[svlug] Private replies: was Linux at Work

Steve Litt slitt at troubleshooters.com
Wed Jan 28 10:22:15 PST 2015

On Wed, 28 Jan 2015 09:44:34 -0800
Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> > I would put this up on the svlug list but I really don't want to
> > sift through 20 different responses that lead to no real
> > conclusions.
> I'm sure you had reason for concern, but I'll just mention in passing
> that your objectives as a querent and my objectives as an answerer are
> somewhat in conflict.

Rick, you were nicer than I would have been.

The way I see it, the purpose of a mailing list is to organize a bunch
of minds such that the the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Private queries, and private replies, short circuit this.

I *never* copy a guy's private address when he says "please copy me at
lazyslob at hotmail.com", because I'm not going to short circuit the
discussion process, and I'm not going to teach people one at a time. If
he's that interested, do what I do: Subscribe.

And then there's this: "I really don't want to sift through 20
different responses". In other words, "spoon feed me!" Ummm, not in the
Open Source world, son. Go take a cert course and hope they teach you.

And of course there's the fact that each of the 20 different responses
has its own unique truth, through which the querent can gain true
understanding. That is, if he weren't the type who really just wants a
bootleg answer sheet to this afternoon's exam. :-)


> I get the satisfaction of repaying the debt that I owe from the people
> who helped me, in my day, when I asked questions in public forums.
> I get the occasional good repute that comes from participation in
> public.

Well said!
> Private help is called 'consulting'.  People charge money for it.

Well said!


Steve Litt                *  http://www.troubleshooters.com/
Troubleshooting Training  *  Human Performance

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