Re: Picking and choosing which *rules* apply

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Posted by SLANG on August 13, 2001 at 16:06:48:

In Reply to: Re: Picking and choosing which *rules* apply posted by MHK on August 13, 2001 at 14:38:22:

All right, why don't we get away from the whole nitrox labeling thing since that seems to be sidetracking some. Answer me this though Mike, do you really think it is the average Joe-CA-Diver who is deciding what becomes "industry standards" in terms of rules and regs?

As far as I'm concerned, the divers I know fall into two categories (well, 3, if you include DIR & Tech wannabes). There are the newer divers, who got certified because it was convenient, or they were going to some warm water vacation, or because their friends talked them into doing it. They enjoy diving, as long as it is not too difficult; they still get a little nervous before each dive. Usually they're younger, with disposable income, educated. But for them, diving is a hobby - they have lives outside of diving, they do other things socially.

These type of divers are not making the decisions as to what rules the diving community adheres to. They simply abide by what someone else has told them ARE the rules. They don't have the time or desire to research every diving theory and/or philosophy, so they look for some authority to rely on.

The second type of diver I associate with CA diving are the ones I've been seeing on the boats and beaches for years. Whatever first attracted them to diving - whether it was Mike Nelson, or they got bored with surfing - they have stayed with it for some mostly unknown reason; but now it's a way of life. They often tend to be "results" oriented divers; they are divers, simply because that is the most efficient way to put that big halibut on the table; or they have some strange love of having a garage/backyard/attic full of useless pieces of metal that used to be underwater. Any sane person would pay someone good money to take most of it away, but these people spend their entire free time trying to accumulate it. This group can also include the ecologically minded, who dive simply because it's the best way to understand what may be our last, best resource.

These aren't the divers who are concerned about "the industry's" rules and regs. As long as it doesn't interfere with their ability to pursue their individual "results," they don't care what rules exist. They follow the ones that are convenient and make sense, and they ignore the ones that complicate their diving, (unless there's a really good reason).

I personally believe it is mostly those who have a financial interest in diving who are concerned with “rules.” Certification agencies, shop owners, equipment manufacturers, instructors – people whose ass occasionally needs legal covering. Those are really the only divers I know who are concerned with who makes the rules. I know I stayed with the sport to a large degree because of the fact that, apart from the laws of physics, there are very few laws that control you. There are more than enough rules and regulations in the rest of my life – I go diving so I can make my own decisions.

Mike, if you want to fly immediately after diving, I'm sure not going to point any fingers at you. All I'd ask in return, is next time you're DMing a boat I'm on, respect my decision to dive without a buddy if I choose.


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