An Autonomous Agent

exploring the noosphere

Category: carl sagan (Page 1 of 2)

Cosmic Apprentice: Dispatches from the Edges of Science – Dorion Sagan

Being a huge fan of Carl Sagan’s books, I was delightfully surprised when I found that his son, Dorion Sagan, is a prolific writer on the subjects of science, philosophy, and evolution. The first of his works which I decided to read is entitled Cosmic Apprentice: Dispatches from the Edges of Science. For a good review see Maria Popova’s review here. I loved reading the book and I look forward to reading more of Sagan’s writings.

Marijuana Reconsidered – Lester Grinspoon

For a remarkable and insightful book on cannabis sativa, I would suggest reading Marijuana Reconsidered by Lester Grinspoon. The book provided the first real scientific investigation into the psychedelic properties of cannabis sativa. I found the section by Mr. X (Carl Sagan) to be informative, accurate, and humorous. The fact that marijuana was documented, by William Osler, long before the 1930’s to be the most effective cure for a migraine was a complete surprise to me. I highly recommend this book and any other by Lester Grinspoon.

Lost in Space: The Fall of NASA and the Dream of a New Space Age – Greg Klerkx

The discoveries and missions of NASA are extraordinary.  However, since the early 1990’s there has been an obvious decline in NASA’s exploration, primarily due to bureaucratic decisions. Perhaps space exploration should be left to the private sector? This is the question asked by Greg Klerkx in his novel Lost in Space: The Fall of NASA and the Dream of a New Space Age.

Pale Blue Dot – Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan puts the Earth into perspective in his novel, Pale Blue Dot. We really do “…live on a mot of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” The vision of Sagan — that the human race now has the power to determine its own fate — should be taken with gravity. Rather than destroying themselves with their technology, humans should focus on protecting their offspring from the extreme events of the universe, i.e. asteroid impacts, solar ejections, and other such disasters. The book also explores other visions for the human race in space.

The novel provides insight into Sagan’s mind about the future of humanity and should be read by all those interested in humanity’s future life away from Earth. (ISBN-13: 978-0345376596)

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors – Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan stands as a testament to their brilliance as synthesizers of facts into story. Sagan and Druyan piece together myriads of biological facts to recreate the narrative of natural creation accessible to the non-scientific reader. Starting from the birth of the solar system and ending with the rise of apes, the reader will be left in awe at the beauty of life. The only requirement before reading this book is a curiosity about the natural world and a desire for understanding. (ISBN-13: 978-0345384720)

Sadly, Sagan passed away before the duo could complete a sequel.

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