[AMRadio] No Code Pros and Cons

John Lawson jpl15 at panix.com
Sat Dec 16 12:17:27 EST 2006

On Sat, 16 Dec 2006, Geoff/W5OMR wrote:

> crawfish wrote:
>> I didn't see what was wrong with 5 w.p.m. for Generals and above. Oh, well,
>> the dumbing down of America continues...
>>                                                              Joe W4AAB
> Exactly.
> })-;}


   Speaking as the guy who actually brought up the 'dumbing-down' issue in 
this thread - I'd like to posit a Thought on the issue of "no-code ham 
license" vs. "IQ".

   Without indulging in crass personal details - I would like to offer the 
observation that, 54 years on, it's probably correct to say that Mrs. 
Lawson didn't raise no dummy.  I've done my share of Cool Things, in the 
Arts and Science and Commerce - with only my brain to help me.  I will 
mention that I was graduated with a BSEE in 1971 - when I was 19, and I 
attended that University all four years. Y'all can do the math on yer 
own...  There are several patents, numerous published papers, was Chief 
Engineer of MGM Studios... yada yada yada...  the point being that I mebbe 
ain't as stupid as some folks might think I look like I am.

   Also - there are some truly 'genius' level folks I know of, who may or 
may not participate in these fora - people who you might recognize right 
away in a particular context. I certainly know one or two of 'em that 
don't care for Code.

   I would like to again point out the fact that, the above crass bragging 
notwithstanding, I have a terrible, frustrating time with the Code, and 
that includes retention of same.  Even as a life-long musician - there is 
something about my WetWare that doesn't resonate with dahdididah....  as 
much as I would really like to sit in front of the Valiant with a lovely 
Vibroplex on the table, it's probably not gonna happen, especially as I 
age and the Learning Facility slowly degrades.

    Certainly in teaching Ham Radio - there exists a sizeable subset of 
individuals who ALSO have inherent trouble with Code Proficiency - 
regradless of their overall intellectual abilities.   Most of them drop 
out of the Program at that point.... that used to be quite heartbreaking - 
lessened by the elimination of the Requirement at the Technician level - 
then that Disenfranchised Subset could at least *participate*!

   SO: to the 'No Code = Stupid' assertion, I say "Not so fast!"  - that is 
just a sad form of Intellectual Bigotry, if that is what's really felt.

   "Lids" have existed since Ham began - one needs only to go back thru the 
"Letters" section of QST and other Ham magazines - the things we complain 
about were the subject of impassioned diatribes 60 and 70 years ago... in 
QST especially.  The allowance of DSSC (SSB) sounded the 'deathknell' for 
Amateur Radio as we know it.  The hand-over of 11 Meters to the Citizen's 
Radio Service was the "End of Ham Radio as We Know It!!!"  The permission 
to allow RTTY on HF was the "Final Disaster That Will Kill Our Hobby!!!"

   I say: - let's welcome anything that serves to bring new Amateurs into 
our Hobby - and I most positively urge those of Us who are concerned about 
the "Riff-Raff" - to get out there and be their Teacher - be their Elmer - 
inculcate the Ham Values that you know so well - if Gordon West can teach 
tens of thousands - y'all can certainly get a shack full of Boy Scouts 
(AND their parents, don't forget the Dads and Moms) an evening a week - 
PLUS: the technological aspect of getting a Ham License is an excellent 
antidote against the very "dumbing-down" that many of us are so concerned 

   Yet another 200 m$ from


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