Randomness (r_ness) wrote,

"Why don't they just...?"

tb recently shared with me a rant about people who start a sentence with "Why don't they just...?" I don't want to misquote her and I very much want to hear her in own words if she's willing to share them here. But I did find a post about this very phrase in a very different context that I thought was worth a repost.

From Why don't they just...?":
It seems every time I come across a story about the Mars Curiosity rover there will be many people commenting on the technology used starting with "Why don't they just..?" and usually pointing out things like: the processor in their smart phone is way faster than the one of Mars, or they have way more memory on their iPad, or their digital camera is way better than the one sending back pictures. These "Why don't they just..?" questions are both annoying and to be expected.

Annoying because the underlying thought is "Those NASA/JPL guys are so dumb LOL" and to be expected and encouraged because we wouldn't make any progress without asking questions and, in particular, asking why.

But it doesn't take much research to find the answer. (Even though I'm tempted to answer: "Because it's on friggin' Mars, doofus!")
Ultimately after listing some of the reasons why the situation isn't as simple as the askers think it is, he adds an excellent suggestion:
But rather than explaining all this stuff, I think there's a better way: build, land and operate a rover here on Earth.
It's too bad that sort of suggestion isn't a possibility in many of the other situations where people ask, "Why don't they just...?"
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