Iconoclasts Anonymous

Inane ravings of an irreverent slacker

Sometimes perspective can be quite inspirational

Posted by Jeff on August 2, 2008

Carl Sagan was a great man. It’s rare that a person’s writing or speech can simultaneously make you feel both insignificant and extraordinary. Sagan had a talent for doing just that. I think I’ll let this video speak for itself.

So, who inspires you?


4 Responses to “Sometimes perspective can be quite inspirational”

  1. Other than Carl… only billions and billions of people.

    My readers.

    My favorite authors: Gaiman, Kay, Willis, McKillip, too many others to name.

    PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, and yes, even Hitch, among countless others.

    Caroline Frederickson at the ACLU, and the folks behind her.

    Filmmakers like Peter Jackson and Christopher Nolan.

    Zen monks, Taoist philosophers, and other esoteric sorts who are still, somehow, utterly down-to-earth and practical.

    I could go on for days… the thing is, inspiration is never in short supply when you let it come, and being inspired by people smarter, more talented and/or more experienced than oneself always leads to that delightful sense you described: you’re insignificant, yet extraordinary.

  2. Awesome remix!

    Dana is right, inspiration is not difficult to find. Here are a few: Asimov, Ansel Adams, Attenborough, Vannevar Bush, Clarke, Cousteau, Dawkins, Edison, Einstein, Gould, Loren Eisely, Richard Feynman, Larry Gonick, David McCullough, Don Norman, John Allen Paulos, Gene Roddenberry, Fred Rogers, Sagan, Tesla, Edward Tufte, Jules Verne, HG Wells… Some of my favorite bloggers inspire me. Guess I have to stop somewhere or this will go on all day.

    And of course, my dad. Maybe most of all.

  3. ht said

    This is one of my all-time favorite videos. I have it on my MySpace and always recommend people to view it. Sagan was one of my heroes and anyone who wants to learn more from him should read his books. I especially enjoyed “Billions and Billions” and “A Candle in the Dark”.

    I agree with your two other commentators … inspiration is all around us. The poet Rilke, in his “Letters to a Young Poet” tells the aspiring poet, (paraphrasing) “if you do not see the beauty around you, do not blame your eyes, but your soul; for you are blinded by not having the vision of the artist”.

  4. Angela said

    That’s all well and good, saying we’re a small blue dot!
    We may be from that distance but we can appear large when we’re standing on it!
    It’s all about perspective; attitudes vary with different perspectives.
    Yes, once in a while we can all consider the vastness of our universe and of those around it but that doesn’t change the problems we face right here, right now.

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