Response to a Facebook commenter, who will remain nameless:-
"I cant decide if 10,000 people volunteering for a one-way trip to Mars is an incredible example of human spirit of exploration or a sign of such a sick society that this many people want to die? Either way, it cant be good that this many people are thick enough to think they will get anywhere near the red planet...." "...we need to let the professionals pave the way. I'm sure lots of people would have volunteered for Apollo 11, but there aren't many people who could have actually landed it."
Where "leave it to the professionals" = leave it to the government civil servants. No.
You seem to forget that there is a competitive selection process involved here. I don't believe Mars One is taking every one of the 40,000+ volunteers. A proper selection and training process will find people every bit as talented as the civil servants.
The initial mission plan calls for half-a-dozen people. The rest of them will have to wait and buy a transit ticket with Elon.
Do I think Mars One has an implausible business plan? Yes.
Do I think their present technology base is sketchy at best? Yes.
Do I fault them for trying? No.
Human expansion into space will happen for one primary and overriding reason: Individual human beings WANT TO GO. If Joe Public has the talent and the will to go to Mars, then with the very greatest of respect, that is his decision and not yours. Regardless of whether he faces a safe and comfortable trip, or absolute and certain death. As far as possible, he should be master of his own destiny.
The response to the Mars One colonist call is a concrete expression of that will to Go. Mars One's plans may be ill-formed, but the expression of public will is a thing of wonder. It's not foolishness. It's HOPE. It's yearning for something greater. It's a power that in the past has built nations, and will do so again in the future.
"Oh noes! We can't do this! Somebody might die!"
To which the proper response is "Yeah, they might. So what?"
Face it: We will all die. You could suffer years of pain and decline, expiring as a shrunken skeleton under a hospital bedsheet with tubes going out of your arm. Or, you could go out in a blaze of glory at Mach 15 in the upper atmosphere of MOTHERFUCKING MARS. I know which of those two I'd prefer, and "hating life" doesn't come into it.