Turn the Big Knob: A Life Lesson from Ham Radio

July 10th, 2008 by k8gu Leave a reply »


Ham radio is a great hobby and I’ve met numerous interesting people through it.  But, perhaps more so than some other hobbies, it has its share of sociopaths and nuts who tend broadcast and discuss their intolerant, backwards, or just plain nonsensical viewpoints on the air.  There’s even a saying, “If you don’t like what you hear, turn the big knob on the front of your radio.”  I am torn by this sentiment.  It represents a “tragedy of the commons” that dooms the entire hobby.  At the same time, giving feedback to the belligerents usually only eggs them on.

There are some people who are worth your time and there are some who are not.  There are even some times when good people try to jerk your chain.  Know when to turn the big knob.