Carl Sagan was completely awesome.
There’s a lot of people talking all over the internet today about how they wouldn’t be a part of the skeptical movement if it weren’t for him. There might not even be a skeptical movement comparable to what exists today if not for Sagan’s influence.
I imagine he’s a big part of the reason I’m so involved in it too, but only indirectly. Aside from being fairly indifferent to the film based on his book Contact, I was fairly late to the party on this front. I think it was only last year I read The Demon-Haunted World, after being told so often what a vital part of the skeptics’ library it was by so many scientists and critical thinkers I’d come to admire. I’ve still only seen a few brief clips of Cosmos online.
But goddamn, that guy was awesome.
He was a great writer, a wonderful speaker, and an insurpassably inspirational presence. Watching him talk is like drinking a liquified warm fuzzy. I don’t even know what that means, but listen to him explaining the universe for a while and maybe you’ll get some idea what I’m on about.
And because I’m not good at straightforward, non-ironic sincerity, here’s a funny video about a pigeon.