The Thai cave rescue

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The Thai cave rescue

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:50 pm

I was listening to the BBC this morning, as they did a special report on the press conference held when the boys rescued from the cave were released from the hospital. I will say first of all that this is the story of the year, if not the decade. The rescue, against enormous difficulties, succeeded perfectly in its aim of getting all 12 boys and their coach out alive.

I will be eager to read about the rescuers and know all the details of the rescue operation. That being said, am I the only misanthropic curmudgeon who has NO interest in those boys and their coach? They didn't do anything except stupidly get themselves into a life-threatening situation from which they were saved at colossal expense in money and resources and the life of a navy seal. Why are they being treated as heroes? The Thai government is even giving them GIFTS! For what, I'd like to know? What did they do to merit any reward at all? Some of them lied to their parents about where they were going. The coach was not in contact with the parents, evidently, or the parents would have known where their sons were. And why wasn't there a grownup along to tell them what was on the warning signs that they apparently didn't read? None of that, apparently, matters. From what I hear, the employment prospects of this coach have improved enormously since this disastrous blunder on his part, and he's getting credit for holding the boys together and preventing panic. And nobody will get an invoice to be paid for all the time, expense, and risk taken by the rescue workers.

Well, perhaps I'm just bitter. When I crashed my bicycle nine years ago and was lying unconscious in the street, I woke up in an ambulance. Later, I had to pay several hundred dollars for the ambulance service. I paid it and didn't complain, considering what the alternative would have been. The upside is that the boys were Buddhists and not Christians, so we won't be hearing about the miraculous rescue that they got from praying to Jesus.
"Still, doubts gnawed at everyone. And under no circumstances could I acknowledge my own similar doubts. In order to coax the participants into psychic stability, I had to appear to be rock-solidly convinced of the necessity of carrying out this horrifyingly cruel command."

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:11 pm

The cave trip was a regular feature, initiation of new teammates. They had done the trip for years with no problems. The recent rains were heavier than normal, an unpredictable event.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby TJrandom » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:20 pm

And you know that the Southern Baptists caused the rescue by their prayers, right?

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:52 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:The cave trip was a regular feature, initiation of new teammates. They had done the trip for years with no problems. The recent rains were heavier than normal, an unpredictable event.


Thanks, that does put it in a different light. But in that case, why did some of the boys lie to their parents about where they were going? And were there, or were there not, signs warning people to STAY OUT? I heard that there were.

And were they unaware of the recent rains? Didn't they know that would be a danger?
"Still, doubts gnawed at everyone. And under no circumstances could I acknowledge my own similar doubts. In order to coax the participants into psychic stability, I had to appear to be rock-solidly convinced of the necessity of carrying out this horrifyingly cruel command."

Rudolf Höß, hanged facing Auschwitz, the camp he commanded, in April 1947. He admitted to 1.1 to 1.5 million murders carried out under his command. Eichmann told him the number was 2.5 million.

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:56 pm

TJrandom wrote:And you know that the Southern Baptists caused the rescue by their prayers, right?


Goes without saying. Pat Robertson saved everybody in North Carolina from a hurricane a few decades ago with his prayers: All of them: Baptists, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, fetish worshippers.... Just by praying to Jesus!
"Still, doubts gnawed at everyone. And under no circumstances could I acknowledge my own similar doubts. In order to coax the participants into psychic stability, I had to appear to be rock-solidly convinced of the necessity of carrying out this horrifyingly cruel command."

Rudolf Höß, hanged facing Auschwitz, the camp he commanded, in April 1947. He admitted to 1.1 to 1.5 million murders carried out under his command. Eichmann told him the number was 2.5 million.

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:57 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:The cave trip was a regular feature, initiation of new teammates. They had done the trip for years with no problems. The recent rains were heavier than normal, an unpredictable event.


Thanks, that does put it in a different light. But in that case, why did some of the boys lie to their parents about where they were going? And were there, or were there not, signs warning people to STAY OUT? I heard that there were.

And were they unaware of the recent rains? Didn't they know that would be a danger?

Being forbidden was part of the thrill. Lots of caves warn people not to enter because they don't know them. The coach did know this cave, they went exactly where they were planning to go.

And, as I said above, this was an unprecedented event, that area hadn't flooded in living memory.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Gord » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:20 am

Upton_O_Goode wrote:The rescue, against enormous difficulties, succeeded perfectly in its aim of getting all 12 boys and their coach out alive.

A former Thai navy diver died during the rescue. Surely that makes the success less than perfect.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:25 am

Meh, he was a Thai SEAL, they're expected to die on the job.


j/k
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby landrew » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:06 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Meh, he was a Thai SEAL, they're expected to die on the job.


j/k

Harsh j/k nonetheless.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:35 am

landrew wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Meh, he was a Thai SEAL, they're expected to die on the job.


j/k

Harsh j/k nonetheless.

We used to tell jokes while people were trying to kill us.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:20 am

Gord wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote:The rescue, against enormous difficulties, succeeded perfectly in its aim of getting all 12 boys and their coach out alive.

A former Thai navy diver died during the rescue. Surely that makes the success less than perfect.



As I noted. I was thinking about that as I wrote, and I chose the words carefully: It succeeded perfectly in its aim. That is, it got all the boys and their coach out. No, it certainly wasn't a complete success in the wider sense, and I duly noted that the effort cost the life of a navy seal.
"Still, doubts gnawed at everyone. And under no circumstances could I acknowledge my own similar doubts. In order to coax the participants into psychic stability, I had to appear to be rock-solidly convinced of the necessity of carrying out this horrifyingly cruel command."

Rudolf Höß, hanged facing Auschwitz, the camp he commanded, in April 1947. He admitted to 1.1 to 1.5 million murders carried out under his command. Eichmann told him the number was 2.5 million.

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:25 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:The cave trip was a regular feature, initiation of new teammates. They had done the trip for years with no problems. The recent rains were heavier than normal, an unpredictable event.


Thanks, that does put it in a different light. But in that case, why did some of the boys lie to their parents about where they were going? And were there, or were there not, signs warning people to STAY OUT? I heard that there were.

And were they unaware of the recent rains? Didn't they know that would be a danger?

Being forbidden was part of the thrill. Lots of caves warn people not to enter because they don't know them. The coach did know this cave, they went exactly where they were planning to go.

And, as I said above, this was an unprecedented event, that area hadn't flooded in living memory.


I think you're right about that. We're not Spartans any more, and we don't like to take any kind of casualties. Our kids now all wear helmets when bicycling. How long will it be before they have to wear body armor before stepping outside? Maybe we need to add air bags to their tricycles. This was just a typical male rite of initiation, like the many times I rode with drunk drivers as a teenager. And the number of times my own son was within a hair's breadth of death as a teenager still makes me shudder. (He's now 46 and is worried about his teenage daughter.)

But my main complaint remains: Why are these guys, rescued from their own risky behavior, being given gifts and lionized?
"Still, doubts gnawed at everyone. And under no circumstances could I acknowledge my own similar doubts. In order to coax the participants into psychic stability, I had to appear to be rock-solidly convinced of the necessity of carrying out this horrifyingly cruel command."

Rudolf Höß, hanged facing Auschwitz, the camp he commanded, in April 1947. He admitted to 1.1 to 1.5 million murders carried out under his command. Eichmann told him the number was 2.5 million.

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:52 am

Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Cadmusteeth » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:48 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:The cave trip was a regular feature, initiation of new teammates. They had done the trip for years with no problems. The recent rains were heavier than normal, an unpredictable event.


Thanks, that does put it in a different light. But in that case, why did some of the boys lie to their parents about where they were going? And were there, or were there not, signs warning people to STAY OUT? I heard that there were.

And were they unaware of the recent rains? Didn't they know that would be a danger?

Being forbidden was part of the thrill. Lots of caves warn people not to enter because they don't know them. The coach did know this cave, they went exactly where they were planning to go.

And, as I said above, this was an unprecedented event, that area hadn't flooded in living memory.


I think you're right about that. We're not Spartans any more, and we don't like to take any kind of casualties. Our kids now all wear helmets when bicycling. How long will it be before they have to wear body armor before stepping outside? Maybe we need to add air bags to their tricycles. This was just a typical male rite of initiation, like the many times I rode with drunk drivers as a teenager. And the number of times my own son was within a hair's breadth of death as a teenager still makes me shudder. (He's now 46 and is worried about his teenage daughter.)

But my main complaint remains: Why are these guys, rescued from their own risky behavior, being given gifts and lionized?

Because it makes for a better story than the alternative.

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby landrew » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:21 pm

Cadmusteeth wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
But my main complaint remains: Why are these guys, rescued from their own risky behavior, being given gifts and lionized?

Because it makes for a better story than the alternative.

20/20 hindsight. The news is full of unforeseen consequences. Who could have predicted the cave water levels based on forecast precipitation levels? Who want's to live a life devoid of all risk?
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Cadmusteeth » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:46 pm

Right, but seriously, which makes the better narrative here? Kids being stupid and needed to be rescued, or the kids who persevered through hard times? One could argue that both of those are true in that story but one part is being emphasized over the other.

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:47 pm

landrew wrote:
Cadmusteeth wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
But my main complaint remains: Why are these guys, rescued from their own risky behavior, being given gifts and lionized?

Because it makes for a better story than the alternative.

20/20 hindsight. The news is full of unforeseen consequences. Who could have predicted the cave water levels based on forecast precipitation levels? Who want's to live a life devoid of all risk?


Risking your OWN life is one thing. Getting yourself into a bind and causing the death of one of your rescuers is quite another. You want to climb Everest or K-2? Fine, do it at your own risk, knowing nobody's going to mount a rescue operation if you get in trouble. I repeat, we may fully understand why this was considered an acceptable risk beforehand and not blame anybody for the situation. But giving them gifts is WAY over the top. It's not the media that are doing that. It's the Thai government.
"Still, doubts gnawed at everyone. And under no circumstances could I acknowledge my own similar doubts. In order to coax the participants into psychic stability, I had to appear to be rock-solidly convinced of the necessity of carrying out this horrifyingly cruel command."

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:48 pm

Cadmusteeth wrote:Right, but seriously, which makes the better narrative here? Kids being stupid and needed to be rescued, or the kids who persevered through hard times? One could argue that both of those are true in that story but one part is being emphasized over the other.


As I just said, I'm not talking about the media coverage. I'm talking about the Thai government showering these kids with praise and gifts.
"Still, doubts gnawed at everyone. And under no circumstances could I acknowledge my own similar doubts. In order to coax the participants into psychic stability, I had to appear to be rock-solidly convinced of the necessity of carrying out this horrifyingly cruel command."

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Cadmusteeth » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:51 pm

Think they’re just trying to make themselves look good?

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Aztexan » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:59 pm

With all the negative stories about corruption, xenophobia, possible nuclear war, hatred, stupidity (and that's just news from America) it was nice to hear a feelgood story that ended somewhat with a good outcome.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby landrew » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:05 pm

Aztexan wrote:With all the negative stories about corruption, xenophobia, possible nuclear war, hatred, stupidity (and that's just news from America) it was nice to hear a feelgood story that ended somewhat with a good outcome.

Thoughtful judgement and careful planning wins the day. Blaming the government for every unforeseen event is a waste of time.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Aztexan » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:44 am

This was clearly trump's fault. That prick.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:48 pm

Aztexan wrote:With all the negative stories about corruption, xenophobia, possible nuclear war, hatred, stupidity (and that's just news from America) it was nice to hear a feelgood story that ended somewhat with a good outcome.


Yes indeed. I got a great lift from the success of the rescue operation. Sorry if I'm playing the role of curmudgeon. As I said in my original post, I'm eager to hear all the details of the rescuers and the rescue operation. This is deservedly the biggest story of the year or the decade. But I still have no interest in the people who got rescued. There is nothing unusual or interesting about them.
"Still, doubts gnawed at everyone. And under no circumstances could I acknowledge my own similar doubts. In order to coax the participants into psychic stability, I had to appear to be rock-solidly convinced of the necessity of carrying out this horrifyingly cruel command."

Rudolf Höß, hanged facing Auschwitz, the camp he commanded, in April 1947. He admitted to 1.1 to 1.5 million murders carried out under his command. Eichmann told him the number was 2.5 million.

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Aztexan » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:44 pm

I don't know if you remember baby Jessica ( I think that was her name) but she was an 18 month old baby girl who fell down a well here in Texas almost 30 years ago. She had the whole world's attention because we all knew how horribly that could have ended. The girl recovered but the man who was pictured with her when they finally got to her later committed suicide a few years later. People came together and wished, yes many prayed, and she was rescued. To the best of my knowledge, she never received special treatment by our govt for falling down a hole but I'm still glad she survived. Same with these boys. They all want to grow up to be like the Hero who died trying to rescue them. Let's hope younger boys learn from their mistake and not put themselves in the same situation to need rescuing.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby landrew » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:06 am

We learn from every tragedy, and the world gets safer each time, but it's foolhardy to point fingers after each incident, as though someone misbehaved badly. Hindsight is 20/20 but we don't need to complicate the psychological problems of those who were involved. It's not always a case of gross negligence when something unfortunate happens. It's simply not fair to condemn people for failing to see the unforeseeable, and sometimes there's no other way to describe it.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:05 pm

Aztexan wrote:I don't know if you remember baby Jessica ( I think that was her name) but she was an 18 month old baby girl who fell down a well here in Texas almost 30 years ago. She had the whole world's attention because we all knew how horribly that could have ended. The girl recovered but the man who was pictured with her when they finally got to her later committed suicide a few years later. People came together and wished, yes many prayed, and she was rescued. To the best of my knowledge, she never received special treatment by our govt for falling down a hole but I'm still glad she survived. Same with these boys. They all want to grow up to be like the Hero who died trying to rescue them. Let's hope younger boys learn from their mistake and not put themselves in the same situation to need rescuing.


Not from the government AFAIK.

[quote=""}When McClure turned 25 on March 26, 2011, she received a trust fund of donations worth up to $800,000. Her father said she had discussed setting up a trust fund for the college education of her children. It had earlier helped in the purchase of her present home, which is less than two miles (3.2 km) from the site of the incident.[11] [/quote]
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby landrew » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:44 pm

Fame and fortune have spawned many sad stories.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby landrew » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:46 pm

"That's just an old dry hole in the back yard. You kids stay away from it, OK?"
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Gord » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:49 am

landrew wrote:We learn from every tragedy

I don't.

OlegTheBatty wrote:
...her children....her present home, which is less than two miles (3.2 km) from the site of the incident.

And neither does she! 8-)
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:53 am

They plugged that pipe.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Gord » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:46 pm

How rude.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:17 pm

The big thing about the Thai rescue was that it is a story of heroism and heroes. We all need heroes, people of courage, grit and determination, who we can look up to. In many ways, the greatest benefit of this story is not the people saved, but the example, felt by billions.

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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby landrew » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:28 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:The big thing about the Thai rescue was that it is a story of heroism and heroes. We all need heroes, people of courage, grit and determination, who we can look up to. In many ways, the greatest benefit of this story is not the people saved, but the example, felt by billions.

Heroism, calm reasoning and competent operations. Unlike other incidents, where lunacy reigns supreme, this was a good model to follow.

In the Baby Jessica saga a generation before, someone also offered a high-tech solution, a high-pressure water-jet rock-cutter, but it was rejected out of hand as "too dangerous." I'm not sure that would have been the case in retrospect, and it may have speeded up the rescue. As it was, fortunately the child was rescued using conventional means.

Lessons will certainly be learned from both incidents, but not all of them reasonable in my opinion. Certainly people who run a day-care shouldn't have abandoned wells in their back yard, but perhaps sealing up all the caves against exploring may be an over-reaction. Unfortunately the line between safety and hysteria has become blurred recently.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Aztexan » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:24 am

Like taking our damn shoes off at the airport?
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby landrew » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:26 am

Aztexan wrote:Like taking our damn shoes off at the airport?

Anything to make the job easier for the minimum-wage workers in airport security.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Aztexan » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:31 am

I once had a guy tell me after I took my shoes off to pull my pants down and wiggle. After about 10 minutes, I told him, "Dude, this is Walmart and you're just the greeter."
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby landrew » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:41 am

Aztexan wrote:I once had a guy tell me after I took my shoes off to pull my pants down and wiggle. After about 10 minutes, I told him, "Dude, this is Walmart and you're just the greeter."

Our town opened a new Walmart a few years ago, and they initially staffed the greeter position with an older man who apparently needed a better job description. He glowered at everyone with suspicion, instead of smiling or greeting them. He frequently stopped people on the way out to check their bags to interrogate them and make sure they weren't stealing anything. He lasted about a week.

I'm sure he was oriented properly for his job, but he probably heard only one thing, "watch for shoplifters."
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:52 am

landrew wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote:The big thing about the Thai rescue was that it is a story of heroism and heroes. We all need heroes, people of courage, grit and determination, who we can look up to. In many ways, the greatest benefit of this story is not the people saved, but the example, felt by billions.

Heroism, calm reasoning and competent operations. Unlike other incidents, where lunacy reigns supreme, this was a good model to follow.

In the Baby Jessica saga a generation before, someone also offered a high-tech solution, a high-pressure water-jet rock-cutter, but it was rejected out of hand as "too dangerous." I'm not sure that would have been the case in retrospect, and it may have speeded up the rescue. As it was, fortunately the child was rescued using conventional means.

Lessons will certainly be learned from both incidents, but not all of them reasonable in my opinion. Certainly people who run a day-care shouldn't have abandoned wells in their back yard, but perhaps sealing up all the caves against exploring may be an over-reaction. Unfortunately the line between safety and hysteria has become blurred recently.


The Thai Cave rescue had both the heroism and the high-tech competence that always inspire me. Although the rescuers of Baby Jessica were not themselves in danger, that too was a moment I'll always remember, a well-executed technical feat that saved the one who needed saving. We need examples like this (at least, I do) to keep from despairing of the human race when day after day we get stories of the greed and vindictiveness of our leaders.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby landrew » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:46 pm

I have to nominate Elon Musk as the Biggest Loser in this story. He rushed ahead with an unworkable solution, and when it was rejected, he lashed out, calling his opponent a pedophile. Many people are willing to forgive a tarnished hero, but for me, this incident will be an indelible blemish on his character. I still regard him a genius, albeit an imperfect one.
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Re: The Thai cave rescue

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:15 pm

People still think Edison was a genius.
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