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unprecedented astro interest


leenewtoastro
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Cantvsay from forum stats but for the past few months the volume of newbies has been so intense I have sort of stopped posting.

I used to try and say hi to veryone when they joined but I just dont have time in a day to say hi to the volumes of people who have been turning up.

Its the same for the 'what telescope should I buy' threads. I ignore them now which isnt nice I know pbut I jus dont have that much time in my day to keep answering threads.

The volume of all threads is so high now I only look at the first few pages of new posts and ignore the rest. Just plain out of time really.

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The problem is popularisation brings its own problems. People start bringing unpleasant attitudes into the hobby. Saw it n another hobby, when it was relatively 'dark' people had trust, you could rely on the experts within the hobby and there was a great deal of trust extended on all sides.

As it popularised commercial interest took over and all of a sudden the hobby was full of cowboys out to make a quick buck, unpleasant people looking to steal anything not nailed down etc.

You'll see it in astro at some point, people bringing their road rage type attitudes to star parties etc and some will simply operate to bilk people. The trust will evaporate.

To have trust you need a relatively small group, as the group gets bigger trust breaks down and eventually Greshams law takes over, loosely the bad drive out the good who go find something else to do.

I'd hate to see that happen but I'd not be surprised if it did in the least.

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The problem is popularisation brings its own problems. People start bringing unpleasant attitudes into the hobby. Saw it n another hobby, when it was relatively 'dark' people had trust, you could rely on the experts within the hobby and there was a great deal of trust extended on all sides.

As it popularised commercial interest took over and all of a sudden the hobby was full of cowboys out to make a quick buck, unpleasant people looking to steal anything not nailed down etc.

You'll see it in astro at some point, people bringing their road rage type attitudes to star parties etc and some will simply operate to bilk people. The trust will evaporate.

To have trust you need a relatively small group, as the group gets bigger trust breaks down and eventually Greshams law takes over, loosely the bad drive out the good who go find something else to do.

I'd hate to see that happen but I'd not be surprised if it did in the least.

I here your point AB but I don't believe this would happen to astronomy, as I believe it takes a certain type of person to have a dedicated intrest in this hobby, perhaps the more open minded? scientific type? Artistic even? I just think these types are usualy more settled laid back people and usualy frowen upon violence etc.

Also IMO albeit a sad out look, is that with this sudden influx to the hobby maybe even more than half of them will be disapointed as you say with it and never come back to it, mainly I belive because it again takes a certain type of person to appreciate what they are looking at, which brings me back to my original point.

So I think it will balance out and everyone will be happy in the end! :D

Or perhaps I am an idealist and really we are all doomed! :p

Michael

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... Saw it n another hobby, when it was relatively 'dark' people had trust ... As it popularised commercial interest took over ..

I too have seen this in other unrelated activities - very sad.

The core enthusiasts retreated, we are still around just harder to reach - and no longer the visible face. Public perception of our interest is warped so the new people coming in have different expectations.

The positive side was that specialist equipment did evolve faster and quality went up.

R

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A gradual rise in interest is I think good, but the surge we have at this time will cause a lot of beginners to be disappointed. This may lead to a reduction in future years. A parent saying I had a scope once but it just didn't work or show anything, I wouldn't bother if I were you. Could stop the next generation getting involved.

How will this burst in interest turn out, no idea. Too many may will cause hiccups, but a widening of the hobby is good. The hobby will change. Kids will want to use an ipad or phone app to attach or use with scopes. Maybe manual scopes will become a thing that is "quaint".

DSO's do not stand out, are usually difficult to locate and do not display the vivid colours that people see on images.

Jupiter and Saturn are the giants of the solar system but they are tiny.

For 7 days of every week you cannot count on the weather.

Goto's are not automatic.

Ignorance is not bliss. You do need some knowledge.

Dobsonian/Newts may have a wide view but that is comparitive, they really are quite limited.

Experienced members have to remember that a scope they like may not be the one for a beginner.

All scopes have a learning curve, that learning curve is usually steep.

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Just a view from a beginner (yes it was the BBC not PBC, though you do need astro envangelists like him).

I sort of agree that the hobby for the most part attracts "nice" people (hey it got me :D) by virtue of its own demands, but conversely there is a danger that the over popularisation of a hobby will increase the amount of people who fall out with the hobby, but my guess is that these would be the same people who are "fair weather fishers" or have a couple of electric guitars in the loft when they realise they don't sound like Eric Clapton. :(

I am quite happy with where I am right now with my Bins and telescope, and I wish I could support the forum more than just say "Hi and welcome" and "got bins? get a tripod!".

Let's see where I am in a years time to see if the Bins migrate to the loft.... if thats the case I will look back on it with respect for those who do do it (and with a little jealousy of members capacious wallets!).

All the best

Mark

p.s. I will be watching the second hand listings (like evereyone else)...:p

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I've noticed it on various forumses, when a group gets too 'busy', the olde skoole types tend to move off and create their own, more tuned in, place to 'be'. Not being one to get out much, I can't really say how 'real-life' social/specific interests groups work, but I would imagine that it isn't that far removed.

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Another thought from a 'newbie' on here..

I can totally understand long-standing members not feeling like they have to reply to every 'Hi - new member' and 'What Scope Should I Buy?' posting. So no hard feelings from me! :D

Half the fun of getting into a new hobby, is doing your own research - not relying on others to do it for you. I've spent over a year now, nearly two, researching the different types of scope, brands, pricing, and reading alot of reviews on this, and other forums. There is SO much information out there now, there's absolutely no excuse for not having a particular scope at least 90% certain in your mind, before you join a forum.

Then, I'd recommend posting a "I'm thinking of buying this scope - comments/advice welcome" - as I did a week ago, just to glean any last snippets of vital info on that scope before you splash the cash.

Spend a bit of time reading this place, is my advice - and if people say "but I haven't the time", I have 2 young kids, and a very demanding IT job (including 24hr support callout) - so take your time, do a bit when you can and you'll enjoy doing the research.

That scope will still be there when you've finished, as will the universe you plan to view - and you'll come out of the research experience a much wiser person.

So, as I said - no hard feelings from this 'noob' about not reading my posts - it's great to know there's a huge body of knowledge here when I really need it - and hopefully I can start advising others when they need it.

Edited by WakeyTiger
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Aren't we in danger of becoming elitist here? Do we want to drive anyone new away and keep our little club together shunning outsiders? - NO of course we don't, but lets be realistic here - SGL has less than 4000 active members out of a total of over 12000 - so 1 in 3 gives up - Personally I think we should welcome and encourage - We are still a VERY small and insignificant group as far as hobbies go - I don't hear a great deal of "fishing rage" and apparently (don't inderstand it myself) fishing is the largest particpation sport/hobby in the country

Edited by MorningMajor
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.. I don't hear a great deal of "fishing rage" and apparently (don't inderstand it myself) fishing is the largest particpation sport/hobby in the country

Oh it's there alright - match fishermen v's pleasure fishemen, specimen hunters v's tiddler bashers, farmed trout V's "wildies". There are even 2 or 3 "brigades" of Pike fishermen who can't agree on the ethics of dead bait v's livebait v's lures :D

I think when you get below the surface of any hobby the fractions become apparent - I know a guy who is into model aeroplane flying and he says that it's rife there as well !.

Personally, I've found astronomy the calmest, least polarised hobby I've been involved with. I think we all realise that the universe goes on it's own sweet way and doesn't care a jot about our little debates on how to look at, or take images of it's wonders. I rather like that thought :p

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Personally, I've found astronomy the calmest, least polarised hobby I've been involved with. I think we all realise that the universe goes on it's own sweet way and doesn't care a jot about our little debates on how to look at, or take images of it's wonders. I rather like that thought :p

Its not like all us noobs are going to crowd up the sky so you cannot see it anymore or worse than that, drive Saturn away is it?

..Is it???:D

The old school yells: "Look what you did, Noob!"

I have to say though, i have seen elements of an extremely elitist attitude from some people on here. It seems some people believe you need a degree in a subject to be able (or allowed) to appreciate anything and everything about it.

Edited by Cashman
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I have to say though, i have seen elements of an extremely elitist attitude from some people on here. It seems some people believe you need a degree in a subject to be able (or allowed) to appreciate anything and everything about it.

Yes I have to agree that applies to a handfull of certain posters.

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Oh it's there alright - match fishermen v's pleasure fishemen, specimen hunters v's tiddler bashers, farmed trout V's "wildies". There are even 2 or 3 "brigades" of Pike fishermen who can't agree on the ethics of dead bait v's livebait v's lures :D
Told you I didn't know much about it! :p Edited by MorningMajor
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Yes I have to agree that applies to a handfull of certain posters.

IMHO people who don't at least attempt to pitch their answer to suit experience level of the person asking the question are usually trying to show how clever they are rather than trying to help someone understand a problem.

Edited by GazOC
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We do see snobbery entering into the the hobby and there is an element of elitism,

this can be seen by the extent of disposable income,ie who has got the biggest dob,

meade against skywatcher, orion against tasco. Of course the better the quality of the optics matters but we should be encouraging people, from using the naked eye

to the best they can afford. the perfect solution is to encourage more star parties.

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