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Category: Science
Date: 04/12/10 08:06 AM

90 Responses to Existence According To Carl Sagan [Pic]

  1. Profile photo of fancylad
    fancylad Male 30-39
    18499 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:09 am
    Link: Existence According To Carl Sagan - Feeling insignificant today? This isn`t going to help one bit.
  2. Profile photo of a1butcher
    a1butcher Male 40-49
    4812 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:11 am
    He kinda rambles on a bit.
    No disrespect to Mr. Sagan .
  3. Profile photo of Angelmassb
    Angelmassb Male 18-29
    15511 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:12 am
    Taken from his speech "A pale blue dot" in which Sagan shows why he is one of the biggest figures in the modern times
  4. Profile photo of TxP
    TxP Female 70 & Over
    1192 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:14 am
    thats hardcore stuff right there
  5. Profile photo of Angelmassb
    Angelmassb Male 18-29
    15511 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:14 am
    That picture was taken by Voyager 1, in 1990 when it was more than 4 billion miles away from planet Earth. The size of the Earth is less that one pixel on that picture
  6. Profile photo of Musuko42
    Musuko42 Male 18-29
    2850 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:15 am
    That speech continues:

    The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

    Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
  7. Profile photo of Angelmassb
    Angelmassb Male 18-29
    15511 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:15 am
    "Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot."
  8. Profile photo of Musuko42
    Musuko42 Male 18-29
    2850 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:15 am
    And the final part:

    The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

    It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we`ve ever known.
  9. Profile photo of domisgood
    domisgood Male 18-29
    4868 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:16 am
    wow...we kinda suck
  10. Profile photo of panth753
    panth753 Female 18-29
    9183 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:19 am
    Wow, just, wow.
  11. Profile photo of RecycleElf
    RecycleElf Male 18-29
    3622 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:20 am
    Mind = Blown
  12. Profile photo of Valonqar
    Valonqar Male 13-17
    116 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:22 am
    I am not very impressed by this.
  13. Profile photo of Neoxide
    Neoxide Male 18-29
    30 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:25 am
    Trippy.
  14. Profile photo of cobrakiller
    cobrakiller Male 18-29
    7423 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:27 am
    a little depressing, but true not the less.
  15. Profile photo of Musuko42
    Musuko42 Male 18-29
    2850 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:27 am
    And the final part:

    The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

    It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we`ve ever known.
  16. Profile photo of Angelmassb
    Angelmassb Male 18-29
    15511 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:28 am
    Remember people, the Earth is not too big, its just we are so darn small
  17. Profile photo of GummyWurmz
    GummyWurmz Female 13-17
    1412 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:35 am
    wow its all artsy and stuff. I love ``suspended on a sunbeam`` sounds like a song hahaha
  18. Profile photo of Mantolwen
    Mantolwen Female 18-29
    387 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:38 am
    Considering the enormity of the universe, that`s quite incredible. Earth might not be the physical centre of the universe, but it`s definitely the for-all-intents-and-purposes centre of the universe! Just think how lucky we are to live on such a perfect planet for our needs.
  19. Profile photo of Trumple07
    Trumple07 Male 13-17
    422 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:38 am
    Brings everyone to the same level...pretty cool
  20. Profile photo of APJ311
    APJ311 Male 13-17
    749 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:44 am
    The caption was right, it didn`t help. :|
  21. Profile photo of Isobel
    Isobel Female 18-29
    245 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:50 am
    "Just think how lucky we are to live on such a perfect planet for our needs."
    Ever heard of evolution?
  22. Profile photo of b0sanac1
    b0sanac1 Male 18-29
    234 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:52 am
    "The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand."

    The only world that can hold humanoid life such as ours. doesnt mean that all alien life are the same organism as us.
  23. Profile photo of LazyMe484
    LazyMe484 Male 18-29
    10443 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:53 am
    space is big, but to atoms we are giants.
  24. Profile photo of ScottSerious
    ScottSerious Male 18-29
    5316 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:55 am
    shoooped
  25. Profile photo of splurbyburbl
    splurbyburbl Male 30-39
    2798 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:57 am
    So says some loser on a mote of dust in a sunbeam. pfft.
  26. Profile photo of thelonious
    thelonious Male 40-49
    3278 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:03 am
    Here`s another news flash for you, everyone eventually dies. So what`s the point?
  27. Profile photo of pottersclay
    pottersclay Female 30-39
    109 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:07 am
    "Just think how lucky we are to live on such a perfect planet for our needs."

    ya, too bad we`re destroying it as we speak.
  28. Profile photo of goaliejerry
    goaliejerry Male 30-39
    4019 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:07 am
    Thoughts such as this are why I studied philosophy during undergrad. It was nice because I could make poignant, insightful, unverifiable claims about the universe and get an A.

    Its not just the comparatively minute nature of the existence of our planet - its the limited nature of our perceptive organs that shape the "world" as we know it. We can`t even see the vast majority of the electromagnetic spectrum; we dwell solely in the realm of visible light, while the universe is a menagerie of diffuse energies working on scales that BLOW MY F*CKING MIND.
  29. Profile photo of Musuko42
    Musuko42 Male 18-29
    2850 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:11 am
    "Just think how lucky we are to live on such a perfect planet for our needs."

    If you want to be picky, it couldn`t be any other way; if the planet weren`t perfect for our needs, we wouldn`t survive long enough to be here to consider it.

    It`s called the Anthropic Principle. Wikipedia has an interesting (if baffling) article about it. There are a lot of variations of it, but it largely boils down to saying "the universe must be suitable for the emergence of observers, because were are here observing it".

    "The only world that can hold humanoid life such as ours. doesnt mean that all alien life are the same organism as us."

    He didn`t say there aren`t other worlds that can harbour life. He said there aren`t any others THAT WE KNOW OF.

    In time, we may discover some. But the entire point of his speech is that we can`t rely on that future possibility, and we have to look after THIS world, rather than dream of finding a
  30. Profile photo of goaliejerry
    goaliejerry Male 30-39
    4019 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:11 am
    And yet, despite the insignificance of our planet, tell the jilted lover that his feelings are insignificant, or the mother of the stillborn child that her loss means nothing, and your soul will cringe with your callousness.
  31. Profile photo of bataleon27
    bataleon27 Male 18-29
    1178 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:12 am
    meh, I don`t understand why everyone hate the fact that we are insignificant in such a vast universe. It`s just not something that ever gets me down. I enjoy my life, why should I feel bad because there is an infinite amount of space in which an infinite amount of other life may exist.
  32. Profile photo of ScottSerious
    ScottSerious Male 18-29
    5316 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:23 am
    I heard space is, like, big or something. doesn`t seem true to me.
  33. Profile photo of LtFurpie
    LtFurpie Male 30-39
    1014 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:32 am
    good ol` Voyager 1. APOD website said it was V-Ger1 looking at us from Saturn. pretty cool guy, pretty cool spacecraft, and pretty cool shot.
  34. Profile photo of IQover
    IQover Male 13-17
    1043 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:34 am
    :s Confusing..
  35. Profile photo of LtFurpie
    LtFurpie Male 30-39
    1014 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:34 am
    here`s a better pic from APOD.

    Click...
  36. Profile photo of robosnitz
    robosnitz Male 40-49
    2737 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:38 am
    Carl Sagan is a douche.
  37. Profile photo of icfire504
    icfire504 Male 13-17
    341 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:42 am
    Yay! existentialism! Im a total existentialist so this doesnt get me down at all
  38. Profile photo of pui
    pui Female 18-29
    3575 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:51 am
    If anything, being so insignificant makes me feel better about my mistakes and problems.
  39. Profile photo of canusuck
    canusuck Male 30-39
    776 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:56 am
    wow, robosnitz is an idiot and missed the point....Carl Sagan is the man, he shook me out of my immature belief in religion that I was spoon fed and woke me up to real awe of nature-I will always remember how liberated I felt after reading Cosmos
  40. Profile photo of ChainsawNbud
    ChainsawNbud Male 50-59
    744 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:58 am
    Contrary to robosnitz`s opinion, Dr. Carl Sagan was the most intelligent person on Earth.
  41. Profile photo of Rick_S
    Rick_S Male 40-49
    3275 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:58 am
    I didn`t know we lived in Whoville!
  42. Profile photo of LtFurpie
    LtFurpie Male 30-39
    1014 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:59 am
    I agree Chainsaw. No one pronounced millions or billions like he did!
  43. Profile photo of HappyBee42
    HappyBee42 Female 18-29
    32 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 10:00 am
    we live on a `mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam`. to me that sounds rather glorious *happy sigh*
  44. Profile photo of MattPrince
    MattPrince Male 40-49
    2220 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 10:11 am
    Nice.

    Throw time into the mix and the possibilty that the universe oscillates infinitely from one cosmic bang to the next...

    I actually find it pretty liberating.
  45. Profile photo of Dakkar
    Dakkar Male 18-29
    1256 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 10:16 am
    Mr. Sagan uses the wrong level of analysis. I could very well investigate earthquakes on the level of quantum physics, but the results would be absolutely useless.

    It is equally useless to consider the works of humanity on such a macro level. If we truly worried about our actions as a part of the greater universe, we`d be tempted to become shells of humans, glorified zombies living 80 years without doing a single thing. Last time I checked, Mr. Sagan, we humans are finding cures for crippling diseases, inventing imaginative technologies, and pushing closer to understanding the mysteries of the universe.
  46. Profile photo of fukko
    fukko Male 18-29
    27 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 10:16 am
    robosnitz is a 40 year old douche who`s into the amazing power of wicca...

    ...What a retard.
  47. Profile photo of Musuko42
    Musuko42 Male 18-29
    2850 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 10:35 am
    "If we truly worried about our actions as a part of the greater universe, we`d be tempted to become shells of humans, glorified zombies living 80 years without doing a single thing."

    *SIGH*

    YOU don`t get it either. That speech means entirely the reverse; DO do things; do everything in your power to make this tiny speck in the bleak oblivion of nothingness the very best you can, and stop fighting over trivial things because they do not MATTER, and this is the only world we have; we should be working to make it better, not squandering it with silly ideologies and wars.

    How on earth did you completely miss the meaning of that amazing speech?
  48. Profile photo of Crucible
    Crucible Male 18-29
    1817 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 10:37 am
    A speck of gold is still the most significant object in a pile of sand.
  49. Profile photo of canusuck
    canusuck Male 30-39
    776 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 11:00 am
    Musuko42-well said, I couldn`t have said it better-Dakkar it isnt the depth of our answers that defines us, it is the courage of our questions......
  50. Profile photo of goaliejerry
    goaliejerry Male 30-39
    4019 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 11:06 am
    "here`s a better pic from APOD.

    Click..."

    And its crazy to think that its possible a photon emitted from the sun bounced off of my shirt and made its way into the iris of the probe to be digitized by a computer and sent through radio waves back to earth to be decoded and placed on a server to be accessed by me - the world blows my mind sometimes.
  51. Profile photo of Oystah
    Oystah Female 40-49
    4033 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 11:07 am
    What dot?
  52. Profile photo of nubblins
    nubblins Female 18-29
    1743 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 11:18 am
    great post, imho.
  53. Profile photo of green_batman
    green_batman Female 18-29
    728 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 11:22 am
    I love Carl Sagan. He has such a grand way of seeing the universe. It always makes me happy when I watch Cosmos or read one of his books. :)
  54. Profile photo of Angelmassb
    Angelmassb Male 18-29
    15511 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 11:54 am
    "I love Carl Sagan. He has such a grand way of seeing the universe. It always makes me happy when I watch Cosmos or read one of his books. :)"

    You rock in many levels!
  55. Profile photo of Dakkar
    Dakkar Male 18-29
    1256 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 12:38 pm
    "How on earth did you completely miss the meaning of that amazing speech?"

    Simple, I have a different interpretation born out of my experiences and travels.

    I believe there is no butterfly effect. If you really believe the Earth is some tiny speck, and the 80 years of one human`s life is practically nothing when compared to the 13.4 billion years of the universe`s existence, then you have conceded that the universe much greater than our simple place in it. From that interpretation, it logically follows that all the wars of man, every mother`s kiss, every step taken by you and me has absolutely no effect on the greater universe.

    But when you "ignore" the greater universe, when you bring the level of analysis to a 12,750 kilometer sphere, comprised of 6 billion humans and a vast array of other species, that`s when there is solid meaning, that is when the consequences of our actions have palpable effects.
  56. Profile photo of Dakkar
    Dakkar Male 18-29
    1256 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 12:45 pm
    There is no meaning when it is analyzed as a mote of dust, just as we humans give no concern to the dust particles we encounter everyday.

    Now if I understand you correctly, you claim that because we are a tiny speck, the trivial things do not matter, such as ideologies and petty quarrels (like this one here). But why have you chosen only trivial things to not matter? Are not trivial matters and the overall human condition, and the condition of our entire planet, equally meaningless if everything is just a speck? To me, you are picking and choosing what matters, what is important, on your speck. I claim if we view it as a speck then we are not allowed to pick and choose, everything must be meaningless.
  57. Profile photo of Dakkar
    Dakkar Male 18-29
    1256 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm
    Its obvious that you will see my viewpoint as incorrect. It is likely that you will consider me ignorant and stubborn. But I concede that from your experiences, your interpretation will seem correct to you, just as mine does to me. And I do not care that I am in the minority view, I find it empowering, not hopeless.

    One final thing. I am a realist, and naturally I do not believe humans can ever put aside ideological (or physical) differences without the aid of oppressive authoritarianism (see Harrison Bergeron). Clearly, we have ideological differences, and you felt the need to refute mine in reference to this post. It may not have as wide ramifications as different sociopolitical ideologies, but I think it helps prove my point.

    I just hope in my explanation, I have come across much less condescending than you did to me.
  58. Profile photo of Dakkar
    Dakkar Male 18-29
    1256 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 1:04 pm
    "Dakkar it isnt the depth of our answers that defines us, it is the courage of our questions..."

    Another simple disconnect due to experiences. I am trained as an empirical scientist, so I am presented a question, I have some observations, and I try to provide answers based on those observations. Everything hinges on my ability to provide an answer to the question I am given, and I have much less concern for developing new questions.

    In my view, if every "courageous" question was answered by another "courageous" question, we become swamped in an infinite string of questions.

    Both the questions and the answers are vitally important to every problem. I happen to fall on the side that likes to answer, just as others like to ask. We must work in tandem to progress. It becomes a case of not whether the questions or answers are more important, but the results of their interactions.

    Ugg, quad post. Haven`t had one in a while...
  59. Profile photo of Boadicea
    Boadicea Female 18-29
    1678 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 1:47 pm
    Blah blah blah, just look at the speck of dust guys.
  60. Profile photo of CrakrJak
    CrakrJak Male 40-49
    17515 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 2:04 pm
    I sort of agree with Dakkar, That`s more than a speck of dust, a lot more. Too much can be morally dismissed if you view it only as a speck of dust.
  61. Profile photo of MrYouKnow
    MrYouKnow Male 13-17
    1081 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm
    These insignificance things have never really affected me.
  62. Profile photo of dragonshadoz
    dragonshadoz Female 18-29
    4033 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 2:39 pm
    I love this picture. I has it!

  63. Profile photo of caper454
    caper454 Female 70 & Over
    511 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm
    man, I LOOOOOOOVE carl sagan. "old time rock in roll" is the best song ever!!!
  64. Profile photo of boredfjord
    boredfjord Male 13-17
    928 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 3:24 pm
    If we redraw this map to show moral significance, the earth and the cosmos trade places. Still, Sagan`s writing is almost always insightful and beautiful.
  65. Profile photo of AnInsomniac
    AnInsomniac Female 18-29
    318 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm
    It doesn`t make me feel insignificant it makes me kinda just go "whoa...no wonder earth is so freaking crowded, it`s tiny!" lol no, but it does leave me with a sense of awe over the size of everything. We`re tiny compared to the depths of a lake, the lake tiny next to the ocean and on and on...it`s actually kinda cool XP
  66. Profile photo of mvangild
    mvangild Male 30-39
    527 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 6:00 pm
    I always liked watching Sagan on Cosmos. Even got the book. RIP Carl Sagan.
  67. Profile photo of Lionhart2
    Lionhart2 Male 40-49
    8309 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 6:34 pm
    I used to quite enjoy Carl Sagan on TV until I read most of his books and realized what a crap-talking idiot dumbo he really is.
  68. Profile photo of howlingwolf
    howlingwolf Male 18-29
    1351 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 7:07 pm
    Wow, that stunned me for a bit.
  69. Profile photo of bigbaddave
    bigbaddave Male 40-49
    214 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 7:09 pm
    Carl Sagan was a very smart man.. very insightful on many things. Had the chance to meet the man once at a reception before a lecture, got my copy of Cosmos signed. Was kind of weird for me in that i`ve met a lot of musicians over the years like Ozzy and Metallica and Poison, basically just a variety of people.. and then I meet Carl.. wish I could of gotten a picture.
  70. Profile photo of Fatninja01
    Fatninja01 Male 30-39
    25406 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 7:31 pm
    wow, such a meaningful dot
  71. Profile photo of Genocyde
    Genocyde Male 30-39
    712 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:01 pm
    In Response To Sagan:

    "Yeah...talk about gnarly."
  72. Profile photo of Peveo4589
    Peveo4589 Male 18-29
    430 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 8:49 pm
    It took me three tries to see the dot. I guess we are a DR. Seuss Book.
  73. Profile photo of DarkFerret
    DarkFerret Male 18-29
    2750 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 9:29 pm
    ... wow... powerful
  74. Profile photo of Tonyjet
    Tonyjet Male 18-29
    3299 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 11:09 pm
    yeah, were are nothing but a spec of universe dust
  75. Profile photo of Elriuhilu
    Elriuhilu Male 18-29
    275 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 11:11 pm
    I thought I found the dot but it turned out to be a speck on my monitor.
  76. Profile photo of Lionhart2
    Lionhart2 Male 40-49
    8309 posts
    April 12, 2010 at 11:31 pm
    How the drat can some of you motherdratters NOT be able to find the dot, it`s dratting 12000 km across!
  77. Profile photo of me117
    me117 Male 13-17
    36 posts
    April 13, 2010 at 1:56 am
    itson the 3rd beam to the right aout halfway down
  78. Profile photo of SaiyanRocker
    SaiyanRocker Male 18-29
    101 posts
    April 13, 2010 at 3:04 am
    LOL! Elriuhilu has the best comment here.
  79. Profile photo of redbullvodka
    redbullvodka Female 13-17
    28 posts
    April 13, 2010 at 4:42 am
    my life is officially fulfilled now
  80. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 13, 2010 at 6:01 am
    R.I.P. Mr. Sagan.
  81. Profile photo of Lionhart2
    Lionhart2 Male 40-49
    8309 posts
    April 13, 2010 at 6:09 am
    > Elriuhilu
    > I thought I found the dot but it turned out to be a speck on my monitor

    I guess the whole point of the article is that we`re all just specks on someone`s monitor... or something`s, anyway.
  82. Profile photo of donjobs
    donjobs Male 18-29
    68 posts
    April 13, 2010 at 6:17 am
    I sharted
  83. Profile photo of PENtrap
    PENtrap Male 18-29
    199 posts
    April 13, 2010 at 6:33 am
    ...so?
    bull to it too as there is some nasa stuff on mars so its not EVERYTHING.. or is that me just being a dick?
  84. Profile photo of duffytoler
    duffytoler Male 40-49
    5196 posts
    April 13, 2010 at 6:38 am
    Love that guy. Compare "COSMOS" with the dreck being cranked out over at PBS today. Huge difference.
  85. Profile photo of MsMalicious
    MsMalicious Female 18-29
    291 posts
    April 13, 2010 at 8:29 am
    ATTN ITKON

    Knock it off. Dont care for your spam.
  86. Profile photo of bored-am-I
    bored-am-I Male 30-39
    785 posts
    April 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm
    Where`s Wally?
  87. Profile photo of maggot89
    maggot89 Male 18-29
    15 posts
    April 13, 2010 at 2:27 pm
    sooo...where`s waldo???
  88. Profile photo of slayer50515
    slayer50515 Male 18-29
    988 posts
    April 13, 2010 at 6:32 pm
    Sagan for the win!
  89. Profile photo of polkafromny
    polkafromny Female 18-29
    376 posts
    April 13, 2010 at 7:58 pm
    lol @ maggot89
  90. Profile photo of SumRandom1
    SumRandom1 Male 18-29
    794 posts
    April 14, 2010 at 8:14 am
    exactly, compared to the universe we are nothing but dust spec and all our history is even less than that,
    if you are striving for something, remember to enjoy the journey not just the destination

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