Author Topic: Commercial caving  (Read 9252 times)

Offline pwhole

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2016, 06:00:28 pm »
Whilst I don't necessarily agree with what Kenilworth posts here, some of the responses are a bit depressing, even with 'previous'. Forums are for starting and maintaining discussions on topics, not ending them. If you don't like what is posted, then disagree by all means, but telling the poster to 'f-off' is not on, and is certainly putting me off sharing my thoughts in future. Part of the reason I don't post much of my project activity on here is because I don't trust that many underground visitors to respect what we've found. Artifacts stolen (ruining historical analysis), thoughtless damage to delicate underground structures etc. - it's happened enough times now. We've even gated one of our secret digs now, since we found glow-stick wrappers inside the venue last year.

So I'd like to read Kenilworth's posts, if that's what he (or she) wants to do with his or her time. It's only philosophy after all, and we're all meant to be able to do that in complete freedom.

Offline Oceanrower

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2016, 08:25:54 pm »
I'm sorry if I upset anyone (including Kenilworth) and I probably shouldn't have used that language.

I just get really upset when someone from the outside (America) seems to know exactly how WE are doing it wrong despite there being a gulf between how we do it and they do.

Can I blame alcohol?

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2016, 08:40:42 pm »
JasonC - I follow and respect every word of your post, I simply remain unconvinced of a couple of the points. First of all, I am not convinced that learning caving under the guidance of a club will necessarily result in a caver being more careful. Here's why:

In south-central WV, USA, are a number of caves that are only traveled by Proper Cavers. They are locked, and some only accessible for survey or "scientific" trips. They are badly damaged; many speleothems broken, unnecessary flagging everywhere, calcite floors unnecessarily muddied and crushed, disorganized, illegible, and obsolete survey flagging everywhere, sculpted mud, old scaling poles lying about to rust, obsolete fixed aid and bolts.

In south-west VA, USA, are a number of caves undocumented by cavers, but well-known to locals. Many of these, especially those close to town, have very badly vandalized entrance areas, but some are very well-guarded and well cared for by their owners. Some of these owners have never been in their caves, but are careful about who they allow in. Others explore the cave themselves, and some have gone to great pains to attempt to "leave no trace". In general, and especially in remote sections of passage, the caves outside of the influence of the caving community are much more completely preserved.

So there is material evidence that some of the most experienced and institutionalized cavers, while not typically the sort to write in spray paint, are more blasé, and cause more damage than others (like myself, my father and my grandfather, who never knew that caving clubs existed until about ten years ago) who crafted their own cave conservation ethic from scratch.

I'm also unconvinced that caving is not aggressively marketed. It is obviously not marketed in the mainstream, in the same way as most other commercial products, but it is marketed by university clubs, and by a large number of individual cavers, who are constantly encouraged by NSS to "grow the sport", and who spread tales of their exploits on the internet and in person with something approaching evangelistic fervor.



Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2016, 08:44:18 pm »
I'm sorry if I upset anyone (including Kenilworth) and I probably shouldn't have used that language.

I just get really upset when someone from the outside (America) seems to know exactly how WE are doing it wrong despite there being a gulf between how we do it and they do.

Can I blame alcohol?

No, but you can blame inattention.

As I said earlier, I have backed away from commenting specifically about British caving. I know that there are important differences in our cultures. While I believe that much of what I'm writing no doubt applies to the UK also, I'm writing with the US in mind. All this is appearing on your forum because there is no longer a US-based virtual place to actively discuss caving.

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2016, 08:53:53 pm »
Whilst I don't necessarily agree with what Kenilworth posts here, some of the responses are a bit depressing, even with 'previous'. Forums are for starting and maintaining discussions on topics, not ending them. If you don't like what is posted, then disagree by all means, but telling the poster to 'f-off' is not on, and is certainly putting me off sharing my thoughts in future. Part of the reason I don't post much of my project activity on here is because I don't trust that many underground visitors to respect what we've found. Artifacts stolen (ruining historical analysis), thoughtless damage to delicate underground structures etc. - it's happened enough times now. We've even gated one of our secret digs now, since we found glow-stick wrappers inside the venue last year.

So I'd like to read Kenilworth's posts, if that's what he (or she) wants to do with his or her time. It's only philosophy after all, and we're all meant to be able to do that in complete freedom.

Thanks pwhole. I don't mind abuse, but it is depressing to get such insubstantial responses. For your sake, and Newstuff's too I suppose, I am a he.

Since I'm here, I wonder if anyone could tell me what are the rules of the word "whilst"? Is it interchangeable with "while"? Is it distracting or improper to use either of these in various places when the audience is British?

Offline droid

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2016, 09:00:04 pm »
For myself, you can use whatever words you like, but you might get a rather more positive response if your posts weren't essays.

There's much to commend conciseness.
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2016, 09:07:11 pm »
But I like essays.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2016, 09:24:20 pm »
But I like essays.
Your "Audience" does not. I could pontificate on points below and expand it greatly, but it would be pointless.

You may get more traction and debate if you were to the point. Your own rambling has indeed said that such rambling leads us to "misinterpret" you.

That said, Most of what you are saying about disbanding the NSS (and by extension, the BCA) is rubbish.

After all, who would orchestrate this sudden reduction in caving activity you seem to think will happen? Without some sort of governing body, it's a free-for-all, is it not? No education or guidance. I'm certainly not a fan of red-tape, needless access restrictions (as anyone on this forum can tell you, I'm rather loud-mouthed about it), but I don't see a realistic way for caving to have a lesser impact without such a body.
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Offline royfellows

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2016, 09:32:36 pm »
Mr K
I am not trying to take this off thread, merely wondering if it would please you to start a new one on the subject of your conservation views on mine exploration, in particular the re opening of say workings that have remained undisturbed for maybe over a century.

This is my own particular thing, hence the seeking of enlightenment and the benefit of your wisdom.

Take your time on thinking about it, no hurry, should you decide to be so kind.

By the way, I like your opening post where possibly several A4 pages philosophize on your occupation as a carpet fitter. I am tempted to copy and frame it.
Glad NAMHO 2019 over.

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2016, 09:37:38 pm »
Quote
After all, who would orchestrate this sudden reduction in caving activity you seem to think will happen? Without some sort of governing body, it's a free-for-all, is it not? No education or guidance. I'm certainly not a fan of red-tape, needless access restrictions (as anyone on this forum can tell you, I'm rather loud-mouthed about it), but I don't see a realistic way for caving to have a lesser impact without such a body.

I do not believe that any sudden reduction is possible. I believe that caver numbers are declining, and I hope to convince a few people that this is ok, that eventually NSS will die a natural death or switch its focus and scope. A free-for-all is fine with me. I do not need any education or guidance from a hobby-club.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #35 on: December 29, 2016, 10:50:00 pm »
Quote
After all, who would orchestrate this sudden reduction in caving activity you seem to think will happen? Without some sort of governing body, it's a free-for-all, is it not? No education or guidance. I'm certainly not a fan of red-tape, needless access restrictions (as anyone on this forum can tell you, I'm rather loud-mouthed about it), but I don't see a realistic way for caving to have a lesser impact without such a body.

I do not believe that any sudden reduction is possible. I believe that caver numbers are declining, and I hope to convince a few people that this is ok, that eventually NSS will die a natural death or switch its focus and scope. A free-for-all is fine with me. I do not need any education or guidance from a hobby-club.

So, NSS and BCA ceases to be, and clubs, as you've mentioned you want them gone as well, and your free-for-all commences.

Who stops the noobs from trampling through everything? Taking momento's? Killing themselves in any number of ways?

*YOU* may not need the BCA, NSS or clubs to educate or guide you, but noobs certainly do. You strike me as an exceedingly selfish man, and I'm very glad you have no influence whatsoever on this island.
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #36 on: December 29, 2016, 10:54:10 pm »
Quote
Who stops the noobs from trampling through everything? Taking momento's? Killing themselves in any number of ways?

Nobody, same as now.

Quote
*YOU* may not need the BCA, NSS or clubs to educate or guide you, but noobs certainly do.

No they don't. They need initiative, patience and commitment.

Offline Fulk

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2016, 11:24:17 pm »
Quote
All this is appearing on your forum because there is no longer a US-based virtual place to actively discuss caving.

Sorry, Kenilworth, I just 'Googled' (actually, I used DuckDuckGo) Cavechat.org . . . and it's still there. So what dow you mean in the above quote?

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2016, 11:25:55 pm »
Quote
Who stops the noobs from trampling through everything? Taking momento's? Killing themselves in any number of ways?

Nobody, same as now.

So, no-one teaches noobs anything now? I'm assuming you have a mental retardation that stops you from processing logical thoughts. It is quite categorically not the case in the UK.

Quote
*YOU* may not need the BCA, NSS or clubs to educate or guide you, but noobs certainly do.
No they don't. They need initiative, patience and commitment.

Who teaches them that, within a cave environment? If you have your way, there isn't anybody.
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2016, 02:41:13 am »
Quote
All this is appearing on your forum because there is no longer a US-based virtual place to actively discuss caving.

Sorry, Kenilworth, I just 'Googled' (actually, I used DuckDuckGo) Cavechat.org . . . and it's still there. So what dow you mean in the above quote?

No one, or almost no one, uses it anymore. I assume that Facebook or other social media (which I don't use) are more exciting.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2016, 08:34:13 am »
No one, or almost no one, uses it anymore. I assume that Facebook or other social media (which I don't use) are more exciting.

You mean no-one puts up with your inane rambling's perhaps?

You must have... missed... my question above.
Who teaches noobs the qualities that you yourself say they need, in a cave environment, when the clubs and national bodies are disbanded as you are so eagerly working towards.
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Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2016, 12:25:39 pm »
Although not explicitly stated, I'm going to interpret the previous post about the desecration of certain caves in the US by experienced cavers as a reply to me. The net-loss that you're implying there is a net loss of natural cave and formations (due to destruction by cavers).

This is an interesting point, because it's almost certainly true that the amount of destruction occuring in caves is proportional to the number of cavers using them. However I believe that this may be a bit of a necessary evil - is there any value to cave conservation for the sake of cave conservation alone? If we prevent cave exploration for fear of damage then we can never exploit that value of the caves that we've protected.

For example I've recently read the description of a cave in the UK that read (and I'm paraphrasing) "two potential ways on from this passage are obstructed by fine formations". This highlights the difficult decision that has to be made - at what point does conservation of existing cave outweigh the discovery and enjoyment of new cave? The answer, presumably, is when the new cave that could be found is of more or equal value (aesthetically and scientifically etc) to that which must be destroyed or damaged to access it.

I believe that the same thing applies to access - restricting it is only valuable whilst the restriction will result in greater overall enjoyment of the cave due to preservation of the pretties, but not when so few people are allowed access that the preservation of the pretties is no longer valuable since nobody can see them anyway. I hope that's not too unclear...

I'm also unconvinced that caving is not aggressively marketed. It is obviously not marketed in the mainstream, in the same way as most other commercial products, but it is marketed by university clubs, and by a large number of individual cavers, who are constantly encouraged by NSS to "grow the sport", and who spread tales of their exploits on the internet and in person with something approaching evangelistic fervor.

And this kind of links with my point above; I don't believe that this is a problem, if it's done in a way that promotes good practices.

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2016, 12:27:18 pm »
No one, or almost no one, uses it anymore. I assume that Facebook or other social media (which I don't use) are more exciting.

You mean no-one puts up with your inane rambling's perhaps?

You must have... missed... my question above.
Who teaches noobs the qualities that you yourself say they need, in a cave environment, when the clubs and national bodies are disbanded as you are so eagerly working towards.

Sigh. No, I mean that almost no one uses it.

Who teaches new cavers initiative, patience, and commitment? That's a bizarre question, as I don't know that those are the focus of caving club education.  I learned those things from my parents, and applied them to caving all by myself. In the US there are many non-affiliated cave explorer, or spelunkers as some egomaniacs like to call them. Maybe more than there are Cavers, no one really knows. Many of these are good explorers and good conservationists despite being unaware of the NSS or caving clubs.

Newstuff, it's been nice having you as my little muse for a while, but I simply can't keep up with you and still have time to think about the other comments on these threads. So you'll have to forgive me if I "miss" all of your comments from now on. Sorry, and I do appreciate, I mean this honestly, the fact that you bothered to even look at what I've posted.



Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2016, 12:30:29 pm »
Aricooperdavis
I'm still working on my response to you  :)
But your first point is a solid one, and a standard one. And it follows that the next must be as well.
More later

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #44 on: December 30, 2016, 12:56:42 pm »
Haha, sorry Kenilworth I'm getting ahead of myself, I'll excercise a bit of patience!

Offline kay

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #45 on: December 30, 2016, 08:21:58 pm »
I believe that the same thing applies to access - restricting it is only valuable whilst the restriction will result in greater overall enjoyment of the cave due to preservation of the pretties, but not when so few people are allowed access that the preservation of the pretties is no longer valuable since nobody can see them anyway. I hope that's not too unclear...

That's an interesting point - pretties are only pretties if there is someone to look at them and perceive that they are pretty. So what is the point of preserving pretties by completely banning access?

But is that the only purpose of conservation? Is there also a purpose in conserving the cave as a habitat for living organisms?

Is there a purpose in conserving a cave for a future generation who may have better techniques for understanding the geology than we do?

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #46 on: December 30, 2016, 09:06:03 pm »
Aricooperdavis - you wrote:

" it's almost certainly true that the amount of destruction occuring in caves is proportional to the number of cavers using them."

You post really valuable and well thought out contributions on here but I have to disagree with this particular comment. It's too simplistic and I would not want anyone in a position of authority to make use of this sentiment without it having been challenged.

It depends on - well, loads of variables. I hesitate to provide a list because it'd soon become political (and I have no appetite to participate in ongoing discussion about it). But many readers will certainly understand what I mean.

I merely raise the issue because I would not want anyone from outside our community to seize on that sentiment and (mis)use it in a way which would act against cavers' interests generally.


Offline royfellows

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #47 on: December 30, 2016, 09:22:27 pm »
Aricooperdavis - you wrote:

" it's almost certainly true that the amount of destruction occuring in caves is proportional to the number of cavers using them."

You post really valuable and well thought out contributions on here but I have to disagree with this particular comment. It's too simplistic and I would not want anyone in a position of authority to make use of this sentiment without it having been challenged.

It depends on - well, loads of variables. I hesitate to provide a list because it'd soon become political (and I have no appetite to participate in ongoing discussion about it). But many readers will certainly understand what I mean.

I merely raise the issue because I would not want anyone from outside our community to seize on that sentiment and (mis)use it in a way which would act against cavers' interests generally.

I endorse this view 100%
 :thumbsup:
Glad NAMHO 2019 over.

Offline droid

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #48 on: December 30, 2016, 09:54:49 pm »
I'd agree with Pitlamp and Roy.

I expect the amount of *extra* damage to decrease as the number of visitors increases, i.e. each additional visitor does less damage than the one before.
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Offline Fulk

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Re: Commercial caving
« Reply #49 on: December 30, 2016, 10:35:43 pm »
So what are you saying Droid; that when the 'obvious' line through a cave gets fucked up by the first visitors, then the 'less obvious' route, being – well, less obvious – suffers less, and you have to go 'off-track', as it were, to fuck it up? As in Easter Grotto (for your information, Kenilworth, a beautiful grotto that was discovered in 1946 [I think] but has since been not quite trashed, but severely damaged), where the straight line through the grotto is shorn of stals, but on either side the passage retains some hints of its former splendour.

Incidentally, Easter Grotto lies deep within a complex cave system and could only be accessed by people who know what they are doing, or are taken there by someone who knows what they are doing.