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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eight Up From The Chilean Mine

ALL OF THEM!!! Thirty-three very happy guys and a whole lot of happy family members.

I must say that I greatly admire the guts of the two rescue workers who went down to help load them up. What a happy day.

Seventeen, going on eighteen. The capsule rig is working slightly better than they had thought it would. End update.

I have been following this story for months, like so many others. I think the last few hours for the waiting families must be sheer torture. They can only bring out about one per hour.

Ah well, it's truly a happy day and a half. Here's hoping everyone will endure the trip to the surface without too much trouble and that the family members can stand the last few hours of tension. Last weekend I was praying for the families, because I thought they must be about worn out.

This is a great thing for Chile and for the world, which is in something of a dark time.

I suppose on utilitarian grounds one would claim that too much money has been spent per man, but the alternative is unthinkable and there is such a thing as the human spirit. Chile as a country will be vastly the better for this, and I think they are setting a great and hopeful example for the world. They got cooperation from just about everyone with expertise who could possibly help. It is a very impressive feat of engineering.

It is also a very impressive feat of human tenacity and the triumph of reason, hope and tolerance over the darker aspects of the human psyche.
The miners are an extraordinary group of people to have come through this.

I bet NASA is indeed interested. Supposedly they consulted on some of the details, but I bet they desperately want to understand what it was about that group of men that allowed them to do what they did and hold together as a functional unit.

"What made my civilization grand was that a hundred miners were called upon to risk their lives in the rescue of a single miner entombed. And what they rescued in rescuing that miner was Man."

--Antoine de St-Exupery, Flight to Arras
Yes times like these make it clear that it is men who combine intellect with action that are the “essential man”, not those individuals devoted to the softer arts, such as sensitivity analysis and Gender studies. Better a competent Engineers with few social graces then the most erudite and clever speaker. I wonder which background Obama comes from?
It is the best of the human condition to provide succor to the unfortunate. Like the Marines retreating from Chosin (sorry, "attacking in the other direction") bringing ALL their dead and wounded with them.

I could analyze this to death as a leadership function, but for today it should just be poetry.
Mr Sensitive comments express my feelings well.

Additionally, we should note the international effort of private enterprises (with no expectation of payment) that has made this rescue possible. Can you imagine the debacle and waste were the UN (or indeed Obama) tasked with the rescue?
From Fox, some details on the company - Center Rock Inc. - that made this happen now, instead of 2 months from now.

The drilling team at Center Rock, also has a personal investment in this rescue, because this is the team that figured out a way to get the miners out and home before the initial predicted Christmas timeline....D.T.H. technology, fractures rock faster than conventional rotary tools with high frequency percussion drilling. In layman’s terms, it’s like the difference between using a corkscrew or using a bunch of jackhammers at the same time to get through a concrete wall.

Capitalism and Charity at its best.

A happy day indeed, in a darkening world.
Naturally, Chris Matthews tried to twist the scene to score political points: he claimed the miners "wouldn't have gotten out" were the Tea Party in charge.
Well the day goes to the engineers.

Carl, Mr. Tingles will just have to go find a sandbox to play in. As a wild guess, many engineers are learning to drink tea and like it, so I am not at all sure that Mr. Tingles is right about his claim - but first and foremost, any person who thinks that the meaning of this incident has anything to do with American politics must have his or her head inserted remarkably far into his or her rectum.

Engineers and human strength 33, Mr. Tingles and human frailty 0. What a satisfying score.
Mr. Tingles will just have to go find a sandbox to play in.

You are scaring all the cat turds! They have standards, after all.
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