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  1. I got video of my first AFF jump (had never done a tandem) and went to their house that evening and said "hey, look at this neat video!" My mom's expressions and shrieks were priceless . Weeeee!
  2. Yup! Like I said, objectively questioning the approach and compleltely disregarding the sentiment are two entirely different things. I wonder how many thousand jumpers in the world have made it past 20 jumps?. I wonder who helped them get there?. No doubt some of the arrogant old farts who post on here have done their share. That was exactly my point. I think the texting while driving example is pretty good, though having a radio while driving might be more accurate in terms of how much attention it does (or doesn't) require, no? And I think where I was originally going was that skydiving itself isn't a requirement: we only do it for the enjoyment. We find ways to mitigate the risks, but we still have all decided that our enjoyment outweighs these risks. I suppose it can be argued that adding a few risks to the million we already have can fall anywhere on the spectrum from incredibly stupid to just another day in extreme sports. It seems the issue is defining the manageability of any added risks, and that can vary widely depending on both the attempted activity and the individual's skill, experience, and mindset. And Bill, like I said, I have asked more questions and been more receptive to advice than easily 99% of jumpers out there. But, I am sure you imagine me as some know-it all hotshot, spouting off at everything that disrupts my dream of being the next GoPro Hero, and there is probably nothing I could say in the internet to change that. Still, maybe we'll meet in person some day, and I'd imagine we'll get along just fine ;) . Weeeee!
  3. Hah, I'd imagine a wetsuit would keep ya pretty warm! Congrats on such an enjoyable season. Weeeee!
  4. Dave, those are all actually very reasonable points :). Weeeee!
  5. Oh, and Id absolutely agree that a coached jump with a brief and debrief is ten times better than footage itself without discussion. I definitely agree that trying to learn something yourself is anywhere near as effective as doing it with a professional. For example, I am a pretty competitive shooter and started off self-taught, but improved significantly with a few short private sessions with a professional. Because of that, anyone who asks me about gun advice also gets a recommendation for professional instruction. All I meant to say is that a fun jump with crappy video of yourself from other jumpers' POV still provides more opportunity for constructive feedback than just their non-professional verbal ireport of what happened. Weeeee!
  6. My goal was to question why this particular area of safety advice is consistently delivered so much more negatively than nearly every other aspect of safety . Questioning the approach and completely disregarding the underlying belief are entirely different. And I do wholeheartedly believe that the risks of wearing a camera after a good discussion are definitely lower than the risks of incorrectly doing many other standard aspects of skydiving. However, the approach to solving those other problems seems so much more personable and positive than the approach to educating new jumpers about cameras. Compare reactions to the idea of newer jumpers using cameras, and reactions to newer jumpers doing other dangerous stuff that newer jumpers tend to do (like messy packing, improper tracking, pulling a little low to get that last manuever or dock, bouncing off each other on exit, etc). The former is consistently so much more negative that it makes one wonder about some exceptional aversion to it. Some of the reactions just make it seem as if a newer jumper with a camera is as taboo and inevitably deadly as someone trying hook turns straight out of training. Compared to those reactions, you are exactly right that I am downplaying the risks. Would you disagree that a new jumper with a carefully set-up camera* and an instilled appreciation for the secondary nature of the camera to the skydive** is less dangerous than a newer jumper trying to hook turn, free fly, pull low, or do larger group dives? *By this, I mean someone explained the snag hazards and helped recomment some safer mounts and orientations. **And again, by this, I mean someone spent even just 5 minutes giving them an appreciation for how cameras can be distracting and how to avoid that. Weeeee!
  7. Specifically what, exactly, did I say was incorrect? I never said cameras weren't a potential distraction. I never said there weren't potential entanglement risks. I never even once said or even implied that those risks do not apply to me. I just asked why the approach to correcting or minimizing these camera-related risks is so drastically different than the much more positive and extremely effective initial delivery chosen for every other aspect of skydiving advice? Weeeee!
  8. Excaza, it was a perfect analogy. They saw me doing something that could be dangerous. Their first approach was to point out things I was or could end up doing wrong, and offer ways to make it safer / better. I have experienced this approach by experienced jumpers giving me every aspect of skydiving advice. Alternatively, when cameras are involved, the preferred initial approach seems to instead be "you're too stupid to even try this without killing everyone on the load.Take it off now." My question from the VERY beginning was simply why this the case. Weeeee!
  9. When I received packing advice, they approached me in the manner I said was better: "here is what you are doing wrong. Here is how you can do it better." In fact, I have received asked for a crap ton of advice that was delivered in this manner, even when the problem being corrected could have had far more direct consequences. In other areas of life, especially working with students, this has been far and away the most successful method of passing along advice. My recommendation / request was to follow the lead I posted from the other thread, which follows the exact same pattern: "here are some things you might do wrong. Here are some ways to prevent them." How often do you approach new jumpers and ther cameras using this approach? I Weeeee!
  10. And what - exactly, "educational value" do you think, wearing even a small-format, POV camera, actually provides? Enlighten me. Seeing even 5 seconds of crappy footage of yourself from another silly newb jumper still llustrates a more concrete picture of potential areas of improvement for most than the longest discussion. That goes doubly so when the person wearing the camera shouldn't be paying enough attention you to note every detail of your position and orientation. Dave, I am not surprised any by the hostility here. Expressing different perspectives on the internet usually goes like this. More personal discourse is generally far more pleasant. Still, the incidents perfectly exemplify my original point that a little sincere education could do a lot of good. Otherwise, it is like seeing someone just cleared for solos making general newbie mistakes and then ruling that AFF should last 100 jumps because new skydivers are too dangerous. Helping newer jumpers understand those things before they turn into big issues is how skydivers make it past 20 jumps in the first place. Basically, with every other aspect of skydiving, you have to show people what they are doing wrong and how they could do it better. My first few pack jobs were obviously pretty messy, and I got a lot of great advice to help clean them up. None of those people ever said "you don't have any idea what you're doing so you should not even try to pack your own rig," even though Id bet they take packing more seriously than wearing a camera. Insfead, they stopped me and gave some pointers on how to avoid problems before they happened, and they still do that and I still ask them to. Just the same, if you see someone still fiddling with a ghetto-rigged camera 5 minutes before exit altitude, try to emphasize that the camera isn't what the jump is about, and help them understand that there is still a lot to worry about. If the camera isn't ready then, ask if they would leave it in the plane and sort it out on the ground before their next jump. That kind of lesson would sink much deeper and be far more lasting than a condescending headshake that they will just ignore any time you aren't around. I don't know a whole lot about all the intricacies of skydiving, but I did dedicate several years of my life to understanding how people learn, how the mind responds to different teaching stimuli, and generally the kind of circumstances that lead to undesireable decisions and behaviors. And I guarantee the students would be more responsive to the above approach ("I see that is a distraction / snag risk right now. Why don't you hang it up for this jump and we'll figure out a better solution back on the ground?") than the condescending "you clearly don't know anything you need to know for this, so just give up" that seems to be your preferred method of delivery. Weeeee!
  11. [reply="trafficdiver"] So if the young crowd wants to skip this AFF Malarkey and go right for the freeflying, the older folks should just sit back and say, good luck? [reply="bill"] In such a case, would you advise people to just make the best of it, and put your efforts into learning how to skydive safely after a few beers? Rather than trying to alienate them into doing what you want? Both of these statements are essentially saying "if you think it's okay to jump with a camera early because people have done it successfully, then you would think it is okay to [jump after a few beers / jump without training]." At least, the implication was clearly that my logic was as flawed as advocating people jump in such conditions. Thanks for pointing me to those incidents. I see how cameras have been linked to a lot of annoyances, but most of those could have easily been prevented with a little coaching to instill a greater appreciation that the camera is second to the skydive. Btw, it was said earlier that one can't just choose to ignore true advice just because of a sour delivery. I never said one should. However, "Argumentation 101" would affirm that the only way to reach an opposing audience is to first show that you genuinely understand or appreciate their position. Otherwise, the subconscious tendency is to assign minimal value to anything you say. Anyone who is able past the bitterness and condescension and absorb a cogent argument is an exception, not the rule. Weeeee!
  12. Bill, could you point me to those incidents where a camera played a major.role in.causing some problem? I have seen anecdotes here and there but I would actually be interested in reading about them if they are clearly rwlated to the camera (entanglement, or a jumper was seen messing with his camera for so long that he missed the spot, etc). I believe they can be a distraction, and never doubted that. But I am still having a very hard time seeing how having a camera is as dangerous as being intoxicated or having zero training. An FWIW, Id bet a hundred bucks I have spent more time reading here, and asked more questions at the DZ, than 99% of new jumpers. I am in no rush to downsize, get into hook turns, or any of the extreme aspects of skydiving. I am in no rush to start freeflying, do big group skydives, compete, freefall with toys and objects, or even camera fly. I appreciate the risks of skydiving itself, and don't want to add another major focus and obvious consequences to them. But, the reason why the apparent risks of jumping with a camera are seemingly lost is because statements like "jumping with a camera has been linked as one potential factor in a series of events that may or may not have contributed to the accident" don't carry anywhere near the same weight as "another jumper femured last week from trying the one exact thing we told him not to do." Weeeee!
  13. My internet flamesuit can withstand any internet ass kicking... But, if we are saying that jumping a camera at 50 jumps (as is apparently done in Canada?) is as dangerous as jumping while drunk or with zero training, then I guess I'll just never develop this holy fear of cameras that some have. Weeeee!
  14. I have acknowledged every one of your other points already. You are just choosing to ignore them so you can make a series of reasonable statements and act like they are all new points. Not only that, but you have missed my ENTIRE point that bitching about it over then internet is accomplishing exactly nothing except allowing you to bask in your own righteousness. If you want to make the difference you seem so passionate in making, get out there and start educating jumpers on all these risks at the DZ and help them make better choices. You might not get them to take it off, but I bet you can help them keep their pins in place. And that is of far greater benefit than this little tirade. Though, "you're a douche" would probably not be the best opener if you want to keep ears turned in your direction. *edit* Basically. The problem as you perceive it already exists. So, you can join the million other people who spend their time preaching to their own choir on the internet, or you can get out there and show your opposition that you are trying to appreciate their position and work to help them understand yours. Weeeee!
  15. Don't have much experience jumping in the cold, but I don't think the principles are much different than those I learned when I only had a motorcycle for a year . Layering up is a necessity, and it doesnt have to be fancy Under Armor. You'd be amazed how much warmth a pair of sweat pants and a hoodie will add to your standard jumping gear. And yes, gloves. Honestly, if you plan to make winter jumping a habit, Id invest in some well-fitting leather motorcycle gloves (the real heavy-duty ones, not the thin vanity ones). I wore mine for my first cold jump (probably 35 at altitude) and my hands never felt any discomfort. Finally, cover your neck! A huge amount of heat is lost there to the wind, so covering it makes a huge difference. Weeeee!