The Overview Effect

Published:December 11, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe

Not because this has anything to do with Virginia history, but because we’ve already posted about the Blue Marble and, this morning, the Black Marble, the above video is worth the time. Think of it as rounding out the trilogy. It begins with that famous prediction, by the British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle, who wrote in 1950:

Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from outside, is available … once the sheer isolation of the Earth becomes plain to every man whatever his nationality or creed, a new idea as powerful as any history will be let loose.

This idea has since been dubbed the “Overview Effect,” or the cognitive shift that comes from seeing the Earth from orbit. In the video, astronomers and philosophers alike talk about what it all means. (via book of joe / devour)