Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby Tlaloc » Jan 31, 2013 8:33 pm

Perhaps Marbach and Tourte provide an example of this in Alpine Caving Techniques. They dismiss all American vertical techniques in one paragraph which describes them as a product of our degenerate culture, using a rasist epithet.
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby Mike Hopley » Feb 1, 2013 7:30 am

Tlaloc wrote:Perhaps Marbach and Tourte provide an example of this in Alpine Caving Techniques. They dismiss all American vertical techniques in one paragraph which describes them as a product of our degenerate culture, using a rasist epithet.


"The American method is rooted in a clearly Anglo-Saxon philosophy (though it also developed in a different geological context than Alpine SRT, in the large open pits of the Southeastern and Central US)."

Is that the "racist epithet" you're referring to? Or is there another one in the book?
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby Tlaloc » Feb 1, 2013 10:11 am

Review on Amazon.com:

"...the authors assume that their techniques will be used exactly, leaving those of us with other systems to do a lot of alterations."

"My main complaints with the book are the undeniably dated and region-specific recommendations regarding gear... Also some Eurocentrism and an occasional air of French superiority."

http://www.amazon.com/Alpine-Caving-Tec ... Techniques

Would you write a technical manual that attributed some other techniques to someone's inferior cultural philosophy rather than discussing the substance of the subject at hand? If you were French, you would. Ask your nearest Frenchman what they mean when they describe us as "Anglo-Saxonne".

Isn't this the kind of ethnocentrist dogmatic narrow minded thinking that the OP was discussing?
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby Extremeophile » Feb 1, 2013 10:25 am

Tlaloc wrote:Would you write a technical manual that attributed some other techniques to someone's inferior cultural philosophy rather than discussing the substance of the subject at hand? If you were French, you would. Ask your nearest Frenchman what they mean when they describe us as "Anglo-Saxonne".

Isn't this the kind of ethnocentrist dogmatic narrow minded thinking that the OP was discussing?

Yes, exactly! Those of us of English descent can call each other Anglo Saxon, but it's derogatory when it comes from the French. As a rule I will continue to unilaterally despise the French until this racism ends.
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby Mike Hopley » Feb 1, 2013 11:06 am

If you're going to accuse someone of using "racist epithets", you should quote the source -- not opinions of random reviewers on Amazon. I assume you've actually read the book, and are not just recycling other people's opinions...

You take "Anglo-Saxon philosophy" as a racial slur? Really? Here's a crazy thought: maybe it actually refers to Anglo-Saxon philosophy -- i.e. analytic philosophy, as opposed to Continental (humanist) philosophy.

But hey, that would mean the authors were educated people making a subtle point (cryptic, even!). Not likely -- so let's assume they're xenophobic assholes instead. :roll:


Isn't this the kind of ethnocentrist dogmatic narrow minded thinking that the OP was discussing?


No. It's a book written by European cavers about technical ropework, as practised in European caves, with European rigging methods. It should not be surprising that the authors prefer techniques that have proven to work in that context, and that Marbach himself helped develop.

ACT does in fact discuss American methods, particularly with a view to creating a hybrid frog/ropewalking system. The authors acknowledge their own limitations:

The purpose of this book is not to discuss every American technique in minute detail; others have already done this, and their authors were quite knowledgeable on the subject. Our perspective is more or less that of an outsider, but it is interesting nonetheless for us to have some understanding of these techniques.


Here's another statement from this "dogmatic" and "racist" book:

Only time will tell. If it ever happens that one climbing method comes to reign supreme, it will likely be a similar compromise between the two principle techniques [i.e. American and French].
Last edited by Mike Hopley on Feb 1, 2013 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby Cody JW » Feb 1, 2013 11:32 am

Interesting thread. I prefer to use both frog and rope walker depending on the situation. I also use both figure 8 and rack depending on the situation. I feel frog has the advantage of portability being compact compared to a rope walker . But has the disadvantage of not being as efficient as a rope walker ( especially for those who are top heavy). I will use frog for caves with short drops or short multi drops where I feel the advantage of being compact outweigh the disadvantage of less efficiency in that particular situation. For long straightforward drops typical in TAG , I prefer the rope walker and standard rack. I like to look at each situation and see what I feel are the advantages of a system and how that advantage can justify the use of a particular system in a particular situation . I prefer to go as light as possible. I know many who will use a rope walker on a 30 foot pit. It will get you up all the same and get you up faster but you are hauling a heavier bulkier load. For the French with their rigging style of small diameter ropes and multiple re belays the frog is an easy choice for them. I sure would hate to cross those re belay's with ascenders below the waist. When you have choices it tends to make options specific to a situation. A big truck with tires with lots of tread is nice when you are off road but not so nice on long interstate hauls. A wetsuit is nice when in the water but gets hot when out of the water climbing breakdown. Also a younger skinny guy likely will be able to use a frog with less effort than an older heavy guy like myself. Age, weight , fitness level can also play a role in the choice of what is best. When I was in my 20s I used a frog at Ellisons, I would not today. I feel there are many things to consider what is best for what situation.
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby Mike Hopley » Feb 1, 2013 11:54 am

Another issue, often forgotten, is how practical the climbing system is to carry between pitches.

With some ropewalking systems, the climbing system needs to be disassembled before you can move to the next pitch. With a frog system, you just loosen the chest strap and clip your ascender to your harness (or wrap it around your body). It is normal to wear the entire ascending system between pitches.

When you have 67 pitches with caving in between (a real example!), you don't want to be assembling and disassembling your climbing system each time. On the other hand, when you have one great big pitch, that doesn't matter.
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby driggs » Feb 1, 2013 2:59 pm

Extremeophile wrote:Those of us of English descent can call each other Anglo Saxon, but it's derogatory when it comes from the French. As a rule I will continue to unilaterally despise the French until this racism ends.


Image

Go and boil your polypro, you English hodags! Your mother rigs with bowlines and your father climbs on Jumars! I fart in your general direction.
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby NZcaver » Feb 1, 2013 4:01 pm

Tlaloc wrote:Perhaps Marbach and Tourte provide an example of this in Alpine Caving Techniques. They dismiss all American vertical techniques in one paragraph which describes them as a product of our degenerate culture, using a rasist epithet.

Ah, Jingoism at its finest. Pure comedy gold. I just about spluttered my morning cup of tea all over the keyboard.
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby batrotter » Feb 2, 2013 8:19 pm

Yes, exactly! Those of us of English descent can call each other Anglo Saxon, but it's derogatory when it comes from the French. As a rule I will continue to unilaterally despise the French until this racism ends.


Oh the poor French, the miserable piss poor French!
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby eyecave » Feb 2, 2013 11:40 pm

around 10 to 14 thousand BC the style of stone arrowhead began to deviate from what it had been for the last 30 thousand years.... :sadbanana: ..over the next 2 thousand years many different styles of stone arrowheads were chipped out...... :down: ..it was the significant number of individuals gathered under one "flag" that created all these different styles of arrowheads.........les miserables........little groups of people who felt they were right.......jeez... :roll:

..einstein was right...humans are.....yep, they are..... :doh: ...
the beginning of understanding is the realization of the individual stupidity of us all and the corporate potential of us all.... :yikes: ..
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby Crockett » Feb 3, 2013 6:10 am

Neither English or French the German Nietzche may have commented close to what Marbach and Tourte meant regarding Anglo-Saxon philosophy:

They are a modest and thoroughly mediocre species of man, these English utilitarians, and, as aforesaid, in so far as they are boring one cannot think sufficiently highly of their utility. One ought even to encourage them: which is in part the objective of the following rhymes.

Hail, continual plodders, hail!
"Lengthen out the tedious tale",
Pedant still in head and knee,
Dull, of humour not a trace,
Permanently commonplace,
Sans génie et sans esprit*!

*Without genius and without wit. —Tr

[Excerpt from Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future, (1886).]

Maybe the authors of ACT will chime in here on Cavechat. They are likely less dead than Nietzsche.
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby Chads93GT » Feb 3, 2013 12:35 pm

The racist comment has to get the award for the dumbests post of the century.
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby Tlaloc » Feb 3, 2013 9:08 pm

Chads93GT wrote:The racist comment has to get the award for the dumbests post of the century.


It went way over YOUR head anyway. What Marbach and Tourte are saying is that you and all Americans are ignorant barbarians and this is why you use the crappy (non-French) vertical techniques that you do.
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Re: Climbing systems and the "hobgoblin of little minds."

Postby Chads93GT » Feb 3, 2013 9:21 pm

You quoted a amazon book review to make your point about it being racist. Over my head? Hardly.
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