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I was smiling over a quotation when I happened upon an old one in my collection which simply leapt off the page, showing itself to be suddenly bang up to date. And how!

No prizes for your best guesses, but which modern vastly wealthy jester does this remind you of? There's little chance of mistaking the answer, even though the creator of the quotation left our planet 21 years ago.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Carl Sagan ... offering the world one of the saddest lessons of history. - Photograph borrowed with thanks from Wikipedia.
If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. - Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (1934-1996), wrote: One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle.

'We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us.

'It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.'

Print it and post it

Every American household might benefit from having it printed and posted in the most prominent part of the house - before it is too late.

Quite by accident, I found this extract from Carl Sagan on the Boston25 News site.

The news website reported that a recent Reddit post quickly gained momentum when a user posted a photo of a passage from Carl Sagan’s 1996 book, The Demon Haunted World.

The site says, 'The book, known for the examination of scientific thinking, had this prediction which seems to be eerily accurate on page 40 ...

A foreboding

'I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or my grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues;

when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority;

when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

'The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.'

Links:
Who was Carl Sagan?
Carl Sagan's prediction