Agreed. I used the words I did because I make value judgments based on actions and outcomes, not by trying to determine "intent." The end result of advertising and PR or the merchant who sells for the highest profit instead of the best value for the customer (over-selling or passing off inferior products as superior because of a higher margin) is deceptive. So is constantly making mountains out of mole hills like when a company introduces a "new and improved" product that is really just a different color and renamed. Probably the thing that bothers me the most is the "Made in the USA" thing...and not just in fly fishing. But I don't need to name names and start a whole different conversation! LOL So...for me...dishonesty is dishonesty, and exploiting a customer's lack of knowledge is greedy and dishonest. It's a very short-sighted and amoral approach to business that has put our entire business culture (not just fly fishing) where it is today. These are just a few examples. But the "greed is good" and "it ain't wrong unless you get caught" thinking of the 1980s is what lies at the foundation of this whole house of cards.
I can't change the world. So I don't even address the big picture. But a few little folks can make a difference in a sub-culture the size of the fly fishing community.
I like your attitude and frankness about fly fishing. And reading critically is another skill in short supply these days! The old saying, "consider the source," just doesn't get much more than lip service when folks read and listen nowadays. Heck, that might actually take a bit of effort - examining the author/publisher's background, business associations, etc. to get a clue about the perspective from which they are speaking.
The vast majority of the greatest and most knowledgeable people in their fields whom I have come across in my life are not the famous or popular "leaders" and world-champions. Commonly, they are very quiet, unassuming, often reclusive individuals who actually KNOW that they know because they actually HAVE "been there...done that...got the Tshirt" more than once. A true expert doesn't need to prove that he/she is an expert. A true "master" of an art or craft makes it all seem as easy as breathing. They're rarely wrapped with impressive window-dressing. The champions and record-holders are folks who were pursuing precisely that: affirmation and recognition of their exploits. The fact that he/she has been declared "best in the world" by someone hardly means they truly are. In fact, it's probably some little guy who lives alone in a shack somewhere who hasn't forgotten the pure meaning of it all who is "the best." He simply doesn't need (and often doesn't want) to prove it...not to himself...and certainly not to anyone else. He does what he does for the love of it - plain and simple.
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