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[l/m 7/8/2003] learning (2) Distilled wisdom (4/28) XYZ

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 - Part7 - Part8 - Part9 - Part10 - Part11 - Part12 - Part13 - Part14 - Part15 - Part16 - Part17 - Part18 - Part19 - Part20 - Part21 - Part22 - Part23 - Part24 - Part25 - Part26 - Part27 - Part28 )
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Panel 4 Learning, part 2

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS of this chain:

4/ learning II (lists, "Ten Essentials," Chouinard comments) <* THIS PANEL *>
5/ Summary of past topics
6/ Non-wisdom: fire-arms topic circular discussion
7/ Phone / address lists
8/ Fletcher's Law of Inverse Appreciation / Rachel Carson / Foreman and Hayduke
9/ Water Filter wisdom
10/ Volunteer Work
11/ Snake bite
12/ Netiquette
13/ Questions on conditions and travel
14/ Dedication to Aldo Leopold
15/ Leopold's lot.
16/ Morbid backcountry/memorial
17/ Information about bears
18/ Poison ivy, frequently ask, under question
19/ Lyme disease, frequently ask, under question
20/ "Telling questions" backcountry Turing test (under construction)
21/ AMS
22/ Babies and Kids
23/ A bit of song (like camp songs)
24/ What is natural?
25/ A romantic notion of high-tech employment
26/ Other news groups of related interest, networking
27/ Films/cinema references
28/ References (written)
1/ DISCLAIMER
2/ Ethics
3/ Learning I

The "Ten Essentials:" [no particular order]

1) Map
2) Compass
3) Matches
4) Fire starter
5) Sunglasses
6) Knife
7) Flashlight
8) First aid kit
9) Extra food and water
10) Extra clothing

The list is intentionally short, we've not mentioned details like
it helps to have a waterproof container or a spare bulb and batteries.
It's not material things you have, it's the skills you have to know how to
use the above.  Real skills, not ones you THINK you know.
Having the skill means knowing these details.
Beware of long "lists."

KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid.

Chouinard's list of advice from Climbing Ice [useful in several ways]

1. Push yourself: desire to move faster.
2. Get into good physical conditioning by training [unless you are English].
3. Learn about local weather conditions to avoid being pinned down in storms.
4. Memorize the ascent and descent, leave the guidebook behind.
5. Get an early start, to avoid the party ahead of you, the afternoon
avalanche, the inevitable thunderstorm, the soft snowbridge which must be
bypassed, the swollen river, and the evening freeze which forces you to crampon
down the slope you could have glissaded before.
6. Adopt a steady pace that you can maintain for hours without stopping or
perspiring.
7. Let the strongest lead all the way thru. [Depends]
8. Eat and drink frequently to conserve energy.  Rather than stopping and
"brewing up," carry a vacuum bottle.
9. Carry light packs.  Leave most of the "ten essentials" and other impedimenta
home.  Remember: if you take bivouac equipment along, you will bivouac.
10. Arrange the pack so that the items you most likely will need are
easily available.
12. Avoid using complicated harnesses requiring tedious untying to remove or
put on clothing.
13. Use chocks and natural pro instead of pitons, use bollards instead
of deadmen and ice pitons.
15. Think twice about putting on crampons for that short section.  Cutting a
few steps might be faster.
16. Learn to put your crampons on in two or three minutes.  Carrying in a
convenient place and forget about rubber tip protectors.
17. Keep your tools sharp.
18. Learn to crampon quickly across dangerous avalanche chutes and
stonefall gullies.
19. If really pushed for time, follow on tension.
20. Depend on balance.
21. Avoid cutting long ladder of steps.
23. Solo snow climbs using ice axe self-belay.  Do more difficult climbs
roped, but move together.  Stop and belay only if absolutely necessary.
Avoid ropes of three.
24. In the winter, know the snow conditions so that you always travel
on stable wind pack.
25. Down climb.  Don't rappel unless absolutely necessary.
26. Face outward when descending when ever possible. Only when it gets
really steep should you face sideways.  Face inward as a last resort.
27. Learn to be an excellent glissader.

Personal opinion:
What alarms me (and I know others) the most about recreational use
of the backcountry is biting off more than one can chew: really big climbs,
big rivers, etc.  This does not mean the newcomer can't do
such, there are many exceptions, but these aren't the rule.
It is sort of like a variation on the "richman's price" comment:
If you have to ask, maybe you aren't capable.
THINK ABOUT DOING SOMETHING A BIT EASIER, FIRST.  Do not be too
influenced by "50 Classic Climbs," trade rags, technology, or "friends."
Why do I mention this?  Because I've lost non-climbing friends in this way.
It's not that I'm interested in rescue.  I gave that up years ago.
The woods need more bodies in fact to make one think of the value of life.
It's that I don't believe in engendering non-real "heros."
The climb will always be there (almost) after you survived something easier.


% /usr/games/fortune
Q:      Why do mountain climbers rope themselves together?
A:      To prevent the sensible ones from going home.


Driving to the backcountry:
1) Use turn-outs.  If you are driving slow, let others pass.
In many states, the law requires YOU to pull over (when safe) after
five or more (the law is 3 in colorado -- ted@NMSU.Edu)
vehicles had accumulated behind you.  This is posted in
some states like Idaho and not posted in states like California.
Does not matter if you have a Winnie (you just reinforce stereotypes)
or a slow VW (ditto).

2)  When descending steep mountain roads, use lower gears.  Save the
brakes for an emergency.  Automatic transmission?  That's why the
lower gear setting are there.  You don't hurt the transmission.  Save your
brakes.

3) Sightseeing?  Don't "rubber neck" while driving.  Pull off.  Don't
stop in the middle of the road.  The sights are better when you stop,
anyway.  Plus you will remain alive.

Quiz:
4) Do you remember the Right of Way rule for vehicles travelling in
opposite directions meeting on a one-lane road?

GENERAL

Your strengths will be your weaknesses.
Your weaknesses will become your strengthes.

Do not envy, the gear the more experienced or the more well-to-do have.
Do not mimic.
You will acquire some of it in time.  Material things are a distraction.
Don't be an equipment freak, it will only delay learning longer.
An example of a strength (money) creating a weakness.  Patience.
Before you adorn that other person's down jacket, tent, sticky rock shoes,
learn that people did what you are doing before any of that existed.
The point isn't comfort.  That's an urban concept.
Patience, a different time scale here.  Somethings can't be rushed,
others must be rushed.  You have to learn which of each.

Adventures and excitment are for those who are ill prepared and unskilled.
The dead are those who didn't make it.

Learn to make do.  Salvation thru suffering.  Like Ken Thompson said.

The positions I take are not meant to be popular ones.
The herd can have its fads.  This is not a popularity contest that is
what has caused the situation of loving the wilderness to death.
It's not to try and gain political support of favors, rocks
don't have rights in the eyes of the public.
Do you take Frost's path less travelled?  Are you one of Thoreau's
people who listen to the beat of a different drummer?

The point isn't to read and gleam information.
The point is that one experience and understand a situation
for themselves.  You will get different perspectives depending
where you are coming from and conditions also change.
It is that you get the information, for yourself.

So Fletcher's comment about learning through trial and error.

 ...

Urggh!  You would ask...but as it happens, I have it.  To quote from
Masao Abe's book, "Zen and Western Thought":
        The following discourse given by the Chinese Zen master Ch'ing-
        yuan Wei-hsin (Ja: Seigen Ishin) of the T'ang dynasty provides a
        key by which we may approach Zen philosophy.  His discourse reads
        as follows:

             Thirty years ago, before I began the study of Zen, I said,
           'Mountains are mountains, waters are waters.'
             After I got an insight into the truth of Zen through the
           instruction of a good master, I said, 'Mountains are not moun-
           tains, waters are not waters.'
             But after having attained the abode of final rest [that is,
           Awakening], I say, 'Mountains are really mountains, waters are
           really waters.'
        And then he asks, 'Do you think these three understandings are
        the same or different?

The citation for the above says:
        Wu-teng Hui-yuan. (Ja: Gotoegen) ed.  Aishin Imaeda (Tokyo: Rinrokaku
        Shoten, 1971) p. 335.

Unfortunately, I can't easily type in the diacritical marks (circumflex, etc.)
And there are a couple on the proper names, if you need them.

                                        Alan Pope <alpope@Eng.Sun.COM>

CVC 21661. Narrow Roadways
[...] the driver of the vehicle descending the grade shall yield the
right-of-way to the vehicle ascending the grade and shall, if necessary,
back his vehicle [...]




Lest we take ourselves too seriously:

Subject: Camping Info For Th Rest Of Us
>From a warped individual on the Internet:
 
The "Ten Essentials:" [no particular order]
 
1) T.V.
2) Remote Control
3) Extremely long extension cord
4) T.V. Guide
5) Pizza
6) Microwave
7) Beer
8) Sofa
9) Telephone
10) MasterCard (preferably someone else's)
 
The list is intentionally short, we've not mentioned details like
it helps to have an inflatable swimming pool or a VCR with extra tapes.
It's not the activity that counts, it's how little energy you expend that
really matters. Remember, you're not maximizing your sloth unless you get
someone ELSE to change your tapes for you.
Beware of lumpy sofas.

Or:
Let me try:
 
1) gun
2) cell phone
3) walkman
4) camp lantern
5) wolf
6) bear canister
7) booze
8) lap top
9) pepper spray
10) SO
 
(Let's hope humor is still alive. B-}

You forgot:
 
1.  GPS
2.  Pot
3.  Dog
4.  Ham radio
5.  Bagpipes
6.  Ghetto Blaster
7.  Day-glow clothes
8.  Horse
9.  Mountain bike
10. Chainsaw

 
KISS: Keep Imitating Sluggish Species.
 
Stoly's list of advice for drinking on ice [useful in several ways]
 
1. Push yourself: desire to drink more.
2. Learn to build alcohol tolerance by training [unless you are Irish].
3. Learn about local drinking habits to avoid being pinned down by radical AA
members.
4. Memorize the required arm motion, leave the guidebook behind.
5. Get an early start to attend the party ahead of you, the party behind you,
the party all around you, the party that didn't invite you, and the party to be
named later.
6. Adopt a steady pace that you can maintain for hours without stopping or
relieving yourself.
7. Let the wealthiest lead all the way thru. [Depends]
8. Drink frequently to conserve energy.  Rather than stopping and
"uncorking," carry an easy-open bottle.
9. Carry light snacks.  Leave most of the "ten essentials" and other
impedimenta home.  Remember: if you take lots of food along, you will eat more
and leave less room for drinks.
10. Arrange the snacks so that the items you most likely will need are
easily available.
12. Avoid using complicated harnesses requiring tedious untying to remove
clothing. (This is always the case, but especially when drinking.)
13. Use glassware instead of old shoes, use bottles instead of hypodermics.
15. Think twice about running for a restroom instead of using the snow.
Cutting a few steps might be faster.
16. (Women only:) Learn to put your crampons on in two or three minutes.  Carry
in a convenient place and forget about rubber tip protectors.
17. (Men only:) Keep your tool sharp.
18. Learn to move quickly across dangerous available cuties and stoned bullies.
19. If really pushed for time, swallow without retention.
20. NEVER depend on balance.
21. Avoid climbing long ladders or steps.
23. Solo drink using ice.  Drink straight up roped, but drink together.  Stop
and delay only if absolutely necessary. Avoid ropes of three unless feeling
kinky.
24. In the winter, know the snow conditions so that you always can travel
to an open bar.
25. Down climb.  Don't jump down stairs unless absolutely necessary.
26. Face outward whenever possible.  Only when you get really dizzy should you
face sideways.  Face downward and kiss the ground as a last resort.
27. Learn to be an excellent bartender.
 
 
Q:      Why do mountain climbers rope themselves together?
A:      Because they can.
 
 
GENERAL
 
That which does not kill you will make you stronger.
   --F.N.
 
That which does not make you stronger might be lots of fun before it kills you.
   --D.U.
 
STANDARD FIRE FIGHTING ORDERS

1. FIRE WEATHER.  Keep informed of fire weather conditions and predictions.
2. INSTRUCTIONS.  Know exactly what my instructions are and follow them at
all times.
3. RIGHT THINGS FIRST.  Identify the key points of my assignment and
take action in order of priority.
4. ESCAPE PLAN.  Have an escape plane in mind and direct subordinates in
event of a blow-up.
5. SCOUTING.  Thoroughly scout the fire areas for which I am responsible.
6. COMMUNCATIONS.  Establish and maintain regular communication with
adjoining forces, subordinates, and superior officers.
7. ALERTNESS.  Quickly recognize changed conditions and immediately
revise plans to handle.
8. LOOKOUT.  Post a lookout for every possible dangerous situation.
9. DISCIPLINE.  Establish and maintain control of all men under
my supervision and at all times know where they are and what they are doing.
10. SUPERVISION.  Be sure men I commit to any fire job have clear instructions
and adequate overhead.



1. Be fully committed.
2. Learn Spanish.
3. Don't steal.
4. Always be on time.
5. Never make excuse or blame others.
6. Never call in sick.
7. Lazy, sloppy and slow are bad.
8. Be prepared to witness every variety of human folly and injustice.
9. Assume the worse.
10. Try not to lie.
11. Avoid restaurants where the owner's name is over the door.
12. Think about that resume!
13. Read!
14. Have a sense of humor about things.
So you want to be a chef? A Commencement Address
Kitchen Confidential, 2000
Tony Bourdain
read the full chapter


Professor Cahill's Travel 101:
Rule 1: Avoid psychotic travel partners.
rule 1 corollary 1: most carefully chosen become the most psychotic
rule 1 corollary 2: psychosis is contagious.
Rule 2: Have a quest.
Rule 3: Exercise ordinary caution.
Rule 4: You are the protagonist.
Rule 5: Boredom greases the cogs in the machinery of marvels.
Rule 6: Stop whining.
Rule 7: Read guidebooks
rule 7 corollary 1: Expect the books to be wrong or out of date.
Rule 8: It ain't about money.
2 corollaries
Rule 9: Don't worry too much about gear.
Rule 10: Don't follow the rules. [most important]
Rule 11: Try the local foods.
rule 11 corollary 1: take precautions expect to get sick
rule 11 corollary 2: See rule 6, corollary 1
Rule 12: Learn the rudiments of the local language.
Rule 13: You are the foreigner, dickweed.
Rule 14: The 'natives' have their pride.
Rule 15: Schedule a rest day every now and then.
Rule 16: Don't drink too much in a little basement bar just off a
street called Florida in Buenos Aires. 
Rule 17: Don't become involved with your guide.
Rule 18: Wait until the last possible moment to punch out disagreeable
travelling companions.
Rule 19: Mold experience into stories as a mnemonic device.
Rule 20: There are no bad experiences.
January 1997, Outside
read the full article




Piet Hein, Grooks, mit press 1966
The road to wisdom ?  Well, it's plain
and simple to express:
	Err
	and err
	and err again
	but less
	and less
	and less.




"One of the ancients of Tao, Zhuang Zi, was fishing when two imperial
courtiers came to him. The Emperor wanted Zhuag Zi to become a high official.
Zhuang Zi said to the courtiers, "There is an ancient turtle
shell in the imperial temple used by the national priests for devination.
Do you think the turtle would rather be highly venerated or dragging its
tail in the mud?" The officials replied, "We suppose that he would rather
be dragging his tail in the mud." At that, Zhuang Zi burst out, "Go away
then, and let me drag my tail in the mud!"

(Deng Ming-Dao, 'Everyday Tao' (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1996), p.24.)

Enjoy the mud!
Kris
--
*******************************************************************************
Kris Towson, Grad Student          | Crustulum, crustulum, crustulum cru
Department of Medieval History     | Cerebrum meum est fatiga-tum
University of St Andrews           |            -Winnie Ille Pu

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