[Cdt-l] the A list

Paul Magnanti pmags at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 5 15:45:33 CST 2010

 >>We're all on the A List 
>>around here, are we not? 
I'm on *a* list of several different types:

*people to avoid, 
*people who are a touch cranky at times
*people who are bit vocal and/or opinionated
*people who write a bit too much purple prose
*And so on...

Don't know if on *the A*  list for much of anything, though....

(Well, I am on *the A* list for people to bring on hut trips, get invited to 
home cooked meals, bring food to potluck dinners.
I am a pretty good cook...but that's more a legacy of my upbringing and nothing 
to do with the outdoors... ;-) )

Being serious (whah?), I am a live and let live kinda guy.  

But, interactive  technology (cell phones, spots, sat phones, and so on) vs 
passive technology
 (synthetic clothing, DSLR cameras, perhaps even a GPS) is a game changer.

A polypro shirt, a silnylon pack, and rubber soles are lighter, easier to use 
and arguably better than their
equivalents of wool, canvas and leather.

But these items are functionally the same. They do not change the core of being 
outdoors. They carry my doodads,
let me walk the mountains, and keep me clothed.

I really don't care if someone chooses to carry the latest communication wonder. 

But I see a shift of from "Good thing to carry" to "You should carry"  to "You 
are irresponsible and a bit crazy" if you don't carry the latest
electronic wonder.    Not on in our very small niche community, but in society 
over all.

There is an expectation that you should be reachable 24/7. Be it at home, the 
office and increasingly in the outdoors.

I am too lazy (and stuffed with fried potato pancakes. Mmmm.  Anything better 
during winter??? Happy Hanukkah! )
to look up the various outdoor orgs, park websites and marketing literature that 
plays into this fear, guilt and expectation
that you should be reached and avail 24/7.

I guess that is why I raise my a thick eyebrow over more and more people 
carrying these devices. Safety is the argument.
I see it as the spear point of pushing, blurring and perhaps eliminating  
'getting away from it all' and being connected.

Perhaps I am being overly romantic, selfish, irresponsible and not being mature. 
But I like the idea of not being reached,
of truly being off the grid, of people only having a vague idea of where I am an 
expectation that I will not being answering
text messages.

10,15,20 yrs from now?  I am sure I'll always have the option of turning off the 
latest mini-sat phone that fits in my pocket and only costs
$40 USD a month to use. But people will raise their not-as-thick eyebrows and 
call people with my obstinate mindset 

overly romantic, selfish, irresponsible and not being mature.

I've written enough (for now. ;) )....

Just more musings (see the above lists I'm on) that really will not make a world 
of difference one way or the other.

Paul "Mags" Magnanti
The true harvest of my life is intangible.... a little stardust 
caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched

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