Monday, October 26, 2009

We Keep Getting Dumber

It seems these days that the more high tech something is, the dumber it makes us. To wit:

Yuppie 911

It seems that wannabe Lewis and Clark's, whose previous outdoor experience is limited to walking the dog at the city park, are now setting out in their birkenstocks with a sack lunch, their blankie, and a personal locater beacon. Thus emboldened, our intrepid adventurers boldly go where no man has gone before. The reason being that the men who went before knew better than to attempt such folly. But, have no fear, once they find their sorry asses in a pickle, they need simply push the panic button. This done, they can sit back, munch their tofu sandwich and sip a snapple, secure in the knowledge that the designated rescue agency is thundering to the rescue, placing their own selves at risk, to save the stupid.

Not so very long ago, when folks found themselves in such a predicament, they were faced with two choices. Either use their gray matter and work through the problem, or die. I suspect that most. although not all, adventurers made it a point to be prepared. Now any old soft body can go traipsing through the woods, secure in the knowledge that someone will save them when they get a blister on their big toe.

Now, I will readily admit that I have a handheld GPS. I keep it in my saddlebag or backpack. I mark the trailhead before setting out. Then I turn it off, and stow it away. My navigation tools consist of a map, and a Mark I, Mod 0 compass. I have used the GPS on the trail once. Our whereabouts suspect, I used it to mark our Latitude and Longitude. However, had I not possessed map reading skills, this information wouldn't have been worth squat.

My treks are planned out. Supplies are checked and double checked. I always have water, a survival kit, and first aid kit. If a trail looks questionable, I study the terrain, compare it to the contour lines on the map, and am never too proud to say "I don't think so." A healthy fear of heights probably goes a long way toward preventing me from endangering my skin, also. On one trip, we rode in out of the wilderness a day earlier than planned due the fact that thunderstorms were rolling in. Discretion, and all that. Maybe I'm old school, since I believe in preparation, and knowing ones own limits.

I firmly believe that these gadgets, whilst designed with good intentions, are directly contributing to dilution of the gene pool. Along with the thousands of OSHA regulations in place, they keep those of limited common sense from perishing in the wilderness, or dying in an industrial accident, as they would have earlier in the last century. As a result, people not smart enough survive when left to their own devices, are now kept alive by regulations and gadgets, which permits them enough time on the planet to breed. This is usually done with someone possessing of an equally low IQ, thus creating the next generation of people who require that others take care of them.

It is to weep.


Anonymous said...

My GPS makes me take wrong turns. Obviously, it wants me out of the gene pool. Little does it know, I voluntarly left it.

Gordon said...

It kind of sounds like four-wheel drive. The purpose of four-wheel drive is to get yourself stuck much, much further from help.

Buck said...

Well said. I know my limits and I don't venture off the pavement. That would be nowadays; it wasn't always so. But we ain't invulnerable anymore. :p

Buckskins Rule said...

Laura: Beat it to the punch did you? :)

Gordon: So true. It's other purpose is to get put the poor drivers in the ditch early on in the first snow. Four wheel drive does not equal four wheel stop.

Buck: I'm sure in the days that you did venture off the blacktop, you exercised some level of common sense, as you clearly returned from the trips alive.

Daphne said...

"...whose previous outdoor experience is limited to walking the dog at the city park, are now setting out in their birkenstocks with a sack lunch, their blankie,"

You had me laughing from the get go, Buckskin.

I've never been lost in my life. Seriously, my sense of direction is infallible. It's one of my weird gifts.

Buckskins Rule said...

Daphne, treasure that gift.

I've never been lost's just been a matter of how narrowly I can pinpoint my, county, state.