Wow, what a thread.
Go back and read what FIRST stands for and what their goals are. The goal is the promotion of science and technology, cultural change, inspiring people to excellence, etc, etc
Why does FIRST even exist? If you listen carefully to Dean Kamen and others it will become quickly apparent that we need all the scientists and engineers we can get to solve real problem that we face.
It is not to create a ‘friends of robots’ advocacy group. Robots do not need advocacy groups.
We want sponsors to be of generally good conduct and responsible corporate citizens. You are not going to find a ‘pure’ sponsor on this planet.
We do want to avoid companies that are not good citizens, but bad corporate citizens tend not to want to sponsor FIRST efforts in any event.
I’m no fan of tobacco, but calling them ‘murderers’ is a little off the map when the behavior is high self inflicted. There are people that make the same claims of the automobile when highway deaths and injuries and environmental concerns are considered. One could say that tobacco has zero value and autos have some value. But some would argue that even the long term costs of the auto and the use of fossil fuels outweigh its benefits.
With the littlest of imagination you could make the claim that many modern activities have risk and bring harm. But these activities also may bring needed benefits.
What is a little more interesting about this thread is comments that reflect a trend going back several decades that says something like “corporations are bad, because they are bad and may have done something that I don’t agree with, and they make people do things they don’t want to do”
Each of us has the power and the responsibility to use the products and services of the business community in a responsible and sustainable fashion.
Corporations are made up of people like me and you. One day you may be working for one of these companies. As an engineer or scientist working for that company you may be responsible for increasing the sustainability of their efforts, increasing responsible use of their products, and reducing the negative impact of their operations or products. You will find that most people in good companies are real people that share the same values and concerns as all of us.
I think A-B sponsorship is great and as a good citizen I’m sure they would be happy to give us a boatload of ‘21 means 21’ stickers. A-B is a concerned as anyone about their customers enjoying their product in a legal, responsible (socially and environmentally).
Many other companies share the same values. These companies very much need new engineers to help them become sustainable. How about biodegradable bottles and food packaging? How about zero impact transportation?
This is where FIRST comes in. Companies need engineers. FIRST delivers.
If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. If you do, get help and quit.
If you are underage and drinking, then stop. If you are 21 or over then limit yourself to 2 drinks a day maximum.
Exercise, eat properly, work hard, live hard, play hard, laugh hard, inspire people, solve problems.
And leave the world around you a little better place than you found it.