We lost Carl Sagan on this day, seventeen years ago. It was only in the last few years that I have discovered his voice and his wisdom. And I wanted to share one of the best compilations in his memory, compiled by Reid Grower and simply titled The Sagan Series. It’s a series of ten YouTube videos with Sagan narrating the wonder of our planet, space exploration, and our life’s purpose.
My favourite is probably the first video, which to this day, is still the best encapsulation of why man should and will venture out into space.
But my favorite quote probably comes from the third video, titled “A Reassuring Fable.” In it, Sagan notes on the meaning of life:
We long to be here for a purpose. Even though, despite much self-deception, none is evident. The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning.
He goes on to say:
We long for a Parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better, by far, to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable…If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.
Regardless of where you stand in the religion/science spectrum, The Sagan Series is the best thing you can watch today.