11 responses to “Spacestruck”

  1. marta

    I understand that Last Self-Help Book…

    And the space record reminded me of The Sparrow. Heaven only knows how this would be interpreted in spite of ourselves.

  2. Nance

    You must stop outdoing yourself with these Fridays. You’ve reached the limit of the known universe too soon and now I’ll be scared to show up.

    There was an NPR program last week (I never can find these things when I want to link to them) about SETI, Voyager, and the message sent. Whoever was being interviewed–I’m sure he was not a poet–thought the whole Golden Record ridiculous, full of anthropomorphic assumptions that were no better than the goofy stuff that silly high school sophomores put in time capsules. I felt stupid for ever thinking the Golden Record was a sweet toast to human existence sent by us to ourselves. Thank you for restoring my original impression. Whoever that scientist was, he probably needs a trip into space.

    And, on the “Packing For Mars” piece and speaking of silly, what an ungracious treatment by NASA of White’s ecstasy. And how unscientific. If you’re being truly scientific, when you find bliss somewhere, you study it. You don’t try to suppress it. NASA sent a message with this that science is joyless…but, then, most of them WERE engineers, rather than scientists.

    You knew I’d love all the Ackerman! She’s anything but joyless. She and Annie Dillard on the natural world. Their observations from a space walk would be revelations. Oh, wait, I forgot; we’ve already had their observations from a space walk.

  3. Froog

    Douglas Adams, creator of The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, claimed that he had once been consulted on what to put on one of these anthologies of human culture (or maybe he was just speculating how he would have responded, if asked; I think he was a bit too young to have been canvassed for the Voyager probes). He said he’d been going to recommend Bach, but then changed his mind – on the grounds that “the aliens might think we were showing off”>

  4. Froog

    I think Carl Sagan had a lot of input on the Voyager choices, and a fair bit of that music also found it into his TV series Cosmos. I particularly remember a Bulgarian Shepherdess’ Song which was, um, uncategorisable.

  5. marta

    Did you listen to this episode of RadioLab about the Voyager expedition and Carl Sagan?

    You might should!

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