I was about 12 miles away on the trail to Vogelsang High Sierra Camp. I heard a helicopter going overhead (couldn't see it, the sky was so low at the time) and knew something bad must have happened somewhere in the park.
It was definitely not a great day to be going up Half Dome. It should go without saying that this man's death is awful and something that could've happened to anyone who has made a bad decision in their lives.
But, if the park estimates of 50,000 people a year scaling Half Dome are accurate, that means 100,000 people did it w/o dying between the last death and this one. That's a pretty good success rate.
As dangerous as it seems, and by the looks of some of the people who attempt it, are the cables a case of the NPS making something too easy for people, and as a result, putting people's lives in danger? Should something like Half Dome only be accesible to people who have the requisite climbing skills?
I also thought of this when I saw the sign at the Half Dome TH about people breaking up trees on HD for firewood, pooping and not packing it out, etc.
If you make things too easy, people don't appreciate them and don't always treat them with respect.