Ham Etiquette
(or lack thereof)

 Ham Etiquette (or lack thereof) - RF CafeOften in the letters to the editor section of ARRL's QST magazine there are lamentations about an overwhelming lack of technical knowledge and/or proper etiquette and manners amongst fellow Hams. One contributor commented, "Today, it's hard to distinguish a radio amateur from a CB operator." DX operation (long distance) seems to be the most affected aspect, although the problem is fairly widespread. Most writers blame the problem on the ease with which a license may be obtained these days. Ever since a requirement to demonstrate proficiency in Morse code was removed, ostensibly, the quality of operators has plummeted (my license was earned in the sans code test era).

That may be so, but I propose the problem is much deeper - it is societal. Every generation whines about how crass and disrespectful the younger generation is, so I suspect that has a lot to do with the letter writers' observations. Beginning in the 1960s kids were taught to "question authority," and to "turn on, tune in, drop out." Disrespect your parents, teachers, and law enforcement. At the time, motivation was provided primarily by friends, rebels, and community organizers. Eventually that generation moved into positions of influence in education and government, and spread the gospel of discontent and disruption to a broader, often captive audience (school and college kids, those dependent on government services, etc.). Now, we have a society largely devoid of conscience and morals with an attitude of entitlement, and an utter lack of respect for the feelings and expectations of everyone else - not just "the man." Indeed, many former terrorists and murderers are bestowed with vaulted positions in universities today. The result is what we experience now not just in Amateur Radio but in all realms of life.

Don't expect things to get any better. There is evidently no national will strong enough to resist. If you voice any opposition to the status quo, you are labeled as an intolerant, biggoted pig. I've pushed back against it all my life. Call me what you want.

Posted May 21, 2013

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