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Re: [CQ-Contest] down the path with Dave

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] down the path with Dave
From: David Gilbert <xdavid@cis-broadband.com>
Date: Sun, 02 Dec 2012 10:41:17 -0700
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>


You're trying to actually reason with Charles and that isn't going to get you very far. Just look at the criticism he makes in his first paragraph below ... the part about people rejecting reasoned criticism because they identify something (the "purity of CW" in his case) with the "inner human self" (the "higher fun" he refers to later). He might as well have painted his own face on that picture and he doesn't even realize it.

Dave   AB7E

On 12/2/2012 5:27 AM, Pete Smith N4ZR wrote:
Charly, the only thing that Skimmer replaces is the physical act of tuning the radio. An operator still must copy the CW,. verify that he is copying the station spotted (instead of the one adjacent to it), copy the exchange, and send and receive verification of his exchange. Moreover, a running station receives no assistance from CW Skimmer at all.

73, Pete N4ZR
Check out the Reverse Beacon Network at
blog at reversebeacon.blogspot.com.
For spots, please go to your favorite
ARC V6 or VE7CC DX cluster node.

On 11/30/2012 8:42 PM, Charles Harpole wrote:
Dave, any time a trend gets a name, like Luddite, that name substitutes for thinking (like a name for a racial type of person). Further, it is typical of rigid personalities to reject reasoned criticism of something they have
a powerful and even vested interest in, extending to the point of
identifying the subject (ham radio) or object (a beloved radio brand) with
the inner human self.

Often that rejection of reasoned criticism goes on to try to throw out the
person delivering the critique and the creation of a "protected zone" of
isolation from critiques. That latter step guarantees the "inside crowd"
of insulation from any contrary thinking and thus ossification of that
crowd (similar to Romney's advisers thinking that he will win even to
election day due to listening only to the "inside crowd").

The use of pejorative language, like "childish and shrill," further is a
symptom of the reduction of a reasoned line of comment to a simplistic
kneejerk reaction devoid of reason.
The care of elephants is a noble occupation and one which I wish I could
do, but it is very expensive, beyond my means.

My overall point remains, and that is that not every new invention is
automatically good (like the atomic bomb, but I guess you would like that) and, further, the careful use of new inventions means evaluating their real usefulness and long term benefits and drawbacks of the item or idea. That
evaluation can not occur in the vacuum of blind acceptance of "the new."

The result of the innovation of the CW Skimmer is, I argue, the reduction of a time-honored practice of the art of radio communication and the joy of learning and doing something that is difficult, beneficial to the person,
and elegant.  Just as there is no art to making a telephone call, today,
there is no art in the mechanical delivery of CW messages via an easy

What I affirm is that ham radio exists for what I call "a higher fun" which eschews the easy and simplistic by seeking the complex and activities that
yield deep satisfaction that comes from taking on a task and goal and
accomplishing that after due effort. In any other context, ham radio is a
firmly obsolete mode of communication, so I see the hobby as similar to
collecting, restoring, and using antique cars... which occurs for the joy
of the activity rather than looking for the easiest transportation.  Why
one would seek to put a 12 cylinder turbo charged 2012 motor into a Model T is beyond me, and seems to be simply arcane. Thus, I advocate the practice
of ham radio as close to its origins in order to preserve the values
inherent there and the "higher fun" of this path.

Of course, the Skimmer type stuff also forever makes ham radio contesting a rather pointless activity, devoid of those pleasures I describe. I mourn
the loss of this fun for you and future generations.

73, Charly

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