Meditation on narrow squeezes

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Meditation on narrow squeezes

Postby tmazanec1 » Sep 11, 2014 4:14 pm

Maybe it is because they are more memorable, but I was impressed by how often caves are depicted in my reading as having passages which, if they were a fraction of an inch (or a few millimeters, if you prefer) narrower would be impassable. I get the feeling that, if caves are defined by being able to be traversed by humans, there would be a lot fewer caves had we evolved from Gigantopithecus instead of Australopithicus.
Is the converse true? If we were fraggles with super-efficient brains, like crows or parrots may have, would there be a lot more caves, and more mapped miles?
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Re: Meditation on narrow squeezes

Postby rlboyce » Sep 11, 2014 7:04 pm

I do believe that "passable void = cave", but I do not agree that this is a definition of a cave; it is merely a fact. Also, I do not agree with the inverse of this "definition" ("impassable void = not a cave"), because I do believe in the negation of the inversion ("impassable void = cave")... at least under certain conditions. It makes perfect hydrological and climatological sense if water or air is flowing from one passable void to another through an impassable void. If the same hydrological or climatological condition doesn't make "human" sense from a size perspective then I say that using human size to define a cave is invalid. There are many, many caves in the U.S. that have had squeezes "enlarged," where many miles of passage were found on the other side of the enlarged squeeze. If it is true that passable = cave, then technically the squeeze functioned as a physical boundary between two entirely separate caves. Because these many, many caves with enlarged squeezes are commonly thought of as being extended (just ask the guy who put all the work into enlarging the squeeze), I think what we're seeing is a conflict in common "definitions" ("passable void = cave" versus "enlarging extends cave versus passable"). One must be wrong, so which is correct? One could argue that after enlarging you made a "man-made cave" where the squeeze used to be, but my personal opinion is that anything man-made is not a cave, but a mine. Caves are natural voids, not artificial voids. I believe that an impassable void should be considered a cave with unknown development beyond what we can see. In my opinion, attempting to define what a cave is by means of a human-based size standard is projecting our self-importance onto the physical world. However, I do realize that to understand our physical world, we first have to start with how we interact with it. From there, we can then move on to understanding its true nature (I'll stop here before I get too metaphysical, haha).

I do agree that if we were smaller, there would be more miles of cave mapped.
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Re: Meditation on narrow squeezes

Postby NZcaver » Sep 11, 2014 11:22 pm

I just glanced at this topic title, and wondered if deep meditation might help propel my not-so-slim profile through problematic squeezes... :big grin:
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Re: Meditation on narrow squeezes

Postby Mudduck » Sep 12, 2014 12:05 am

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, then obviously its not a tree. It only becomes a tree when observed as such...
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Re: Meditation on narrow squeezes

Postby tncaver » Sep 12, 2014 7:55 am

Mudduck wrote:If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, then obviously its not a tree. It only becomes a tree when observed as such...


Tell that to the little birdie that lived in the tree. :laughing:
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Re: Meditation on narrow squeezes

Postby arizonaowl » Sep 16, 2014 11:44 am

I have been in some tight squeezes, that I regret, (Fissure Cave in MO), however, I am still alive, then I reread about Floyd Collins, and wonder? But no more. Regards, Al Copley 20845
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