Cake
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    • I think that people are going to respond based on their worldview.

      Some people have the worldview that life's purpose is defined by something outside of humanity. That this purpose is objective.

      Other people have the worldview that society and the social contract create life's purpose.

      Still others believe that there is no purpose in life except that purpose which the individual sets for himself or herself.

      There are probably other worldviews but these three examples can be used to illustrate the point that I am trying to make.

      A person that thinks that the third example is the correct way to look at life is not going to find anything at all wrong Alex Honnold's decision to free solo.

      A person with the second view may think that he was not being fair to the other people in his life.

      A person with the first view may (depending on what he thinks life's objective purpose is) feel that Alex Honnold engaged in something which was futile and meaningless.

      The point that I am trying to make is that different people are going to respond to this question differently based upon the fundamental assumptions of what they think a person is supposed to do with his life.

      Philosophical Idealism speaks of standing up for what is ideal even when the majority oppose you. But others believe that popular opinion is the definition of appropriateness.

      Since there is a diversity of viewpoints, even answers that are similar in consequence may vary in motivation.

    • As a climber myself and a fan of Alex, I was quite honestly disappointed. But this could be because I knew to much from Alex spilling the beans on The Enormocast. I personally felt like the story was told wrong and they focused to much on the relationship between Alex and his girlfriend. Instead, I wish they focused more on the preparation and what lead him to the point of being able to free solo El Capitan. It felt like they tried too hard to turn Free Solo into a mainstream movie and ended up disappointing many climbers. However, the actual climbing in the movie was great and I believe truly showed the difficulty of specific moves. I just wish the movie was more based on the climbing process and less on the outside drama, that according to Alex and his interview on the Enormocast was basically non existent.

    • The film did a really good job of showing that Alex is, in fact, no adrenaline junkie. He was raised in an environment that pedestalized performance. "Good enough isn't." like his mother used to say. Seeking perfection is the goal. Not heightened emotion. If he were an adrenaline junkie he would have gone the route of Dan Osman and started rope jumping--or Dean Potter and started suite flying. I felt it was a story of someone so steeped in the idea of performance that he couldn't see the people around him.

    • I used to climb 5.13 and even free soloed at times (always alone) but I don't like how it's done today. If anyone is climbing without a rope and doing it for profit then there's a problem. Although there aren't very many soloists who die doing it, the game is changed when financial gain gets involved. I especially don't like it when there are sponsors involved. I understand everyone has to make a living but it's just like those who have died from talking selfies in high or dangerous places in order to make money. You may have heard of guy who recently died trying to make some money for his mother by taking dangerous footage high atop a structure. Sad story.

      While it's an impressive physical accomplishment to solo these type of climbs, it's not some kind of miracle. Not having to mess with pro or wait for a partner certainly speeds things up and reduces the physical cost or expenditure of the climb. I won't likely watch the show because it promotes these people taking undue risks beyond what they might do just for themselves. If they want to do it alone just because then I'm okay with it.

    • A film that spends most of its time explaining the dangers of free soloing and why someone would do it is stating the obvious for climbers. That could be condensed into a minute. Climbing is what we wanted to see, and we got a little of it.

      That's true - though even for non-climbers like me, as soon as someone answers your question "What does free solo mean?" you also know the dangers, you don't need to be a climber to get that, haha! I thought the movie was great, but I had my eyes closed for much of the climbing scenes. Even though I knew he made it, obviously, it just made me too queasy to do more than peek here and there to see what he was doing. Obviously, the filmmakers needed the film to be commercially viable. My perspective on the background stuff (girlfriend, relationship with family, etc.) is that it helped me to bond with Alex as a person, and not just see him as some weird freak of nature who thinks only of climbing at the expense of all else.

      I admit to an overall feeling of sadness during the movie; he came across as so likeable, smart, and funny that all I could think of is that, talented and careful as he is, if he keeps doing this he is unlikely to live to a ripe old age. And while I always feel sorry when I hear of a climber losing his or her life in a climbing accident, it will almost feel personal to me if something happens to Alex Honnold, because the filmmakers did such a good letting me think I know him (a little bit) as a person, and not just as a real-life Spiderman.

      Anyway, agree that climbers would not have been as interested, but for me I thought it was great.