I've come to the conclusion that our discussion here has not only ruffled feathers, but also possibly provided some that are looking for it free labor. I suggest that we now put togather some sort of document that contains our beliefs and PUBLISH IT ACROSS MULTIPLE SITES so that no derivative work can be published, that might claim some sort of authority that will possibly limit us in the future.
Any takers to produce the first draft?
I've not currently got time to do the up front...though I'd say some of it is done in the ACP threads. Someone do this quickly, please. Lets not be too specific either, anything specific will limit us.
Rushing into "publication" before several iterations of reviews and comments could be a disaster.
Besides, is anyone even doing anything toward creating "standards" or "best practices" or "good ideas" or whatever it/they wil be called? There seems to have been no activity recently.
Once it is published, there's no calling it back.
Don't worry about anyone deriving from our efforts. It's so uncooked right now. Think of this as similar to open source software. It's being built in public by volunteer contributors. We'll come to agreement as to when it is ready for wide distribution. And even when we reach that point it will continue to be an evolving document. It will not be set in stone once it's published. It will be version 1.1.
There should be no rush to publish. We want to move it a long but we shouldn't create artificial pressure. Quality work takes time. If some person or group takes material and claims the mantle of authority, their credibility will be zero. And their derived standard will be outdated quickly when version 1.2 etc. guidelines are released.
I'd like to propose that individuals volunteer to take on a first draft of a particular section (ACP Carabiners for example). This will move us towards our goal.
We're all very busy with work and other responsibilities, let's just keep it moving.
Thanks, Moss. I like your analogy of this effort being similar to open-source code.
I do have to wonder, though, about this concept of â€œmantle of authorityâ€ (or similar term) that has been used a few times. With all due respect, I donâ€™t think anyone, including TCI, can claim any â€œauthority.â€
Please donâ€™t misunderstand--I am implying absolutely nothing negative about TCI. Itâ€™s just that it seems quite presumptuous for *any* RTC group to assume that they have authority.
I can only presume that when Moss says, â€œIf some person or group takes material and claims the mantle of authority, their credibility will be zero,â€ he also refers to TCI. Authority cannot be assumed; it must be earned.
Now I know that some will think I am fighting for those despicable rogue climbers who are so very negative and always trying to sabotage things. Nonsense: When a devilâ€™s advocate (yours truly) causes us to carefully examine what we are doing, we all benefit from the resulting improved outcome.
My reason for asserting that (about the mantle bearer) is that we are so young that we have a fairly long climb to make, proving ourselves as we go, before anyone is presented with that mantle. (I very much am willing to enter into a discussion on this--Iâ€™m willing to be convinced otherwise.)
For example, what if TCI published standards, and then, a few days later, Dancing With Trees published standards that are unquestionably better by anyoneâ€™s measure? Would you say that Genevieve had zero credibility just because she published second? Would TCI jingoes then shout, â€œWe were there first! We must be better!â€
Good and useful comments Jim. I'll continue with the open source analogy. Credibility comes from the quality of what is created by the contributors, not by the reputation of any one person. So if Genevieve or Abe or Harvey or Joe or Tim or any of the well respected teachers and innovators of rec climbing publishes their own document that covers what this TCI hosted working group is trying to accomplish... well, we'd have to tip our collective hats and say "Nice job!".
The point being that the purpose of this work is to create a solid rec climbing guidelines document. If someone else goes out and does a better job because they're spurred on by this effort, all the better for the tree climbing community. Though I doubt that would happen. By trying our best to encourage contributions from all corners of the community we have a better chance of coming up with an excellent guidelines document.
My theory is that the "mantle of authority" only comes the strength of the published document, not the web site where it is hosted. This is not to devalue Peter's (and Patty's) role as midwife to the project but to point out that credibility comes from the quality of the result.
Isn't the point of this exercise to eventually "write down" the information presented by the many parties during the brain-storming time period in a "draft form" and them send it out for review by the interested parties? Hopefully have a final publication at a later date after all the modifications and corrections are incorporated.
If no one writes down something and is afraid of doing it or is told not to do it because he may be accused of taking over or "Authoring" the document them no final product will ever be generated and we will continue to talk in generalities about how great it will be to have some "Ethics" and " Best Climbing Principals" for the RTC organizations.
My point is: someone needs to write something down from all the ideas offered so far and present it for initial review. No everyone will agree to every single point in the proposal and they should offer constructive changes or modifications but that is the only way "rules" are made. So, Moss or Icabod or anybody with time or interest on doing it just go ahead and put out the "First Draft" and see what comes up after the fine tuning is done.
Like any other "rule" if you not agree with it, you can always ignore it.
Thanks for the clarification, Moss. It sounds as if we are in agreement. I apparently misunderstood what you meant when you wrote, "If some person or group takes material and claims the mantle of authority, their credibility will be zero."
Oldtimer, I agree with you, too. Something must be published so it can be reviewed, or else we'll just have another ongoing discussion about having an ongoing discussion.
May I suggest, having had experience with such things, that a very effective and efficient method of creating such a document when the parties are unable to meet face-to-face and work things out, is to use the Delphi technique? It's quite powerful and synergistic.
I know of two other tree climbing books being written now. I'm actually in friendly competition with one writer. Sharon Lilly just came out with her revised "Climbers Guide" featuring Bryan Kotwica's illustrations.
Standards are useful for reference. They will be used and revised on a regular basis, by who ever publishes them. Standards are short, concise, and do not take long to read. They do serve an important purose.
By "definitive" I mean very detailed. Much more content about specific climbing technique than what is now published and available.
Publishing is a speculative venture. It's a lot like building houses. Profitable? I don't know yet personally. I can hope and observe the upward trend with recreational tree climbing. I'll find out soon. I certainly wish the best to the other two authors. It can only help tree climbing, the publishing of more books on the subject.
Best wishes on the writing effort. I've always thought that was a missing segment in your business and RTC. Dick Flowers made a good contribution with his book by filling a void. However the topic is more expansive.
I would like to think that someone is documenting the history of RTC. There's the technique and gear evolution. There's the personal adventures. There's the people that made significant contributions.
I wholeheartedly disagree with and believe that we should not utilize the Delphi technique for the formation of our standards for the following reasons, as stated in the linked articles:
1) It is used to achieve or force a predetermined result.
2) It is used to keep the inputters on the defensive.
3) It is good only for political or subjective(not objective) input or reasoning and is not based on objective data or ideas.
3) It assumes the parties in discussion are at odds.
4) It forces an aggressive clash between the parties to force an outcome.
I believe that for all of the above listed reasons and others from the articles, that none of this would be beneficial for developing our standards since all of our input is based on objective ideas and experience and that we do not need to be pitted one against the other. Rather, on the contrary, we should work together and provide factual data and/or research and/or experience and/or proof of what is already acceptable in our culture, so as to discuss and debate what will be our standards.
Objectivity, openness and cooperation I believe would go much further in the successful development and writing of commonly accepted standards.
No one should be forcing their agenda on another for political or subjective reasons in our culture, I believe, because this would only lead to disheartening many of those who would like to truly contribute to our standards for good and objective reasons, such as safety or concern for the common good.