Carl Sagan: Cool to be Smart

I know I’m dating myself, but modern day television is an absolute wasteland compared to the elevated discussion happening on a show like Johnny Carson back in the seventies. Young’uns wouldn’t know this, but there was a time when it was cool to be smart, thoughtful, and fact-based when it comes to science and science fiction. Take this 15-minute clip of Johnny and Carl Sagan, talking about the science of Star Wars and pivoting to the realities of FTL travel:

I love everything about how Sagan breaks down the science of Star Wars without losing focus on the fact that Star Wars is cool. He uses the interest to pivot over to what the discovery of extraterrestrial life might be like, and you can see the basis for his novel ‘Contact’ in some of the ideas he articulates.

No major takeaways from this blog post, only that we can be smart when we want to. My hope is that we will choose to be smart over the next few years, if only for our own sake.