Events and Challenges, Random, Space

Earthly Affairs Podcast – Episode 47

So with just about one week to go until this month gets over, I stumbled upon Bloganuary yesterday. It is an initiative by WordPress to provide daily prompts from 01 to 31 January with many bloggers from around the world contributing their posts on these prompts. I decided to join in from today and hope to post about the previous ones I’ve missed, as and when I have time. I may spill into Febloguary, but I guess it’s Ok 😉

So here is today’s prompt:

I am presently reading the book Pale Blue Dot by legendary astronomer Carl Sagan. And it is sheer brilliance. I admit that I have not completed it yet, but before you blame me, please put yourself in my cosmic slippers and picture me getting lost in a magical world of space and time with every passing page. Pale Blue Dot is not strictly a space book. The terms used are easily understandable and not too technical. Sagan explains beautifully about our species’ never ending pursuit to expand our understanding of the Cosmos.

The first few chapters bluntly show us the mirror, reiterating our imagined self-importance and questioning our delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe. Commenting specifically about Geocentricism he writes,

“And yet – never mind how many kings, popes, philosophers, scientists, and poets insisted on the contrary – the Earth through those millennia stubbornly persisted in orbiting the Sun. You might imagine an uncharitable extra-terrestrial observer looking down on our species over all that time – with us excitedly chattering, “The Universe is created for us! We’re at the centre! Everything pays homage to us!” – and concluding that our pretensions are amusing, our aspirations pathetic, that this must be the planet of the idiots”

— Carl Sagan

The Pale Blue Dot image of the Earth captured by NASA’s Voyager I spacecraft in February 1990 when it was 6 billion kilometres away

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Earthly Affairs Podcast. We would like to thank our sponsors BlueWater and GreenTree. This month we are celebrating Brutally Honest August and have some wonderful guest interviews in the pipeline. If you missed last week’s episode, please check out the link in description to watch British Chef Gordon Ramsey showering us with his truth bombs.

Today we have a special guest amongst us. Mr. ET, the uncharitable extra-terrestrial observer who considers us IDIOTS, joins us from Proxima Centauri b, the closest exoplanet that we know of.

All his answers (originally in Hex) are automatically translated for you by our good friends CosmoTalkies (link in description). I apologise in advance for the choppy connection, owing to the fact that Mr. ET is 4.2 light years away, but hopefully we do not run into technical glitches today.

Hello Mr. ET! Welcome to our podcast. I hope you’re having a fantastic day. We are really glad to have you here with us. So, how are you doing today?

Hi! I am not feeling very good today but had to show up because I had already committed my time to you. Yesterday I undertook the journey from SWEEPS11 so I have a bit of – what do you call it – ‘Jet Lag’. Tomorrow I make another trip and bring my codwellers along. I am in the middle of a move, always stressed about booking the Galactrain tickets which are getting expensive everyday. Can you believe I had to shell out 35 plattibles for 1 seat? I mean it’s visibly radiant theft! Anyway, long story short, the timing of this interview is not very perfect for me.

Oh Wow! That is undoubtedly a move of galactic proportions! For our listeners who do not know already, SWEEPS 11 is another extra-solar planet around 27,000 light years away. Mr. ET, I wish you all the best with the on-going move.

Wow? Do you think it is wow to be a refugee in your own galaxy? Wow to start all over again at a new place? Wow to stare at confused beings yelling at you in an unknown sound? I don’t even know if the Dwello I was drifting about at SWEEPS11 is compatible with the surface at Proxi b. .

Well, That sounds rough Mr. ET! Would you shed some light on why you took this decision to abandon SWEEPS 11?

Well, you know, the same story, some over smart beings on our planet did not listen to the genuinely smart beings. They kept warning us about winters getting cooler, summers getting hotter and an exponential increase in the frequency of freak weather incidents, lava here, tsunami there etc. etc. but we kept minting plattibles and exploiting our beautiful home.

Oh, we are extremely saddened to hear about the situation at SWEEPS 11 and hope you settle in well after the move and find comfort in your new home.

Unfortunately, we are nearing the end of our podcast. So yesterday we did a poll about what questions our listeners would want us to ask you. It was quite obvious that most of them wanted to know why you called us humans here on Earth “Idiots”? Don’t you think you were a bit harsh? After all, as you may already know – We built a wall, we built the pyramids!!

Oh My Star! The magnitude of self-indulgence of you Earth beings never ceases to amaze me! I don’t know why you want me to spell out everything for you when you already had your famous Earth guy Carl Sagan tell you about it.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam

– Carl Sagan

Ok, I’m afraid we have run out of time. Any last comments Mr. ET?

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Your hedonistic belief that you guys are special is challenged by this point of pale light. Your planet is nothing more than a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In your obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint and no hope that help will come from elsewhere to save you from yourselves. As Mr. Sagan says, look again at that dot, as it underscores your responsibility to deal more kindly with your fellow beings, and to preserve the pale blue dot, the only home you’ve ever known!

The end!

Thanks a lot for flying by my orbit. I would be very thankful if you could share your brutally honest feedback for this post. 🙂

See you tomorrow!

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