Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Carl Sagan and Marijuana

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:8/23/1999; 8:52:16 AM
Topic:Carl Sagan and Marijuana
Msg #:9792 (In response to 9791)
Prev/Next:9791 / 9793

Interesting. I heard a report on NPR a few weeks ago that explained that there was a deliberate effort on the part of the Reagan Administration to erase the concept of "hard drugs" -- they wanted marijuana to be in the same class as all other drugs. They also said that there are laws on the books in some states that get you the death penalty for posession. At the same time George W. Bush is running from the press, not about marijuana, but cocaine! Amazing. People just want to bury certain things, and it leads to the jails being full of people who may just want to take showers with their girlfriend and write equations on the wall in soap. What's wrong with that? Sounds pretty good to me!

Here's a section from a DaveNet piece that re-tells a Sagan story:

Ask yourself to find the center of the universe. I know where it seems to be, it's in my point, the space three inches behind my eyes and centered between my ears. It's only on faith that I assume that there are other centers of the universe. The only one I can really perceive, with my limited sensor devices, is the one that's me.

Carl Sagan, in his stirring PBS series Cosmos, tells a great story about perceptions. A picture of earth from space. It fills the entire screen. It looks big and blue and beautiful. So much poetry has been written about the beauty of our planet! In a way that only Carl Sagan can, he speaks a poem -- it makes my heart beat faster, makes my eyes swell. Man I love this planet!

Step back, now you can see the whole disk. Step back again, and again. We're on our moon now, and Earth looms large, but you can see the Sun and stars. Step back to Mars, and our planet is just a star. A few more steps and the unaided eye can't even perceive the planet. It isn't even there! Pause. Appreciate that. Now...

Everyone you've ever known or heard of, everything that's ever been invented, every story or song that's been sung, everyone you've every loved, everyone who anyone has loved, came from that imperceivable dot that your unaided eye can't even see.

And we just started the trip! Invoke Sagan's cliche: billions and billions of solar systems, and that's just in this galaxy! Oh man.

That's the big picture! ;->

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