A Science Icon Died 17 Years Ago. In His Last Interview, He Made A Warning That Gives Me Goosebumps.

11

Carl Sagan inspired a generation of scientists with his work in and out of the classroom. But he didn't always present science with cheer. In this clip, he passionately defends science with a grave warning. It's something we all need to hear.

The interview clip originally aired on "Charlie Rose" on May 27, 1996.

 

Written By: Carl Sagan on Charlie Rose
continue to source article at upworthy.com

11 COMMENTS

  1. There is another source in the US for resistance to reason that neither Rose nor Sagan mention and I think it’s at least as important to understand as pseudoscience and conventional religion. And that is the belief in the magical free market. I like the free market, but like any other concept if you assume it’s the answer to everything you get into trouble. In the US there is a barely acknowledged cult of the free market (often tied to Christian cults such as The Family) that thinks (in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary) that the free market is the solution to everything. The free market works great when figuring out how to build better computers and phones. It doesn’t work great for things where there is an obvious desire to provide a basic level of service to everyone, things like healthcare and education. One reason the Republicans shut down the office that Sagan refers to and have since shown a consistent hostility to basic data collection and analysis is that such work regularly conflicts with their dogma about the free market and healthcare, gun control, education, etc.

    • In reply to #1 by Red Dog:

      There is another source in the US for resistance to reason that neither Rose nor Sagan mention and I think it’s at least as important to understand as pseudoscience and conventional religion. And that is the belief in the magical free market. I like the free market, but like any other concept if you…

      I disagree! Its not the free market that’s at fault, its the debt based fiat currency, interest rates on loans and the concept of fractional reserve banking (lending more than whats in reserves), that’s mostly responsible for the economical trouble of society!

      • I am no expert, but I think you have described the free market. You have essentially said “Red dog says its the free market system, I disagree, because, I think it is….. the free market system”.

        In reply to #3 by Terra Watt:

        In reply to #1 by Red Dog:

        There is another source in the US for resistance to reason that neither Rose nor Sagan mention and I think it’s at least as important to understand as pseudoscience and conventional religion. And that is the belief in the magical free market. I like the free market, but l…

        • In reply to #10 by crookedshoes:

          I am no expert, but I think you have described the free market. You have essentially said “Red dog says its the free market system, I disagree, because, I think it is….. the free market system”.

          Definition of ‘Free Market’

          “A market economy based on supply and demand with little or no government control. A completely free market is an idealized form of a market economy where buyers and sellers are allowed to transact freely (i.e. buy/sell/trade) based on a mutual agreement on price without state intervention in the form of taxes, subsidies or regulation.

          ….In simple terms, a free market is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is a voluntary agreement between two parties who trade in the form of goods and services. In reality, this is the extent to which a free market exists…

          When you simplify a problem like you did, you end up condemning the good along side the bad.
          Better to just call out the bad apple rather than throwing away the whole lot!


          p.s
          Btw there would be no need for taxes if the government is the one printing money.

  2. Very true Red Dog and it’s no coincidence that it’s always the same people. Once the lazy mind accepts the easy case-closed answer of god-did-it for cosmological questions, it’s a small step to just collecting mantras for all other important issues as opposed to the difficult task of actually learning anything.

    Maybe we can change a mantra- How about instead of “It’s the economy, stupid!” we drill in “It’s the stupid economy!” It would be easier than trying to explain why Hayek, Friedman and Reagan got it wrong. You’ll never talk them out of anything Reagan.

  3. Terra Watt- Please expound because on the face of it, I disagree with everything you just wrote.

    1) Without debt (or credit) based fiat currencies, we’d still be in the Middle Ages. Maybe it’s evil in a twisted biblical sense but it is necessary for growth. More on the debt base in a minute but currencies have been by fiat (I prefer trust) for most of the time there have been currencies. A dollar is only worth what people think it is worth. And the breif time some currencies were based on bullion was just as fictitious- gold and silver are only worth what people think they are.

    2) Capitalism cannot funtion without loans and interest must be charged to offset risk. Banks don’t need to be speculating like riverboat gamblers (which they are doing again even after the last collapse because there is insufficient regulation) but they need to make a buck over and above convenience fees to survive. They have to offset not only salaries (some admittedly bloated) and plant, and loan defauts but they have to pay out interest to depositors for the “fractional” amount they are required to keep to make the loans that help run the engine.

    3) Without fractional lending, there is no growth, no progress. Without fractional lending, you get the assumption that there is a finite amount of wealth on the planet which leads to the assumption that the only way to grow is by stealing from someone else- a zero-sum game. Perhaps the the ratio of one real dollar behind every nine dollars loaned is too high for your taste but without loaning fictitious amounts of an already fictitious currency, the whole system collapses. And it was all working just fine until some deregulated free-market pigs got extra, extra greedy.

  4. I have mostly positive, but still mixed, feelings with regards to Carl Sagan. When it comes to expressing the awe and wonder of science, it’s hard to find a better example of scientist who exemplifies this. I enjoyed reading Cosmos and Contact, and Pale Blue Dot was pure poetry. He’s certainly a tough act to follow.

    On the other hand, his forays outside of astronomy are… mixed. Some of it might be a case of science marching on, but, for instance, it was a disappointment reading his passages about the triune brain theory in Cosmos.

Leave a Reply