Here are a couple of the emails that I’ve received:
In response to your response to Lori M’s letter, your missing the point and your way of thinking is part of the problem not the cure.
?If I have to explain you wouldn’t understand.? AND I wouldn’t waste my time trying.
Well, that’s certainly a persuasive and compelling argument. Now I know I’m wrong for sure…
Holy cow. I started reading your article (Foxnews.com) and your ridicule of Lori M. disgusted me so much, I had to stop. You article did not appear to be one of informing your readers the importance of space travel or the benefits of exploration in general. Instead, your article appeared to be a disgruntled writer that had the forum in which he could bash someone. It seemed rather personal to me.
Personal? I don’t even know her. I was attacking her attitude, not her person.
Sarcastic and rather childish. “Newsflash Lori”, what was THAT? Why not put her email address in the article along with her phone number and address and ask your readers to send her some hate mail and prank phone calls?
Because that would be wrong, and you would no doubt have castigated me severely for it (not to mention that Fox would, appropriately, have never published it if I had). But I find it bizarre that you seem to be taking me to task for something that I didn’t do.
You came across very much as an ass.
Well, that’s obviously a subjective thing. Like the above emailer, you come across to me as someone who doesn’t actually have any valid arguments about what I wrote, and are thus reduced to spurious charges of childishness, and insults.
I’ll keep this thread going as I get other emails today. As I said, I think I really hit a nerve.
[Update at 9:53 AM PDT]
Just got a follow up from the first emailer above:
If we spent a fraction of the time, effort and money that is spent on the space program developing our own energy sources in this country we wouldn?t have to kiss middle eastern ass and could avoid most of the mess we find ourselves in today. Duh.
I suspect that this person hasn’t got clue one about how much we spend on either. Duh, himself.
[Update at 10:19 AM PDT]
I got a more reasoned response from Christopher Watkins:
How could you not even wish to take into account any sense of responsibility or concern for our effect on environments when discussing the possible populating of other planets?
I don’t believe that I ever expressed that view.
It frightens me how easily you can dismiss the idea that human beings should be concerned with damage they cause to the place they live.
I didn’t dismiss that idea. In fact, what I dismissed was the notion that we are incapable of doing that. I, unlike Lori M., believe that we are capable, and that we should, and will be concerned.
Are you of the school of thought that proposes a “slash and burn” and careless disregard for our environments because we can always move onto to a new one?
I would certainly not say the space travel is “not ethical”, but I would say that it could lead to such a huge step in our future that it is of the utmost importance to evaluate all aspects, included ethical and moral theories. If we were ever required to relocate to another planet I would hope the people in charge are not driven by reckless abandon and careless expansion as you suggest. Interest how you describe someone discussing integrity, ethics and responsibility as “meek”.
She wasn’t discussing any of those things. She was simply accusing all humanity of lacking them, and therefore being unworthy to leave the planet. I vehemently disagree.
[Update at 11:41 AM PDT]
A Tom Dunn writes:
You take yourself and the human race way to seriously. I’m sure that most concientous survivors would gladly exchange their existence for a more responsible breed of human.
I’d argue with this, if I could figure out what it means. Or then again, maybe I wouldn’t. It depends on what it means.
[Update at 12:19 PM PDT]
Greg Fuller throws out yet another strawman:
How many people do you know that like starlings? How about house sparrows?
Coyotes? Crows? Hyenas? How about cockroaches? I just think it is interesting that men most despise those species that are successful in spite of us and because of their tenacity and adaptability, are most like us. All the creatures of the world aside from us are perfectly justified in seeing us as a cancer on the earth.
I doubt if they see us as anything at all. And I certainly don’t view them that way.
I don’t fully agree with the e-mail quoted in this article but as humans we should at least have a little empathy for our fellow earthlings.
Who said we shouldn’t? Who are you arguing with?
[Update at 1:34 PM PDT]
Thomas Hawthorne writes:
It’s amazing how egotistical humans are. For a people who want to put 77,00 tons of nuclear wastes into a big mountain in Nevada, to think that we have the ego to travel into the unknown just blows me away.
Ummmm…OK. I don’t see the logical connection, but go on…
Humans can’t get even get along with their own fellow humans because they look “different”. How can travel into the unknown RAND?
Again, there is some logic missing here. The conclusion doesn’t in any way follow from the premise. The fact that some people can’t get along with other people does not prevent yet other people from exploring the unknown. There has been prejudice for centuries, but somehow, we managed to explore the entire planet, and send people to the Moon.
You know I had a discussion with a friend of mine about possibly discovering other intelligent life on other planets. And I asked what him what if this “being” was blob of nothingness, would we consider it an “intelligent” life form? He said no. He said because they would not be similar to us. It’s amazing how egotistical humans are……
Ummm, yes. You already said that. I’m having trouble getting your point, though.
People like you would land on a planet, declare it as you own, set up a republican party, and give tax breaks to all the rich aliens………..
Apparently you know nothing about “people like me.”
I’m sorry folks. I’ve gotten a lot of supportive emails, but I really wanted to focus on the opposition. I’ve put up everything that I’ve received that’s negative–I’m not holding back some plethora of intelligent criticism. This really does seem to be the best they can do.
[Update on Saturday night, the 27th of April, at 11PM PDT]
I’m back from Phoenix, and I see there’s quite the fray in the comments section.
I got one more gem of an email from a Bill Feeney (I’ve slightly redacted it–this is, after all a semi-family blog, at least if you’re the Addams Family):
Good god I haven’t seen, read or heard anything this inane in quite awhile. Here’s a newsflash, Rand, from you column you appear to be a small minded limp d**k with a severe short man complex. Do you get paid? Your writing has not logical flow. You sound like a four year old fighting in the playground. Please tell me how I can get my own bulls**t column at Fox.
The posts where people criticize my writing amidst spelling errors, punctuation lacks, insults, profanities and inanities, are always my favorites…