Being Technically Right Does Matter – Dealing with Incorrect Amateur Radio Emotionalism

Specially in the Club Setting, how many of use have had to deal with “I feel” and other emotional rational masquerading as Technical Decision Making?

We once even had a (now ex-)Board Member go off on an adult tantrum with an “I don’t care what …. because I FEEL that it is …..” Needless to say he has found a different hobby where emotionalism is a valued attribute.

Recently we had heated email discussions whether virtually every antenna in the club shack had somehow become out of band. Another Antenna Analyzer was brought in and the plotted Smith Charts looked acceptable. Still the club member complained, why? Because his – yes HIS in his mind – measurements surely were correct and if they weren’t right pointing it out, he said “it makes him look bad.”

First the measurements were not “his” but rather those taken by an older analyzer that has never been checked. That everything he checked was bad, yet no radio or amp was complaining and other analyzers appear to show things more normal, was an impediment to a need for emotionalism.

More over anyone pointing out that maybe the Analyzer was off, was forgetting that he was an ancient member and a ham since Marconi himself signed licenses … or some such emotional drivel… and was a bad person for sticking to the facts.

Winston Churchill said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

Though arguably Churchill was more on about principles greater than merely acknowledging physical reality as one of the facts one deal with (he would have considered blatant emotionalism a category of weakness important enough to fully ignore the emotionalist) in the club situation we have to take facts first.

Those who want to play “Alice in Wonderland” are important, but not in decision making.

Being Technically RIght Does Matter – not as an emotional put down to those unable to function with facts, but as a technical hobby we have no choice. Just because one person “feels” this or that can’t change science.



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3 thoughts on “Being Technically Right Does Matter – Dealing with Incorrect Amateur Radio Emotionalism

  1. Larry W2LJ says:

    That “feelings” seem to dictate everything in our lives these days, only goes to show how far relativism has become a scourge in our society. We need absolutes to function, whether it be in a scientific setting; or in our every day lives. Without absolutes there is no such thing as quantifiable data; or no such thing as “right” and “wrong”.

  2. k9zw says:

    Larry W2LJ

    Herbert E Meyer’s book “Hard Thinking” may be familiar to you – If not I think you would find it interesting.

    In a very small book he brings clear the difference between factual and emotive decision making & thought.

    One review I did is at:



  3. k9zw says:

    I’ve had some second hand complaining that someone felt they were the person used as an example in my illustration on Emotional Relativism.

    There is no one person, rather the article uses an aggregate of several people’s actions.

    But if the Shoe Fits, be adult enough to wear it. Be grown up and responsible for your actions.

    While the events have been commingled and the individual identities obscured, the real lessons are there to learn are for all of us.

    Emotional Relativism will get us in trouble, specially when we use it in an attempt to ignore reality. Specially physical reality.

    If you recognize yourself as one of the examples of Emotional Relativism perhaps you will better see how the story of one’s emotional actions even offends your better sensibility when you read it recounted.

    Just think how awful it was to have to be those friends who were there and suffered while you were ranting in real time…..



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