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Re: [AT-L] Re: [AT-L] Electronics on the AT

Jim Owen wrote:
> You've asked a couple really good questions -
> >But what if...
> >
> >
Give me a massive break!
If I had to make the argument (and only for the sake of argument), I
spiritulize the use of a pager-laptop-cellphone to make a point.
Hey! I'm a former fundamentalist / pentecostal preacher.
Wait!!! Jim, this is not a flame. :)
Not everyone has or will recognize a thru-hike as a spiritual
as many on this list seem to indicate.
For some it will be nothing but a religious experience, a burden.
To some it is the fulfillment of a life long dream.
To others a simple joy.
Others may look at it as another task to be accomplished, much akin
to the "peak baggers".
The possibilities are endless. It's your hike.

The way I see it, that is looking through the glasses which I look at my
life through, somebody elses techno-do-dad will not adversly affect my
spiritual or natural experience (read thru-hike, vacation,weekender or 
day hike).
UNLESS, that individual is encroaching upon my personal space.

Personally, I believe in non-descrimination. If a Thru-hiker offends me
with his beeper or a day hiker offends me with his boom-box I'll attempt 
to deal with it as far as my tolerance will carry me. 
If we get beyond that then a discussion or more will ensue. (This may
the temporary confiscation of the offending equipment)

I don't think that technology is the issue, except for perhaps the folks
have deluded themselves into believing that the AT is a "wilderness".
Just take a few steps off the trail in most areas, and Viola! all the 
trappings of modern living (How about motels with hot tubs???).
The issue is common courtesy.
The problem will probably be that the more crowded that the trail gets,
the less common that courtesy will be.

Jim, I hope that your byline doesn't have to become 
walk softly, and carry a big stick.  <grin>

Hopefully I'll see ya'll at the Gathering.


> I come from a background that many people simply won't relate to - I
> spent a lot of years practising Zen as a part of my martial arts training.
> And studying - and practising - other things that I'd rather not talk about
> at this point.  But they were all pointed at the attainment of inner peace -
> and to some extent they succeeded.  I've experienced satori several times in
> several different contexts - and it's an experience not to be forgotten.  But
> in no case was the experience related to or enhanced, aided or intensified by
> equipment of any sort - electronic or otherwise.  Electronic equipment, in
> fact,
> requires a mindset that's object specific rather than spiritual - and the two
> are simply not compatible.
> I think what I just said is that the (relative) silence, simplicity and purity
> that I find in nature is a spiritual experience for those who are ready to
> accept it.   And that those who are not ready to accept it as such
> generally recognize the value in experiencing the natural world.  But
> there are also those who have yet to discover that the cry of a hawk,
> or the cough of an angry deer, or even the buzzing of a rattlesnake
> have an  intrinsic value that's marred by the importation of the sounds
> and devices of the world of Man.

> I think at one time I suggested (and got in trouble for suggesting it) that
> those who NEED the "latest" "hi-tech" equipment to make their thruhike
> meaningful might best stay at home - or at least do a thorough
> re-examination of their reasons for being out there.  And this from
> someone who, prior to my thruhike, was a "gearhead".   How soon we
> forget!!   Mea culpa, mea culpa!!
> At this point, I think I'd make another, different suggestion - that they try
> it without the hi-tech stuff  for at least a couple weeks - they can always
> have that stuff sent later if they really want it.
> That being said - allow me to propose the notion that the ultimate hike or
> rather,
> thruhike, would be one where you carry NO equipment.  And that each piece of
> equipment you do carry is a barrier to the ultimate growth and spiritual
> experience that the hike COULD provide.  Yeah - I'm talking about a hike with
> no tent, no pack, no sleeping bag, no stove, etc.   And yes, I realize that
> it would
> NOT be a pleasant or comfortable experience  - most of the time for some people
> and some of the time for most people.  But I also realize that growth is rarely
> a  pleasant or comfortable experience for any of us.  And it IS and interesting
> concept.   And NO - I'm not ready to do it either.
> I realize that a lot of people at least start the AT with no concept or
> intention
> that it might be a growth process or spiritual in ay way.   I've also expressed
> the opinion that a lot of people get off the AT when they find themselves
> changing/growing in ways they hadn't planned, can't control and don't want.
> >The problem doesn't appear to be technology, but inviting the "other world"
> >onto the trail that is the root of the more extreme reaction phones and pagers
> >seem to elicit.
> As long as you asked - let me also propose that we humans (at least here in
> the US), have made a world that's increasingly Big Brotherish.  And that some
> of us hike or hunt or whatever in order to get away from that world and at
> least temporarily regain some degree of control over our lives and - dare  I
> say it - our souls.   I'm repeating myself here - it's a form of spiritual
> experience.  (Notice, please, that I did NOT say "religious" experience -
> that's different).
> The importation of the "other world" into the trail world is a violation of
> what some of us go out there for.  And those who violate the sanctity and
> purity of our experience violate us personally on a spiritual level.   One
> thing
> to keep in mind here is that many of them don't understand - and don't even
> know that they don't understand.   I wouldn't suggest stomping their pagers
> with your size 11 EEE boots.  That just gets you a reputation.  But to be
> honest, sometimes it takes something like that to make some people realize
> that their right to have that pager or cell phone or whatever doesn't mean
> they have the right to destroy your privacy and serenity - by making a cell
> phone call from the top of Katahdin.   Sorry, Daniel - I couldn't resist
> that one
> cause that picture (in the ATN) irritated me more than I care to admit.
> In any case, I've rambled far longer than I should have - and I'm not sure I've
> said anything worth saying.  <snip>