Fred Olsen fwolsen at WI.RR.COM
Thu Jul 21 22:30:36 EDT 2005

Ed Tanton wrote:
> I'm really curious Fred what it is that you believe to be so mystical 
> about learning the code? 8 year old kids have done it for decades.

I don't believe in mysticism and didn't mean anything like that.  I did
say that there really are people who, for reasons entirely unknown to
me, find it virtually impossible to gain any reasonable proficiency in
CW.  Yes, kids can do it.  I was one of the ones who couldn't, at about
that age.  Was I motivated at the time?  You bet, like a house a-fire.
So from my point of view there's more to it than motivation, as you
asserted.  That was the point upon which we disagree.

> I don't mind if you disagree, ...
> ... but where in MY comments did I bring up MY accomplishments?

You didn't.  I prefaced my remarks in such a way as to make it clear
that I had regard for what it takes to get a Ham ticket.

> Too many folks these days think they can excuse a personal attack by tacking 
> on: "with all due respect". Rudeness is rudeness, regardless of the way 
> you dress it up (obviously a pet peeve about that phrase.)

First, it wasn't a personal attack, or any sort of attack at all.
That's borne out by most of the sidebar comments I've received.  Nor was
there any intent of rudeness, not even by subtlety.  I thought though
that it might be construed as being rude to Stu to infer that he was
simply not sufficiently motivated to learn code.  I let that go, in
favor of the opinion that some people really can't manage to learn CW.
By which opinion I stand, to the ongoing consternation of some of my Ham

There was no "dressing up" of anything in my remarks.  By your own
admission you have a problem with my choice of words.  They were
innocent, and indeed intended to compliment.  I regret that they pushed
a hot button of yours but the problem isn't mine.

> As far as EME and Antenna Phasing, the point is that they matter in the 
> overall subject of Amateur Radio,

Of course, and I never disagreed with that.  As a technical sort it's
all the "stuff" which most appeals to me about Amateur Radio.  But I
suspect that things such as moon bounce really aren't at the top of the
list for most Hams, just as Stu said.

> Also, there was never any mention of disrespect for NON-hams.

No, and my comment was a rhetorical.  What I was alluding to was the
present climate both on the air and in print, where there has been
considerable gratuitous bad-mothing of 'lesser' Hams by 'greater' Hams.
  I wasn't putting those words in your mouth, either, but merely making
an analogy.  On reflection I might have stated it differently; it was
too subtle.

> It was YOUR CHOICE to learn the code or not.

Now there's an amusing irony, because my "choice" was to learn the code!
  It didn't work.  I couldn't get past 'almost none' WPM no matter what.
  Might I have done better under other circumstances?  With a different
method?  With more (any) help?  With whatever teaching aids or hardware
were around at the time (for which funds weren't available)?  Perhaps,
but I have sound reason to doubt it.  But did I try?  Yes.  Busted a gut
for months and months and months.  Nearly drove my parents crazy.
So kindly do not state that either Stu or I just wasn't trying hard enough.

> I HAVE heard of folks who supposedly COULD NOT learn the code.

So then what's your problem?  Perhaps it's difficult for you to accept
that such folks exist because CW came easily to you.  Again, good for
you if it was easy, but that's not everyone.

> ... I've never met one who tried and failed. ...
> Maybe there's some sort of disability as yet undescribed in any 
> scientific literature that is behind it.

Whoa!  You're not going to get me into taking back-hand shots at anyone
with a possible disability, let alone a 'disability of failure'.  You've
just made my entire point for me, by the way.  Thank you.  You can't
envision anyone who couldn't learn code, so they must be somehow disabled.

> I don't want to wind up having some sort of flame-thing/etc.

Certainly not, nor do I.  I think we've been quite civilized so far so I
see no reason to withhold anything you wish to say, at least up until
the point where we bore everyone else to death.  ;<)
Without third party insults we're fine.

Outgoing checked by eTrust EZ AV

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