I had one of the most distasteful experiences of my life today. Not worst, mind you, it just almost literally left a bad taste in my mouth.
I follow a number of my favorite authors on Facebook. Some have a lot to say, others just post when they are releasing new books and the like, but I derive a great deal of satisfaction from the tenuous connection to their creative stars. One of them, today, posted a rather (I thought) overwrought indictment of NASA’s current plans over the addition of a manned moon expedition. His assertion was that there is “no reason to do it, whatsoever. “
Out of curiosity over whether he would engage more than anything else, I posted the opinion that there is at least one good reason to go back, the potential to do research on Helium 3, which, technical details aside, might come to nothing, but if successfully exploited would be a massive scientific and economic boon to whoever mastered it, and might even save our environment. Needless to say, I was polite, and provided links to a number of articles and papers to back up my statements. His response literally took my breath away. He posted an angry diatribe about some sort of “cult of Helium-3”, and how my position was a “pack of incantations”, demanding that I “prove one damn thing”.
My response was that I could not, of course, prove anything, first because “prove” isn’t really how science works, and second because I was suggesting that we needed to do the research to gain his “proof” on the moon, if we wanted to have any degree of certainty of its potential. His own response was even angrier, had no argument and was primarily an insult. I pointed out that that wasn’t an argument, and told him what I thought of his insulting and aggressive manner. He responded with a long, angry series of misstatements and flat-out made up shit about things I had said.
It went a bit beyond that, me now more aggressively trying to figure out why he was being such a dick, and him being progressively more of a dick with each response before asking me to leave, but all respect I had for the man was pretty much lost at that point, so the rest really doesn’t matter…
Never meet your heroes, they invariably turn out to be dicks!