Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Sagan traces our exploration of space and suggests that our very survival may depend on the wise use of other worlds. This stirring book reveals how scientific discovery has altered our perception of who we are and where we stand, and challenges us to weigh what we will do with that knowledge. (from Goodreads)
I love Carl Sagan! I’ve yet to actually finish a book written by Carl Sagan, nor have I watched any of his TV show(s). I love the idea of Carl Sagan, I guess? I love the idea of this smart, kind, science-y dude running around inspiring people to love science, too. Also, the Symphony of Science songs are amazing:
That said, I kinda think Pale Blue Dot was a bad choice for a first Carl Sagan-read. Not that I had much choice, because it was the ONLY Carl Sagan-read available at my library besides his biography, but it was still the wrong choice. Why? Because it’s kind of depressing.
I got about 2/3rds of the way through, and here’s what I read: people don’t need to be in space because there’s no good reason except that it’s cool and that’s not a good enough reason. Space is huge and it’s practically impossible to get anywhere with our current technology (and maybe even with our future technology). Unmanned space explorers are good but they’re also super expensive and prone to accidents. And some other stuff that basically made my dreams of real life!Stark Trek crash and burn.
It’s not ALL depressing, of course! I really liked learning about different space exploration stuff, and about some of the things we could do in the future with unmanned thingies. But this book is over 15 years old now, and so a lot of the science stuff is either outdated or incomplete, and so even though I learned some things– I kinda don’t think they’re up-to-date things. Which is a VERY strange feeling, let me tell you.
Anyway, I gave up even though I’m pretty sure that the last third of the book is full of helpful/inspiring/less depressing stuff. (Maybe?) I assume that one day I’ll come back to Pale Blue Dot and read the whole thing ’til the end, but for now I’m going to DNF it until I read a different Carl Sagan book, or at least watched some episodes of NOVA or something.
Read: April 15-30, 2013