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Author Topic: Personal Observation  (Read 1832 times)
K0BG
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Posts: 10248


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« on: February 25, 2010, 01:54:49 PM »

This amateur radio-related site is no different than many similar sites across the net, albeit more popular than most. There are those with a desire to learn, and enough good folks with the requisite technical background to help them do just that. Unfortunately, there are a few good-meaning folks whose technical knowledge is, shall we say, limited. Or, in other cases, misconstrued, and/or just plain wrong! This fact creates several problems for both questioners, and answerers.

Probably the most prevalent manifestation are the personal attacks directed towards others, irrespective of the either side’s technical validity. Examples can be found in every forum, and in responses to posted articles. But the attacks are never more profuse, than they are when the subject at hand is antennas!

There is an old adage which goes like this; It’s best to be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt! Regrettably, far too many are on the latter side of the adage.

I have posted about 80 articles on this site, and someplace around 8,000 posts. I haven’t a clue how many responses all of those have garnered, but they run the gamut from good to evil. I’ve made my share of mistakes, and some of my conclusions were incorrect. As a result, I have eaten my share of crow as they say. Most importantly, I’ve learned from those mistakes.

There isn’t any one individual, who can say with honesty, that they are an expert in their chosen field. Close perhaps, but no cigar! There is always room to learn more science, and to better understand what science you already possess. However, when you’re unable to acknowledge your shortcomings, and thus resort to personal attacks as a means to bolster support, all you have done is place yourself in a precarious position. Sooner or later, only the pseudo-intellects will believe your diatribe, while the real world passes you by.
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N2EY
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Posts: 4458




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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2010, 03:17:36 AM »

The great thing about the internet is that anybody with access can post almost anything without others' approval.

The worst thing about the internet is that anybody with access can post almost anything without others' approval.

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A person who is really an expert doesn't describe him/herself that way. S/he doesn't have to.

--

Writing is easy. Writing well isn't. All too often, what a person meant to write and what they actually wrote aren't the same. Readers cannot see a facial expression, hear a tone of voice, etc. Using all capitals comes across as hostile shouting, not emphasis. Lack of punctuation/spellcheck/grammar comes across as laziness. Lack of qualifiers such as "IMHO" or "I think" turns an opinion into a statement of absolute fact.

--

Four specific problems with antenna discussions:

1) Lack of pictures/drawings. 1 picture, 10,000 words, etc.

2) Lack of background knowledge. If someone doesn't really understand something like SWR, they're likely to head off in odd directions.

3) Overgeneralizing personal experience into a general rule. You've seen it: somebody puts up a G5RV and works DXCC in a few months during the sunspot peak - and then the G5RV becomes a magical DX antenna, nobody needs a beam or tower, etc.

Or somebody put up a G5RV and couldn't get it to work very well, so multiband antennas are all junk and the only ones worth putting up are single-band coax-fed dipoles.

4) Using terms that aren't well defined. Like this: "The G5RV gives low SWR on all HF bands". That's a true statement *if* you define "low SWR" as "under about 5:1" and "all HF bands" as "80/40/20/15 and maybe 10". And if you understand that the antenna must be properly built and installed, probably adjusted to get the "low" SWR points someplace reasonable, and that the SWR will not hold across the band.  

---

There are also folks who take any disagreement as a personal attack, but that's a different subject.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KH6AQ
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Posts: 7718




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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 06:19:48 AM »

My impression is that the personal attacks have cooled off in the past couple of months.
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K0BG
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2010, 06:22:12 AM »

Quote
There are also folks who take any disagreement as a personal attack, but that's a different subject.

You are correct on the former part of course, but I'm not so sure it is a different subject. There are always those whose self-appointed lot in life is to besmirch their fellow man. It isn't these sociopaths I was referring to. Rather, it is the arrogance demonstrated by those who can not except or admit the angularity of their though processes. This says nothing about their ability to learn, or their knowledge in general, but it speak volumes about their personalities. I for one, shy from their presents.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 14361




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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2010, 07:03:59 AM »

Antennas are a difficult subject because there are so many variables involved. Most times questions don't provide enough detail to even consider the variables in the answer. For example, "what is the best HF antenna to use". The answer comes back "a tower and a beam", of course. Oh, the questioner forgot to mention that he lives on a postage stamp lot with covenant restrictions that prevent antennas of any type.

Sometimes we observe some legitimate phenomenon but attribute it to the wrong cause because we haven't considered all of the variables. Everyone I know who drinks water eventually dies. Obviously there must be something wrong with water :-)
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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
N2EY
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Posts: 4458




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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2010, 10:23:52 AM »

K0BG writes: "There are always those whose self-appointed lot in life is to besmirch their fellow man. It isn't these sociopaths I was referring to."

You make an excellent point.

K0BG: "Rather, it is the arrogance demonstrated by those who can not except or admit the angularity of their though processes. This says nothing about their ability to learn, or their knowledge in general, but it speak volumes about their personalities. I for one, shy from their presents."

I agree! They confuse being mistaken (not having the facts) with being wrong (morally) and being personally attacked.

From what I have seen, it's often about who is pointing out the mistake.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K9KJM
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Posts: 2415




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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2010, 10:32:46 PM »

"Quote:"K0BG: "Rather, it is the arrogance demonstrated by those who can not except or admit the angularity of their though processes. This says nothing about their ability to learn, or their knowledge in general, but it speak volumes about their personalities. I for one, shy from their presents."

YEP! There are a few around who are a true "Legend in their own Mind" And just because they were on top of the game 30 or so years ago, STILL think they "Know it all" and simply refuse to accept progress on what works in the real world, And how things are done nowadays.   
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KD5KFL
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Posts: 56




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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2010, 09:28:10 AM »

The following theory is the result of over half a century of personal observation. Argument will be ignored. If you find anything to argue with here, you didn't see what I saw.

When you were in kindergarten you discovered the contest. You could be a winner! but 30 people entered and only one won, and that wasn't you ( pout )

When you were in grade school you discovered a way to enter a contest with just one other person - the argument. If you lost the argument you reverted to the second contest; insult swapping.

When you were in junior high school you may have discovered a way to enter a contest with one other person and win every time:

1) The question with no right answer - "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" Argue the opposite of what the other guy says. Doesn't matter who's right. Tying up the other guys time and making him argue is the real contest.

2) Interrupt. A cowards way of challenging without confronting.

3) Correct the other persons word usage or grammar. Nobody really knows if "You only use the fricative indicative after a noun declension when the moon is in its seventh house" because none of us paid attention in grammar because none of us cared.

4) Of particular interest on technical forums: The guy who lets someone else answer a technical question, and then chimes in with "There's only one thing wrong with that" and then argues some petty insignificant point. This guy is absolutely never the guy who writes the cogent, articulate answer to the original question.

The day you realize that there is no reason to engage in arguments with juvenile losers, because no one is keeping score, there is no referee and there is no prize, is the day you start to grow up.

The people who learned their one way to win every argument they start used their new skill to establish their position in the junior high school pecking order. They jealously guard this position for the rest of their pathetic lives.

Those of us who opted out of the silly junior high pecking order couldn't wait to leave. All we wanted from our home town was our high school diploma, and out.

When I see arguments on forums, what I see is a juvenile trying to claw another person down in a vain attempt to build themselves up.

what I see is people behaving exactly as they behaved in 9th grade study hall when the teacher left the room.

This is equally true on forums about SCUBA, VW, motorcycle, ham radio, WiFi, computers, robotics,....
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N3XP
Member

Posts: 80




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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2010, 05:52:59 PM »

Scuba is the worst, it is divided into those who have dove the Doria and those who have not.  And, now with the spread of trimix and what was once technical diving, it has become a game of who can out spend whom - just like radio.
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N2EY
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Posts: 4458




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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2010, 03:51:49 AM »

To KD5KFL:

At first I thought your post was simply true.

Then I realized that it was more than just true, it was BRILLIANT!

Because anyone who gets into an argument about it will simply prove that it is right by the very fact that they are arguing.

73 es TNX de Jim, N2EY
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W7ETA
Member

Posts: 2527




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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2010, 04:25:15 PM »

Many people have never explored "What is knowledge?" "Where does it come from?" "Is it permanent?"

As a result, they follow a bastardization of Spinoza (I think, therefor I am), "I think, therefor it is."

One day, my wife watched me shaving.  After a few minutes she told me I wasted time shaving.  I handed her the can for my shaving cream and my razor and asked her to show me how the way she shaved was better.

Years later, she became my x-wife.  I still shave the same way, 26 years later.

Keep the articles coming.

73
Bob
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KB1LKR
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Posts: 1897




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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2010, 08:53:37 PM »

Perhaps she only wanted you to grow a beard?
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W7ETA
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Posts: 2527




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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2010, 10:10:20 PM »

There ya go BG.  Grow a beard.
73
Bob
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