Wanderers, a short film from digital artist Erik Wernquist, is an amazing visual exploration of what the future may hold for the human race. Wernquist provides digital reconstructions of what various places in the solar system might look like as they are explored and settled by people, and it’s all overlaid with the voice of Carl Sagan. It’s quite beautiful.
I am reminded of a quote from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, in which the protagonist imagines what it would be like to have approached our own home planet as someplace new:
“We were wanderers on a prehistoric earth, on an earth that wore the aspect of an unknown planet.”
It may come as a surprise to some, but physics graduate students do occasionally throw and attend parties. What do we listen to? Musical numbers like this little gem. See Symphony of Science for more.
I’m going to try starting a new series dubbed ‘Sagan Sundays’, in which every week I share quotes, video clips, and tributes associated with one of the greatest cosmological philosophers of our time: Carl Sagan. Sagan’s brand of popular science was one in which he took a hard look at the human species from a cosmological perspective, considering its virtues, its faults, its triumphs, and its tribulations. He blended realism with optimism and scientific objectivity with compassionate humanism, realizing that though we may a small role in the grand scheme of the universe, we play the largest possible role in our own lives.
To get us started off, here’s a quote from Broca’s Brain. Just Sagan, looking up at the sky all starry-eyed.
If we look at the universe in the large, we find something astonishing. First of all, we find a universe that is exceptionally beautiful, intricately and subtly constructed. Whether our appreciation of the universe is because we are a part of that universe – whether, no matter how the universe were put together, we would have found it beautiful – is a proposition to which I do not pretend to have an answer. But there is no question that the elegance of the universe is one of its remarkable properties.