Elon Musk updates the ending of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot


Musk reads Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot.”

YouTube screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

There’s plenty of reasons to be skeptical of Elon Musk’s grand vision of making humans a “multi-planetary species” by first building a metropolis on Mars, but the SpaceX founder has a knack for selling that vision with a particular poignancy. 

In a new episode of Lex Fridman’s Artificial Intelligence podcast, the MIT researcher asks Musk to read a famous passage from Carl Sagan’s famous 1994 book Pale Blue Dot. The CEO obliges but bookends the reading with a few of his own observations to provide a 21st century, post-Musk spin.

Sagan was referring to a photo taken of Earth at his own suggestion by Voyager 1 in 1990 from more than 4 billion miles (6 billion kilometers) away. In the image, our planet is indeed a tiny pale blue dot less than the size of a single pixel. 

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