Re: Question for Ken/Clarifying Misconceptions (1 of 5)

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Ken Kurtis on February 13, 2001 at 11:56:20:

In Reply to: Question for Ken Kurtis posted by MHK on February 12, 2001 at 14:06:15:

It appears it’s time to give up my silence (which is explained a few paragraphs down).

There’s a lot of ground to cover here with the allegations made by Michael Kane (MHK) so
the forewarning is that this will not win an award for brevity. But hopefully it will be
thorough, and if that means a few extra words, so be it.

The short version is very simple:

I have NEVER uttered or posted the specific phrases that Michael has put quotes around. I
have NEVER said, “Nitrox WILL kill you if you breathe it.” I have NEVER made a post
entitled “How to Dive Solo,” “How to Solo,” or “How to Solo Dive.”

I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that when quotes are put around something, and attributed it to
me, it refers to a specific post I've actually made, not someone paraphrasing or reinterpreting
my words. The problem is that not only do I have no recollection of such posts, but also when
I search the archives in the BBS, I can find no record of a post made by me with any of the
these titles.

I’m happy to take the credit (or the heat) for what I have actually posted and believe in. But
I'd appreciate it, Michael, if you'd stop saying I said things that I didn't say. We certainly have
enough material for a lively discourse without resorting to flights of fancy. And I hope you’ll
agree that we all have a right to be judged by what we actually say and not by reinterpretation.

Speaking of which . . . A quick thought about semantics.

I’ve seen the phrases, “Let’s not get into semantics,” and “Don’t parse words,” and “We
shouldn’t nit-pick,” to name a few. I disagree with those thoughts. The semantics (the
meaning of words) are VERY important and ESSENTIAL to effective communication.
Sometimes it’s critical to nit-pick because huge assumptions have been based on small,
seemingly innocuous, erroneous “facts.”

If I said, “All peas are vegetables,” and it got repeated as “All vegetables are peas,” the
meaning of the phrase changed even though the words did not. And if I complained that I was
misquoted, and the response was “You’re just playing semantics,” I would say, “No kidding.
That’s what it’s all about. Semantics deals with the meanings of words and phrases and you
just altered mine.”

I’m not a stupid man. In fact (at the risk of being flamed mercilessly), I dare say I’m fairly
intelligent. I try to stay well-read, keep up with current events, and one thing I LOVE is
language. (Don’t forget that I was a Speech major - not a math major - in college.) When I
post here (believe it or not) I try to choose my words VERY carefully so they will accurately
convey what I think. And knowing how words on a BBS can be twisted by those who might
disagree with you, I try to think through what I’m saying and how I’m saying it before I hit
the “Send” button. Please bear all that in mind when I detail why I feel I’m being misquoted
and my thoughts misrepresented.

(Said detail on the nitrox and solo issues, along with the nitrox legal view, and allegations of
being anti-DIR, will be dealt with in separate threads, for those who care to wade through the

As to why I’ve refrained from responding to Michael’s posted allegations in the past few
weeks, this was largely in deference to Karl Huggins (Director of the Catalina Chamber) and
Bill Wright (my partner at Reef Seekers), primarily at Billy’s urging, as he explained to
Michael on the phone the other day. Karl and Billy are also my two prime cohorts in
organizing and running Chamber Day/Eve.

Karl, Billy, and I agree that engaging in mud-slinging and name-calling, or getting into an
is-too/is-not diatribe, or throwing accusations back and forth, is not only a waste of time that
could be better spent working on Chamber Day/Eve, but may also not reflect well on the
event, especially when the battle is being waged between the chairman of the event and the
major donor.

In that spirit, Michael was asked, not to stop posting or commenting, but to simply tone down
the personal attacks that many of his posts lately, especially those directed at me, include.
He’s certainly free to disagree and question anyone’s posts (including mine), but was asked to
realize that sometimes people just have honest differences of opinion and just because they
don’t agree with something doesn’t make them the biggest jerks in the world.

As for me, I won’t mince words, but I’ll do my damnedest to be civil in my responses, be firm
but fair in my criticisms, and will admit to mistakes or misstatements if I make them. If I
quote, I will do so accurately and use the words the person uttered as well as attribute them.
If I cite statistics, I will also do so accurately and cite the source. If it’s opinion, I’ll try to
clearly label it as such. I hope others who post here (not just Michael) will do the same. And
when any of us DON’T do that, we should be called on the carpet.

I will NOT respond to taunts, baiting, name-calling, personal attacks, or anything I personally
consider to be rude. If I post something and you don’t agree with it or understand it, I’ll
clarify if I can but will not end up making the same argument over and over and over again.
Sometimes, we’ll just have to disagree.

Like I said, not even remotely brief . . but hopefully thorough. Thanks for wading through all
of this. For those who wish to continue, I’m going to post in separate threads (which
hopefully keeps the respective discussions more focused and on-topic) on nitrox, solo, legal
concerns, and anti-DIR.

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

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]