Human beings can be magnificent. It's easy to forget, especially when it seems like the mouth-breathers have staged a coup, are running the show, and ruining it for the rest of us.
Today I come bearing a sweet, sweet reminder courtesy of NASA and the late, great Carl Sagan.
Since brownbetty on IJ said it best, I'll just quote her entry:
In 1977 NASA launched two Voyager probes. Both of them carried an engraved gold-plated copper disk which contained pictures and sounds of earth, intended both as a time capsule, and as a message for any intelligent life which might encounter it.After listening to it all afternoon — starting with the U.N. Secretary General's "Greetings from Earth" message and listening through to the bitter end — I can honestly say that NASA's mixtape for aliens isn't just the first use of a mixtape for making new friends in history, it's also the Best! Mixtape! Evar!
And here it is. Most of the stuff on the record was chosen by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan, but that notwithstanding, it's difficult to look and especially listen to this stuff and not get a sense of romance. The pictures are a bit like paging through a highschool science text crossed with an old National Geographic, but even they are clearly attempting to show Earth's best face. This is the Earth these people hoped an alien would get to know, and one presumes, like. Listen especially to the collected music. (Feel free to skip the messages.)
Guys, they made a mixtape for aliens.* If that doesn't make you go awwwwwww you have no romance in your soul.
Voyager Golden Record main page
Voyager Golden Record earth family photo album for aliens
Voyager Golden Record mixtape for aliens