"Promoting" vs. "Discussing"

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on December 29, 2000 at 18:40:23:

Now HERE'S a slippery slope I'll start us down.

What's the difference between "promoting" and "discussing"? Can you discuss a controversial idea without necessarily promoting one side or the other? Is the mere examination of and an idea or concept in and of itself "promotion"?

Webster (Unabridged Edition) defines "promote" as: "3. to work actively and stir up interest for the accomplishment of (something)." In the vernancular, I'd suggest that it basically says, "This is a good idea for these reasons and you should try it too."

So where do we cross the line between examining an idea, or explaining why WE do something, and becoming an advocate for EVERYONE to do it?

Specifically with regard to solo diving (which seems to stir up the most "You're promoting solo diving!!" comments) how do we dicuss this issue without whipping up a frenzy? For those who are against solo diving, doesn't a full (maybe even rational) discussion of all sides of the issue make a diver more knowledgeable and better able to come to an informed decision NOT to solo dive? But if the discussion can't ensue without the finger-pointing, what's the option? (And I'd suggest that, "Just don't do it becuase it's wrong and dangerous and leave it at that," doesn't seem to fly with an inquisitive group like this, let alone a group like this that simply CAN'T resist a lively back-and-forth on just about anything.)

I have seen previous posts that state that discussions of solo diving are inappropriate because there are a lot of newbies that read this board (and I'd be curious to know how we substantiate that as fact), but if that logic applies, shouldn't we then also curtail discussions of deco diving, deep diving, deep diving on air, 40% O2 mixes, tri-mix, cave diving, wreck diving, and a whole lot more because these are ALL issues that a newbie is ill-equipped to handle.

Or, IS discussion advocacy?

I can tell you as an instructor, one of the more valuable lessons my students learn is one their final day of diving when we're on one of our boats and they see lots of divers doing lots of things wrong and we'll talk about that throughout the course of the day. I feel that they can learn from the mistakes of others.


Ken Kurtis
NAUI #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, Ca.

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