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Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (Anglais) Broché – 8 septembre 1997


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The spacecraft was a long way from home, beyond the orbit of the outermost planet and high above the ecliptic plane-which is an imaginary flat surface that we can think of as something like a racetrack in which the orbits of the planets are mainly confined. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index
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Amazon.com: 147 commentaires
185 internautes sur 186 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Watch out! 5 février 2002
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
There are two paperback editions of this book at Amazon. The 1995 edition contains the pictures that were so helpful (and entertaining) in the hardcover edition. The 1997 paperback edition has had the photographs removed. If you like beautiful astronomical photographs, order the 1995 edition.
Otherwise, the book is very enjoyable, and provides a cogent discussion of where Carl Sagan thinks we should aim our space program.
124 internautes sur 132 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
My inspiration 2 août 2004
Par K. G. Lee - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I first read this book as a aimless 16-year old kid...now I'm an astrophysicist. It was Sagan's message of faith in science's role as mankind's candle in the dark, as well as his wonder for the universe that infected me, and spurred me to the path I'm on now. If you're not a religious fundamentalist and would like to open your mind to mankind's future in space as well as the wonders that await us in the cosmos, buy this book....or buy it for some teenager you know...
92 internautes sur 101 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
You live here! 27 janvier 2001
Par Stephen A. Haines - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
As these pages attest, there are a number of fine writers out there providing us non-scientists with insights on nature's mysteries. None, however, quite reached the breadth of view or intensity of feeling imparted by Carl Sagan. His writings explained topics ranging from quantum particles to the extent of the cosmos. Along the way, he addressed evolution, space engineering and countless other facets of science and technology. Even fiction wasn't beyond his grasp.
Pale Blue Dot is a journey in time and space. Beginning with the assertion that we're natural wanderers, being the only species to settle across our world, it continues with a plea to extend further our exploration of space. The early chapters challenge restrictions on our desire to explore and learn. Sagan demonstrates how foolish minds have restrained our quest for knowledge of the cosmos. He then takes us on a tour of the solar system, exhibiting the wonders revealed by the fleet of robot probes. He reminds us of the forces the cosmos can unleash, sometimes right in our neighbourhood. Like many of the rest of us, Sagan was awed by the collision of a comet with the Jovian gas giant. It was a hint of what might lay in store for us if we fail to understand the universe better than we do now. The space probes also returned images of worlds invalidating existing theories of planetary formation. If our own neighbours can present such bizarre structures, what kinds of worlds ride beyond our ken, circling suns we can barely imagine? What Sagan can't portray, he can conjecture. With his firm working scientist's foundation, Sagan's speculations command respectful attention.
This book must be shelved alongside Richard Dawkins THE SELFISH GENE and THE BLIND WATCHMAKER. Together, these three fine works confront the traditional Western view of a universe and the life in it resulting from a Designer. From Dawkins' biological analysis to Sagan's cosmological view, this obstructionist outlook is here rendered groundless. More people must read Pale Blue Dot to gain an idea of who we are and where we stand in the vastness of a nearly limitless universe. Please read this book and convey its ideas to others. There is much to be gained from its imparted wisdom.
42 internautes sur 47 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Rating the physical book, not the content 23 juillet 2007
Par J. Dallaire - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
First, I must say that I am enjoying the book very much. I love reading Professor Sagan's books very much. So this rating applies more to the decision of the publisher than the book itself.

I have never written a review on Amazon before, and I have been coming here for years. I had to say something about this. After I finish this, I plan on emailing the publisher with the same review.

Wow. A book named Pale Blue Dot, inspired by the famous photograph of the Earth of the same name. It is referenced in the first few chapters heavily and Prof. Sagan asks us to visit and revisit the photo several times as he builds his introduction. I think to myself "Great! Can't wait to see it. Now where is it?" This then led to the disappointing finding that there are no pictures at all in this printing. None, not one, not even just the one of the Pale Blue Dot image itself. How can you publish a book inspired by a photo and not include the picture itself, not even a low res poorly printed picture? All you get is a few instructions to look at it, but you won't be able to look at it in here. Apparently, the hardback and first soft-back printing had photos. I guess I can understand (not like, mind you) why the decision was made to eliminate photos, but to get rid of the Pale Blue Dot photo is mind boggling. Surely this decision couldn't have been made on purpose. Surely, this was just an oversight. If this was a conscious decision, then it speaks volumes about how Ballantine views this work and it makes you wonder if they have any idea why it was written in the first place.

Anyway thanks for listening.
20 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Earth is so provincial... 17 mai 2000
Par "houndzoflove" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
He never says it. But it's a sequel, par excellence, to the classic _Cosmos_.
Sequels are usually disappointing. This is one of those rare cases where the sequel is better than the original. I had read this book in hardcover and ended up buying my own paperback copy while in Ithaca (Sagan's hometown) because I had nothing to read and a long ride back home.
I'm a fan of Sagan - can't help it - because even though he's a brilliant scientist, he somehow manages to be a great writer as well. This book is no exception. Sagan's basic idea is that the destiny of humanity is to expand out to the stars. And even though this idea reeks with echoes of Manifest Destiny, I have to agree. In Manifest Destiny, there were Indians - here, no intelligent life that we know of. And if there is something out there, wouldn't we want to know about it?
Like so many great works of popular science, Sagan starts out by tracing the changes in our views of the world, from our conceit that we were the center of the Universe to the backwater position that we're in today. Sagan's idea of generalized chauvinisms comes up - first in place (the obvious), then in time (if there was other intelligent life, it's not around any more), and, if I recall correctly, in chemical basis (life must be made out of carbon). He refutes all these ideas - and why not? Who said that silicon can't conquer the universe?
My personal favorite part of the book is Chapter 5, "Is There Intelligent Life On Earth?" Sagan asks us to "[imagine yourself as] an alien explorer entering the Solar system after a long journey through the blackness of interstellar space". As we examine the Earth at finer and finer resolution, what do we see? I won't tell you - it's a bit unexpected - but the answer will surprise you. Who said scientists can't be humorous?
A large portion of the book surveys the prospects of life elsewhere in the Solar System - Venus, Mars, Io, and Titan (but, surprisingly, not Europa) figure prominently. (Sagan did research on Titan tholins, precursors to organic molecules found on Titan.) It's interesting - maybe a bit out of place in Sagan's overall idea, but who cares?
So why don't we leave Earth? Why are we still stuck on this pale blue dot? The politicians, says Sagan. They don't see far enough into the future - all they care about is their own re-election. And it's even too far for normal humans to see, sometimes. But it's worth it - evolution demands that we adapt.
Near the end, we find this passage:
"It will not be we who reach Alpha Centauri and the other nearby stars. It will be a species very much like us, but with more of our strengths and fewer of our weaknesses, a species returned to circumstances more like those for which it was originally evolved, more confident, farseeing, capable, and prudent - the sorts of beings we would want to represent us in a Universe that, for all we know, is filled with species much older, much more powerful, and very different." (p. 329) Perhaps this illustrates the inspirational quality of Sagan's writing. So why are we still here?
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