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Carl Sagan – Contact (1997)

“I want to know what you think of us,” she said shortly, “what you really think.”

He did not hesitate for a moment. “All right. I think it’s amazing that you’ve done as well as you have. You’ve got hardly any theory of social organization, astonishingly backward economic systems, no grasp of the machinery of historical prediction, and very little knowledge about yourselves. Considering how fast your world is changing, it’s amazing you haven’t blown yourselves to bits by now. That’s why we don’t want to write you off just yet. You humans have a certain talent for adaptability—at least in the short term.”

“That’s the issue, isn’t it?”

“That’s one issue. You can see that, after a while, the civilizations with only short-term perspectives just aren’t around. They work out their destinies also.”

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