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“We were not meant for this. We were meant to live and love and play and work and even hate more simply and directly. It is only through outrageous violence that we come to see this absurdity as normal, or to not see it at all. Each new child has his eyes torn out so he will not see, his ears removed so he will not hear, his tongue ripped out so he will not speak, his mind juiced so he will not think, and his nerves scraped so he will not feel. Then he is released into a world broken in two: others, like himself, and those to be used. He will never realize that he still has all of his senses, if only he will use them. If you mention to him that he still has ears, he will not hear you. If he hears, he will not think. Perhaps most dangerously of all, if he thinks he will not feel. And so on, again.”
— Derrick Jensen | 'The Culture of Make Believe'; via america-wakiewakie
Silver Surfer by John Gallagher
"Today would have been Carl Sagan‘s 79th birthday. Among his many interests, Sagan was an outspoken advocate for skeptical inquiry, critical thinking, and the scientific method.
In the fall of 1980, I was 14. I had already had a deep interest in science for literally as long as I could remember. But that fall I was one of millions treated to a voyage of scientific discovery on PBS through Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. While Cosmos is largely the story of the history of science and how it leads to our understanding of our place in the universe and the world around us, it is also a collection of lessons on critical thinking and the scientific method.
Over the course of the series, Sagan clearly and concisely demonstrated the logical and verifiable flaws in creationism, astrology, and tales of alien abduction.
He also discussed the suppression of knowledge, by ancient Greek philosophers, by the early Christian church through its brutal murder of the mathematician Hypatia of the Library of Alexandria, and by the Inquisition against astronomer Galileo Galilei. In our present society, suppression of scientific knowledge for religio-political purposes remains an antagonistic issue.
Years later, in 1995, I had the good fortune to see Carl Sagan speak in person at the annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The talk was part of a session honoring the late James Pollack, an astrophysicist and former student of Sagan’s. The talk was to be on the work Sagan and Pollack had done together on the potential for terraforming Mars, but Sagan spent the time telling stories about his former student, colleague, and friend. It was a kind and generous tribute.
Through his work and his clear elucidation of the wonder of understanding the world through science, and the courage it sometimes requires to see the world as it really is and not as we would pretend it to be, he gave us all an immeasurable gift of enlightenment.
Thank you, Carl.”