This past weekend's deaths of the storm chasing scientists in Oklahoma, and the injuries of the crew of a second car manned by Weather Channel storm chasers, has spawned some really stupid comments about how there needs to be "a conversation" about whether storm chasing is "too dangerous".
When people say there needs to be "a conversation", what they are really saying is that you and I should shut up and allow authorities to discuss and decide among themselves whether more liberty needs to be violated, by "law", for our own good. Oh, you and I can chime in as long as we encourage those violations or are begging for someone to come save us.
The "consensus" will undoubtedly be that government-approved scientists and other authorized people will be "allowed" to continue storm chasing, but people like you and me must be discouraged from doing so- probably subject to some "fine" or other violations if we don't take the hint.
Storm chasing- even the most "irresponsible" kind- is an invaluable tool for learning more about storms and how other people (those who don't want to risk chasing the storms) can survive or avoid the storms. The near-religious belief that only authorized scientists can make valuable discoveries and contributions seems to be widespread among believers in The State. But it's wrong.
People know chasing tornadoes is dangerous. That is why they do it. They know, intellectually, that there is a risk of death (even if emotionally they feel invincible). NASCAR is dangerous. Over-eating is dangerous. Driving is dangerous. Thinking for yourself is dangerous. Without danger, what is life?
I would bet that everyone does something that someone else, somewhere, would consider "too dangerous".
Don't force people to do things that they feel are "too dangerous", but don't prevent those to whom boredom is the biggest danger from doing what gives them enjoyment. Especially when it can benefit the rest of us so much.
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