“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”

Friedrich Nietzsche


I‘ve been a fan of science fiction since I was a boy, sitting on the floor in front of a TV, memorized by the little robots in Silent Running. I wanted one and I still do.

The genre of science fiction typically deals with concepts of futuristic worlds involving advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. For me, science fiction creates a future of possibilities, some marvellous in their magnificence, others reflect the terrifying indifference the universe shows to our grandest achievements.

When I think of the universe, I think of the Pale Blue Dot image taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe that was launched in 1977.

The missions purpose was to studying the outer Solar System and after fulfilling its primary mission and as it ventured out of the Solar System, the decision to turn its camera around and capture one last image of Earth emerged. In the photograph, at a distance of 6 billion kilometres, Earth’s size is less than a pixel; we are all simply a tiny dot against the vastness of space, among bands of sunlight reflected by the camera’s lens.

The world seems to have lost it’s mind. All this rage, hate, and anger, desperately trying to disguise itself as a battle between good and evil, demons and angels.

But war is a battle between knowledge and ignorance. That’s why truth is always it’s first victim.

The Pale Blue Dot

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