Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cosmic Calendar
I've just uploaded a video clip of Carl Sagan's Cosmos show from the later 1970s. In it he likens the history of the universe to a year of the calendar. This approach (I'm not even sure if Sagan was the first) has been used many times since, often to endorse an ecological message: it was a favorite recruiting tool of Greenpeace when I worked there, but Sagan is the master. The end carries a particular punch as Sagan sums up our species particular place in the universe.

Those of you who are familiar with the eponymous passage in Sagan's Pale Blue Dot book, will notice a certain foreshadowing. What Sagan does for space there, he does for time here: namely the cosmic insignificance of the human endevour.

Cosmos used to be on Google video but it has been removed. Shame, it could have reached all sorts of people there who would have not shelved out the money to buy the DVD. Hopefully the clip is fair use and won't go the same way.

No comments: