BRAVO - well said.
Remember the old Troster coloumn in QST about the guy calling "CQ CQ
No Lids, No Kids, First Class Operators Only"? I don't think we want
the reflectors to reflect (hi) this attitude.
I remember recently helping someone with something very fundamental in
photography (I was almost tempted to launch into "I can't believe you
don't already know this"). Two days later the same person easily
guided me through an incredibly complex telephone/datacomm problem
that had three or four tradeoffs I never even thought about, and they
said nothing about what I should already know.
Since the purpose of the reflectors is to foster communication, we
shouldn't flame folks who try to communicate, or we will extinguish
the attempts to communicate. I think there's a line about karmic
justice and cosmic balance in here somewhere, but I'll save it for the
73 John N5CQ
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: [DX] Spirit of the hobby
Author: "n4si" <firstname.lastname@example.org> at ~acs-aus
Date: 1/7/97 9:59 AM
Ladies and Gentlemen;
I have to ask this question. On a couple of the reflectors to which I
subscribe, I have seen more than one query made of the net that was
prefaced with a statement to the effect of, "I don't mean to start
up...," or, "sorry for the bandwidth, but..." Are we sending the
right message to those that felt compelled to do that?
I've been around the hobby (okay, service) for some time, and it
seemed to me when I came in that there were a lot of people that
spent of lot of "valuable" time getting me past the rough edges. May
I also point out that the same phenomenon occurred at every stage of
As recently as this week, one of my friends was helping me
get in (on) the newsgroups on the 'net. He in turn takes DXing and
contesting lessons from me since he is relatively new to ham radio.
Neither of us would remotely think of apologizing for asking the
other's help. Neither of us would remotely think of castigating the
other for not knowing something.
I have a lot of friends that believe the same applies to their
particular areas of expertise and their particular areas of
I have often heard and long lived by the credo, "there is no such
thing as a stupid question." It's not that I'm some paragon of
behavior. There is a long line of people, including some of the
friends mentioned in the previous paragraph, who will testify that
I'm not. My wife heads the list.
But think about it. The new person on the reflector may be the next
new DXer or contestor or tower climber. We need them! If they get the
impression that you have to already know the answer to be allowed to
ask the question, they will leave with the correct idea that they
don't need to be involved with pompous blowhards who don't have time
for their education.
More importantly, no matter how many times a concept is explained or
a subject is discussed on an open forum such as an Internet
reflector, there is somebody who may have just subscribed that is
hearing it for the first time. That constitutes valuable information
for someone, and WE made it possible.
Just today I learned the true reason for the capacitor in a CDE style
rotor. I learned that increasing soil conductivity with salt may not
be the best idea. I learned that virtually no commercial antenna
tuners will put up with my Alpha. I learned that lots of people
confuse variation with deviation and declination. I learned that
there are ways of finding out who someone is on the 'net even if they
try an "anonymous" address. And I have over 30 years in radio.
Imagine how KF4xxx or KB3yyy or KC7zzz could be enriching their and
our hobby with the generous sharing of knowledge which, in truth,
Tony Bennet once said that the hardest thing he had to do was to
sing "I left my heart in San Francisco" for the 100,000th time and
make it as exciting to those in the audience hearing it for the
first time as when he first sang it.
The next time I explain long path to my friend, the new DXer, I'm
going to try to give it the same enthusiasm I did the first time. The
next time I ask a pilot to report leaving an altitude, I'm going to
be as gracious as if it was the first time I had to ask. The next
time I explain the licensing steps at our local VE session, I'll try
to remember where our new blood is coming from, and try to make it
sound like it did 12 years ago at our first.
Can we all try to do the same?
73, Rod N4SI
The DXer formerly known as N9AKE
(c) 5 November, 1996
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