What the OceanGate incident taught us about human nature


It has been four days since the Titan submersible, which five people took to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean to see the remains of the RMS Titanic, was declared missing.

A “catastrophic loss of hyperbaric chamber” destroyed the Titan as it landed 12,000 feet below sea level. As a huge fan of James Cameron’s 1989 film The Abyss, this was the result I expected given the media spent days counting down the submarine’s reserve air intake. (Apparently the US Navy I knew from the start that there was evidence of an implosion.)

The discovery of broken pieces of titanium capped four days of intrigue, fear and lessons in hydrostatic pressure. eerily ironic parentagecheap aftermarket video game controllers, an iconic lineup of memes (more on that later), and somehow Cardi B too.

This story has it all except for a brave love interest. Unless it’s us I count the OnlyFans model among them who is “friends” with passenger Hamish Harding’s stepson.

Every news or news site published something on the sub; Social media was filled with conjecture, conspiracy theories and general disbelief. Articles about the whys and wherefores of the expedition lingered on the landing pages all weekend, only supplanted by the Wagner uprising in Russia.

Why five people suffered the most needless death I’ve seen in a long time can be summed up in one word: hubris.

The story of the Titan catastrophe – which is sure to be seen at a theater or streaming service near you – is a great case study of the nature of people from diverse backgrounds in the 21st century. Hopefully Malcolm Gladwell will write an extensive essay on this, but I just want to examine it from three angles.

The first is how we’ve all dealt with the news. Black Twitter users, in particular, poked fun at the whole affair with meme after meme. I’ve never seen so many people bargain with their god to avoid hell because they laughed at something. Each meme had a post criticizing us for making jokes about the untimely deaths of innocent people with families.

As my friend Corey pointed out, there is empathy gap playing. At least two of the five men who died were billionaires; Most people cannot afford the $250,000 that the trip costs each person, and the vast majority of us would use that money to do it everything else in the world Aside from crawling into a minivan-sized tube, we can’t get up with four other guys to see through a little over a foot peephole the remains of a ship that sank 111 years ago.

It’s not like everyone turned into heartless, sociopathic assholes overnight. It is because the very concept of the journey itself and the choices these men made are so ridiculous and removed from the reality of the proletariat – particularly Among blacks already on awkward relationships with large bodies of water, it was found that any need for sensitivity was trumped by the mere need for jokes.

No one sought This is the bottom line, but given the information they had, it is difficult to feel any compassion for these wealthy and highly educated men who stepped into this endeavor. Except maybe for 19-year-old Suleman Dawood. He reportedly didn’t want to ride, but agreed to accompany his “Titanic-obsessed” father, Shahzada Dawood, because of Father’s Day.

Some people understandably have trouble applying the word “tragedy” to the implosion, but the teenage son dying to please his billionaire father is undoubtedly the greatest tragedy in history.

(By contrast, the funniest part of the story is Brian Szasz, stepson of billionaire Harding. He attended a Blink 182 concert, flirted with an OnlyFans model on Twitter, and seasoned with Cardi B during the search. The guy wouldn’t let his missing stepdad get in the way of his plans.)

The second problem is the skewed attention given to the missing submarine and the scope of the search. Several countries provided resources for the rescue, including the US Coast Guard. Hearing a “tap” beneath the ocean (probably long after the implosion, it turned out), they deployed even more machines to search an area of ​​the North Atlantic twice the size of Connecticut.

Although the families are missing billionaires could certainly cover the millions of dollars the search will cost fall at the expense of the taxpayer. Even in death, billionaires manage to screw us.

In contrast, many of us only learned from the incident that on June 14, a fishing boat full of migrants sank in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Greece. Because the Greek Coast Guard did not interveneMore than 200 people died – mostly Palestinian, Syrian and Egyptian men fleeing their countries in search of a better life.

Western media has reported comparatively little on the fishing boat and one can only imagine the “search and rescue” carried out for a group of poor brown people probably compared to that for five insanely rich adventure seekers – three of whom know – was eclipsed westerners.

This brings me to my final point: this event did nothing to stem the tide of universal contempt for billionaires.

It seems that people with more money than brains tend to remove themselves from mortal shells in the name of “excitement”. I can only remember John F. Kennedy Jr. and John Denver when they both stated after piloting planes that neither of them should have flown for different reasons.

Billionaire overlords Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos recently engaged in a friendly competition to get in first launch their own rockets ― a cockfight intended only for people who do not care about creditworthiness.

The rockets did it and the dumb-rich stand in line to take future flights. But the Titan also survived her first voyages; With billionaire egomaniacs at the helm, I expect luck to run dry at some point. (I wouldn’t bring Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket to the corner store.)

In fact, there’s no shortage of articles detailing how OceanGate CEO and co-founder Stockton Rush went about it on purpose Compromises made and safety issues ignored.

In 2018, OceanGate fired engineer and submarine pilot David Lochridge for raising flags about the submarine’s construction unsatisfactory for the depth to which it should travel.

It turns out that the construction of the entire vessel is carbon fiber (supposedly from retired Boeing aircraft) was never a good idea, and is probably the trigger for the implosion. Considering Rush said in a 2021 interview, “You’ll be remembered for the rules you break,” he got off pretty lightly when he went down with his ship.

Cameron, who directed and produced the 1997 blockbuster Titanic multiple dives to the wreckage, spoke out loud and blamed Rush and the OceanGate staff for allowing the tragedy to take place.

“I thought it was a terrible idea. I wish I’d spoken up, but I assumed someone was smarter than me, you know, because I’ve never experimented with this technology, but at first glance it just sounded bad,” Cameron said said Reuters.

I’m sure the Titan disaster will ruin 14-year-old OceanGate, but considering the victims have all but signed their lives, families will likely face challenges trying to sue.

There are so many lessons to be learned from the week of underwater drama, but I’m sure we’ll all just move on and keep laughing at the memes while awaiting the deaths of the five men portrayed in a documentary or become a product with documentation lifespan Movie. Or both.

I’m just wondering if Cardi B will play himself.

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