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Padodes, Robroying.. by weedavie   (Show all posts)
simon3
2007-01-12 10:15:35
re GPS Use
Padodes -

You point out the technological basis of maps, compasses. One could add modern means of transport from cars to Ryanair. In navigation one could preparation by exploring virtual terrain in advance. In gear there's the pervasive inflence of polyester (fleece) and teflon (Goretex).

I approve your sceptical probing about "return-to-nature". Many of our tools are the "outcome of sophisticated technological development".

Nevertheless sports and recreational activities are full of artificial classes of activity often maintained by social groups. People continue to use sail power in the face of the advantages of power-boating. People have started to use snowboards even in the face of the advantages of skis. People do the breast-stroke even though the crawl was established as the most efficient stroke a century ago.

Let's allow the possibility that different ways may exist for people to enjoy walking in the hills. Very likely a series of modes or disciplines will arise. (Another way of looking at it would be to see it as the evolution of different memes under pressure from different cultural influences - Rousseau, environmentalism, technology - filling different niches.)

If some people want to use a limited range of navigational and other gear in the hills - why not?

There could be much general value in a discipline of walking without using some modern tools. It can teach aspects of self-reliance, landscape reading, decision making etc. Indeed how exactly should newcomers to the sport be taught in relation to GPS (which will soon be cheap and available on every mobile phone) without overdependence?

What I do find ridiculous is forms of chauvinism or fundamentalism. Where someone says "our way of doing things is BETTER than yours and we are superior to you". This is particularly silly in relation to new technology where sometimes people cling to what they know without making any allowance for the value of emerging methods. It's like saying the crawl is better than the breast stroke or yachts are better than power boats.
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