Or, you might be thinking, “seeing is believing.”

Any survey of Politicolor quickly reveals a certain fascination with SEEING. But, here, seeing is not constrained by our…

but is something of another (grey) matter. Our posts have asked what we know from what we see and how seeing changes how we think about what we know. That sentence could make you dizzy but that’s the point. There is an inextricable bond between what we see and what we know.

Our previous investigations have involved reference to Cicero and Scipio’s Dream or Carl Sagan and astronauts. And sometimes both.

We have another name to add to the list.

In 1994, this guy had an asteroid named after him, 13123 Tyson, and, six years later, People Magazine named him the Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive. This makes Neil deGrasse Tyson is more of a modern thinker who suggests we “consider the category” before making too much of that last honorary. He has sparred with Colbert and is a regular favorite on WNYC’s RadioLab.

Neil deGrasse Tyson wants to inspire. He wants us (and the U.S.) to innovate.

In this 2013 commencement speech at Rice University, he works his way through our history of space exploration to focus on a familiar image, Earth rising over the moon’s horizon. Taken from space by the Apollo 8 Mission in 196, Tyson demonstrates how that image empowered us to take action. Seeing the Earth “as nature intended” gave us a reason to think about new and different questions.

In what Tyson describes as a “cultural response” to this image that Apollo 8 made possible for us all to see, a country at war was transformed into an “innovation nation.”

Tyson explains that we went to the moon to explore it but discovered the Earth instead.


*Tyson starts discussing the image at 11:00 if you don’t have time for the whole video