[amsat-bb] Re: EXTREMELY LONG (was Re: Re: Robert Mcqwier)
David B. Toth
ve3gyq at amsat.org
Sat Dec 15 19:13:53 PST 2007
At 01:48 PM 12/15/2007, Robert McGwier wrote:
>Folks. I do not need a defense (if any of this was meant as one)
Bob, I read the WHOLE darn post and it brought back many fine
memories of our 20+ year friendship.
I was going to send you an email to tell you that I had your back but
then realized you were doing just fine ...
I feel fortunate to be your friend, to be able to call you and start
the conversation with an insult about your social skills (or rather
the lack thereof) and have you say "I deserved that" and then have
the conversation move right on ... "I love ya man!"
I know you would have preferred to just take the body-blows and move
on, but thank you for taking the time to post a real hard-look at the
state of the hobby. Since I came back to the TAPR BoD, I have shared
the concerns of both of our boards about the greying of our hobby.
When you hear that the average age is 58 or so and is rising at the
rate of 1 yr. per yr., you really have to get a chill running down
your spine. We DO need to do things to attract NEW people (read
YOUNGER) or there will be no one to attend the wake for ham radio
when this hobby dies.
Thanks for letting me sit in on the "jam sessions" with Matt Ettus. I
can state from first-hand observation that Bob and Matt went back and
forth with calculations that would normally be done on napkins and
did them in their heads, and then could EXPLAIN them to me! Now that
is a test of a plan or theory - to be able to explain it in terms
that non-engineers can follow. I'm a physician by training, consider
myself fairly literate and diversely self-educated, but I can feel a
bit intimidated during some of these discussions. However, NEVER, and
I repeat, NEVER has Bob, Matt, Tom Clark, Rick Hambly, or TAPR's
cadre of geniuses, or anyone else I consider a technical whiz-kid
(sorry, I wouldn't mean to insult anyone by leaving you out) ever
been impatient with me for asking what must surely be a very
fundamental question; in fact, it is not unusual for them to stop,
explain things to me in terms I can understand, bring me up to speed,
and then resume the conversation.
I am very sorry that some folks have had their feelings hurt along
the way, but I try to remember what Phil Karn use to utter A LOT -
"never ascribe to malice what can better be ascribed to stupidity"
but in this case, rather than stupidity, it would be a lack of
awareness of how some folks are really feeling.
I make snap decisions every day as an emergency physician, and if I
don't, people die. And sometimes, no decision is worse than the
"wrong" decision. But decisions are necessary. And at the end of the
day, you hope and pray that most of the ones you made are correct.
We need to face the fact that the world is changing, demographics are
changing, and WE need to change. I am confident that we are hitching
our wagons to the right horses and that this BoD DOES have a vision
we can work towards. That is not to say that great ideas should not
and will not come from elsewhere, but there should be civility and
fraternalism and respect of the different positions.
And Bob, you won't be surprised to hear that some folks get mad at
TAPR because we are not pushing Packet as our main thrust anymore.
Tradition is important, and a realistic view of history is necessary
to appreciate where you've been and where you need to go, but the
past should not anchor you so firmly that you cannot move forward ...
"Ad astra" ....
Proud to be your friend,
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