Helping people. (Was: Example of get nVidia)
hlhowell at pacbell.net
Tue Jan 22 16:30:45 UTC 2008
On Mon, 2008-01-21 at 20:41 -0600, Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote:
> Les wrote:
> > Also if Karl doesn't get it, there will be other much more timid folk
> > who also don't get it. When the answer that Karl understands is added
> > to the archives, more people benefit than Karl. I know this from years
> > of teaching people complex topics in Test Engineering. I could tell you
> > some good stories about some classes, but those people were also serious
> > about learning. Better to have helped them than to upset them or tease
> > them. In turn they helped their friends and their company. They become
> > better thought of, the company's profit increases, and everyone is a
> > winner. Not hard, just hard to keep your composure sometimes.
> So, what do you do when you have a student that will not read the
> book, will not do the homework assignments, and argues that he know
> better then the teacher? That when you try to correct his mistakes,
> he calls you names?
> I have seen many people helped on the list that didn't understand.
> The difference is that when they do not understand something, they
> tell you what they don't understand, and get it explained to them in
> simpler terms, and/or get pointers to where they can find the
> information to help them understand.
> There are times when step by step instructions are the way to handle
> things, but more often, it is better to help them find the
> information they need, or accompany the instructions with
> explanations of what the instructions do. Help them learn - don't do
> the work for them!
> I have to question weather Fedora is the right distribution for
> someone that needs step by step instructions, instead of being able
> to read the instructions on a web page when it is pointed out to
> them. I know it is not the distribution I would recommend to someone
> for their first Linux distribution. It is not for someone that can
> not do their own research, or understand the technical language. You
> should also have at least some problem solving skill. If you need
> someone to take you by the hand, and walk you through things, you
> are in the wrong place. Using Fedora requires effort on the part of
> the user to understand things.
These are your feelings. I cannot tell you not to feel that way. I
cannot change Karl, either, but to harangue Karl because of your
feelings is illogical and counter productive. If you choose to answer
him, do so as completely as you can and then stop. Others can and will
pick up the ball after that. I just don't see it as a problem that
tirade after tirade helps you, him and especially the list. Just my
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