Beats watching TV!!!
Couldn't agree more, I'v learnt a lot just from being on this forum (partly the reason I don't want it to close). And all I've learn't from watching, "The Idiot Box" (as Bluetongue1 puts it) is just how stupid and messed up the outside world can be. (self-isolation was a treat )Got to be the quote of the thread I reckon!
If you want to learn something - gather where people can discuss (and even disagree) where statements will stand or fall on their own merit.
If you want to be conditioned to believing a single bias narrative - made by mostly lazy research that is highly edited to only show one side where they silence or suppress any opposition - go watch TV.
FWIW, I think other large online organizations are heading that direction with the increase in censorship as well - which is why I will always support small local forums.
Couldn't agree more, I'v learnt a lot just from being on this forum (partly the reason I don't want it to close). And all I've learn't from watching, "The Idiot Box" (as Bluetongue1 puts it) is just how stupid and messed up the outside world can be. (self-isolation was a treat )
Knowing someone who works in the news industry I know all about this. There's always another side to the story. Not long ago I heard on the news that a motorbike rider "Identified" as a cyclist and broke the world record for fastest cyclist, on his motorbike. Apparently having an engine had nothing to do with it. Not sure about you but I see the news industry as the outside world. And by watching the idiot box, reading the news and seeing them exaggerate so many stories, all I've found is that it is stupid and messed up.News more than half the time is bias, or omits details, (or completely ignores some things to portray a different view of the world to what is happening), and of course "fake" ;-)
"Television,,,where imagination is sucked out of children by a cathode ray nipple,,,,,TeeVee, is the only wet nurse, that would create a cripple" !!!Couldn't agree more, I'v learnt a lot just from being on this forum (partly the reason I don't want it to close). And all I've learn't from watching, "The Idiot Box" (as Bluetongue1 puts it) is just how stupid and messed up the outside world can be. (self-isolation was a treat )
I visit several forums, for several reasons, but mainly to learn and to share what little I DO know. Here and the ham radio forums, I'm on the learning side of the curve. At a tropical fish forum and a firearms forum, I'm on the helper side of the curve.
"Better than TV"...Haha, ANYTHING is better than TV, the detriment to the last few generations and quite probably why the world is in the shape it's in now. I think Frank Zappa expressed it best:
Good question.What's the ham radio scene like these days? Years and years ago I thought about getting into it, but circumstances didn't really suit it. Then the internet became such a thing, I figured ham radio was largely redundant, but maybe I was wrong.
For hobbyists, ham radio is going strong. There are a few new digital modes, like FT-8, that both allows more distant communication on less power, and also automates communication to a certain degree, There is more and more information available and it has become much easier to both get licensed and to learn.
I have a civilian background in two-way radio and a military background in radar and have always enjoyed tinkering with electronics. I am an 'Amateur Extra' level amateur radio operator, which is the uppermost of the three licensing levels here in the states. I am also a "volunteer examiner" and help to administer licensing exams.
You're right about redundancy, if you want to talk to someone, just email them or pick up the phone, but the internet and cellular service both rely on infrastructure that is relatively fragile. Weather events like hurricanes (typhoons) can, and often do, impede normal communications. If cell towers are damaged, no one's phone works. Power outages that go with such events can shut down computers. Other events can cause cell phone outages due to vast demand. We had an 5.8 earthquake nearby and while the infrastructure was largely undamaged, you could not get a phone call out due to everyone calling everyone else to check their well-being. Ham radio operators tend to overemphasize the importance, but the truth is that for normal communication, it's just a hobby, grown-up playtime. For true emergencies, it can have great value.
The potential value is understood by local emergency/first responders, who actually train with us for emergency field communications. In fact, the weekend of June 26-27 is our national 'Field Day', where individuals and clubs set up and run from emergency power like solar, batteries and generators alongside government officials. We use gear intended to withstand field conditions and temporary/portable antennas. Our local fire/rescue department has a large mobile commo center, based on a 30' RV, and they join with us in an outdoor location. From our side of it, it is operated like a contest, to determine how many contacts can be made and how far, all running from remote locations on emergency power. From their side, they prove out interoperability and learn about our strengths and weaknesses.
Weather spotting is also a value at times, where rapidly changing weather patterns are kept up with by trained spotters, who observe and report conditions. I have taken training with our national weather service and have become a registered spotter. When we have severe weather predicted, the national weather service's local office will 'activate spotters' and many networks become dedicated to handling weather-oriented traffic. We report on hazards and anomolies, like ice accumulation, high winds, large hail, snowfall measurements, etc..
It's mostly a fun hobby for me. I have had conversations with people in all parts of the world, and the challenge becomes making contacts with countries you've never spoken with. Japan and Australia are both on my wish list, but I have spoken with most of the North America, South America, Canada and even a few in Asiatic Russia. I can talk regularly with friends within a several hundred mile radius, and we have short-range nets on VHF every week, where club members can meet and talk.