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Musk reads Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot.”


YouTube screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

There’s loads of causes to be skeptical of Elon Musk’s grand imaginative and prescient of constructing people a “multi-planetary species” by first constructing a metropolis on Mars, however the SpaceX founder has a knack for promoting that imaginative and prescient with a selected poignancy. 

In a brand new episode of Lex Fridman’s Synthetic Intelligence podcast, the MIT researcher asks Musk to learn a well-known passage from Carl Sagan’s well-known 1994 e book Pale Blue Dot. The CEO obliges however bookends the studying with just a few of his personal observations to offer a 21st century, post-Musk spin.

Sagan was referring to a photograph taken of Earth at his personal suggestion by Voyager 1 in 1990 from greater than four billion miles (6 billion kilometers) away. Within the picture, our planet is certainly a tiny pale blue dot lower than the dimensions of a single pixel. 


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“That is right here. That is dwelling. That is us. On it everybody you’re keen on, everybody you already know, everybody you ever heard of, each human being who ever was, lived out their lives,” Sagan begins the passage, referring to the pale blue dot referred to as Earth.

However earlier than studying the phrases, Musk provides his personal preface:

“Earth is like four-and-a-half billion years previous. In one other half billion years or so the solar will broaden and possibly evaporate the oceans and make life inconceivable on Earth, which signifies that if it had taken consciousness ten % longer to evolve it could by no means have developed in any respect. Simply ten % longer. And I ponder what number of useless one-planet civilizations there are on the market within the cosmos that by no means made it to the opposite planets and in the end extinguished themselves or had been destroyed by exterior components. Most likely just a few.”

Musk then goes on to learn Sagan, which you’ll see within the video above. Sagan’s phrases finish with: “The Earth is the one world recognized to date to harbor life. There may be nowhere else, no less than within the close to future, to which our species might migrate…”

At this level, Musk cuts off Sagan’s previous couple of traces and interjects:

“This isn’t true,” Musk laughs. “That is false… Mars.”

“And I believe Carl Sagan would agree with that. He could not even think about it at the moment,” Fridman provides.

Sagan might definitely think about people making it to Mars in 1994. Think about that an iconoclastic billionaire who made his fortune in on-line funds could be the individual pushing hardest for it 25 years later, properly… perhaps not.