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Stiles Commentary: Nature-Deficit Disorder

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by Tom Jones, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    An interesting piece from Mr. Stiles:

    Nature-deficit disorder is ruining our kids by jim stiles August 16, 2006

    No matter how old I live to be, there will never be a place so full of mystery and adventure as a place of my childhood called The Woods. The stories that grew out of those trees still kindle powerful feelings, even after all these years. My friends and I knew the place was haunted. It had no boundaries, and in our 10-year-old minds, it went on forever.

    Jump ahead a few decades to a familiar topic: the commercialization of wilderness. What created the demand for such a cornucopia of sporting gear and planned "adventure activities"? There was a time when all a guy needed to go for a hike was a reasonably comfortable pair of shoes and an army surplus canteen. Now it requires a wardrobe and a gear checklist, just to walk to the corner. I recently stopped at a sporting goods store, looking for a canteen; the sales clerk looked at me blankly.

    "You know," I said. "A canteen. A water bottle."

    "Oh," he replied. "You mean a portable hydration system." Portable hydration system?

    Full Article: http://www.nevadaappeal.com/article/20060816/OPINION/108160053

    Tom
  2. Todd

    Todd Guest

    Good article, I like this line:

    "What created the demand for such a cornucopia of sporting gear and planned "adventure activities"? There was a time when all a guy needed to go for a hike was a reasonably comfortable pair of shoes and an army surplus canteen."

    Makes me think of the bicycling industry. The masterminds who convinced otherwise reasonable folks (who perhaps don't have extraordinary fashion sense but have some vague idea of the ridiculous) that a bike can't be ridden without a spandex wardrobe covered with advertising are clearly evil geniuses.

    The outdoor industry still has a ways to go to reach this level of sublimity, but I have little doubt it'll get there eventually.

    -Todd

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Tom Jones" <ratagonia@...> wrote:
    An interesting piece from Mr. Stiles:
    Nature-deficit disorder is ruining our kids > by jim stiles > August 16, 2006
  3. On Aug 17, 2006, at 12:36 PM, Todd wrote:

    > Makes me think of the bicycling industry. The masterminds who > convinced otherwise reasonable folks (who perhaps don't have > extraordinary fashion sense but have some vague idea of the > ridiculous) that a bike can't be ridden without a spandex wardrobe > covered with advertising are clearly evil geniuses.

    yeah i've always found this interesting too. i am sure everyone has their reasons why they think they wear that clothing ... i've always thought it was to look official, aside from the fact that the bright colors and busy images DO make you appear more visible.

    > The outdoor industry still has a ways to go to reach this level of > sublimity, but I have little doubt it'll get there eventually.

    i think REI has been somewhat successful in establishing their official outdoor/hiking look.

    stefan
  4. scott c.

    scott c. Guest

    Great article. How true it is. I remember when I was going to school in So. Cal and was asked to take a group of 16 to 18 year old boys camping. Trying to find sleeping bags was next to impossible but even harder was convincing the boys that they would have fun if they went. After planning, and presenting the plan to parents (and convincing them that I would not kill any of their precious boys), we finally got them out and they were hooked on the wilderness from then on. They talked about their trip and having to sleep in temperatures of 20 degrees and playing "steal the flag" for weeks after. Unfortunately, I agree with Mr. Stiles that gone are the days of the roaming free unless you live in a very rural setting. Too many wackos out there.

    Scott Card

    Tom Jones ratagonia@gmail.com> wrote: An interesting piece from Mr. Stiles:

    Nature-deficit disorder is ruining our kids by jim stiles August 16, 2006

    No matter how old I live to be, there will never be a place so full of mystery and adventure as a place of my childhood called The Woods. The stories that grew out of those trees still kindle powerful feelings, even after all these years. My friends and I knew the place was haunted. It had no boundaries, and in our 10-year-old minds, it went on forever.

    Jump ahead a few decades to a familiar topic: the commercialization of wilderness. What created the demand for such a cornucopia of sporting gear and planned "adventure activities"? There was a time when all a guy needed to go for a hike was a reasonably comfortable pair of shoes and an army surplus canteen. Now it requires a wardrobe and a gear checklist, just to walk to the corner. I recently stopped at a sporting goods store, looking for a canteen; the sales clerk looked at me blankly.

    "You know," I said. "A canteen. A water bottle."

    "Oh," he replied. "You mean a portable hydration system." Portable hydration system?

    Full Article: http://www.nevadaappeal.com/article/20060816/OPINION/108160053

    Tom





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  5. adkramoo

    adkramoo Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "scott c." <cardlaw22@...> wrote: >> Great article. > Tom Jones <ratagonia@...> wrote: > An interesting piece from Mr. Stiles:
    Nature-deficit disorder is ruining our kids > by jim stiles

    This one rang true for me too. It is not just the "in nature" deal either. When we were youngsters, we would leave the house in the AM, maybe home for lunch and then back for dinner. No organized leagues, parents shuttling us about, uniforms or adult supervision spoiling things. I watch these organized activities now and I remember we would be many times more active. No standing around for us. We would form our own friendships, devise our own rules, to fit the field we had, choose fair teams, referee the contest and adapt rules to keep it interesting. And when we went out on the little strips of nature around, we would map the way, explore new routes, trespass like bandits, complete with our planned escape routes. All weather play too. Now? sad.

    A little cute tale. My son Aaron, when he was quite young, became obsessed with cleanliness. At age 3 & 4, he would change his shirt and wash his hands a few times during every meal. A reaction to his dad's behaviors? Anyway, we were sure all of our money was going to go to therapy. One day, when he was 4 1/2, we were walking along the Poudre River. It was December and I spied a muddy bank, near a place where the boy settled into throwing rocks, into the water (a genetic directive?). I brought him over and sunk my hands in the mud and to his initial horror, I smeared it all over my face and cried MUD!!! He laughed hard and after a short time, in dipped his hands, doing the same. MUD!! By the time we got back to the car, we were coated in the slime, laughing from that deep place inside and the obsession with dirt was over for good. Ram
  6. Try a few five or six hour rides and you'll appreciate the functionality as well as the reduced drag of the spandex outfits.

    ;-)

    -- Eric Jensen, MountainView Software / Gallagher Bassett Services

    ps - I have a very definite idea of the ridiculous!

    Stefanos Folias wrote: > On Aug 17, 2006, at 12:36 PM, Todd wrote:
    > Makes me think of the bicycling industry. The masterminds who > > convinced otherwise reasonable folks (who perhaps don't have > > extraordinary fashion sense but have some vague idea of the > > ridiculous) that a bike can't be ridden without a spandex wardrobe > > covered with advertising are clearly evil geniuses.
    yeah i've always found this interesting too. i am sure everyone has > their reasons why they think they wear that clothing ... i've always > thought it was to look official, aside from the fact that the bright > colors and busy images DO make you appear more visible.
  7. well ... mostly i was joking, but not entirely as you well know ;~) i am sure they are quite functional and comfortable. some folks i am sure like to show off their bodies as well. i would think drag is mostly a racer's concern as every second matters. but i am guessing the majority, likely, hardly can notice the difference between spandex and general streamlined clothing ... unless perhaps you normally ride into gale-force headwinds.

    one cannot deny that technology often helps and improves, but the original point is that frequently people are convinced, often through marketing, that technology is a necessity for the experience.

    personally i love technology. but at the same time, i am hesitant to adopt it universally or unquestioningly.

    stefan



    On Aug 17, 2006, at 3:59 PM, Eric S. Jensen wrote:

    > Try a few five or six hour rides and you'll appreciate the > functionality > as well as the reduced drag of the spandex outfits.
    ;-)
    -- Eric Jensen, MountainView Software / Gallagher Bassett Services
    ps - I have a very definite idea of the ridiculous!
    Stefanos Folias wrote: >> On Aug 17, 2006, at 12:36 PM, Todd wrote: >
    >> Makes me think of the bicycling industry. The masterminds who >>> convinced otherwise reasonable folks (who perhaps don't have >>> extraordinary fashion sense but have some vague idea of the >>> ridiculous) that a bike can't be ridden without a spandex wardrobe >>> covered with advertising are clearly evil geniuses. >
    > yeah i've always found this interesting too. i am sure everyone has >> their reasons why they think they wear that clothing ... i've always >> thought it was to look official, aside from the fact that the bright >> colors and busy images DO make you appear more visible.
  8. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Stefanos Folias <sf@...> wrote:
    one cannot deny that technology often helps and improves, but the > original point is that frequently people are convinced, often > through marketing, that technology is a necessity for the experience. >

    Here's another interpretation of the same data for you:

    People like "being things". Even the tubby guy with a gut, at least he can still get out on the road bike for a twenty mile ride once a week. Not enough to keep the gut off, but enough to keep it from growing.

    Now, even I know that bikers wear certain things. Black spandex shorts. A bike top, spandex, with bright things printed on it. Pockets in the back, pullover-style, with a long zip. A flashy helmet, cleats, cute little socks. And if I went biking on my $500 road bike (cause I'm unwilling to buy a 'real' bike), I want to dress like a biker, feel like a biker, BE a biker for those few hours on the bike.

    Gotta tell you, when I was running, when i needed motivation I'd go buy a new pair of shoes. Having the bongity boing of new shoes made me feel like a fast and efficient runner (of which none, even at my best, would accuse me of (at least the fast part)).

    So let's not get all soulful and everything, and start backpacking again in LIFA under cotton short-shorts. Different strokes for different folks, but also, hey, technology works. My new rope bags are a LOT funner, safer, faster, easier etc. than coiling the rope and tangling it on every drop.

    Tom
  9. On Aug 17, 2006, at 11:04 PM, Tom Jones wrote:

    > --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Stefanos Folias <sf@...> wrote: >
    > one cannot deny that technology often helps and improves, but the >> original point is that frequently people are convinced, often >> through marketing, that technology is a necessity for the experience. >
    > Here's another interpretation of the same data for you:
    People like "being things".

    yup!! identity is quite important, and as individuals in our society we like to distinguish ourselves by what we participate in, or by "being things" as you say. we do it for ourselves and for others, each to varying degrees. this in fact was more of by original point about "looking official" which was a particular case of this bigger idea. that being said, i think this human attribute of self- identification can be exploited by marketing, magnifying its importance in our lives. this is not to say that it doesn't have its place ... but it can quite easily enforce trends.

    > And if I went biking on my $500 road bike (cause I'm unwilling > to buy a 'real' bike), I want to dress like a biker, feel like a > biker, BE a biker for those few hours on the bike.

    and as it you say, it can bolster our sense of identity or self- identification.

    > Gotta tell you, when I was running, when i needed motivation I'd go > buy a new pair of shoes. Having the bongity boing of new shoes made > me feel like a fast and efficient runner

    nothing inherently wrong with this. i feel better in canyons with sticky shoes, better backpacking with a technologically advanced(tho' 8 years old) internal frame backpack for days to weeks, better working on more advanced computers ... no doubt, technology improves our conditions in many cases.

    > different strokes for different folks, but also, hey, technology > works. > My new rope bags are a LOT funner, safer, faster, easier etc. than > coiling the rope and tangling it on every drop.

    and this is why many of us buy your gear tom, when we're in canyons it's great to have something specifically functional for our activity. in general, technology is an important thing in our lives, [though it often doesn't solve our most fundamental social problems] ... i was not suggesting this is not true, and i am not suggesting to revert necessarily to the technology of our past, or romanticizing it.

    but, the case can be made, that with the power/influence of marketing, it's very natural for individuals as well as groups to get caught up the technology craze and be overzealous. and there are many upsides and downsides to this.

    stefan
  10. That's an interesting point, Stefanos, in fact, it could be argued in the case of cycling and really even canyoneering for that matter that the entire activity is technology-dependent!

    -- Eric Jensen, MountainView Software / Gallagher Bassett Services

    Stefanos Folias wrote: > one cannot deny that technology often helps and improves, but the > original point is that frequently people are convinced, often through > marketing, that technology is a necessity for the experience.
    personally i love technology. but at the same time, i am hesitant to > adopt it universally or unquestioningly.
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