Overheard on CNN.com: 'Are there any more Wright brothers out there?'
Director James Cameron aims to reach Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in the world's oceans, this month.
March 8th, 2012
02:56 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'Are there any more Wright brothers out there?'

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Director James Cameron, known for his blockbuster hits such as "Titanic" and “Avatar,” is aiming to take a record-breaking dive to the deepest known point in the world's oceans. He recently gave CNN a glimpse of his high-tech submersible, and the report about the project has inspired many readers to think in greater depth about the future of humanity.

Filmmaker James Cameron to explore the deepest depths of the ocean

Readers appeared sympathetic to the following comment.

OhGod!: "I'm just sad that all we can do is just type a whole bunch of dumb nonsense while people like Cameron and (Richard) Branson are actually out there and doing these things. I wish we would stop the BS talk and get motivated to do these things ourselves, instead of relying on a couple of billionaires to do it for us. What happened to American pioneerism? Are there any more Wright brothers out there? What a shame. You may now begin bashing me. ..."

intothemoonbeam: "No bashing here, I agree with you."

Some lamented that exploration is harder and more complicated today.

urmomlol: "Yeah, I'll just hop into my personal submarine and get right on that."

pickleman77: "I know what you mean, but the problem is that it takes people with vast amounts of money to make it to these places. We'd all love to be pioneers in the classic sense, but it's not like Lewis and Clark, where they simply plowed through the wilderness. The last frontiers are very elusive, and very, very expensive, to reach."

Boo: "If our government would stop spending money on stupid wars, stuff like this could be done. Just like when NASA was big and had a great space program. All this stupid country knows how to do is go to war. Can't build anything worth a crap anymore. Our educational system, health care system and infrastructure is crap, but we can bomb the hell out of anybody."

Menos: "What's stopping you? Money? Nonsense. Just stow away on a ship that is passing by (Guam), take a very long and deep breath and then jump overboard once you're over the Mariana Trench with the ship's anchor tied to your waist. Eventually, some dust-size remnant of your former self will make it down to the bottom."

One commenter was feeling idealistic.

jeremy: "Seriously, I agree with someone back there about getting the government to start exploring and stop bombing. Stop bashing and start inspiring. Stop clawing for more power and control and seek some mutual understanding. Sorry ya'll, I've been watching too much 'Star Trek' recently."

Another person held out hope for exploration.

Odin: "There are a few left like the guy who wants to ride a balloon up to 120,000 feet and jump expects to go supersonic in free fall."

Still, some readers thought the money for such adventures could have been better spent.

Mark: "Who cares what is down there? It isn't going to help mankind. These selfish adventurists would rather spend their money exploring something that doesn't benefit humanity. With all the problems in the world, why don't they give money to researchers to find cures for diseases like cancer? I would rather read headlines that they donated millions to worthwhile causes. It is all about their egos."

A big debate took place over the funding of research. On one hand, some readers said they wished they had money for adventures such as Cameron's. Other readers would rather see private funds than government money spent on the project.

Michael: "Cameron and Branson two mega-rich people who do not need to work and have all the time and money in the world to do anything they want."

intothemoonbeam: "Maybe so, but at least they are putting their money to something worthwhile and not sitting here complaining and doing nothing."

boomhaha: "Collecting samples for scientists to study, not having our taxes pay for it through grants ... horrible idea. It's good that they contribute to humanity a lot more than others."

The dangers involved got a few readers talking.

Tiger2Jim: "The pressure at the bottom of the Mariana Trench is almost 16,000 psi (pounds per square inch). If anything goes wrong, it will go wrong in a hurry! ... This is a very dangerous expedition, no matter what anyone says."

Or perhaps there's another solution.

Patrick: "This seems dangerous. Can't he just send a virtual surrogate down there? An avatar, if you will."

If you could explore, where would you go? How would you do it? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Overheard on CNN.com • Science
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    Cnn should replace this thread with the shooting in Pittsburgs physchiatric hospital. 5 people have been shot according to our local detroit station.

    March 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • nsaidi

      Thanks for your comment; I get what you're saying, but this thread is something separate. There is a story up on the incident right now, and I've been reading through some of the comments there, particularly from people in the area: http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/08/justice/pennsylvania-shooting/index.html

      March 8, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bill

    Been there, done that ALREADY!
    The Trieste did this in 1960 – reaching a record maximum depth of about 35,800 ft, in the Challenger Deep.

    The vessel is on display at the U.S. Navy Museum.

    So why should Cameron advertise this as a great historic achievement?

    March 8, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • nsaidi

      Hi Bill, thanks for commenting. You bring up a good question. I'm not an expert on this, but from what I've read, one difference in this case is that Cameron is traveling solo.

      March 9, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Ocean Explorer

      Bill,
      What you must remember, is that the Trieste went down there and spent 20 mins and did not see a thing as they created so much sediment cloud when they touched bottom.
      What Jim is doing, is going down in a sub that can be controlled and he plans on spending 5hrs down there, filming, collecting samples etc...
      So yes 2 people have been there, but did not do anything while they were there.

      March 9, 2012 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. _The SHADOW KNOWS_

    Go for it Cameron, it's Your dream and Your money.

    March 9, 2012 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |