Rules vs. Conventions

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by JRM on August 13, 2001 at 15:00:22:

In Reply to: Picking and choosing which *rules* apply posted by MHK on August 13, 2001 at 11:09:34:

Mike, I've thought quite a bit about your post here, and I think there's a point to be made here.

You use the term rules. Please don't consider this a debate of symantics, but I think much of your point can be made with a few definitions. But what exactly are the rules, and who makes them? Then, if we can figure them out, who is a unified enforcer of said rules? Answer: There isn't *one* answer, really.

I think that the focus of the problem is that there isn't any real *body of rules* per se. What we have is a bunch of different folks, with fingers in different pies, trying to lend "rule" weight to their conventions. With this lack of a unified body (not necessarily a bad thing, either), we, as individuals, shops, training orgs, etc, are forced to chose which of these conventions we recognize, and which we don't. And there's the crux.

You have a set of conventions you use for EANx and mix labeling. For some shops, your conventions are acceptable. However, there are those shops that recognize the convention of NITROX banners. The problem being that their convention is the more restrictive. Thus you are at a disadvantage when trying to get a fill.

Another sub-issue is the source of the conventions. Who makes this junk up in the first place? Some would have us call EANx "SafeAir" and other such nonsense. Some conventions require labels, banners, and a blinking neon light. It comes down to choice. While I may not agree with their conventions, I have to acknowledge that a shop owner has the right to chose them. However, I'd like to hear the owner's take, and not just the reaction to some weenie fill monkey. At that point, there is a possibility of meaningfull dialog, but don't expect to change the world overnight. The trick would be to have people realize the source of their convention, make a rational assessment of the logic thereof, weigh the pros and cons, and make a sound judgement. And when it finally does happen, the world ends, because the day logic applies in the dive industry we're all toast.

A major source of frustration is that the most restrictive convention is generally the most unwavering. You don't mind diving with bannered tanks (seen you do it myself). But some shops won't fill them without. You, with the less restrictive convention, suffer at the hands of the more restrictive. It's like trying to have a discussion with fundamentalists (believe me, I know). They can't accept that there is more than one right way. And the fact that you accept their way only makes it worse.

So in conclusion, I think this discussion would be better focussed on locating and identifying the convention, its source, its application, and the logic behind it. Otherwise we're just wasting time (personally, its mostly wasting time anyway, but at least we'll waste it a touch more constructively).

Where does the Nitrox Banner requirement come from? Why?


-- back to the batcave!!!

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