If the loss of Opportunity the Mars Rover demonstrated anything, it is that human beings have a great capacity to form weird attachments to stuff that shouldn’t elicit our pity. The poetic translation of Oppy’s last words—“My battery is low and it’s getting dark”—had me ready to abandon writing in favour of aerospace engineering. Someone needs to bring that brave robot home. It will be lonely and cold out there!
But really, that’s just scratching the surface when it comes to the ridiculous ways in which human empathy manifests. Given a compelling narrative, we can find ourselves caring for just about anything.