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HBO did a marathon of George Carlin specials on Wednesday. Of course, I found out about it on Thursday. Bummer.

However, I did see him live this year. Kinda amazing, really. I had never seen him live before and I'm glad that I got the chance. He started out his show on how he waits 3 months to delete dead people from his Outlook contacts. His deceased friends/contacts live a virtual life in his computer then he "kills" them. If he's feeling generous, he might delete them from his contacts and save them in a separate file like a virtual limbo until he feels like "killing" them. The whole bit was funny (and a smidge uncomfortable), since I have had the experience of deleting a deceased contact. I'd bet he lives in many computers and will have a longer virtual life than that.

Speaking of remarkable dead people, I actually saw Carl Sagan speak about his last book, Pale Blue Dot, the year he died. Also, an amazing experience. He really did have a sonorous voice. I could listen to that man for ages.

Granted it's only 2 people, but I seem to catch folks "just in time". Elderly famous people should fear me! Heh.

Both men were agnostic/atheists and brilliant people. I admire them both and this world is poorer without them.

Billions and billions...

The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.
- Stephen Jay Gould

Did anyone else watch the remastered Cosmos by Carl Sagan on the Science Channel? Cliff and I really enjoyed it over the 13 weeks it played in the Fall. I was 9-10 when the series originally aired (1980) and I loved it then. I learned much and I think Sagan had quite the influence on my young, impressionable mind. And what a laudable thing that was for clear thinking about living in this physical universe. To this day, I feel more awe and wonder listening to Sagan talk about how grand the universe is than any preacher rhapsodizing about the glories of heaven.

I thought it might be horribly out of date having been produced over 25 years ago, but for the most part Sagan talks about what we consider the basic discoveries of the physical laws of the universe. And how orthodoxies of the time did their best to suppress truths that upset their apple carts of accepted thought. Not just the Catholic Church, though they often played the heavy. It amazes me how thousands of years ago, some Greeks had gotten it right--i.e. the Earth is a sphere and circled the sun, etc. And then Aristotle comes along and flatters man's vanity by claiming we're the center of the universe. Just think where we'd be if accepted the truth then instead of clinging to an wrong idea that made us feel special.

I'd love to sit down all the fundies in the world and make them watch it. I evilly entertain visions of scenarios like those in "A Clockwork Orange". Heh. Let the logic seep into your brain, learn the lesson... Okay, I know it wouldn't work, but a girl can dream.

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December 2011



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