Closing the book

I just finished Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark about a minute ago. I’ve been working through it for months, reading bits and pieces of it whenever I had free time, and upon seeing how gorgeous it was outside and that there were only about 35 pages left, I resolved to finish it today. I ended up coming inside for the last bits, due to rising breezes and diminishing sunlight.

Anyway, especially for the last couple of months, I’ve been experiencing a weird phenomenon with the book. I’ll be discussing some issue one day, and then while reading the next day, I’ll find that Sagan has addressed the same issue. A couple of weeks ago, it was the matter of scientists’ ethical obligations and whether or not to mark some fields as “off-limits.” Then it was SETI and astrobiology, and the matter of teaching science and critical thinking in school, or about a dozen other topics. I’ve had a little chuckle to myself when I’ve recently thought “he must have been psychic.”

The other phenomenon I’ve experienced is the sheer wealth of information contained within that orange-black-and-white tome. I’ve found myself craving a highlighter, that I might go over the passages that really stand out and speak to me, but I’d have a book positively dripping with yellow. I’ve been honestly and without hyperbole describing it as “the best book ever written on the subject of everything.” I lament the fact that I won’t be able to keep all this in my head for the rest of my life. The passages throughout this book are so perfect, so useful, so relevant, that I’d like to have them at my fingertips for quoting and showing off in various arguments and other writings.

So, as I finished the acknowledgments, these two phenomena collided. Dr. Sagan had anticipated this, too. I nearly cried.

The book is indexed.

Thanks, Carl. You’re the best.

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4 Responses to Closing the book

  1. John P says:

    Ditto. One of my favorites.

  2. vjack says:

    Yeah, that is one of my favorites too. Everyone should read it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps Sagan isn’t psychic after all (premonitionally psychic at that). It seems more likely that, by thinking in a positive way, your thoughts became things.Hehe!-CJV(BTW, the Charlotte’s Web anonymous is me, too)

  4. Theriomorph says:

    I know. I KNOW. I love him.

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