It’s been a few years, but I can still remember the exact feelings that were inspired within me the first time I heard a recitation of the Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot segment; I can remember those exact feelings because they’re still inspired with each viewing/hearing.
Last time I posted about Bad Science, calling it one of the books that has had the most impact on my life. Today I’d like to say that, while he might not have had the most impact on my life, Carl Sagan has definitely been one of the greatest influences in my life. The first time I ever saw cosmos was a segment where Sagan used a bowling ball and a bed sheet to explain the concept of time-space; it was completely captivating. Sagan is the primary reason I gained an interest in Astronomy; he’s the origin point for a desire that has lead me to take math and physics more seriously, to spend many cold nights with a telescope in the front yard, and to read a number of books that I still barely understand. He also provided me with a perspective about life, my own and that of everyone else on the Pale Blue Dot, that has done more to fill me with a sense of purpose than any other philosophy I’ve ever encountered.
Happy Birthday Carl Sagan, the Pale Blue Dot is a little less significant without you.
p.s. If you’ve never checked out/donated to SETI, you should go ahead and check them out over here