Saturday, February 01, 2003

Arrogance

Glenn has some comments up about a report that some CBC broadcaster asked a guest whether the Columbia accident was caused by American arrogance. You can imagine that he isn't all that pleased at the suggestion. Now, I am getting this 3rd hand (from Glenn who got it from the Ghost of a flea, but I would agree that blaming American arrogance for causing the accident is stupid and premature to say the least. However, I do think there is an element of arrogance involved in this tragedy. Namely the arrogance that believes that shit doesn't happen to us and therefore, when it does, someone must be found to blame for it. The irony here is that I was just commenting to my wife the other day that shuttle flights had become routing in the publics eye, just as they had prior to the Challenger accident. That's arrogance. Space flight will always be dangerous. To think otherwise is to become to comfortable in your view of your own invulnerability. 9/11 showed us that terrorism can happen here. Columbia shows us that Murphy still rules the universe. And "It can't happen here" is a disease of the mind that will always come back to haunt us.

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