[conspire] I get mail

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Fri Oct 21 14:29:58 PDT 2005

On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 12:08:14 -0700, Rick Moen wrote:

> How shallow _is_ that ol' gene pool, anyway?

Having spent some time in #ubuntu shortly after the release of Breezy
Badger 5.10, I've experienced the phenomenon that many of the very same
(smart) questions can also come from both ends of the pool. The difference
becomes apparent based on people's reactions to the answers to their
questions. When somebody actually warns you by saying "I'm dumb," you
should believe it, rather than basing your response on how smart the
question is. Some people "get it," but are unfamiliar with distro-imposed
specifics, some people don't, but will if you explain it to them, and
others will never know just why it is they've done what you just told them
to do.

One can also find dumb questions in the deep end, and unfortunately there
is no effective means of preventing this. Sometimes an old dog has trouble
with old tricks. This does not mean relearning them is necessary. A simple
answer in such cases cuts down on the waste of everybody's time.

There is also the possibility of dumb people asking dumb questions, but
it's nothing more than a possibility, because at the heart of every dumb
question is a smart question, and people who profess to be dumb really

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