Author Topic: beurocracy and exclusivity in the caving community  (Read 4245 times)

Online Kenilworth

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Re: beurocracy and exclusivity in the caving community
« Reply #75 on: April 13, 2019, 08:14:10 pm »
What you are Kenilworth is an American who has no clue what he is talking about. The lessons you have learnt in the states do not work here.

I'm searching for clues. I'm but not attempting to apply lessons to the UK, or the US. I can only apply them to myself and my own activity. What I am trying to do is to illustrate the relatively low value of The Entity of caving, and to understand the panic that some seem to feel when they perceive a threat to its health. Caving is not as different here as many seem to believe. Nearly identical conversations about the "dying community", about access, about bureaucracy, have been happening here for decades. It's all static that focuses on the least important parts of caving, and runs on ego, not legitimate concern for valuable things.

The simplest question, and one that has never been thoughtfully answered here is, "What would happen if all formal caving organizations vanished overnight?" The stock answer is that they would all gradually reappear. But what would be lost in the meanwhile? Identify those things and I think you'll find that they aren't anything like a community, and could stand to stay lost (with one exception).

I'm always amused at the use of the term American as an insult. I'm not sure if it's meant to excite some idiotic patriotic retaliation or to attack me based on my own stated distaste for American culture. Either way, I was born here. I'm doing the best I can.



Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: beurocracy and exclusivity in the caving community
« Reply #76 on: April 13, 2019, 08:28:22 pm »
What you are Kenilworth is an American who has no clue what he is talking about.

FWIW I believe Kenilworth to be probably the most thoughtful, incisive and deep-thinking contributor to this forum; perhaps the "no clue what he is talking about" epithet is better attributed to other less meditative, yet shouty and arm-wavy, people, of which there appear to be many; weight of numbers (i.e. democracy/mob rule) does not equal correctness.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 09:12:55 pm by Cap'n Chris »

Offline mikem

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Re: beurocracy and exclusivity in the caving community
« Reply #77 on: April 13, 2019, 09:57:37 pm »
Democracy is the worst form of government, apart from all the others... (unless you find a truly benign dictator)

Offline 2xw

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Re: beurocracy and exclusivity in the caving community
« Reply #78 on: April 13, 2019, 11:32:07 pm »
American isn't an insult in this context, just that you have clearly no experience of caving here, or our various groups and organisations. The cultures are very different. The very fact that if formal organisations died they would gradually reappear affirms that there is a cogent and relatively tight knit community. Something would arise again to serve its needs.

You would think him deep and incisive Cap'n, I've found you both equally vapid. Verbosity isn't a substitute for meaning.

Online Kenilworth

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Re: beurocracy and exclusivity in the caving community
« Reply #79 on: April 14, 2019, 01:22:23 am »
American isn't an insult in this context, just that you have clearly no experience of caving here...

None to speak of. My UK caving was done much like my US caving is... find a cave and go in. Certainly I have no first-hand knowledge of caving culture there. This forum is the only such education I've had, whatever good that is. Your invitation to come and witness the community leaves me wondering how my caving experience would be enhanced by my doing so.

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The very fact that if formal organisations died they would gradually reappear affirms that there is a cogent and relatively tight knit community. Something would arise again to serve its needs.
The persistence of such organizations would not necessarily affirm the existence of a quality community. The question is, what needs are being served? I believe they are the needs for glory (or control, influence, affirmation) and convenience. These are needs I do not care about, that I in fact oppose.

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  You would think him deep and incisive Cap'n, I've found you both equally vapid. Verbosity isn't a substitute for meaning

I'm certainly not deep or incisive... or vapid. I haven't got the rhetorical or linguistic skill to write tidily and powerfully but I'll persist in meandering if that's the only way I can express myself. While I don't always, or even often, agree with Chris, I do find him to be thoughtful and relatively unfettered, which is refreshing. This is a pretty bland forum, with usually no more than two opposing sides each taking seven thousand turns at saying the same two things.

Offline Keris82

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Re: beurocracy and exclusivity in the caving community
« Reply #80 on: April 14, 2019, 07:27:58 am »
I'm glad to see that people here are so passionate about caving. I wasn't expecting to have sparked so much debate but it's good to have got people talking

Offline 2xw

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Re: beurocracy and exclusivity in the caving community
« Reply #81 on: April 14, 2019, 07:48:12 am »
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Your invitation to come and witness the community leaves me wondering how my caving experience would be enhanced by my doing so
.

You never know, you might have a laugh!

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These are needs I do not care about, that I in fact oppose.

Cool

It's just, I'm wondering what you're actually getting at.
I like to cave. I think other people like to cave. I'd like to facilitate other people in visiting caves, for whatever reason. Beaurocracy can hamper this. Some people are worried that in the future, because of all the beaurocracy and other assorted clart, people who want to visit caves won't be able to.


You don't care. That's fine. But your posts seem to present some sort of existential defeatist nihilism. Should we give up on life now? Concrete the caves? Bulldoze the library? Set the belfry on fire? Yes I get it, there's no value in what we do, we go down holes in the ground and care about it a great deal and it's all for nothing. And I understand that you want to question the meaning we attach to these things but your probing and incisive questioning just feels like you're performing an autopsy on some soup. Because no matter how meaningless you might find my community, or my hobby or my ego driven need to look at the inside of a hole, to me it's better than sitting at home wanking myself into a sock and staring into the distance which is what I'd be doing anyways.

So what is it that drives your constant need to have us justify ourselves to you?
What is it that makes you think so critically of people who organise themselves into groups to do a hobby thousands of miles away?

Online Kenilworth

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Re: beurocracy and exclusivity in the caving community
« Reply #82 on: April 14, 2019, 10:34:24 am »
I think caving has enormous personal and cultural value, I would never criticize someone for wanting to do it. I'm not questioning the value of caving, the activity, but the nature of an organization large enough or powerful enough to even be capable of bureaucracy.

The fact that organizational exclusivity can currently prevent some people from seeing some caves some of the time is no reason to fear a future wherein caves are generally unavailable to us. There is a major difference too between opposition to facilitating responsibility-free caving and the desire to restrict caving.

My stance is the opposite of defeatist. It removes satisfaction from dependency on wavering organizations and places it with the individual, the group, the family, within initiative and care.

I do not care about glory or convenience but I care deeply about caves and caving. While ego and competition can play a role in the activity of caving, the formation of indiscriminate groups beyond the natural processes of friendship is the greater manifestation of a lust for influence. Study the organic formation of clubs, from childhood on.

I'm nobody. I don't deserve or demand attention or justifications from anyone. While I am critical, on an ecological, spiritual basis, to the way caving is often done, caving is undeniably good. My criticism is driven by love for people and for places.


Offline mikem

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Re: beurocracy and exclusivity in the caving community
« Reply #83 on: April 14, 2019, 11:57:31 am »
It's actually individuals that have restricted access to some caves, rather than organisations, although the club structure has occasionally extended this beyond necessity. The British caving association has no say over how things are controlled, but does provide information, insurance & liaison with larger organisations.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: beurocracy and exclusivity in the caving community
« Reply #84 on: April 14, 2019, 03:14:03 pm »
FWIW I believe Kenilworth to be probably the most thoughtful, incisive and deep-thinking contributor to this forum; perhaps the "no clue what he is talking about" epithet is better attributed to other less meditative, yet shouty and arm-wavy, people, of which there appear to be many; weight of numbers (i.e. democracy/mob rule) does not equal correctness.

The bloke that had to have sock puppet accounts (not to mention a fake disability) to try to bolster his weight of numbers, eh, 'Smiley Alan'? Taking the high ground? Surely not.  ;)

Even if you don't think he's a troll, (as many do), Kenilworth appears to be unable to grasp how the UK caving community works, for better or worse. The US seems to have a very different way of doing things. Talking to a few other American cavers seem to bear this out.
Permission? Wassat den?

Offline Jenny P

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Re: beurocracy and exclusivity in the caving community
« Reply #85 on: April 14, 2019, 05:55:35 pm »
It's actually individuals that have restricted access to some caves, rather than organisations, although the club structure has occasionally extended this beyond necessity. The British caving association has no say over how things are controlled, but does provide information, insurance & liaison with larger organisations.

To be fair, on the whole most cavers want to be able access caves with the minimum of fuss.  It's just that this isn't always possible for various reasons.

Sometimes the landowner puts up restrictions, such as requiring the cave entrance to be gated and locked, or requirements for insurance, which in turn means that cavers have to band together to come up with a way of satisfying the landowner that they can "manage" the cave for him with minimum hassle to him.  This may mean more hassle for the cavers and the "managing group" but, if it's that or nowt, that's what you have to do.

Other landowners are much easier to deal with but just want to be sure that no damage is done to their interests and that there is no danger to the public which might come back to cost them money or end in a court case.  In which case the local cavers will help all  they can by keeping an eye out for damage or problems and fixing things a.s.a.p. if anything goes wrong.

It's the local "community" of cavers, usually through their regional council, which take on the task of satisfying the landowners' requirements and trying to enable cavers to go caving with the least possible hassle.  The BCA provides public liability insurance for cavers as part of its membership package and the landowners understand that this insurance also protects their interests, hence cavers having BCA insurance usually means that the landowner is more likely to grant access.

That's how it generally works if all goes well - it's just that sometimes it takes lengthy negotiations to achieve and maintain access.