A Pale Blue Dot

Several months ago, one of my friends asked my opinion on Trump’s victory in the election. I threw the question back to him and asked “what do you think?” He simply said that it might be great for China to take a better position in negotiation and international community, since Trump is somehow a business man and driven by profits.

I responsed, “yes, that might be what will look like. However,  driving only for profit makes his horizon smaller than that of other politicians. I am not saying that other politicians are better than him in considering long-termistically, but more likely, the force of immediate profit will twist the tactic in a way that historian will descript as short-sighted, which might lead a setback in the vision of human beings in some part of the world.”

What happened next?

  • Travel ban, susbended by domestic judges, twice.
  • U.S. withdrawal from Paris Accord, despite of the opposition from the domestic businesses, including some coal companies, and international society.
  • Reduction in funds for science research, education, enironment, medicate, and medicare

According to a report from BBC today, “US President Donald Trump is to argue that the future of Western civilisation is at stake in a keynote speech in the Polish capital Warsaw.”

As a big fan of astronomy, sometimes you really want to put politicians into a rocket to send them off to the space, so that they could see a bigger picture of the world, instead of the interests of the tiny little bit of the consortiums, parties, ideologies, and selfishness behind their actions.


Here is an excerpt from Carl Sagan:

“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.

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, Pale Blue Dot, 1994


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