We did this way for years...

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Posted by JRM on March 12, 2001 at 14:21:32:

It's good to know that when I leave for almost a week of non-diving vacation, that things here are pretty much just the way I left :-)

However, I have noticed several of this type of post: "We did it this way for years and it was OK, so why should we stop now" or "We used to dive this way before all this stuff was invented, so why should we listen to new ideas". I'm going to call these "Older days were better divers. (I would call them Amish divers, but I wouldn't want to use a generalized term of a religious group to ascribe attributes to non-related ideas. Somebody might take exception :-)

Progress happens. Some people embrace it, others denounce it. Sometimes progress even means stepping back. Often it means blazing ahead. But usually it's a case of "Thou shalt not commit change!"

Here's a game of "spot the logic": I don't need airbags (seatbelts, crush zones, etc., pick one you like) in my car because I drove for years in cars without airbags (etc, etc) and I didn't get killed. For those of us who have had seatbelts save our lives, or who have seen enough MVA's to know what airbags do, we wouldn't think of getting in a car without them. We have different experiences. You may just not have gotten bit yet.

I am neither DIR nor anti-DIR. I personally don't feel I have the breadth of diving experience to enter the whole "DIR vs. non-DIR" debate. (But that won't stop me from poking at both sides now and again, 'cause ya gotta stir the pot!"

The Amish do just fine. They seem to enjoy their lifestyle, and have some admirable qualities. But should all of us dump all of our modern conveniences because a group of folks back in Pennsylvania (sorta like the east coast wreckers :-) continue to live without them?

Same way with the "Older days were better" divers. I won't ignore convincing safety evidence based on the fact that some folks used to do it that way and didn't get killed. I'm glad that nothing happened to you, and that you continue to dive today. But just because you didn't get hurt doesn't mean you won't. And don't cite the "we all did it and no-one died" because I don't buy it. We really don't know what causes most accidents. People drown. You can't tell me that diving wet steel tanks hasn't killed anyone, just like I can't tell you that diving wet steel has. That isn't the point. Heck, the whole wet vs. dry steel isn't the real point either!

Here's what I've taken away from this whole thing: KNOW YOUR BOUYANCY, THINK ABOUT YOUR BOUYANCY, BE... YOUR BOUYANCY!!! Will I continue to just slap on some lead and jump in the water? No. And as such, I feel this was a valuable discussion. I learned something. I learned several somethings actually. So why should I go back to thinking the way I did up till this point, just because it hadn't killed me.

Basically, I'm tired of hearing this same post again and again. Yes people survived diving before DIR. People will continue to survive diving without any of the principles the DIR folks treasure. So could we drop the whole "we did it this way for years and lived" posts? We're glad you did. We'd be even more glad if you quit reminding us about it twice each thread!


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