The new “Cosmos” might be called the Large Hadron Collider of pop science: expensive, splashy and ambitious. After a series of special showings this week, including one at the White House, it will be shown in 170 countries and 45 languages, on Fox and on the National Geographic Channel — the largest global opening ever for a television series, according to Ann Druyan, Dr. Sagan’s widow and his collaborator on the original “Cosmos,” who is an executive producer and a writer and director of the new series.
I’m not going to pretend to be neutral here. I hope it succeeds and that everyone watches it, not just because I have known Ms. Druyan and admired Dr. Tyson for years, but because we all need a unifying dose of curiosity and wonder.
“Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” comes at a critical moment for a society that is increasingly fragmented.
If we are going to decide big issues, like eating genetically modified food, fracking for natural gas, responding to the prospect of drastic climate change, exploring space or engaging in ambitious science research, we are going to have to start from some common experience.
As Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the longtime senator from New York, once said, everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts. So where are we going to get them?
In science, as in other areas of our culture, there is no dearth of voices, but are we paying attention? In the new New Age, it’s all about which cable channels you watch or whom you follow on Twitter.
We could use a national conversation that is not about scandal or sports. If everybody watches the new “Cosmos,” we can talk about it the way we once argued about “The Sopranos” every Monday morning.
like do you know how many little black kids are gonna be browsing their t.v. one day bump into an airing of cosmos with neil degrasse tyson presenting science and its merits through a scientist who looks so much like them? he’s laying some really necessary seeds here folks.
Reminder that depression and being sad are not the same. Sadness can be an outcome of depression, but depression is not sadness. Depression is the chemical imbalance that occurs in our brain when something goes wrong with environmental, food related, life changing situations, emotional/physical harm, intake of incompatible drugs (and many many more stressors that can profoundly fuck with your daily routine). Think of it this way, most people have their computers (brain) wired in a way that makes it easier for them to be happy, and then there is the depressed brain, which has been tinkered and rewired either from birth and genetics or from environmental cues that person may/may not have had control over making it easier for them to slip into depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and worst.. suicidal tendencies. So think about these things before you go and try to give advice to someone with depression and if you don’t know what to say, don’t say shit, point them in the direction of someone who knows or someone who can point them to someone who knows. Don’t try to dismiss their sadness as simple emotions that can be thought away (as we Dominicans do in our society when we act like depression is just sadness you can wish away ). Sometimes people need more than that, sometimes they need their meds, proper diet to battle depression, and so much more. It’s very complicated and very different for each person because the wiring in the brain varies. Please feel free to share this, we don’t speak on these things enough.