National Geographic Forum Letter

Caves and caving, beginning caving, joining the NSS, etc.

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Postby ian mckenzie » Sep 16, 2005 1:28 pm

I don't disagree with you; I didn't like the letter either. But my point was that the article obviously failed to convey the right message to a segment of their readership, which is more important than the letter writer's opinion itself.
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Postby Cindy Heazlit » Sep 16, 2005 3:20 pm

The guy is allowed to have his own opinion, and even express it. That does not make him mentally ill. National Geographic chose to print the letter, as is their right.

Caving isn't the be-all and end-all of the world. There's other things going on in it that will have a far greater impact on life-as-we-know-it. Yes, what these people did was great and wonderful. But it isn't on the same magnitude as discovering a cure for cancer, helicoptering a hurricane victim out of danger, or even raising up a child to be a productive member of society.

Caving is a fun activity, sometimes a challenge. That's all it is.

Let the letter go.
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National Geographic Letter

Postby KENTO » Sep 18, 2005 12:52 am

I hope this person reads another article about Caving in National Geographic some day that satisfies him , interests him , maybe inspires him to learn more about caving. I apologize sincerely , for the slanderous labeling of mental illness I broadbrushed this individual with. But , did you get a chance to look at the Article on the Krubrera exploration Cindy?
Did you read the fellow from Sparks Nevada letter in the September issue? He isn't really debating an issue , just attacking it , just devaluing it, in a completely closeminded way. He basically told National Geographic they were wasting his time putting something like that in the magazine. I think the point I was trying to make , while not entirely clear was this , National Geographic isn't worried , why should cavers...
Basically they are confident this subset of their audience is not much bigger than one or two crackpots oops , now that was kind of mean of me again wasn't it?
By the way Cindy , I work as a Psychiatric Nurse.
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Postby Mark620 » Sep 18, 2005 9:02 am

I would have to agree with Cindy on this one.
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Postby Cindy Heazlit » Sep 18, 2005 4:28 pm

Thanks KENTO, for your thought out reply.

I had the wonderful fortune of meeting a lot of the Krubera people while at the UIS in Greece (we stayed at the same conference center). They are fine folk, and not strutting bicep flexing jerks. I was excited at their achievement. In fact, they were excited at their achievement. Not in the I-did-something-and-you-didn't way, but in a Yahoo-we-finally-did-it! sort of way.

Sadly, I know of some cavers that are strutting bicep flexing jerks. They are rarely found at the international level, or even at the national level (they don't last long there). Instead, they are found at the grotto and regional level. You know them - the ones that are always putting down everyone elses work while loudly trumpeting their own.

I believe that the NG letter writer is coming from ignorance more than any other place. If you've never done it, you just don't "get" what it takes to work at that level. I think that the NG article may not have correctly shown just what it takes to cave at the level of Krubera. So we get misconceptions about caving.

I do apologize at the knee-jerk reaction to the mental label. I have unfortunately seen that used far too often lately in the caving community to destroy someones reputation and drive them out of caving. And most of the time those rumors have been spread by... the strutting bicep flexing jerks.

My sincere apologies.
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