insights from two astrophysicists

i think the meaning of life stage posts will be taking a break. the natural step after answering what life means is answering how you live life. this also fits in within Erikson’s development

So I recently came upon the videos of two astrophysicists:

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

and Carl Sagan

Go take a look at the videos, it’s semi-important that you do so to follow what I have to say below.

It seems to me that these two views are contradicting. Tyson argues a POV that we are very connected to the universe, we are bigger than our miniscule size in the universe.

Sagan on the other hand maintains we are so absolutely miniscule.

Somehow, I see meaning in both of them and in particular, I think you need to hold both of these views simultaneously to live a successful life.

Adopting Sagan’s view would prevent us from ever doing anything because it would easy to just convince ourselves no matter our actions, the world will stay the same.
Adopting Tyson’s view on the other hand would make us believe we are more powerful than we actually are.

So my proposal is believing both for different purposes. In order to convince ourselves to start doing something, we need to adopt Tyson’s view. We need to believe that we have the power to create change. When things don’t work out, we need to utilize the perspective that Sagan’s view gives us.

A conversation with Liz two weeks ago on a Saturday night gave me the same view point on this whole situation with girls. (According to Erikson, it’s at this stage of our lives that we also start to think about the types and severity of intimate relationships we want to have with people)

You need to be bold and courageous to convince yourself to make a move. But if things don’t work out, realize that we are small and that we have no control over many things.

Do you think these two views are contradicting. Leave a comment


2 thoughts on “insights from two astrophysicists

  1. woot astronomy!! carl sagan!! (he was a cornell prof)

    for me, the two videos do not contradict and in fact convey the same message: astronomy has revealed to us that we are part of something much greater than we can imagine.
    before astronomy became a mature science, many humans firmly believed that they held a special place in the mind of a “creator”.
    this conviction was fueled by sheer ignorance, self-centered-ness, and the perpetual fear of the after-life
    now that we have a more complete picture of the world we live in, we must re-evaluate our position in the world because we might not be as significant as we would like to think we are
    that fact that you immediately connected these two videos to yourself/us confirms this fundamental assumption that humans are in the center of everything, but in fact we arent and we are pretty far from being anything close to significant
    the idea that we are insignificant in the greater picture should not prevent us from doing anything; size is relative, if our action is insignificant, we can still affect insignificant beings such as ourselves. you said “Adopting Sagan’s view would prevent us from ever doing anything because it would easy to just convince ourselves no matter our actions, the world will stay the same.”
    to me, your statement is something like: our actions, and ultimately “we”, are of no value unless we change the world in a significant way.
    to me, the value of humanity is not measured by its power to exert change in the world.
    the lesson here i believe is to realize that what you think is important to you might not be so significant after all (think matrix, ignorant ppl might be content living in a virtual world, but once you gain knowledge of the “actual” world, you can never look at the old world the same away again, even though nothing has changed other than your perspective).
    the most significant thing one can do is to search for and accept the real, objective picture of the world, not obscured by our biased perspectives.
    ultimately humanity will find value in itself by showing how even an insignificant being such as ourselves has the capability to understand the infinitely more complex world, and has the wisdom and courage to accept their insignificant, but true position in the universe. (like in matrix, the important thing to do is to pick the pill that reveals the truth. the moment the main character chose the pill he becomes significant, and his existence becomes valuable because he is aware of his true position in the world. whether he succeeds or not afterwards is of secondary significance)

    i hope this makes sense… i just got off from a 8 hours bus ride, and my thoughts are extremely messy sorry.

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