Have learned that… The more diving I do, the more I know I don’t know and the more critical I get of my existing skills.The Dunning-Krueger effect is real, and a lot more people are on the peak of Mt Stupid rather than the plateau of knowledge than they think.
Absolutely. Which is why we parted ways with fundamental differences of approach. I see standards as guidelines to be adapted as necessary; they (or at least one instructor who gave up teaching soon after) see standards as inviolate commands. Which is absolutely fine for both of us.GUE standards and practices make perfect sense when you consider diving to be a team endeavor. In order to fit in you are expected to conform to pre-existing practices and configurations. Nobody is picking on you, but they want everybody on the same page. For bigger projects it's a necessity for efficiency and safety.
Maybe it was the end of the DIR Wars when the holy commander decreed they should wind their necks in lest it damages their reputation. Can think of at least one other agency which had the same dogmatic approach. In comparison, the likes of TDI, IANTD, et al are far more relaxed but just as effective and considerably more popular.
Just look at kit standards for a moment. DIR decrees all stages left, to leave the right side free for donation of the long hose. This ends up with stages which are far from streamlined and even a leash for the third stage. There’s absolutely no issues with carrying stages on the right, you just need to donate in the steps; donate then free the end of the hose caught under the RH chest D-ring. Nothing difficult nor dangerous about that whatsoever.
What about sidemount bungee techniques for streamlining and reduction of snag hazards in confined spaces. DIR say no. What about sidemount anyway. Again DIR say no.
Donation on a rebreather is easy and automatic straight from the bailout bottle with no complications. DIR, more specifically GUE, say no and have developed a very non standard configuration almost as a belligerence to force in the longhose including forcing the donor off the loop at a time of great stress.
Leave the best to last. UTDs sidemount configuration. Apparently the shutdown is so ingrained that UTD divers are incapable of adapting to the pretty much standard sidemount config, so they need a manifold behind their heads.