Friday, December 21, 2012

The Overview Effect

So, if you know me, then you know how embarrassingly excited I can get about The World. I'm always happy snapping clouds, sunsets, plants and flowers, and pointing out colours and shapes to any close by me. Like I said, embarrassingly excited. The thing is that I just can't get over how beautiful our environment is - and in that I include art and buildings and gardens and museums and design and all those urban things as well. I mean, I live in a city now and I'd be foolish and naive not to find beauty and purpose here.

The thing is that paying attention to the world around me and locating myself as a part of that helps me keep perspective when things go to shit. It gives me a sense of connectedness, place, rhythms, time and cycles of life.

So imagine how stoked this film, The Overview Effect, made me feel! (via but does it float)

From the website:
On the 40th anniversary of the famous 'Blue Marble' photograph taken of Earth from space, Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts  life-changing stories of seeing the earth from the outside - a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect... Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.



This film runs for 20 minutes and I strongly recommend that you take some time out from your day to watch it. The images are completely mesmerising, but besides that (as my friend Jen just pointed out), the astronauts they interview are highly intelligent people who have been through loads of training and testing and education to get to where they are. As is clear from the ways they describe the universe, they make sense of it using physics, astronomy and philosophy. Like, the moment when Edgar Mitchell describes looking out the shuttle window and really feeling the astronomical and philosophical understandings that we all came from the stars, that we merely are all stardust... Mind blown!

My friend, Marcus has long argued that all world leaders and politicians should have to view the earth from space, and he's totally right.


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