we should really be happy with all that we have and all that surrounds us! Pale Blue Dot refers to the Earth in the great vastness of the Universe. However small it may appear from that distance, but it is so much more to us. For us it's our world,the only known world which harbors life, sustain life, and it's our home. From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. In it everyone we love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being, who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam... ...The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. Think of how fucked up we will be, if we destroy this planet. You know when ever I feel sad or depressed, I always listen to him, watch those videos that are available on YouTube and for some reason after listening to him I feel good, there is certain hope that he instill in me and then I just feel wonderful. I love him and I'll always remember him, for he made a huge impact in my life. He is truly irreplaceable. These are few other quotes that I really like: "We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, out willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good." "The Universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space. "It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out." "Imagination will often carry us to the worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere." "The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together ." "If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserve to be destroyed by the truth." "In all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other." And there are many more... So the conclusion is, read this book and then read his other books, and then watch those videos that are available on YouTube and then just enjoy the Universe. Read it, you won't be disappointed! Happy Reading!

  27. 4 out of 5

    وائل قريطم

    - من الممتع والمفيد جداً قراءة الكتب مرة أخرى، كنت قد قرأت منذ عامين تقريباً كتاب" كوكب الأرض : نقطة زرقاء باهتة "لـ كارل ساجان، وعدت لقراءته مرة أخرى للمتعة أولاً، وثانياً لثبات وتذكر إدراك الحقيقة الكونية ... في المرة الأولى التي قرأته فيها حلمت بساجان وكان أفضل شىء حدث لي على الإطلاق في هذا العام، كان حلماً لكنني مؤمن تماماً بحقيقته ! فقد ذهبت برفقة العظيم كارل ساجان إلى رحلة لسطح القمر ومن ثم بناءً على طلبي ذهبنا إلى المشترى المُبهج المتألق وأقماره ، لم نستقل سفينة فضائية أو شىء من هذا القبي - من الممتع والمفيد جداً قراءة الكتب مرة أخرى، كنت قد قرأت منذ عامين تقريباً كتاب" كوكب الأرض : نقطة زرقاء باهتة "لـ كارل ساجان، وعدت لقراءته مرة أخرى للمتعة أولاً، وثانياً لثبات وتذكر إدراك الحقيقة الكونية ... في المرة الأولى التي قرأته فيها حلمت بساجان وكان أفضل شىء حدث لي على الإطلاق في هذا العام، كان حلماً لكنني مؤمن تماماً بحقيقته ! فقد ذهبت برفقة العظيم كارل ساجان إلى رحلة لسطح القمر ومن ثم بناءً على طلبي ذهبنا إلى المشترى المُبهج المتألق وأقماره ، لم نستقل سفينة فضائية أو شىء من هذا القبيل، فقط كنت أمسك بيد ساجان ونطير!، لو لم يكن هناك سوى هذا الحدث في هذا العام لكفى، فقد كان حلماً جميلاً ... - كارل ساجان هو فلكي أمريكي من أبرز المساهمين في تبسيط علوم الفلك والفيزياء الفلكيه وغيرها من العلوم الطبيعية. وكان له دور رائد في تعزيز البحث عن المخلوقات الذكية خارج الكرة الأرضية، أهم ما يميّز ساجان هو إسهاماته الكبرى في تبسيط علوم الفضاء والفلك لعامة الناس، ولعل هذا ما أدى إلى نجاح معظم مؤلفاته... - " كوكب الأرض: نقطة زرقاء باهتة " فكرة الكتاب مأخوذة من صورة التقطتها مركبة الفضاء الأمريكية فوياجر 2 لكوكب الأرض في 1990 من مسافة ستة مليارات كيلو متر عن الأرض، حيث بدا كوكب الأرض كنقطة زرقاء بالكاد تبدو واضحة في خلفية النجوم. وهنا يقول ساجان : " أين كوكب الأرض ؟! أنظر مرة أخرى إلى هذه النقطة. إنه هناك : الوطن . ها نحن . عليها يوجد كل من تحبه ، كل من تعرفه ، كل من سمعت عنه ، كل إنسان كان موجوداً في أي وقت . إن جميع أفراحنا ومعاناتنا، وآلاف الأديان والأيديولوجيات والمذاهب الاقتصادية الواثقة، كل قناص أو مغير، كل بطل أو جبان، كل مبدع أو مدمر للحضارة، كل ملك أو فلاح، كل شاب وفتاة متحابين، كل أم وكل أب، كل طفل واعد، كل سياسي فاسد، كل " نجم لامع " من نجوم الفن ، كل " قائد أعلى " ، كل قديس أو آثم في تاريخ نوعنا .... قد عاش هنا – على هذه الذرة من الغبار المعلقة في شعاع شمس . وها هو هذا الكوكب يعد مسرحاً صغيراً جداً في ساحات كونية شاسعة. تأمل كل أنهار الدم التي أراقها الجنرالات والأباطرة حتى يصبحوا أسياد، إذا ما نجحوا في تحقيق المجد والإنتصار ، ولفترة وجيزة خاطفة على كسرة ضئيلة من هذه النقطة. وتأمل الأعمال الوحشية اللانهائية التي مارسها سكان أحد أركان هذا العنصر الضئيل على سكان آخرين في ركن آخر، إننا بصعوبة يمكن أن نميزهم بعضهم عن بعض . ترى، ما مدى سوء الفهم بينهم، وما مدى رغبتهم في قتل بعضهم بعضا، وما مدى اشتعال ما بينهم من كراهية ؟ إن نقطة الضوء الباهتة هذه تقف متحدية أوضاعنا المصطنعة وما نتصوره من أهمية ذاتية، فضلاً عما لدينا من أوهام حول وضعنا المتميز في الكون فكوكبنا ليس سوى بقعة ضئيلة وحيدة في غلاف من الظلام الكوني الفسيح المحيط بنا. وفي هذه الظلمة، وفي وسط هذا الإتساع، لا تبدو أي إشارة خفية أو حتى تلميح إلى أن مساعدة ستأتي من مكان آخر لإنقاذنا من أنفسنا . يأخذنا كارل ساجان في كتابه إلى رحلة كونية خارج هذه النقطة الزرقاء الباهته المتطرفة من الكون، رحلة علمية وفلسفية، يبدأ بإشعال ضوء الإدراك في عقلك كي تعي موقعك وحجمك من الكون، ثم يكسر نرجسيتك كبشري يعتقد أنه مركز الكون وأن هذا الكون غير مصنوع من أجلك، ويحدثنا عن آخر ما توصل إليه العلم في رحلته للبحث عن حياة ذكية خارج كوكب الأرض، ويذكر إنجازات أو إنتصار فوييجير والنقلة العلمية التي حدثت من جراء ذلك، ويظهر بشدة أمل العالم في كارل عن إستكشاف عوالم أخرى جديدة، وعن حماية كوكب الأرض، ويتحدث عن العنف الروتيني في الفضاء الواقع بين الكواكب، ويذكر رؤية العلم في الدفاع عن الكوكب من أي تصادمات لأجسام فضائية بكوكب الأرض، وأيضاً يتحدث عن إعادة تنظيم وصنع الكواكب بما يتلائم مع إحتياجاتنا البشرية وأيضاً عن الهجرة إلى الكويكبات السيارة وإلى المريخ، وعن المخاطر المحتملة لذلك وعن الحلول المتوقعة ... بإختصار كان هذا ما دار حوله ساجان في كتابه " نقطة زرقاء باهته . تطرق ساجان إلى أمور فلسفية كثيرة تخص النرجسية البشرية وظنون إمتلاك الحقيقة المطلقة وأمله في تحقيق الإنسانية ومعايشتها، وأيضاً إنتقادات سياسية تخص دعم البحث العلمي بدلاً من التسلح العسكري وذكر ميزانية ناسا التي ربما لاتتجاوز الـ 5% من ميزانية وزارة الدفاع بالولايات المتحدة ... الكتاب رائع جداً ويستحق القراءة ... شكراً ساجان العظيم <3

  28. 4 out of 5

    Syed Fathi

    This book is part planetary science and part imagination. The ideas are really captivating, it makes you wanna pack your bag and bought your space flight ticket and wander in the cosmic darkness. It is really hard to put it down, I hope that my daughter will grow up fast, so she could read this book. The early chapter discussed about cosmic vastness and how insignificant our planet when we compare with the infinite darkness. This insignificance is captured by Voyager 2 during its mission in Neptu This book is part planetary science and part imagination. The ideas are really captivating, it makes you wanna pack your bag and bought your space flight ticket and wander in the cosmic darkness. It is really hard to put it down, I hope that my daughter will grow up fast, so she could read this book. The early chapter discussed about cosmic vastness and how insignificant our planet when we compare with the infinite darkness. This insignificance is captured by Voyager 2 during its mission in Neptune. The iconic picture showed us that out there, our planet is just a single pixel, a pale blue dot in the sunbeam. The universe noted by Sagan, is clearly not made for us. Sagan elaborate on how science take over religion on humans view of the space. He brought the Galileo's heliocentric case against the fallacy of geocentric view championed by the Catholic Church. The later chapter discussed more technically on how our spacefaring activities could be. How in the future me might colonized other planets such as Mars and create a dome habitat for human to settle. Also the prospect of re-engineering the environment of other planets or moon so that it would be habitable to earth's life. This can be done using terraforming, which maybe can be done in theory, but yet to be done practically. Sagan made it clear that space flight in the future is not a luxury but rather our mean of survival. As the earth might in future deteriorate and obliterate by asteroids, it just a matter of time before we made our journey into the interstellar journey. For Sagan, we have only two options in future, space flight or extinction.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Muthuvel

    "Despite all our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness." Carl Sagan Changed my life the way i used to think a few years ago. I don't think no one can ever change that attitude unless taking our perception beyond the cosmic level. Maybe Multiversal and I know for sure that even that person must be inspired from Sagan. It's the best gems of Sagan's. So many excerpts left me overflowing with tears and joys of being able to witness and face such frontier. "We who cannot eve "Despite all our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness." Carl Sagan Changed my life the way i used to think a few years ago. I don't think no one can ever change that attitude unless taking our perception beyond the cosmic level. Maybe Multiversal and I know for sure that even that person must be inspired from Sagan. It's the best gems of Sagan's. So many excerpts left me overflowing with tears and joys of being able to witness and face such frontier. "We who cannot even put our planetary home in order, riven with rivalries and hatred, are we to venture out into space?" At Some passages, i felt it's more than a book of knowledge. It's a book of spirituality where realising our profound duties and connectedness helped me become a better being. Made me realize that some of us are lost under the great darkness and there has to be somebody to save them. Came to know about Carl Sagan is the sweetest thing that had ever happened in my life till now. Words he say has more wisdom than knowledge, blending the Science with Philosophy and that's why i love Astronomy for which they can be easily related to philosophy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cheylianie

    “The Cosmos extends, for all practical purposes, forever. Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds throughout the Solar System and beyond, will be unified by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet, and by the knowledge that, whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the Universe come from Earth.” —Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space A very enjoyable and exciting read. Essential for any Carl Sagan fan, and a must-read for any “The Cosmos extends, for all practical purposes, forever. Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds throughout the Solar System and beyond, will be unified by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet, and by the knowledge that, whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the Universe come from Earth.” —Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space A very enjoyable and exciting read. Essential for any Carl Sagan fan, and a must-read for anyone wanting to know more about why the exploration and eventual settlement of other worlds is a necessity for the long term survival of the human species. Actually, this is one of those books that I think everyone should read at least once.

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