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[at-l] Cell Phones, yet again - the 'rules'

In a message dated 4/17/2005 9:38:56 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
jestbill@yahoo.com writes:
Seems to me that what we have here is a failure to communicate.  Some people
want to make "rules" and some others automatically reject "rules."  It is more
a personality conflict than an argument over what rules are best or most
logical or even over what is "rude" and what is not.

         Of all these cell phone posts not a single one mentions their impact 
on the AT on a conceptual level (except for Sloetoe). The reason cell phones 
are an issue to some Trail concerned persons isn't because of etiquette. Most 
people won't even know a hiker is carrying one most of the time. Except for a 
loud conversation that could happen anywhere, at a mall or any public place, 
cell phones rarely make their presence known. 

     So why do some people have a problem with them? It isn't because these 
people enjoy ordering others around or are "rule oriented". The real reason is 
because cell phones are an effective inroad by civilization into a place 
deliberately designed to keep civilization out. If you think your experience of the 
Appalachian Trail doesn't change when you carry a cell phone you're wrong. 
There are also places on the trail that have become less wild directly because 
of cell phone connectivity. This is usually sold in positive terms by Trail 
members, like praising shuttle services, or justifying your hike by being able to 
stay in touch. Basically, any time you are able to dial out from the Trail 
the Trail is less wild by definition. 

           The worst effect cell phones have on the AT is the unconscious 
acceptability of civilizing the Trail. Ordering pizzas, calling shuttles, calling 
home, eventually these wear down the Trail's image as a wild place. It's 
civilizing a place that was formed to filter out civilization. No matter what 
anyone says, that is true. ATC is rules-oriented believe it or not. They filter 
out many Trail-conflicting activities for exactly the reasons I've cited. The 
problem with cell phones is they slip through the filter.

         Phones have always been available in towns. To say you need a cell 
phone to hike is false. People have been hiking and contacting family members 
for years.  

         You can see from this thread that even talk of cell phones on the AT 
has succeeded in filtering out mention of its impact on the Trail's wildness. 
That's proof right there. 

         Rudeness? When are hikers going to think about more than just 
themselves and think about the Trail?