Often 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. They say ever since a requirement to demonstrate proficiency in Morse
code was removed, the quality of operators has plummeted (my license was earned
in the sans code test era, so that makes me one of the lesser beings).
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
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, bigoted pig. I've pushed back against it all my life. Call me
what you want.
Posted March 31, 2022
(updated from original post on 5/21/2013)