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Re: [at-l] A few comments to some of my fans. . .

Jack, as I read your message to me you just said what you have been 
saying again. Worse, and maybe this is what people object too (including 
me at times), you speak out of both sides of your mouth. In one paragraph 
admitting you can be strident and then in the next saying that "everyone 
knows" this and that and that because you have hiked so much you have a 
more valid opinion than others. Leaving aside the accuracy of these 
statements your tone can easily be read as strident.

The fact that I've yet to see answers to the qustions I asked also has 
something to do with this. I've ben trying to remind people that it isn't 
technology per se that is the issue with questions such as: are you 
offended when a person fires up their Whisperlite at midnight while you 
are asleep; do you begrudge the person at a view point his chance to set 
up a major camera rig and take pictures; is it intrusive for someone to 
start chopping wood at 6:00AM? I'd be irritated if someone fired up a 
loud stove really late at night, wouldn't care if someone was 
photographing a superb view using a substantial camera set up, and would 
be irritated at the wood chopper. My irritation would not ruin my hike.

Appropriate/timely use is the only reasonable issue here. We all use 
technology whether we care to admit it or not. The fact that some people 
use "high tech" to improve their experience does not make a difference. 

As I've said before if a person is so concerned with keeping the "outside 
world" out (and I'm not going to get involved with a discussion of the 
separation of worlds) then hiking on the AT is probably not what they 
should be doing. The "world" of the AT includes the people on it.

  ** Ken **

>    You've raised some perfectly legitimate points, and thanks for writing 
>me.  The fact of the matter is that this list is dominated by a small group 
>of rather strident voices (and at times, this group includes me, tho 
>compared to some folks, my comments are few and far between, as opposed to 
>the folks who appear daily!).  Included among this core group are a few 
>folks who seem to get their jollies disagreeing with ANYTHING I have to say; 
>I suspect their problem is more with me than what I've written.  This 
>doesn't bother me; it only becomes a problem when their antagonism towards 
>me prevents them from accurately reading my words or understanding what I'm 
>trying to say.  The excessive length of my posts is partially due to my 
>trying to make sure my words will NOT be twisted, mis-understood, or 
>mis-construed.  With some folks, there's nothing I can do about it.
>     All the above notwithstanding, what I was attempting to say, and what I 
>still stand by, is this:
>     Most members of the thru-hiking community (and this designation 
>excludes a great many of of our "expert A.T. hikers" on At-L) are in 
>agreement that they'd rather not be around high tech gadgetry.  Nobody, 
>myself included, is telling anyone what they may or may not carry; all we're 
>saying is that there is a clear, well-known, well-established view of what 
>is considered proper trail etiquette in regards to this matter.  Most folks 
>recognize this, and act accordingly when using their gadgets.  Some don't 
>act correctly, usually out of ignorance.  A few wretched individuals do as 
>they please, not giving a damn about what most of their fellow hikers think. 
>  And this sort of behavior is increasing, sad to say.  The purpose of my 
>initiating this dialogue was NOT to tell people what to think and do---it 
>was to see what other folks felt and thought, and to hopefully educate some 
>of the folks who are newer to the Trail as to what is considered respectful, 
>considerate behavior.  I obviously didn't reach everyone, but I still feel 
>it was a discussion worth having.

**  Kenneth Knight    Web Design, IT Consultant, Software Engineer  **
**        krk@home.msen.com           http://home.msen.com/~krk     **

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