Last night I was drawn in to the CBS 60 Minutes segment about free diving – for obvious reasons. First, as underwater news tends to do, it draws people in to unknown worlds with child like curiosity. Second, exciting to me was the geographical home of Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas which may likely be a focal point for forthcoming explorations. Third, was the piece in the context of ‘death defying’.
This perspective is something I wrestle with constantly in my own work. Surely, yes, there is a balance of popular entertainment ‘hooks’ to lure viewers or readers in, with proper and fitting portrayal of the subject matter.
I understand it, I appreciate it, and it is indeed a hard balance to communicate effectively – particularly while trying to retain credibility within a peer professional group.
The 60 Minutes piece did something quite right in this case – given that breath hold diving is a sport built upon human endurance, there are indeed ‘records’ to be reached. Herein lies the balance again – pursuing the activity, or diving deep for sake of diving deep, could be met with stunt criticism. Whereas the reality is that the value of the sport is in self-exploration. The segment’s interview with Tanya Streeter brought this foreword – that is, the art of self discovery, and human limitations to better understand ourselves individually, and if communicated properly, the better understanding of our species more broadly.
In true exploration, this art and science absolutely must come first. When it does, anything is possible, and it stands to open vast new frontiers both within, and beyond.
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