A Warning on Science and Technology

Carl Sagan Issues a Chilling Warning to America in His Last Interview (1996)


Until the end of his life, Carl Sagan (1934-1996) continued doing what he did all along — popularizing science and “enthusiastically conveying the wonders of the universe to millions of people on television and in books.” Whenever Sagan appeared on ”The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson during the 70s and 80s, his goal was to connect with everyday Americans — people who didn’t subscribe to Scientific American — and increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of science.

At the end of his life, Sagan still cared deeply about where science stood in the public imagination. But while losing a battle with myelodysplasia, Sagan also sensed that scientific thinking was losing ground in America, and even more ominously within the chambers of the Newt Gringrich-led Congress.

During his final interview, aired on May 27, 1996, Sagan issued a strong warning, telling Charlie Rose:

"We’ve arranged a society on science and technology in which nobody understands anything about science and technology, and this combustible mixture of ignorance and power sooner or later is going to blow up in our faces. I mean, who is running the science and technology in a democracy if the people don’t know anything about it."

2 min. clip:

Carl Sagan Warned Us About This!

SAGAN: It's not that pseudoscience and superstition and new-age so-called "beliefs" and fundamentalist zealotry are something new. They've been with us for as long as we've been human. But we live in an age based on science and technology, with formidable technological powers.

ROSE: Science and technology are propelling us forward at accelerating rates.

SAGAN: That's right. And if we don't understand it, by "we" I mean the general public, if it's something that, oh, I'm not good at that, I don't know anything about it, then who is making all the decisions about science and technology that are going to determine what kind of future our children live in?

ROSE: But what's the danger of all this?

SAGAN: There's two kinds of dangers. One is what I just talked about. That we've arranged a society based on science and technology in which nobody understands anything about science and technology. And this combustible mixture of ignorance and power, sooner or later, is going to blow up in our faces! I mean, who is running the science and technology in a democracy if the people don't know anything about it?

And the second reason that I'm worried about this is that science is more than a body of knowledge. It's a way of thinking, a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility.

If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we're up for grabs for the next charlatan, political or religious, who comes ambling along.

20-minute interview:


Nick Hudson: The cult of “trust the science”

By Rhoda Wilson on September 21, 2023
How do you know that you are not dealing with the facts but with a scam?

Nick Hudson has a really simple answer: “If there are three things happening, then you know you are dealing with a scam. If something is presented as a global crisis, admitting only global solutions and in an environment where dissenting voices are cancelled. If those three things are present – global crisis, global solution, censorship of dissenting voices – then you are definitively dealing with a scam. No exceptions.”
Nick Hudson, an investor and entrepreneur from South Africa, is an actuary by education and profession. He is also a critical thinker with a large network of contacts, a wide readership and a wide range of interests. Hudson is chairman of Pandemics Data & Analytics (“PANDA”) which was established in April 2020 as a fact-based analysis of policies imposed in response to the covid pandemic. PANDA has since grown to become a research think tank that publishes on a broader range of topics – or exposes scams – that require public attention.

Last week he appeared on the Freedom Research Podcast to discuss the similarities between the covid and climate change narratives, and to give his thoughts on modern-day fascism.

When the so-called Covid crisis began, he started to critically assess the related numbers as soon as in 2020. He told Hannes Sarv, host of Freedom Research Podcast, that looking at how national governments were responding to the disease outbreak, he felt something was terribly wrong.

“I was looking at the data and coming to a completely different conclusion from what was being said in the media, by the government and public health circles. And I was battling to sleep. It was weighing on me heavily and then a friend of mine said that as long as you stay silent you won’t be able to sleep. And then I decided to speak out,” he said.

Couldn’t he just “trust the science,” as many others were told to do and did? Hudson said that science has nothing to do with trust. Science is about hypothesising and making a critique of these hypotheses. It is about respecting differences of opinion and debate. If there is none, or if it is suppressed, it is not science, it is religion. Perhaps “trusting the science,” in his words, means something like this – participating in a religious cult.

Methods such as locking down the societies, and later similarly the vaccine and mask mandates used to combat the spread of the virus under the guise of “science” had nothing to do with science, Hudson pointed out.

“It was clear from the start that our public health people and the World Health Organisation and the Bill Gateses of the world were speaking absolute nonsense. They weren’t rooted in science; they weren’t rooted in the scientific method. They were propelling a narrative that suited them for a variety of reasons, both commercial and political,” he said.

On the other hand, most people still agreed with these totally unscientific methods, stripping them of their personal freedoms. Hudson is not very surprised. Propaganda has proved effective throughout our history, he said, and he doesn’t blame people for submitting to it.

“The majority of people just go along with what they’re told. A more interesting question is why did governments adopt a set of policies that were so obviously harmful at a population level. It was their decision to embark on the propaganda exercises and the behavioural science manipulations that they used to put people in this position of supporting lockdowns and mask mandates and injection mandates and all of this nonsense,” he said.

Hudson also discussed misinformation. “Misinformation doesn’t mean you say something false. It means that you say something that contradicts an authority, which is a fundamentally unscientific notion,” he said. In other words, their idea of preventing “misinformation” is censorship. Censorship which Hudson has experienced personally.

Regarding “climate change,” he said that we are being presented with simplistic models of global warming similar to the one used for covid. To take the notion of systems as complex as a society or the global climate being analysed using spreadsheets on rudimentary measurements seriously, and from that, build assumptions to control those systems and save us from some imagined disaster, requires enormous faith. “To me, it is manifestly clear from the structure of the discussion that the climate change crisis is a scam,” he said.

Nick Hudson: The cult of “trust the science”...

Earth Received a Message Laser-Beamed From 10 Million Miles Away in NASA Test


Eventually, we're going to want to expand the World Wide Web across the galaxy, and NASA recently demonstrated a key piece of tech that could help, beaming messages via laser across a distance of almost 16 million kilometers (10 million miles).

That's about 40 times farther than the Moon is from Earth, and the accomplishment, achieved in November 2023, represented the first time that optical communications have been sent across such a distance.

Traditionally, we use radio waves to talk to distant spacecraft – but higher frequencies of light, such as near infrared, offer an increase in bandwidth and therefore a huge boost in data speed.

If we're going to eventually be able to send high-definition video messages to and from Mars without a significant delay, then this is a step towards the tech we need.

The test was part of NASA's Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) experiment, and the successful establishment of the comms link is known as 'first light'

"Achieving first light is one of many critical DSOC milestones in the coming months, paving the way toward higher-data-rate communications capable of sending scientific information, high-definition imagery, and streaming video in support of humanity's next giant leap," Trudy Kortes, who is director of Technology Demonstrations at NASA Headquarters, said at the time.

We all rely on similar tech built into optical fibers for our ground-based, high-speed communications, but here it was adapted for use through deep space to improve on existing methods of getting information back to Earth.

Being infrared light, engineers can easily transmit its waves in laser form. This won't get the light moving any faster, but it does tidy and constrain its beam to a narrow channel. This requires far less power than a scatter of radio waves and is harder to intercept.

That doesn't mean it's a simple task. Data bits are encoded in the photons emitted by the laser, which requires a number of heavy duty instruments – including a superconducting high-efficiency detector array – to prepare the information for transmission, and translate it at the other end.

Another challenge is having the system adapt its positioning configuration in real time. In this latest test, the laser photons took about 50 seconds to get from spacecraft to telescope, and both were hurtling through space while this was happening.

The laser transceiver that made the connection is on board the Psyche spacecraft, which is on a years-long mission, headed for the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It made contact with the Hale Telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California.

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ScienceAlert – 14 Mar 24

Bizarre article (below). Has teleportation ("Beam me up, Scotty") been achieved, or the more likely scenario of massive amounts of money laundering under the guise of lunar construction.

Northrop Grumman to Develop Concept for Lunar Railroad

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has been selected by DARPA to further develop the concept of building a moon-based railroad network as part of the broader 10-year Lunar Architecture (LunA-10) Capability Study. The envisioned lunar railroad network could transport humans, supplies and resources for commercial ventures across the lunar surface – contributing to a space economy for the United States and international partners.

Northrop Grumman’s study will:

  • Define the interfaces and resources required to build a lunar rail network.
  • Establish a critical list of foreseeable cost, technological and logistical risks.
  • Identify prototypes, demonstrations and analyses of a fully operating lunar rail system’s concept design and architecture.
  • Explore concepts for constructing and operating the system with robotics, including grading and foundation preparation, track placement and alignment, joining and finishing, inspection, maintenance and repair.


Chris Adams, vice president and general manager, strategic space systems, Northrop Grumman: “This investment in key developmental research keeps our technology at the forefront of next generation solutions. With our proven experience in the integration of complex systems and commercialized autonomous services, we will continue to create lasting change for a sustainable space ecosystem.”


DARPA’s LunA-10 Capability Study is designed to quickly create new technology ideas shifting from individual scientific projects to shared, scalable systems that work together. The goal is to establish an analytical framework for integrated lunar infrastructure that minimizes lunar footprint and provides commercial services for future lunar users. Learn more about Northrop Grumman’s civil and commercial space capabilities and programs.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global aerospace and defense technology company. Our pioneering solutions equip our customers with the capabilities they need to connect and protect the world, and push the boundaries of human exploration across the universe. Driven by a shared purpose to solve our customers’ toughest problems, our employees define possible every day.