Forums: Climbing Information: The Lab: Welcome to the Lab!: Edit Log




Partner j_ung


Jun 7, 2006, 6:23 AM

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Registered: Nov 21, 2003
Posts: 18687

Welcome to the Lab!
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A while back I started a thread to serve as a clearinghouse for information on climbing gear tests. I called it Online Climbing Safety Test Results. “RC.com users often post online test results to prove or disprove points in safety-related threads,” I reasoned. “These tests are all over the Internet and usually a Google search will yield results, but not always.”

Now after much discussion with Sterling Rope’s Jim Ewing and the other RC.com managers and mods, we’ve decided to open a whole forum dedicated solely to climbing safety tests: The Lab. Many questions were answered in the course of said discussions. Why wouldn’t we just put such threads in Gear Heads? Would we allow threads like the Toy Biner Test? Would we be encouraging unsafe behavior in the name of science? How crazy will the signal to noise ratio be? Just what types of testing should we include? And just what is really the overall goal of this thing?

I’ll tackle the last question first…

What’s the goal of this forum?
The Lab exists to serve as a clearinghouse for any and all serious climbing safety test information (not limited to gear testing). Currently, no such clearing house exists, at least, not like this. By putting all of this stuff into one forum, we get a searchable database devoted solely to this topic – a one-stop shop, so to speak – to which average users like you can contribute in an open discussion.

Why not just put such threads in Gear Heads?
And lose them amongst the what-shoe-should-I-buy and what-should-my-rack-contain threads? That wouldn’t even come close to meeting the prime objective (see above). Besides, this isn’t just for gear testing. Let’s say some enterprising young grad student writes a thesis on altitude sickness and includes objective data. Welcome home, thread.

What about joke threads like the Toy Biner Test?
Sorry, no. While we all enjoy a good joke and a sense of humor will be welcome in this forum, its goal is to promote safety, not laughs.

Doesn’t this just encourage unsafe behavior in the name of science?
Only in the sense that this entire website encourages unsafe behavior in the name fun! The fact of the matter is that the sum total of the world’s climbing know-how consists of hard knowledge backed up by objective experimentation AND assumptions and speculations that circulate long enough to be mistaken for fact. I cite the ADT and EDK as examples. Pretending that everything we think we know is correct will not encourage safety. In fact, the opposite is true.

Obviously, if users want to conduct their own tests, we highly encourage them to post here first to run their ideas by the community. Becoming one’s own crash-test dummy… now that would be stoopit.

How will we limit the signal to noise ratio?
By moderating this forum actively. Much like Injuries & Accidents, we intend step in when necessary. Rest assured, we will continue our newest policy of transparency in any moderation we undertake. You’ll know what happens and why.

What, precisely, will be included in this forum?
• Threads that direct us to test results that already exist on the web. These should be in the form of a quicky quote or two and a link to the website. Please do not copy and paste wholesale.
• Threads posted by gear makers (and others with real live lab equipment) to highlight safety issues.
• Question by users that can be answered with a little lab work (no guarantees a gear maker will step up).
• Home testing done by users to compare like equipment or techniques.
• Proposals for tests, posted for feedback before beginning.
• Peer review of testing methods and data.
• General questions regarding scientific method and how it applies to climbing experimentation.

There may be more, but that’s all I can think up off the top of my head.

In conclusion, we don’t expect this forum to always contain only the most accurate information. But I do expect it to be a place where ensuing discussion will help all of us understand what the most accurate information might be, why or why not it isn’t accurate and how to go about getting the most comprehensive objective, data-backed answers to safety-related questions we can find.

FYI: The Lab resides in the Climbing Specialty forum section. And just so there's no confusion, this is a moderated forum. By posting in the Lab, all users agree to keep their tone respectful to each other and to abide by the RC.com Terms of Service.

(This post was edited by j_ung on Dec 1, 2008, 1:10 PM)



Edit Log:
Post edited by j_ung () on Feb 14, 2008, 10:28 AM
Post edited by j_ung () on Dec 1, 2008, 1:10 PM


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