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Techno geeks and technophobes

I must be crazy for continuing this.....but what the heck....

My original post, regarding HACH pricing here in Canada, was meant as a sort
of "price check" for people (principally, but not solely) who might be
considering buying one or more HACH test kits. My advice was (I thought)
that they ought to shop around and compare prices before they bought, as I
had discovered a wide price spread from company to company on the same HACH
products here in Canada.

The post was purely concerned with the PRICE of the kits. I made no comment
nor suggestion regarding their quality or desirability over competing brands
of test kits.

Then TW came in with "but do you - really - need that level of precision
anyway? Maybe what set me off was the backassed question about locking my
doors at night.

Anyway, while the question of how appropriate (or necessary) the level of
precision supposedly accompanying HACH test kit might make for fascinating
reading - it wasn't germane to my original post. If Tom wished to discuss
how much (or how little) of that we need, maybe he could do so in a separate
thread. I'd be interested in reading his thoughts on the matter.

But TW's interjection is merely the latest in a series of comments I've seen
made whenever topics here turn to real details about aquarium myth and
science. Lots of people like to pipe up and say that oh you really don't
need to worry about that, its far too detailed, or far too technical.

As I said to TW, there are many approaches a person may take to this hobby -
all of them are equally valid. There may be many things that some people
(myself included) worry overmuch about, but when you are dealing with
complex living systems and processes that even experts disagree about, it
can be nice to know at least something about the details. If you can be
assured that there are no hidden "gotcha's" lurking in the shadows, then you
can safely ignore the details.

But traditionally here on the APD, BOTH viewpoints have existed side by side
and both can learn from the other. There isn't any need for someone to sit
on their back porch with a shotgun waiting to take a potshot at the next
geek who walks by.

I might remind the technophobes that they have a LOT to thank the techno
geeks for - things like CO2 injection, PMDD, fertilizers, substrate
information. SOME geek had to figure this stuff out in the first place and a
lot of OTHER geeks discussed it and refined it over the years. Everybody

If you don't care for the technical nature of some posts, just skip over
them - there isn't any need to interject a "talk radio" commentary trying to
prove how cool it is to be a dweeb. We know that already.

Additionally, if you are a true believer in a simpler approach, set down
your thoughts in a post of your own, outlining your approach to the hobby.
There are many ways to skin a cat.

Oh, one final thing. TW, I wasn't suggesting that YOU leave the APD. It was
the style of interjection that I objected to. Your point of view (and that
of others) is, I should hope, more than welcome and often quite helpful and
entertaining. Sometimes, sails do need to be deflated and it is always nice
to hear about how someone's brother's neighbor's father-in-law solved some
problem by throwing a catfish into the chicken coop. We all know how stupid
chickens are.


James Purchase