Sunday, June 04, 2006

Truth and Dale Abenojar

I am intrigued at the installment or strip tease of Dale Abenojar's evidence on his alleged Everest summit. "Carefully" timed press releases, unverifiable photos and a summit certificate, media interviews, open letters, forwarded emails, and lazy bloggers and newspaper people recycling these "planted" news on blogs and websites have created the impression in some that Dale may have been Pinoy Everest #1.

It reminds me of what Berkeley linguistic Professor George Lakoff labels the "framing" of the discussion. In the global warming (GW) debate, GW denialists, with significant funding from vested interests, seek to create the impression, through the gullible media and public, that the science of climate change is "fuzzy" or "junk" science. In the case of Dale, what he seems to be doing is to first protray himself as the lone climber (like Romy) ostracized by an envious mountaineering community, who despite all the difficulties and lack of support, has been able to achieve his dream (parang OFW). It is effective, since it inspires sympathy. All he has to do next is to proclaim his success to websites and newspapers who neither require nor want verification. Once it is printed or posted, then the information gains a life of its own through website feeders. Low investment in time and effort, but high payoff- until the truth comes out.

I reiterate my opinion that Dale must present verifiable proof on his summit claims. As with the peer-review process in the publication of scientific papers, he must allow his peers to assess/evaluate what he claims. This is his obligation and duty to mountaineering in general and Philippine mountaineering in particular. We've learned from Marcos' fake WWII medals and the Tasaday hoax. Will the name Dale Abenojar follow next?

On the other hand, we should not allow summit disputes (see last year/2005 Official Mt. Everest Summits article and here) distract from the achievements of FPMEE and Romy.

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"In God We Trust, all others bring data" - W. Edwards Deming

3 comments:

AcidAx said...

Hi LivingPlanet,

Inq June 15, 2006 7a As per this news Dale is certified by the authority in Everest. Going forward, I think elite filipino mountaineers should not audit/peer review the Alpine 8000++ mountaineers. Let's leave that task to EverestNews.com and Elisabeth Hawley.

Tks,
AcidAx

vincedejesus said...

Dale is my first cousin and I am no stranger to his reputation. I've known him since we were kids and this is not the first time he's told stories more magical than JK Rowlings and Dr. Seuss.

If he is indeed the first Filipino to reach the Everest summit (if at all) then I guess the burden of proof lies with him. But if, after all the bruhaha, we find out that all these claims is just a chapter in his anthology of tall stories -- I WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED.

It is irrirating to have reporters calling up our houses inquiring about our infamous cousin Dale and asking us what we have to say about the issue. Ayoko ngang magpa-interview, baka ano pa ang masabi ko. Pinsan ko lang siya ano? God, if we can only choose our relatives... if only... if only...

The controversies surrounding his summit in Everest has brought so much shame and unwanted attention to our family name and we honestly dont know how this issue will be resolved - or will it ever be. Magpalit na lang kaya ako ng middle name. Our grandfather, bless his soul, is probably turning in his grave right now.

Naniniwala ba ako sa sinasabi niya? Ask all my cousins and we'll probably give you the same answer.

vincedejesus said...

Dale is my first cousin and I am no stranger to his reputation. I've known him since we were kids and this is not the first time he's told stories more magical than JK Rowlings and Dr. Seuss.

If he is indeed the first Filipino to reach the Everest summit (if at all) then I guess the burden of proof lies with him. If, after all the bruhaha, we find out that all these claims is just a chapter in his anthology of tall stories -- I WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED.

It is irrirating to have reporters calling up our houses inquiring about our infamous cousin Dale and asking us what we have to say about the issue. Ayoko ngang magpa-interview, baka ano pa ang masabi ko. Pinsan ko lang siya ano? God, if we can only choose our relatives... if only... if only...

The controversies surrounding his summit in Everest has brought so much shame and unwanted attention to our family name and we honestly dont know how this issue will be resolved - or will it ever be. Magpalit na lang kaya ako ng middle name. Our grandfather, bless his soul, is probably turning in his grave right now.

Naniniwala ba ako sa sinasabi niya? Ask all my cousins and we'll probably give you the same answer.