Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Isn't It A Pity?

"Some things take so long
But how do I explain
When not too many people
Can see we're all the same
And because of all their tears
Their eyes can't hope to see
The beauty that surrounds them
Isn't it a pity?"
- George Harrison

One can imagine, if there really is an advanced non-human intelligence that interacts with us, and that has developed into a truly empathic being (or beings / civilization), that they might recommend this song to all of us.

To look at it another way, all that we have to do is look at ourselves as an extraterrestrial civilization would look at us - not as Canadians, or Americans, or Russians, or Iranians, or whatever, but rather as members of the human race, floating through space together on what Carl Sagan famously called this pale blue dot. As Sagan wrote: "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."

Seen from 6.1 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles), Earth appears as a tiny dot

Harrison would have undoubtedly agreed with the sentiment, as evidenced by his songs, even if he framed his views in a spiritual context that Sagan rejected. Two paths, one journey. Unfortunately, most of us don't think of these things as Harrison and Sagan did. Indeed, we rarely think of these things at all.

Isn't it a pity?

Paul Kimball

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