Carl Sagan: mathematical proof of advanced civilizations

It’s true – he’s no Richard Heene Psyience Detective, but Sagan was pretty cool for his time.

Speaking of the odds that there’s life on other planets, if Sagan is right, and if there are potentially thousands, or even millions of planets out there with intelligent life, I wonder what the odds are that some of them have equivalents to our Richard Heene and Octomom.

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  1. Cyberforce Seven
    Posted October 26, 2009 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the excellent example of how hope makes otherwise smart people ass back stupid. “If you flip a coin and it comes up heads here on earth and you flip that coin over and over for billions of years and it comes up heads everywhere, everytime … imagine … the mathematical possibilities (if the mathematical odds are ignored) … the possibilities are positively … magical.”

    Wow Carl Sagan. That series of “ifs” blew my mind! It was as if each spurious, unlikely event added to potential virility to the next! (No way! You got heads four times in a row! That must mean you can get it eight…that must mean you can get it sixteen…)

    Every layer makes the likelihood less probable and so more magnificent and hence probable (for what is probable besides the magnificent)! I almost avoid imagining that you are just another lonely, flesh and blood person on an accidental planet trying to create some lasting meaning out of world ultimately full of well intentioned shit… Instead, you are a massive brain of imagined possibility! You are ever stretching calculations of the chance that we are not alone…

  2. JKL
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    See also the pale blue dot.

  3. Curt Waugh
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Hey C7, can you re-write your rant in English so the rest of us can understand it? I must be one of those hopeful, yet ass back stupid people.

    Is “unintelligible” the new “clever”?

  4. Robert
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    I want my ass back.

  5. Posted October 27, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    You cannot unring a bell, Robert.

  6. Mark H.
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    didn’t e.e.cummings write —

    ‘look there’s a hell of a planet next door! let’s go’


    If only we could.

  7. Money Trail
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 7:50 am | Permalink

  8. LimE
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Martian Moon Base

    good album title

  9. Robert
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Mark, I think “I want my ass back” would make for a great slogan for Democrats who feel their party has left them.

    As for ‘unringing bells’ you know all I need to do is sew myself up, hold a couple purity balls and, voilĂ , I’m back in business.

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