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kentuckiense

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However, I absolutely love this one.


That image is of Earth from 4 billion miles away. It was taken as Voyager 1 took one last look back on Earth.

"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."

-Carl Sagan, from a commencement speech in May of 1996.

There is actually more to the quote, but I find those opening few sentences best. There's value in brevity. However, I still really love the rest of it:

"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 master 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."


Now it's your turn! Post some quotes you find to be poignant, meaningful, etc.
 

adiaphane

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I. Am. A. Big. Fan. Of. Carl. Sagan.

He repeats that quote on his series, "Cosmos," that he did for PBS. I love astrophysics (although I don't understand the math too well) and spend a considerable amount of time reading about stars and black matter and singularities and string theory and ....
 

Jon in SW Ohio

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I always loved Cosmos and my parents always watched PBS...maybe that's what I should blame for my love of Nature. :poke:
String theory was interesting, but not quite the grand unifying theory everyone's looking for. In our lifetimes, we will probably see Einstein's theory of relativity superceded since he only accounted for 3 dimensions and time.

Jon
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silence882

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Carl Sagan was a little too head-in-the-clouds for me. Stephen Hawking is the man:

The idea that space and time may form a closed surface without boundary also has profound implications for the role of God in the affairs of the universe. With the success of scientific theories in describing events, most people have come to believe that God allows the universe to evolve according to a set of laws and does not intervene in the universe to break these laws. However, the laws do not tell us what the universe should have looked like when it started - it would still be up to God to wind up the clockwork and choose how to start it off. So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?
--"A Brief History of Time"

And a misc. C.S. Lewis quote:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.

--Stephen
 

kentuckiense

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silence882 said:
And a misc. C.S. Lewis quote:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.
A C.S. Lewis quote that I actually like!
 

adiaphane

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Although I like reading about string theory, I don't believe that a unifying theory for relativity and quantum mechanics exist... at least not with our current knowledge of relativity. Basically, I'm with Jon. Einstein's theories are already showing problems, expecially in regards to the ultimate speed of light. The things with dimensions confuse me a little, especially after I read Michio Kaku's Hyperspace. I'm still trying to grasp it. What trips me up even more are black holes, and supermassive black holes, especially how these theories can be thought up especially because you can't for all intents and purposes, really test it out,, and science without the scientifc method just doesn't work for me.

As for Stephen Hawkings, I dig a man who can concede to losing a bet, and shell out the money to buy his friend a set of the OED. The only thing of his I ever read is A Brief History of Time, although I have been meaning to read more.

This is one of my favorite sections in all of literature, where my handle comes from:
Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot. Snotgreen, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane. But he adds: in bodies. Then he was aware of them bodies before of them coloured. How? By knocking his sconce against them, sure. Go easy. Bald he was and a millionaire, maestro di color che sanno. Limit of the diaphane in. Why in? Diaphane, adiaphane. If you can put your five fingers through it it is a gate, if not a door. Shut your eyes and see.
***
Open your eyes now. I will. One moment. Has all vanished since? If I open and am for ever in the black adiaphane. BASTA! I will see if I can see.

See now. There all the time without you: and ever shall be, world without end.

--Joyce, Ulysses, Proteus Chapter
 
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SlipperFan

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Actually, whenever I get to thinking of my importance, I think of people like Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, and get humbled.
 

Jon in SW Ohio

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Since I didn't add a quote last time, and I don't know who said it...
Good things happen over time, great things happen all at once. (I'm a sucker for one-liners)

An example that really clicked for me about understanding the signs of another dimension and micro black wholes was something like this:
Imagine viewing a two dimensional world like viewing a cartoon character on a piece of paper. All he can see are the edges to the box drawn around him. Now place an apple next to him on the piece of paper. He can see a red line where the apple interesects with his dimension, but can never understand what it is or what it may look like ouside his dimension.

Jon
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