The title, as some will surely recognize, is a reference to the famous photograph of planet Earth, taken by Voyager I from across the solar system. Carl Sagan used the title of this photograph for his 1994 book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. In the book, Sagan reflected on what the photo meant to him:
There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
This, it seems to me, is the purpose of the humanities: to understand what it means—and has meant, and will mean to future generations—to be human.