Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Real Heroism

Posted by Rampant Coyote on October 13, 2010

I’m a sucker for happy endings.

It’s easy to become cynical with all the strife and violence taking place in the world today. But today the story, pictures, and videos of the rescue of the trapped miners in Chile makes me proud to be a human being.

And as a side note – that whole rescue capsule thing. Is that some kind of standard emergency plan, or did engineers conceive of it and build it specifically for this rescue?

Filed Under: Geek Life - Comments: 10 Comments to Read

  • Maklak said,

    It took a lot of time and resources to rescue them. It would me much cheaper to just train new ones, so why bother? I see this whole rescue as a just Public Relations campagin, but then why does it work? Why people buy it? There is pain, death and suffering all around us, that might be to some degree reduced with lesser resources, but this is ordinary, so hardly anyone cares. When it comes to accidents like this one, you suddenly have politicians going there, and major resources pulled to the rescue. I do not understand this. Another related issue is, I don’t understand, why astronauts have to survive their missions, and come back to Earth, and not say, just send a probe with some samples. To me it would make much more sense to give them pills with poison, build spaceships with less fuel and weight, and reduce overall mission costs. When soldiers, or secret agents are sent on a misssion, death is to some degree an acceptable outcome, so why not with astronauts? I know, people would call this callous, and protest, but I don’t understand it.

    How much is a human life worth? If it is priceless, wars and such should be avoided almoust at all costs. It it is not worth much, they should just train new miners, and leave those buried to die. Is life of one human worht much more than life of another? Care to explain?

  • ottomobiehl said,

    Jay, if I remember correctly the escape pod was specially designed and built for this rescue.

  • ottomobiehl said,

    @ Maklak

    As an observation you seem cynical. I’m not trying to be insulting. Just an observation. It’s easy to focus so much on the negative that we start seeing everything with a negative eye. Hard to see the positive in any situation when that happens.

    As far as the miners go I’m sure that there are some who will try to use it as a public relations campaign. I see it as a shining example of man kind. People from many different nations came together to help rescue these people so that they may see their family and friends again. But again, perception.

    There is death, pain and suffering all over the world but there are armies of volunteers who travel all over the world to try and help and alleviate all that. There are even more people who send money, supplies and other support to help these volunteers. To me this is enlightening. It makes me proud.

    Sadly news organizations do a very poor job of reporting on people who help. They tend to focus on stories that sells papers, advertising and the like. I used to work in the news industry and the term; “if it bleeds it leads” is all to true.

    As far as wars go I have to say they are nasty business. Many are started for poor and stupid reasons. To argue each reason would probably start a small flame war as people with different views would want to express theirs. Jay’s blog/forum is not the place for that in my opinion.

    Finally, space travel. Space travel is risky as well as all endeavors that involve exploring new frontiers. The men and women who undertake these missions know the risk and accept it every time they go on one of these missions.

    Man kind, as a general rule, is a curious creature. Curiosity may kill that cat (i.e. There is a lot of risk involved and people may get hurt or killed.) but it also leads us to learn more about us, our surroundings, how things work, etc. We should be grateful for this as we may still be living in caves, hunting animals for skins and foods and not know how to make a fire to warm and cook our foods.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that for every negative you can come up with try hard to find a positive to counter balance it. It may seem weird, hard, counter-intuitive but trust me. It really puts things in perspective and you’ll see the world isn’t really that bad at all.

    Well, that’s my 2 cents and a long reply.


  • Rigor Mortis said,

    “I donโ€™t understand, why astronauts have to survive their missions”

    Probably because the congruence between the set of capable people and the set of people with a death wish is thankfully limited.

    Which is also a hint why these rescue missions have to be made despite the excess monetary cost.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Maklak – Sounds like you are making a “modest proposal.” But I’ll bite:

    #1 – I’d be unable to sleep at night if I thought I was responsible for someone’s death and could have prevented it with a reasonable best effort, but failed to do so.

    #2 – I don’t know how an Objectivist would answer, but from the perspective of pure enlightened self-interest: Love, compassion, and loyalty are far greater motivators than any amount of money. People will go to the mat for you when they know it’s reciprocated. The golden rule works. Yeah, it’s a lot of money to spend on one person, especially when that same money could theoretically be spent to save five people elsewhere.

    But with a dog-eat-dog culture, you get … Dilbert’s company.

    #3 – Well, yeah, the lives of my wife and children are worth considerably more to me than the lives of strangers. To me, they are priceless. But I can’t take care of the world in the same way, as a finite human being.

    I think the reason we celebrate events like these is because they DO go beyond the norm of our expectations and cold calculations, and they exemplify the people we want to be, and the world we’d want to live in. With heroism despite the cost, and – of course – the happy ending.

  • McTeddy said,

    I agree.

    We do live in a world that is concerned with personal gain. For the most part, very few people are willing to go out of their way to help a stranger. From an economic standpoint saving the people probably is a foolish decision.

    But I agree with Coyote… Even a pessimist like me loves to be proven wrong. When I see the effort that goes into saving a person’s life, I see hope for the world as a whole.

    Real world heroes are easily overshadowed by terrible things, but it doesn’t reduce their importance. They stand as a beacon of hope… and as a role model that we should strive to become.

    Just imagine if this story only inspired TWO people to do something good in the world. And each of them inspired another two, and so on.

    One day, we may have enough heroes to actually avoid war. Even a pessimist like me can see that as a good thing.

  • Noumenon said,

    I’ve heard you could get a ton of volunteers for a one-way mission to Mars. They might be too weird to get along on the voyage though.

  • Maklak said,

    Thank you all. I still don’t get it, not really, and I still think I have a point, but you shed some light on the issue. You also didn’t flame me, but stayded civil. I appreciate that.

    As a side note: I was at lest once searched for by many people. I was with a group of teens camping near a river about 7km from my home. I didn’t really need help. I was just very sad, and I decided, I need some time away from people, so I went into meadows/swamp/forest maybe 2 hours berore dusk. I didn’t get lost, and the terrain was not a problem for me. After a while others started shouting my name, but I was sad, and wanted to be left alone, so I didn’t answer. Eventually, when it got dark, they organized search parties, called my parents and the cops. I managed to avoid the pursuit untill about 3 am, but eventually returned to the camp.

    They were quite angry with me, and I didn’t understand why they bothered searching for me.
    1) They didn’t know that, but had they left me alone, I would get tired being sad, and went back to the camp before midnight.
    2) The area was qite large, and if I drowned or something, they probably wouldn’t find me using torchlights.
    3) Because of 2) I would have searched near camp for maybe half an hour, but otherwise waited till dawn before organizing a “real” search. – Too much risk of more people getting hurt.
    4) A year or 2 before on a similar camp in the same place someone went missing, but as it later turned out, he was just drunk and sleeping under a bridge.
    5) No one stayed to watch over the camp, and all the beer disappeared – I would have left 1 or 2 people to watch the camp, and recall search parties, if the lost person simply walked back.
    6) If I were in some kind of trouble, but not dead, I would probably make it till next morning anyway. If I were dead, they might as well wait till morning.
    7) They called my parents and cops waay too soon.

    BTW, I’m a long time lurker, but I post rarely. I got here by playing “Frayed Knights Pilot”. I like the blog, especially when it comments on issues with computer programming, like “black triangle”. Less so, when it discusses stuff like marketing. Oh, and I’m still waiting for “Fryed Knights” ๐Ÿ™‚

    BTW2, This textbox, like soo much other user interfaces, suffers from The Keyhole Problem – it is much to small to comfortably edit a reasonable-length post, like mine. Yes, I know there are workarounds, such as using a text editor, and copy-paste, but there shouldn’t be a need to do that in the first place. I highly recommend to anyone working with user interfaces (including web pages) or databases to read Scott Mayers’ “The Keyhole Problem” – I seem to be bumpin into it much too often.

  • Tim said,

    They got the tube from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

  • sic! said,

    “And as a side note โ€“ that whole rescue capsule thing. Is that some kind of standard emergency plan, or did engineers conceive of it and build it specifically for this rescue?”

    At least this ist quite easy to answer.

    The capsule is called “Dahlbuschbombe” (Dahlbusch-Bomb, because it resembles an artillery shell), and was developed by german engineers in 1955 in order to save miners after a cave-in. It quickly proved to be a successful and fast way to access and transport people in mine-accident situations, so it became the standard procedure in such situations, most big mining companies worldwide have such devices at hand in case of emergency. The modern version are even a little bit larger than the first versions, which is mainly because drilling a hole with a wider diameter is easier and safer than it was 50 years ago.