Pale Blue Dot

This has to be one of my favourite recent pieces of animation. Adam Winnik’s thesis project animates an excerpt from Carl Sagan‘s book “Pale Blue Dot” read by the author himself.

I’ve been enrolled in illustration at Sheridan College for the the last 4 years and this is my final thesis project. I have always thought of Carl Sagan’s writings as “scientific poetry” since they lack the cold touch that science is often cursed for having. I think Sagan’s words resonate more than ever, and will continue with each generation until the human species “wakes up”. The first time I heard this excerpt from his book “Pale Blue Dot” it literally changed my life, and I hope it does for you too. Enjoy.

I think Adam has struck a fantastic balance between the Hans Zimmer soundtrack, the tone of Sagan’s voice and his own playful animation of the words. What do you think?

The Internet in Society

After the recent successes in Scotland by the SNP in using social media tools and the internet as part of their historic re-election, this lecture by Evgeny Morozov is an interesting exploration of the wider debate around society and the internet.

Does the internet actually inhibit, not encourage democracy? In this new RSA Animate adapted from a talk given in 2009, Evgeny Morozov presents an alternative take on ‘cyber-utopianism’ – the seductive idea that the internet plays a largely emancipatory role in global politics.

Exposing some idealistic myths about freedom and technology (during Iran’s ‘twitter revolution’ fewer than 20,000 Twitter users actually took part), Evgeny argues for some realism about the actual uses and abuses of the internet.

Morozov refers to the much debated distinction between the digital native and the immigrant, but suggests we should be focusing on the differences between digital renegades and digital captives. This is an interesting point that refers to the filtered and restricted use of digital tools in some countries compared to those more freely using the tools in others.

A healthy reminder of the relative openness we have in our digital lives compared to other parts of the world.