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Thread: Expression of opinion and various biases - let's focus more on trekking stuff

  1. #1
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    Default Expression of opinion and various biases - let's focus more on trekking stuff

    I am increasingly unconfortable with strident expression of opinion telling Nepalis how to do things... This is ironic I suppose, coming from somone who's never been backward in expressing strong opinion at times. But in the wake of the events in April (demonstrations against the King for those who've forgotten it), the Maoists situation over the years, and the more recent event of the yet-to-materialise TRC - we have all at various times given our two-bobs worth of what we think of it, and what it might mean for trekkers, for lodge owners, for Nepalis in general, for the price of fish in Shanghai, whatever...

    Nothing wrong with that. Provided it sticks within certain limists, as far as this board is concerned.
    Webmaster has indicated quite clearly that this is not a forum for political debate, and in the main we've stuck with it. With the occasional slip. I have been one of those who's slipped occasionally.

    My discomfort right now comes from the fact that, at times, we seem to want to tell Nepalis what to do with their country, inside their own space. How to run things in their own backyard.
    I guess, especially for those of us who are inveterate trekkers, and have trod the hills on Nepal a number of times - there is some sense of ownership. My question, addressed to myself first of all, is to what extent this is warranted. I wish to bring it into consciousness and gauge it's validity.
    Utlimately few not many Nepalis tell us what to do with the Cote d'Azure, or the walks around Grindelwald, or the ski fields at Vail.
    I agree that the Himalayas are a world heritage area, and that as humanity we all should express some opinion about some stuff related to it.
    But I feel that too many times we cross a certain comon sense border: wether it in thinking we exactly undertand the Maoist insurgency situation (tough luck on that one...), or the role of the King, or the effect the yet-to-materialise TRC (with which I fundamentally disagree, on principle - if that matters...) might have.

    Again, I think healthy debate is invaluable. I guess I am just reflecting for myself, and thinking that perhaps others might benefit. I don't know.

    My concern is that the focus of this site is trekking and stuff about the amazing trekking place that Nepal is for such activities. To the extent that other issues impact trekking, they are worth discussing. I hope we don't get too peripheral and start getting bogged down in these peripheral issues.

    Nepalis of course will deal with stuff in their country as they see fit. While we may disagree with certain aspects, and say so at times, let us do it with respect.
    yakshaver

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Expression of opinion and various biases - let's focus more on trekking stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by yakshaver
    I am increasingly unconfortable with strident expression of opinion telling Nepalis how to do things...

    . . . .

    Nepalis of course will deal with stuff in their country as they see fit. While we may disagree with certain aspects, and say so at times, let us do it with respect.
    Yes sir.

    Never too old to learn, would you explain/teach me please if that should also imply forumusers are not to express certain opinions anymore, aimed at "helping" (supporting, backing-up, defending, you name it...) certain residents of Nepal? Who are "the Nepalis" you had in mind when you wrote this latest post, if I may ask? Those professionally and commercially engaged in the trekking- and tourism industry? And who else out there?
    Let me try to make myself more clear with the following example, that doesn't seem to affect Kathmandu at all. Yet - provided the report is accurate - is does affect Nepalis.

    www.AsiaNews.it - 27 September, 2006 NEPAL – CHINA
    Balananda Basyal, head of the Nepalese Food Corporation depot in the town of Lomanthang in upper Mustang district, told AsiaNews that famine was widespread in the area until the government and international agencies were able to ensure the residents’ survival. However, “with the collapse of the [former royalist] government aid has stopped. We can only get food from Tibet but now the Chinese ban has caused such shortages that we’ll soon start to starve”
    Famine in Mustang and Lomanthang for the time being?
    Apart from how terrible that is for the people who live there, does it mean it's time to advise foreign tourists who go there to bring MORE THAN enough food along (so they can share)? If so, how do you say that without sounding "political" or "paternalising"?

    With all due respect for the webmaster and for you, I remain under the impression that an interesting percentage of (future) Nepal trekkers take an interest, generally, in aspects of politics there. The impressive support from abroad, morally and financially, for volunteer work and for private initiatives such as with setting up orphanages or facilitating schools, imo prove this attitude. So, why a certain objection here to post personal opinions re. how the country "is being run"? The country has given quite some reasons over the past couple of years to keep a rather close eye on how it was run, also for visiting foreign tourists!

    Finally, myself I would have no problems at all with Nepalis telling the French what to do with the Côte d'Azur, ditto the Germans with Grindelwald, or Holland regarding f.e. the many Dutch "world heritage sites".
    The more, the merrier! And you never know what you can - indeed - still learn from eachother!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Expression of opinion and various biases - let's focus more on trekking stuff

    Correction: famine in Upper Mustang district.

    edit-function refused

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    Default Re: Expression of opinion and various biases - let's focus more on trekking stuff

    Point taken, Yakshaver. So guys, to the extent I have sidetracked discussions from more direct trekking matters I apologise. This is the most valuable site I have found for sound advice.

    Let me add that TRC and additional Maoist activities will not stop my return to Nepal.

  5. #5
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    Default out with it, please!

    Expression of opinion and various biases - let's focus more on trekking stuff
    Okay, now let's talk business mr. yakshaver.

    First of all: any reply, any post, any thread here can be edited or deleted. That's up to users, moderators and of course the administrator of the board, who has his own views and ideas about what he wants it to be like: purpose, use, unwanted use.
    I notice my post about a shooting incident at Nangpa La last weekend, has been split into the OP and the 1st reply that has a different title. As a user, I cannot edit titles (in fact, I also don't seem to be able to edit text nomore, but never mind).
    If the post was a problem to someone here, why not simply delete it? Why was it cut in two, with both postings still on the board? Please note: this is no criticism or a complaint. I'm just curious why - if there was something wrong about the posting - it wasn't simply either edited or deleted to keep things clear?

    Second: on the 5th of October (the 4th where I am), you started this thread. Yet on the 12th of September you started this one, titled "Remove the way TAAN wishes to implement TRC? Convince foreign donors to Nepal!"

    So what is going on, please? Are you increasingly uncomfortable with yourself? Or can yóu post anything around here (paternalising, interfering with Nepali interior affairs, calling for a boycott and so on) but ordinary users can nót post "strident expression of opinion"?
    Did you enter a mid-life crisis recently, that makes you confused about these things? Or is it simply the owner of the forum who objects to some of the discussions or individual posts here, and asked you to do something about it?

    If it's the latter, I have no problems with such an intervention at all, but please just say so and be clear.
    If it's one of the other 3 options I mentioned, I'm sorry I focussed on the enormous difference between a couple of your other, recent posts here and "the message" in this new thread you started now.

    Finally, if you indeed want to focus more on trekking stuff, I recommend you get in touch with your contacts in Kathmandu right away, in order to find out if that Heidi-posting on YZ is credible, or not.
    That's trekking stuff right now, yakshaver: that d*mned TRC because of the ban on independent trekking! Telling people about your personal feelings of concern and discomfort with what they discuss here, imo is not.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Expression of opinion and various biases - let's focus more on trekking stuff

    Can I please suggest to the moderators that this thread be moved from the "Safety & Travel Info" forum over to the "News & Views" forum

  7. #7
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    Default talking politics

    Quote Originally Posted by yakshaver
    Webmaster has indicated quite clearly that this is not a forum for political debate, and in the main we've stuck with it.
    You can judge by the registered times of my postings in this thread that I've really, really, really done my best and taken many deep breaths in the meantime, in order to "shut up" about exactly the above part in what you wrote, yakshaver.

    Still, I recall February or March 2005. And a thread here with a political turn and a comment of mine addressed to the webmaster where I said "you made your point, I hope that I made mine". He had allowed, or he had posted it himself, a long explanation about what the Maoists like best. And I criticised him for it, probably saying you don't defend the policies of ruthless t*rr*r*sts on a trekkersboard!
    It was back then that the webmaster of this forum sent people who wanted to discuss politics re. Nepal over to "nepalbbs", remember? You were registered there too.

    Considering my personal and extremely disappointing experiences with the administrator of that crazy board (owned & operated by a Nepali travelagency at the time), I'll never go back there myself. But if after some 5 to 10 hackers have made it theirs in the past 1½ year, it would nevertheless still be there and available, the webmaster/administrator of Trekinfo.com/forums might want to check out if he can send a number of people here over to nepalbbs again, to discuss topics with a political contents regarding Nepal? Instead of here? Offer an alternative, so to speak? Buy or hire the domain? Even though in the new Nepal it's still difficult to separate "trekking" from "politics" for a lot of people who are preparing their trek?
    .

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Expression of opinion and various biases - let's focus more on trekking stuff

    I have long since become jaded by all things political. Both home and abroad. Many of us spend our lifetimes distracting ourselves by venting our energy into circular, self righteousness and self fulfilling prophecies. I used to think that I was doing my best for everyone and therefore had every right to express my opinion to you all and have you listen to it. But do I really have that right? What really good things have I done to really change things for the better and to earn your respect and what difference does having a debate on here with you really make to anyone? Is it not just idle chatter?

    "Those that talk about it the most do it the least"

    I could pretend to myself and you lot that I love Nepal so much because I am interested in the welfare of all Nepalis, (which of course I am - I would be a bad person if I wasn't ) and that I want to put my time and effort into raising charity funds, into working for children or improving the lives of the ordinary Nepalis. Although I might do a little here and there I am not so self aggrandising and delusional to not admit that I want to go to Nepal because when I am there I enjoy myself immensely. I love wandering the streets of Kathmandu chatting to people, sitting in a tea house eating dal bhat and being amongst the wonderful mountains. Can I claim any more than having a passing interest in the other aspects? Do I make a real difference to anyone there? Err no not really. The only way I could claim that is if I was dedicating my time and energy into making a REAL difference but I am not doing that so how can I claim that joining in endless political discussions would be anything but an exercise in hot air and self congratulatory BS?

    Do I or any of us here actually have the right to pat ourselves on the back for our knowledge of Nepali affairs, our influence on Nepali politics, the relevance of our opinion on any of it? For the real difference we make to anyone?

    It reminds me of the evangelists standing on every street corner of the western world. Pouring their lifes energy into convincing others that his way is the right way and to repent. If he was a true believer he would not be telling me or you what to do with our lives but he would be working in that warzone, or orphanage or wherever expending his energy actually doing something not bolstering up his ego by telling you and me what is right and wrong.

    So to be completely honest I think a lot of the talk on here is self-aggrandising and a waste of energy. When I looked at myself deep down it dawned on me that I can't really claim that I help anyone and people who angrily defend their ego by claiming that they really do are in denial. Because those that really are out there making a difference don't need to defend themselves and their ego as they are putting their energy into real things and that is enough for them.

    Of course this post is another example of me wasting my energy bolstering up my own ego with the "I don't do politics angle." And I am as bad as the rest of you.

    My beef with the TRC was that it would curtail how I could trek in Nepal. It would be nice to claim that I am worried about the affect on the tourist industry, the independent guide and so on and to take the nice righteous side of the argument, pat myself on the back and feel happy that I am standing up for the rights of the ordinary Nepali. But would it be true? No not really.

    I would like to be that person who works in the orphanage, my ego would like to be able to tell everyone that is what I do, so that you all would listen to my point of view and pay me respect. But I don't do I? So my opinion is fairly worthless.

    So call me shallow or facile but I would rather be smelling a flower, watching the sunset or holding someones hand than having a debate with you guys (even though that is exactly what I am doing now!) or trying to claim that my opinion on a subject I actually know very little about or is pretty irrelevant anyway is better than yours.

    I like to read about people's treks, look at pictures and daydream about the mountains that is why I like TrekInfo, I generally don't join in some of the debates here (unless my ego is feeling poorly and it needs some bolstering) as they don't really seem to go anywhere and I can't claim that the self-important feeling I get when I do join in really means anything. It just takes me another step down the dead end road of "I am think I am cleverer than you."

    But isn't that the point of politics and debates - to convince you that my opinion is better than yours? It is slightly ironic and amusing then that this post seeks to draw in everyone into a debate about the worthiness of debates as though that is the most important discussion currently on here! Thank god life, us craxy mixed up people and the paradoxes we encounter are a constant source of amusement.

    So lets have these debates if we want. Why not? They are no more pointless than 1 million other things we distract ourselves with but we can't claim along with it that the pile of fluff and bluster on here debating, opining and linking 101 websites really means anything.

    <fingers in ears> "la la la I can't hear you!"
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  9. #9
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    Default For those short on time

    For those of you who don't have the time or energy to read my pointless drivel above I can summarise what I said with:-



    or maybe:-

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  10. #10
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    Default Pointless debates?

    Or to put it another way:-

    Mmmmmm mountains...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

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