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Posts Tagged ‘Earth’

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.
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.  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
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On This Day In:
2021 The Imposition Of Position
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2020 Stand Up!
Crowd Sourced Scouting Report
2019 Only One Direction
2018 Respect Is Long Gone
2017 Dream Of Dreamers
2016 Dear Automakers
2015 And Some Not So Brave Too
2014 In My Lifetime…
2013 Democracy
2012 Borrowed Expectations
2011 Not Necessarily True

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Even these stars, which seem so numerous, are as sand, as dust – or less than dust – in the enormity of the space in which there is nothing.
    —    Carl Sagan
No other planet in the solar system is a suitable home for human beings;  it’s this world or nothing.  That’s a very powerful perception.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2021 We Need Professional Journalists AND The First Amendment
It Was Rainin’ Hard
2020 Neither Alone, Nor Lonely
Giving
2019 That’s Why It’s Called Faith
2018 So We Agree, #45 Is Dumb – Too
2017 The Morality Of Spying
2016 He Doesn’t Remind Me Of Me
The First Rule
2015 Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow
The Man Without Fear
2014 I Blame Robocop
2013 Future Trustees
2012 Praise Not The Day…
2011 Educated Living

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Who are we?  We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2021 Put ‘Er There
Are You Goin’ On Again?
2020 And In The Back
2019 Sunlight Stream
2018 Wars Without Taxes
2017 Multiplication And Division
2016 I Went To The Woods…
2015 I’ve Got To Run
2014 Which Is It?
2013 Making You Stronger
2012 Sick Of Being Sick
Greater Than Power
2011 Clear, Specific And Measurable
2010 The Runner’s High
Into The Dark…

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There is no other species on the Earth that does science.  It is, so far, entirely a human invention, evolved by natural selection in the cerebral cortex for one simple reason:  it works.  It is not perfect.  It can be misused.  It is only a tool.  But it is by far the best tool we have, self-correcting, ongoing, applicable to everything.  It has two rules.  First:  there are no sacred truths;  all assumptions must be critically examined;  arguments from authority are worthless.  Second:  whatever is inconsistent with the facts must be discarded or revised.  We must understand the Cosmos as it is and not confuse how it is with how we wish it to be.
     —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 Precarious Fools
A Shining City Upon A Hill
2019 How #45’s Father Raised Him For Incompetence
2018 Describing #45 – “The Loser” – As A Successful Businessman
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2017 Federal Deficit, National Debt And Tax Cuts For The 1%
2016 Picky, Picky, Picky
2015 Another Limitation On Religion
2014 Enduring
2013 Tell Me More…
2012 Passing…
2011 Fake It ‘Til You Make It

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Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.
 
    —     Mahatma Gandhi
 
[Mankind cannot continue our war on the Earth’s environment and expect to survive – let alone expect to “win”.  Yes, we can destroy the environment, but the Earth will not care and it will go on.  If we continue to make the planet uninhabitable for our species, we will become extinct, but the Earth will continue just fine.  The planet is indifferent to our survival as a species.  This will be a bitter lesson (for humanity) for the next 150 years…    —    KMAB]
 
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On This Day In:
2020 Waiting For 20 January 2021
  #45: You Would Cry Too…
2019 #Corrupt45 Fails Another Great Test
2018 Where The Economy Is Headed Thanks To #IncompetentDonald
2017 Time For More Research, Too
2016 Original Thoughts
2015 If They’re Good Enough
2014 Three…
2013 Uncle Joe’s Song
  Live, Then, As If…
2012 Still Trying
2011 Not Deserving
   

 

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This is why I much prefer autumn to spring, because in autumn you look at the sky.  In spring, the earth.
    —     Søren Kierkegaard
[Found at one of the blogs I follow:  https://gabrieleromano.wordpress.com/
The specific post was:  https://gabrieleromano.wordpress.com/2021/10/02/october-has-arrived/
Please visit the original site if you have a spare moment…    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 Looking Up
Shiny
2020 #45: Or All-Consuming Greed
You Could Have Told Me Yourself
2019 Not Personal
2018 Preference For Irrationality
2017 All At Once
2016 One Of My Vices
2015 The War Lord
2014 Orange October (II) – Giants Win NLDS Game 2 In 18 Innings (2 to 1)!!
Acknowledging Doubt
2013 Fulfilled Acceptance
2012 Error Is Tolerated Here (So Far)
2011 In Defense Of Pain

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Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living.  The world owes you nothing.  It was here first.
    —     Mark Twain
[Whether we leave it habitable or not is a different question…    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2020 Necessary And Desirable
Who Made The Rules?
2019 The Far Side
2018 Hold On
Day 11: Just Plain Tired
2017 Why Don’t You Tell Us What You Really Think?
2016 Discontent
2015 Do You Know Me?
Appetite For Life Update
2014 Tough Journalism
2013 Things I’ve Learned
2012 Abstainer, n.
2011 Rain, Rain, Rain
Test Your Strength
2009 End the mistakes…

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Unlike the La Pérouse expedition the Conquistadors sought not knowledge but Gold.  They used their superior weapons to loot and murder, in their madness they obliterated a civilization.  In the name of piety, in a mockery of their religion, the Spaniards utterly destroyed a society with an Art, Astronomy and Architecture the equal of anything in Europe.  We revile the Conquistadors for their cruelty and shortsightedness, for choosing death.  We admire La Pérouse and the Tlingit for their courage and wisdom, for choosing life.  The choice is with us still, but the civilization now in jeopardy is all humanity.  As the ancient myth makers knew we’re children equally of the earth and the sky.  In our tenure on this planet we’ve accumulated dangerous evolutionary baggage, propensities for aggression and ritual, submission to leaders, hostility to outsiders, all of which puts our survival in some doubt.  But we’ve also acquired compassion for others, love for our children, a desire to learn from history and experience and a great soaring passionate intelligence, the clear tools for our continued survival and prosperity.  Which aspects of our nature will prevail is uncertain, particularly when our visions and prospects are bound to one small part of the small planet Earth.   But up there in the Cosmos an inescapable perspective awaits.  National boundaries are not evident when we view the Earth from space.  Fanatical ethnic or religious or national identifications are a little difficult to support when we see our Earth as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and the citadel of the stars.  There are not yet obvious signs of extraterrestrial intelligence and this makes us wonder whether civilizations like ours rush inevitably headlong into self-destruction.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 It Is Still About Sharing And Cheering
2019 Sounds Like #LyingDonald
2018 Start Building
2017 Woof! Woof!
2016 Cast Out
2015 Small Pieces
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2014 Uncertain Work
2013 Unpatriotic And Servile
2012 What Price Freedom?
2011 Particular Importance
Three From Bette…

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We have found that scientific laws pervade all of nature, that the same rules apply on Earth as in the skies, that we can find a resonance, a harmony, between the way we think and the way the world works…
As a boy Kepler had been captured by a vision of cosmic splendor, a harmony of the worlds which he sought so tirelessly all his life.  Harmony in this world eluded him.  His three laws of planetary motion represent, we now know, a real harmony of the worlds, but to Kepler they were only incidental to his quest for a cosmic system based on the Perfect Solids, a system which, it turns out, existed only in his mind.  Yet from his work, we have found that scientific laws pervade all of nature, that the same rules apply on Earth as in the skies, that we can find a resonance, a harmony, between the way we think and the way the world works.
When he found that his long cherished beliefs did not agree with the most precise observations, he accepted the uncomfortable facts, he preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions.  That is the heart of science.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 Up Again
2019 Advice From #1 To #45
2018 How Much I Will Miss The Trump Administration
2017 We Need To Continue Experimenting
2016 Consistently
2015 We Must Dissent
2014 Now What?
2013 Judgement
2012 Stuck In My Mind
Life’s Hope
2011 Just Getting Up
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But we don’t yet know whether the Universe is open or closed.  More than that, there are a few astronomers who doubt that the redshift of distant galaxies is due to the doppler effect, who are skeptical of the expanding Universe and the Big Bang.  Perhaps our descendants will regard our present ignorance with as much sympathy as we feel to the ancients for not knowing the Earth went around the Sun.  If the general picture, however, of a Big Bang followed by an expanding Universe is correct, what happened before that?  Was the Universe devoid of all matter and then the matter suddenly somehow created, how did that happen?  In many cultures, the customary answer is that a God or Gods created the Universe out of nothing.  But if we wish to pursue this question courageously, we must of course ask the next question:  where did God come from?  If we decide that this is an unanswerable question, why not save a step and conclude that the origin of the Universe is an unanswerable question?  Or, if we say that God always existed, why not save a step, and conclude that the Universe always existed?  That there’s no need for a creation, it was always here.  These are not easy questions.  Cosmology brings us face to face with the deepest mysteries, questions that were once treated only in religion and myth.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
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2019 But Yours
2018 And Smile More Often
2017 He’s Keeping The Light On For Us
2016 The Results Of Trying Too Hard
2015 Make Me Look
2014 Fresh Drink
2013 Good Business
2012 Unsure Spirit
2011 A Lost Valuable

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The earth laughs in flowers.
    ―    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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On This Day In:
2019 Ruff Clean
2018 Sounds Like A Blog To Me
2017 My Fear For America
2016 Proceeding Still
2015 Seeing Rainbows
I Am A Runner
2014 The Law Of The Perversity Of Nature
2013 One Standard Deviation
2012 High Anxiety
2011 And I’m Taking Me There
2010 1,000

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There are occasions when you can hear the mysterious language of the Earth, in water, or coming through the trees, emanating from the mosses, seeping through the undercurrents of the soil;  but you have to be willing to wait and receive.
     —     John Hay
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On This Day In:
2021 Creation Without Reservation
From The Tiniest Embers
2020 Listening To The Trees
Your Mind’s Made Up?
2019 In Silence
Not Much Light Here
2018 A Gift
2017 Unless You Genuinely Are Small
2016 B1
2015 Five Things
2014 Have Faith
2013 Found In A Mine
2012 Two-Sided Coin
2011 Passionately Scorned Rules

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Our intelligence and our technology have given us the power to affect the climate.  How will we use this power?  Are we willing to tolerate ignorance and complacency in matters that affect the entire human family?  Do we value short-term advantages above the welfare of the Earth?  Or will we think on longer time scales, with concern for our children and our grandchildren, to understand and protect the complex life-support systems of our planet?  The Earth is a tiny and fragile world.  It needs to be cherished.
Human beings have a demonstrated talent for self-deception when their emotions are stirred.
     —     Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2021 Why Republicans Are Unhappy
I Guess It’s True
2020 A Tiny And Fragile World
Your Lyin’ Eyes
2019 Day 1: Done
#IncompetentDonald Fails On All Three
2018 I Put It Down To Bad Teachers
Day 34: In And Out
2017 And The Future Is Now
2016 I Am
2015 Positively Aiming Higher
2014 Suspicious Minds
2013 We Are Not Alone
2012 Lawyer, n.
2011 Each Day Remember…
2010 Impossible Dreams of Camelot

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Our global civilization is clearly on the edge of failure and the most important task it faces, preserving the lives and well-being of its citizens and the future habitability of the planet.  But if we’re willing to live with the growing likelihood of nuclear war shouldn’t we also been willing to explore vigorously every possible means to prevent nuclear war.  Shouldn’t we consider in every nation major changes in the traditional ways of doing things, a fundamental restructuring of economic political social and religious institutions.  We’ve reached a point where there can be no more special interests or special cases, nuclear arms threaten every person on the Earth.  Fundamental changes in society are sometimes labelled impractical or contrary to human nature, as if nuclear war were practical or as if there’s only one human nature.  But fundamental changes can clearly be made, we’re surrounded by them.  In the last two centuries abject slavery which was with us for thousands of years has almost entirely been eliminated in a stirring worldwide revolution.  Women, systematically mistreated for millennia are gradually gaining the political and economic power traditionally denied them and some wars of aggression have recently been stopped or curtailed because of a revulsion felt by the people in the aggressor nations.  The old appeals to racial, sexual, and religious chauvinism and to rabid nationalist fervor are beginning not to work.  A new consciousness is developing which sees the earth as a single organism and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed.  We are one planet.  One of the great revelations of the age of space exploration is the image of the earth finite and lonely, somehow vulnerable, bearing the entire human species through the oceans of space and time.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2019 The Ones Worth Remembering, Anyway
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2018 To Reach The Next Threshold
2017 Streaking Tales
2016 Singular Reality
2015 He Says It’s Hard To Get There From Here
2014 Question From A Founding Father
2013 Make Heroes
2012 See And Hold
2011 Am Not, Are So

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Amid the talk of Earth’s shortcomings and the promise of space, I found myself committed to going down with the ship.  Ashes to ashes, feet of clay — I’m happy to weigh my weight in pounds if it means I can be rooted on Earth like my ancestors and all of our ancestors and even the word ancestor, and indeed every language and piece of writing and every single thought.  At the same time, the Milky Way of the mind, as Bezos and Musk present it, is an exciting and sustaining fantasy — a place of boundless love, indiscriminate hospitality, and infinite resources.  Very like the God that humans on Earth once invented, or the one who invented us.
    —    Viriginia Heffernan
From her article:  “Love And Rockets: Why I’m Staying Put
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  Jan 2019
This article also appears online at:  https://www.wired.com/story/infinite-space-utopia-cant-replicate-earths-humanity/
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On This Day In:
2019 Are You Moving?
2018 We Can Only Pray
2017 Heavier At That End
2016 The Difference Is Craftsmanship
2015 However Vast The Darkness
2014 The Omnipresent Teacher
2013 Don’t Waste
2012 Earning Thanks
2011 Fuzzy Vision
2010 Movies and Book

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