I appreciate most of the above, especially Joyce and Fairness\' opinions. Now, let me say about mine and hope it would complement:
First, let me say that we don\'t want to deal with a chicken/egg question, that is, questions trying to solve the puzzle of \"which is more important than the other\" or \"which should exist first in order to have others\" and the like. To find answers of this kind is difficult, if not impossible. So, let us separate chicken from eggs.
Say, the \"chicken\" question is the profibility of gyms. In this regard, the above discussions have almost all indicated to the \"right ways\" gyms should do: to choose a good location, to have a good facility, to design a package for new entrants to enjoy sport climbing, and so on.
But I do have a slightly different opinion here: those come-and-go, half-harted \"customer-climbers\" are important, not unimportant as Fairness so described. For profitability purposes, I would imagine that those half-harted customers are more likely to become the main financial resources for any gym. Because of them, there can be a steady flow of come-and-play-just-for-fun people and thereby a gym can be sustained. I would even argue that whoever interested in a gym business should deliberately target on these people and draw them to your gym. Forget about hardcore climbers; they are usually not rich, picky, and sometimes too philisophical to deal with.
Turn to the \"egg\" questions, which include the questions as how we would increase the popularity of sport climbing and promote climbing as a sport, and a whole array of other, perhaps ethical issues such as \"what to promote\" and \"to what extent\" -- those that the above refers to as \"cultural issues.\"
I do not agree with the notion that anything related to climbing has to do with culture. For \"culture\" is human-made, not fixed, and this exactly the point -- we, either as a collectivity of a climbing community or as individual climber, can create a culture (or, more precisely, cultures) if we want to.
There are many ways to achieve this, and I believe that there are many people already engaging in this \"business\" -- for example, when you are coaching, you are not just coaching climbing; you are coaching a climbing culture: its philosophy and its utility; its history and knowledge; its relationship to one\'s life and its meaning, and so on. The question is \"number\" -- we want the number of potential climbers to be large -- but not \"culture.\"
To address this question of \"number,\" the best way, in my opinion, is to get ourselves to contact with as many people as we can, and that is it -- to act rather than to think, as the last anonymous writer has correctly pointed out. There is simply no other way around. Forget about using gyms to promote sport climbing -- their existence is for profitability and they are rightfully so.
Finally, then, is this question: what would happen when \"chicken\" meets \"eggs?\" In other words, what would be happening if there are gyms targetting on profitability while a whole bunch of climbers endeavoring to promote climbing? Well, isn\'t this exactly what we wants? If not -- if this is not happening -- it is only because we are not trying hard enough.
It seems to be a happy ending -- frankly, I am optimistic of it. The only barrier that I would envision is, however, that we, as climbers, tend to wish that the future would look like what we like it to be. In other words, we, as climbers, are likely to try to \"control\" Taiwan\'s future climbing environment. This is not a good idea. Milk uses an analogy of the educational reform as a failure to which I cannot agree no more. Its failure, in my opinions, is exactly because those so-called reformers are treating educational reform as a laboratory experiment and think that they can \"control\" it. They cannot. The same is true that, we, as climbers, cannot \"control\" Taiwan\'s future climbing trends. I am suggesting that we simply do \"your\" best, let different treads (and purposes) of climbing to develop, and hope that eventually some \"chicken\" will meet with \"eggs.\" Time will tell us what the future of Taiwan\'s climbing would be. [img]images/forum/smilies/icon_wink.gif[/img]