How can instructors possibly train students on their knees?!?!
My rebreather is better than yours.
Sidemount is the absolute best configuration for all environments.
Having a stage bottle on either side is more balanced.
The other day, after I made a tongue-in-cheek disparaging remark about helmets (which are dumb, by the way) I got a whole bunch of messages varying from how I'm an idiot to how I'm a total idiot. Because, apparently, helmets are incredibly important safety... something... something.
Earlier that day I'd been having a conversation with my buddy about how important it is to keep focus as a diver - especially at more advanced levels - on what is important.
And what I've been thinking about over the last two days has been, "Well... what is important?"
I know what I think is important. And it is unsurprising that I'm surrounded by people who find similar things important. During our predive checks, during the dive, in the scope of training, gear configurations, etc... our shared philosophy is part of what brings us together.
Does it mean we're right?
Yeah... I mean... probably. At least we think so.
And without question there are other people who will think we are being overly cautious zealots in many ways. There are other people who think we're reckless dumbasses in ways. (Though I sort of suspect the former are likely to outnumber the later.)
We're a tribal species. By dint of evolutionary survival we stick together in common groups which look out for one another. Like meerkats, but with iphones.
So it should be unsurprising that, for all the calls of "Why can't we all just get along?!?!" we simply can't. We have our little gangs and I suspect it isn't a small part of our ancient brains that finds a great deal of comfort in that. We know we're tended to.
Of course I see behaviors I believe to be unsafe and I try to point them out as constructively as possible.
Of course I have gear and skills preferences that I've refined and changed and adapted over thousands of dives and thousands of conversations with other experienced divers and instructors.
But in the end: it's just diving.
My friend Chris always talks about how there are really only three rules: 1) Don't die 2) Don't kill anyone 3) Don't embarrass your instructor