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David Strike wrote:
(big snips)
 
> I actually don't have a problem with pitching diving education to the lowest
> common denominator.
 
Provided that the newbies being educated to this standard are clearly
made aware of their somewhat suspect new-found knowledge, that they
_must_ continue the learning curve, I have no problem with it either.
 
I do have a problem with believing that every instructor will always do this.
 
> The problem - as I see it - is when governments attempt
> to introduce regulations and codes of conduct on voluntary activities such
> as diving.
>
> Invariably based on protecting the weakest elements in society, such
> regulations usually discourage the concept of accepting responsibility for
> ones own actions and often leads to people unconsciously assigning such
> responsibility to others - a state of affairs that, in diving, doesn't
> exactly encourage or promote the need for continous education, or even an
> elementary understanding of physics and physiology.
 
Agree entirely.
 
> You do mean the use of nitrox for recreational diving, don't you?    :-)
 
Uhhh, yes (why do I have this foreboding that I'm about to be reeled in?)
 
> Actually - unless you're talking about deep air diving - nitrogen narcosis
> was/is probably the thing to be more concerned about.
 
Sure.
 
Relevant bits snipped, as Strike did, for brevity.
 
> The immediate reaction of most of us, is to fault the Instructor or the
> programme.  But I think it's a little more complex than that.  Because
> recreational diving is a voluntary activity, it's a fair assumption on the
> Instructor's part that people are taking a course because they have a real
> interest in acquiring knowledge.
>
> For many people that's not even a consideration!  They're there to meet
> members of the opposite sex; overcome personal phobias; to challenge
> themselves; to see fishes - whatever!   They'll absorb, (and be able to show
> that they have), sufficient information  to pass the course - and then
> promptly go and forget all about it!  Overlooking the fact that divers can
> be sneaky, devious and cunning - or just plain thick! - they're no different
> to other sectors of the community when it comes to retaining knowledge!
>
> "Use it, or lose it!" is an apt comment.  Most of us tend to 'forget'
> information that we're not required to use on a daily basis.  The problems
> arise, however, when a person holding a valid 'for life' certification card
> presents themselves as qualified to do certain
> types of diving - such as the use of nitrox.
>
> While they might have absorbed exactly what was required of them to pass the
> course, their actual interest in the subject may have been slight.  They
> either haven't bothered to maintain or improve their knowledge levels;  or
> they're conceited enough to believe that they've retained what they were
> taught; it may even have been two or more years since they completed a
> course,or last used nitrox.  As a consequence they have a card that
> proclaims them to be
> trained - and a knowledge level that suggests otherwise!
 
A very good argument indeed, all of it true and fairly put.
 
> To suggest that the Instructor is at fault is - to my of thinking - a load
> of cobblers!  :-)
 
Now Strike, if you had just said "To suggest that the Instructor is
_always_ at fault ..." I would have agreed some more. :-)
 
Christian
>
> Strike