Saturday, September 26, 2009

Carl Sagan Has Been Modified

Caught this on Mightygodking (and apparently it's achieved memetic mutation):

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Can you imagine waking up to this video/song in the morning, and having your brain upload the chorus (A still more glorious dawn awaits / Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise / A morning filled with 400 billion suns / The rising of the milky way)?

My head would have exploded.

This is, for those who don't know, a video editing mash-up of sorts of Carl Sagan's epic COSMOS series from 1980. I was ten at the time of its broadcast, just learning myself about the world around me, awareness of the globe, of history and literature and space and time. And here came Sagan, presenting astronomy and physics and mathematics (and even biology to explain how humanity can even conceive and think of the universe where other animals can't) in simple, easy to learn concepts. I think he caught a lot of flack from hard scientists for 'dumbing down' as it were those scientific fields. The critics were wrong. Sagan probably did what few scientists, and indeed what few philosophers and theologists, could do: he helped explain where we (humanity) were in the vast cosmos (a small blue dot on a thin sunbeam).

The mixer's website is here. He has downloadables for MP3 and MP4/iPhone formats. I seriously recommend dropping ducats in his hat: this is an awesome work. Links to others who have made their comments and awe known are here and here and over there in the vast cosmos of the Intertubes.

Lyrics posted below. Highlights are mine, where the song touches my imagination the deepest. (The song starts with Carl Sagan apologizing for his attempt to sing. He begins to whoop and caw like a bird, which is edited into a sampled backbeat.)

Lyrics:

Sagan:
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch
You must first invent the universe

Space is filled with a network of wormholes
You might emerge somewhere else in space
Some when-else in time

The sky calls to us
If we do not destroy ourselves
We will one day venture to the stars

Chorus:
A still more glorious dawn awaits
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
A morning filled with 400 billion suns
The rising of the milky way

The Cosmos is full beyond measure of elegant truths
Of exquisite interrelationships
Of the awesome machinery of nature

I believe our future depends powerfully
On how well we understand this cosmos
In which we float like a mote of dust
In the morning sky

But the brain does much more than just recollect
It inter-compares, it synthesizes, it analyzes
it generates abstractions

The simplest thought like the concept of the number one
Has an elaborate logical underpinning
The brain has its own language
For testing the structure and consistency of the world

Chorus

The sky calls to us
If we do not destroy ourselves
We will one day venture to the stars


Hawking: (Rolling in like a rap artist cohort, like Snoop Dogg to Dr. Dre, singing counterweight)
For thousands of years
People have wondered about the universe
Did it stretch out forever
Or was there a limit

From the big bang to black holes
From dark matter to a possible big crunch
Our image of the universe today
Is full of strange sounding ideas

Sagan:
How lucky we are to live in this time
The first moment in human history
When we are in fact visiting other worlds

Chorus x2

The surface of the earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean
Recently we've waded a little way out
And the water seems inviting...

(mind blown)

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