rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon May 12 14:54:41 PDT 2008
Quoting Christian Einfeldt (einfeldt at gmail.com):
> I wish you would please stop using that phrase, tirekicker, on a public
> list. It sounds elitist, and alienates new users, IMHO.
I use the word "tirekicker" to refer to someone who's unlikely to ever
be serious. We of the volunteer community have found out, over the
years, that a significant number of people come visiting who will chew
up huge amounts of volunteer time getting us to tell them all about
Linux and how to do this-and-that, but who don't actually value our
effort in any meaningful way -- in part because we offer that time and
expertise without charge -- and who never bother to learn or stretch
themselves to acculturate.
We learn to recognise them by their continually saying "I'm willing to
use Linux if you'll help me [deal with problem X]" -- as if we had some
personal stake in their choice of operating system and they needed only
to threaten their defection to make us fall over ourselves to help --
and asking the same questions repeatedly, ignoring paintaking assistance
and explanations, and asking for rote-repeatable recipes in order to
avoid having to expend the effort required for basic understanding.
Now, if we were all immortal and had utterly boundless time and
patience, we'd probably be glad to help those people too. Being mortal,
having limited time and patience, however, we're obliged to optimise.
The best optimisation, in general, is achieved by focussing one's
volunteer time on helping self-starters who are willing to learn and are
serious about doing so, who show meaningful appreciation and an ability
to dig in, who don't waste our time, and who show promise of becoming
full-fledged members of the technological community and help others the
same way we help them.
Those are not the tirekickers. And _that_ is the truth -- a core truth
whose articulation is often quite valuable. Your disliking that
fundamental truth is absolutely not a deterrant to me, nor is the
current round of gratuitous name-calling.
> They vote daily with their dollars....
...which said tirekickers are extremely welcome to spend on qualified
> We need them.
Speak for yourself. You do not speak for me, as I do not do consulting
work free of charge, especially in response to ideological appeals.
Among other drawbacks, that would be disrespectful to my mother, whose
day it was yesterday, and who prides herself on not raising fools. ;->
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