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Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 12:16 PM

Hello contributors.

During an exchange of ideas with two gurus on this forum, I realized that we might have a problem. Some lazy or even evil-minded people are posting stupid or dubious questions, possibly showing a lack of respect for our community of contributors or even looking for using our solutions in questionable purposes.

For the lazy ones (sometimes asking to do their school homework in their place or not even trying Google or other search engine first), I would say to simply ignore them. Why get angry or ridicule them for discouraging to not waste our time?

Another category is the silly/stupid questions. Some argued that they are insulting our intelligence or de-rating the quality of our engineering forum. But what if someone could have that Eureka moment triggered by a silly/stupid question? It happened not only once in history. What if... For these ones, I would just make fun, like many of us. Or consider it as a possibility. It depends.

If for the first two categories of questions I'm not very sure how to react, for the evil/dubious ones I have a categoric answer: prevent any information leak that might help the evil. Intervene and ask everyone to restrain themselves in offering their knowledge and ideas.

Being such a diverse community, the topic is not simple. I'm interested in your comments.

Thanks

Michael

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#1

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 12:23 PM

Hottech,

That's a tough one.

I know I'll ask a question on a topic that I am weak at, because I either am not sure, or totally ignorant about, (not really knowing how to put it into a question).

And to people on this forum who has the knowledge it may seem very elementary to them.

I was educated to believe there is no stupid question.

But I have learned also, that there can be stupid answers, (that are just wrong).

phoenix911

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#37
In reply to #1

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 9:23 AM

You're definitely right, phoenix911. However, I've seen stupid answers rated as Good Answers...

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#2

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 12:28 PM

The word "we" is undefined.

It is the personal decision of each and every individual reader as to whether or not to respond to a post, and the choice of words in so doing, and not that of the CR4 community as a whole.

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#24
In reply to #2

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 2:40 AM

I cast a "yes" vote for you. I think you hit the nail on the head!!!

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#40
In reply to #2

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 9:41 AM

Hi PWSlack,

I'm surprised you deny the "we" word when talking about CR4 contributors.

There is no doubt in my mind that each of us is different, that we watch or enter a discussion only by free will, answer or ignore a post as we like. We are free people in a free web-world. That's what I like about this forum: no strings attached! You can name it "help line" or "mind twister" or "learning channel" or "knowledge & fun club", etc. But every time we meet to discuss a matter, we form a community. Some of us already know each other not necessarily by real name but by experience, field(s) of expertize, skills, even character.

As for the "choice of words" - that is one major reason for proposing this topic. I'll explain a little bit later.

Thanks

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#80
In reply to #40

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/19/2008 3:39 AM

My dear friends: phoenix911, Hottech, PWSlack, vermin, .... and all .... very good talking, thank you very much.

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#83
In reply to #40

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/19/2008 12:28 PM

In the original post, the word "we":

  • might be referring to an undefined number of CR4 contributors, up to and including all of them, or
  • might be referring to the original poster and the two Gurus in correspondence to the exclusion of all others.
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#3

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 12:35 PM

There are no stupid questions but there are questions from stupid people! We have to make the difference and react accordingly. We are able to recognize when the question is asked because of need or lack of knowledge but in good will. Those must get support. It is I dare say our duty to give further what we know.

Unfortunately there are also people asking questions in a way one cannot understand what they want and when we ask for a complement of informations for a correct, professional, answer we do not get any reaction. Those do not deserve further help since they do not consider the problems in a serious way. If it is so we shall not misuse our time and skills.

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#4

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 12:56 PM

I think you should lighten up on this. We are all here to just have a good time, talk, share, read, laugh. If I can help a kid with his homework, fine. Yes, we get some, (most), questions that anyone could find the answer in a second on Google, but I think people look for a more personal interchange. It's fun to talk to people on line, that actually enjoy sharing their knowledge. It sure beats chat lines! You and I can ignore anyone we like, nobody wastes my time but me. I like your comments Hottech, I've thought the same thing many times, but it sure does keep it from boring!

Peace, Love

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#41
In reply to #4

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 9:54 AM

Thanks Bricktop.

You suspect I have a reason for opening this discussion. You're right and I'll "lighten up" after a few more comments in which I'm interested in. Preserving the joy of having fun and learning & sharing in the same time is one of my goals.

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#5

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 1:07 PM

Recently somebody (presumably with nefarious intent) posted a request for info on how to make something. I'm not going to publicize it, but Admin blocked the post to any comment. I don't know why it wasn't simply deleted, unless it was left as a sort of warning to like-minded people. The same poster can be found on other web-sites.

As PWSlack said, we all have a choice about replying. The nature of any post is open to individual interpretation. If you're not sure, then either ignore a post, or report it if you feel it breaches forum rules. Admin probably don't have time for over-zealous reporting, but occasionally questions merit it. In my opinion, they keep a pretty good eye on things.

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#6

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 2:08 PM

For me the ones I hate are those which appear serious and suck you in when it turns out the poster isn't going to actually use any of the advice given, or probably even respond to it... except maybe by arguing.

Even daft Qs are ok if the poster takes the trouble to engage their bain and respond.

After all we can all learn something...none of us is expert in every field. The hard thing is sometimes getting a cogent reply such that one can understand without getting bogged down in semantics.

By the way, I've decided this is a silly post so I'm not replying...D'oh...too late

Del

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#7

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 2:25 PM

Trolls are par for the course. I don't see it as a problem.

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#8

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 3:20 PM

Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

It's entirely up to you! But remember we too, sometimes post some pretty daft stuff and as said earlier, you never know when or where that eureka moment is going to strike!

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 3:31 PM

you're right,

When talking light harded and stupid (most times with a cold beer at your local bar), The best ideas come out, and then its a matter of remembering it the next day.

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#10

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 4:41 PM

I say let them all ask questions. It is interesting to see how little some people understand sometimes. Plus the answers can be interesting. Besides for those kids getting the answers online, large engineering corporations always need managers, and this is probably their primary objective fo their education anyways. Plus, it allows us to observe peoples answers and learn who the real practicing (licensed) engineers are, what each engineers strengths are, and weed out the sales/marketing people and contractors with agendas. This means that later on when you have a question you know who has a valid answer and who is just throwing their 2-cents in to be heard.

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#12
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Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 5:11 PM

real engineers = licensed engineers?

That's a whole 'nother topic in itself.

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#13
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Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 7:30 PM

real and practicing are important considerations, the parathetical licensed just is considered for those engineers whose practice is strictly licensed and carries liability regarding his (or his representatives) work product and project related communications. I wish salesmen, real estate agents, biologist, environmental consultants, environmental scientists, planners, law enforcement, lawyers, and politicians had similarly enforced liabilities attached. If they had to demonstrate good practice and due diligence on everything they did, we would probably find a generally higher consumer satisfaction. Of course i guess it would take some of the mystery and intrigue out of purchasing, and it may not seem to a certain cross-section of the population like they were getting those special personal deals any more, but i could live with that (I don't really want to waste my time discussing an extra fee for extended warrantees, undercoating or landscaping, because of the huge benefit it brings to the purchase).

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#21
In reply to #13

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 1:31 AM

Someone on this forum once made the statement "there are many engineers without degrees and many degrees without engineers". When I graduated high school there were no degrees to be had in the area that interested me. I had to learn by moving from job to job in an attempt to get the training I wanted. Through the course of years, the industry changed and I continued to learn as much as possible along the way. At 35 years of industrial manufacturing experience, I still have neither degree or licence. While I must admit that there have been times when that lack has cost me, my work and reputation can stand on their own.

There are two sides to this coin. There are many instances where I agree with you 100% that I certainly want to be sure of my advisors qualifications and for a variety of reasons. On the other hand I read many questions and comments on this forum by supposedly qualified people who cannot even construct a complete sentence or express an idea. This causes me to question how they managed to squeak through college and come out with a degree.

I hope my rant has not offended anyone. Maybe we should start another thread and each give our definitions of "engineer".

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#22
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Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 1:49 AM
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#32
In reply to #21

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 7:23 AM

I might add that, without a degree, but with 9 years of USNavy electronics engineering and troubleshooting expertise, 18 1/2 years of what I called "housekeeping commo engineering" as a contractor, and a further 9 years (current as I write this) as a US Government computer engineering/management type, I also teach Physics (Middle and High School) and judge Science Fair competitions (Northern Region and State, in my home state), and am well received for my efforts, with several winning students at the National Competition level.

I list those as credentials, solely to underscore the fact that we sometimes put too much emphasis on titles. I, too, have suffered professionally at times because of the lack of a degree, and my students have undoubtedly at times been looked down upon because of who their mentor is, but the most salient fact in all of this is that if you can do, you should do, and no one should be either able to judge, or prone to judging, your abilities because of a few letters after your name, or the lack thereof.

One final thought is that, as with my science students, it is not I who should get any glory for their successes. Rather, I take my glory, and my joy, in seeing them get ahead, and seeing their growing enthusiasm for the sciences and for engineering.

And that should be where all of us find joy. In our own work to be sure (it is FUN designing and building things others cannot, or will not), but more, in the greater gains of the scientific and engineering communities as a whole, through our efforts and those of the ones we encourage.

When one grows, we all grow stronger.

Micah

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#65
In reply to #32

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 1:26 PM

Sorry. I had forgotten to log on when I wrote this.

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#126
In reply to #32

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 7:27 PM

Hmm interesting. My sisters are elementary and high school teachers. In the State of California, they had to go back to credentials school after receiving their degrees then have working experience and take the State exam just to obtain credentials to teach.

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#129
In reply to #32

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/21/2008 10:31 AM

Yep. I'm a volunteer, taking leave from work to spend time with my students, and unpaid. As a result, and as the Science Department director at one of the schools I work at has agreed, I have unfair advantages over most teachers, when it comes to just being able to "deliver the goods". First, I don't have to deal with "motivating" students who don't want to learn science. Second, I don't have to spend as much time on the "administrivia" we saddle our teachers with. Third, I am not "lock-stepped" or shackled in any other way by having to hit all the specific detailed minutiae points of the book, regardless of their true value to the process of learning science. Thus, except where the history of the science we're studying adds directly to the science itself, I can forget about having to drill the historical point home, and test on it, and check their knowledge three or four times a year, and ... well, you get the idea.

And, oh, yeah. I grew up in CA, went all the way from 5th through 12th grades there, and won a regional science fair competition (Northern CA, Sacramento Region, I suppose, though I was too interested in Science to worry about geo-political Divisions) in 6th through 8th grades, and won the State in 6th grade (had tougher competition, and tougher projects in 7th and 8th, and they were better than I was). So, CA is where I learned to love Science, by going out in the woods with my class and spending an entire school year DOING Earth Science. I completed all three years of HS Science available to me in the first three years. Good lower school teachers.

Sorry, I ramble. I am not sure what point you may have been trying for, but mine is that good, enthusiastic teachers can instill a great love of a field in their students, and, while all the credentialling is necessary when a teacher has to deal with those who, for whatever reasons, are not "hot to trot" for that particular field, or with parents who can be a bit tough to handle, I am not so handicapped, but I can't make a living at it, either, and as a result I cannot spend nearly as much time with my students as I would like, or as they might reasonably benefit from.

That's why I look forward to retirement. I'll be older, and slower, and less physically able, but by God's grace, perhaps not less mentally acute. And at that point, I'll be able to spend more time with them.

And maybe mature enough to be less likely to blow things up just ... cause science is FUN!

Micah

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#130
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Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/21/2008 12:10 PM

So now I am not sure if you are a teacher, it kind of sounded like you were back stepping a little there. Does the School District or State recognize you as a Teacher, are you paid a teachers salary. Having a BS degree double major in earth sciences and chem, I somehow suspect that a high school level education in science (even if it was all AP) would not quite be the same as the educational level required for a degree in Chem or Physics. Therefore, you may not have all the skills available to fruitfully teach the brightest children either. Though I admit teachers receive specialized science degrees that are typically BA and require a lower level of understanding of math, physics and chemistry.

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#131
In reply to #130

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/21/2008 5:15 PM

I don't totally agree RCE. A degree level education doesn't necessarily make a person a good teacher, and the lack of one doesn't mean somebody can't teach. Admittedly my School teachers all had degrees, but it was their skills as teachers that made the difference. A good teacher can spark interest among students, and provide direction to all available learning resources. The teachers I thought 'good', were good because of their ability to spark interest and discuss, rather than deliver monologues on any given topic. At University I had lecturers without recognized degrees (ie time served), who could do better than those who had shed-loads of qualifications and had lost the ability to communicate. Many UK teacher have a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education), and teach subjects outside their own degree level of study. It's no coincidence that new teachers at school flounder for a while. They have to learn to take a step back in order to empathize and communicate with the kids they're teaching. Teaching above teenage level probably does require degree-level knowledge, but it's secondary to teaching ability. Classes generally follow a curriculum, usually with specific reference books, and it's the teachers role to facilitate learning. 'Teaching' is a misnomer, the job is helping people to learn. Facts get assimilated indirectly as part of the process.

I'll probably end up retracting on some of that ad-hoc musing !

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#132
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Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/21/2008 6:35 PM

Teaching someone and being a school teacher are different. One has some professional requirements to work under the title, much like being an engineer and doing engineering can be different. You can be an engineer and not practice engineering, you can practice some engineering (under appropriate supervision, within the limits of the law or illegally) but not be an engineer. However, teaching varies alot even in public schools for requirements from District to District, and State to State. In California, you must have credentials though to be a teacher at a public school, this doesn't mean you do not teach to some degree, you just do not have the title. Private schools do not necessarily require credentials, though most require a masters degree. Teaching would not me a school teacher, a professor maybe, but not a school teacher (at least under the State Board of Educations Standards).

FYI, The teachers and professors i thought were good, first knew the topics being taught at a level i perceived as expert (they knew the answers to questions off the top of their heads usually), then they were interesting as a second consideration. Usually if they really know what they are talking about they can work without monologues and have the availability, within their class time schedule, for discussion regarding the subject matter. Now I have had professors in particular I found interesting, though they were not particularly astute about the subject matter and if you delved to deeply into the mathematical basis underlying the topic, economic is a good example, they would get confounded and flustered. I had a Economic professor who was a really attractive blond who enjoyed wearing leather mini skirts to class and sitting on top of her desk while she spoke with us. She knew the equations and what the meaning in economic terms, but not how the equations were derived. She was really great to talk to though since she still loved to go out party and have fun, knew alot about that stuff, just not someone you would get a detailed understanding of the pricinples of economics from.

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#134
In reply to #132

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/21/2008 7:21 PM

That brought back a memory. I was part of the first class of Vietnam era GI bill students and I had a calculus professor who was pretty, blonde, wore mini skirts, and was younger than many of us. Whenever she would write high on the board, we'd all slide waaay down in our seats. Then, when she'd turn around, she'd turn beet red and stammer for the next five minutes.

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#136
In reply to #134

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/21/2008 7:36 PM

Yeah this professor was like 35 and married to a CSC professor. She was not one to blush.

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#142
In reply to #136

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/22/2008 7:32 AM

35 AND married. Perfect. A bunch of ex-soldiers fresh from the ginmills and fleshpots of Eatontown (actually laundromats and greasy diners but let me have some illusions) could have turned her red in no time flat.

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#149
In reply to #142

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/22/2008 9:35 PM

Being an old sailor and h,aving no self sense of acceptable morality, I would have prided myself on turning her red before she had even figu red out what the discussion was about. (SRY, but I pride myself on being able to make a nun blush :P )

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#144
In reply to #134

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/22/2008 9:05 AM

I had a Female Biology teacher in the late 50s early 60s that was single, pretty and a Redhead, when embarrassing questions about sex came up, she would also turn bright red.

When giving sex lectures, she did a lot of it from inside a handy cupboard with the doors just apart so that we could hear her voice!!!!

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#146
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Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/22/2008 8:52 PM

I had an adjunct English instructor in community college that was also blond and pretty. She was also a lawyer, so she dressed professionally for the Monday and Wendesday classes. But on Fridays, she could wear shorts, and she had legs that made you glad she did.

My second semester German instructor at the same school was also young, blonde, pretty, and well-enodowed. One time she bent over to pick up something and I had a prime viewing angle. When she looked up, the look on her face was priceless!

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#147
In reply to #134

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/22/2008 9:20 PM

and did you marry her? or at least get video you can U-tube? :P Sry, perverted mind at work.

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#137
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Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/21/2008 7:55 PM

Hi RCE,

Your response seems to me slightly annoyed. It's certainly not my intent to annoy, just to convey the situation as I know it. If it adds credence to my words, I can add that I've taught all the way through various age and academic spectrum. Zero to university level, abled to disabled, 5 yo to undergraduate degree, supervisor and beyond (at a level I would not demean them to call it teaching). My written language skills may be the worse you've ever seen, but for whatever reasons I can communicate verbally with those who seek to learn. I'm also CE, and have spent may years within my given field. I'm even more proud of my accomplishments without it.

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#143
In reply to #137

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/22/2008 7:44 AM

Kris,

Remember that, here in the colonies, we are firm believers in any magic trick that avoids hard truths and hard work. Thus, we have replaced education with open classrooms, new math, newer math, old math, phonics, not phonics, and now no child left behind. All of this is carefully mandated in the public schools where teachers must have certification in order to keep their jobs. Only in the parochial schools (where the nuns still whack the daylights out of you if you don't learn your ninesies) or in the rich private schools do you still find teachers who are able to give a rat's patootie about learning. I recently ran into a high school physics question where the student had to calculate the decelleration needed to slow a parachutist to 25 m/s before landing and, when I asked "Why bother?", was brushed off as a complete idiot. My best teacher ever was a completely unqualified, uncertified, missionary's wife who loved books and shared that with me.

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#145
In reply to #143

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/22/2008 11:06 AM

It's not so different over here. The game is to constantly try out new performance measures. When that isn't being done, new qualifications and exams* are introduced. This marvelous system not only ensures mediocrity, it also makes sure nobody can compare the various kinds of mediocrity represented by a certificate. At least the kids all emerge with an 'A' grade, and can then proceed to obtain a similar standard Degree.

* Nowadays it's more likely coursework, handily completed by the internet.

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#150
In reply to #143

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/22/2008 10:02 PM

My best friend is a semi-retired High school science teacher. He's got a PHD in Physics and is a painter, a sculpter and a musician; in essence, a true renasainse man. He is constantly battling school boards and administrative staff because he refuses to pass a student cannot make the grade.

On his part, it's not that the student doesn't have the opportunity, as I have seen him bring dozens of students into his own home (and once, both parents as well) and try to help them understand that they are responsible for learing. He is not responsible for teaching them.

It's a concept lost in America. Everyone thinks they are owed a degree becasue they pay tuition. Screw that, degrees are now just as cheap as a HS diplomas.

I say this as an experienced Network consultant, Construction Project Manager, Not-for-profit CEO and CTO and practical designer. I've met PHd's that couldn't network their way out of a paper bag and highschool dropouts that suck up information faster than Einstein. Education is broken. Since the responsibility for it fell out of the hands of the students, we get politicians like Clinton (either), managers like Mao, leaders like Hitler.

I blame it mostly on Journalists. They report what makes money for the media they are reporting for, and are not held accountable for false information. I pity the reporter that ever reports something about me, based on invalid information, as I will personally shoot (or otherwise cause the cessation of life) of his entire extended family and himself and brag about it. The media needs a dose of fear. False accusations should carry extreme consequences. Honesty needs to go both ways.

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#155
In reply to #131

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/24/2008 9:49 AM

I wouldn't retract a word, had I said it as well as you did!

NOTE: No "back-stepping", but perhaps I phrased it badly. I certainly am a teacher, in the mold just described. But not a PAID teacher, since I could not be a paid teacher without the requisite degree, here in America, where the degree is all, and skill as a teacher/facilitator/imparter of knowledge is second to any letters after your name. Imagine the school with the gall to hire a non-degreed teacher, and what its graduating students would go through, trying to gain acceptance to any higher school, or job, which wanted a degree, with or without experience.

I do not disrespect, nor denigrate, those who learned their field in the halls of Academe. I only ask that those who did so accord the same respect to those of us whose penchant is for "learning by doing, identifying the shortcomings in the method, matriculating in order to fill the holes, and going back to the learning by doing". Most of us never finish a degree because we don't hang around to study ancient history, when what we really needed was Calculus (this is a personal example of one cycle in my learning process. It is ongoing). But the lack of a degree in no way indicates a lack of formal training in the things we need to know.

And whether we are good facilitators of knowledge transfer or not can only be seen in the classroom results. Which, after all, is the only way we can see your skill at facilitation of knowledge transfer, also.

Micah

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#73
In reply to #21

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 4:45 PM

I for one have listed my background in my profile so anyone reading my posts can judge my background as well as my answer. Most people don't do that however. CR4 is just like any other part of the internet, buyer beware, and you get what you pay for...

I strongly suggest that any advice I give on this forum be confirmed before being used....

your mileage may vary... may contain msg... side effects may include flu like symptoms, head ache or stomach upset.... not applicable in Arkansas and Ohio....must be 18 year old or older.

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#74
In reply to #73

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 4:51 PM

Hahahahahaahah, good one.

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#103
In reply to #21

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 5:00 AM

I'm sorry, but I do some of my best writing when my temper has gone the way of the dodo.

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#42
In reply to #13

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 9:56 AM

the parathetical licensed just is considered for those engineers whose practice is strictly licensed and carries liability regarding his (or his representatives) work product and project related communications.

Interesting choice of words, working with licensed engineering firms I find that established firms are fairly reliable and firms that are trying to establish themselves seems to go through a number of bankruptcies to release them of their liabilities.

This I experienced in multiple states.

Leaving the contractor that hired these licensed firms in the lurch.

Phoenix911

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#55
In reply to #42

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 11:30 AM

Bankruptcies are a way to release financial obligations, and should be easily found during due diligence when retaining a consultant. Problem engineers with licenses will have a record with the State Board also. While I would say a license does not necessarily demonstrate the quality of a engineer, in those field where the practice is protected (typically only electrical, mechanical and civil, especially civil) it does carry liability and a paper trail. You can easily go online and look up any Civil Engineers name with the State Board of Engineers, and see what complaints have been field against his license in the past. This is helpful since statements of qualifications and resumes are typically tweaked by marketing personnel in larger corporations to appear to meet a clients criteria, and previous employers in the current corporate climate, fearing legal retribution, shy away from detailed comments regarding the quality of a previous employees work. If a licensed engineer screws up, enough to get complaints, it will leave a easily found papertrail at the Board.

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#57
In reply to #55

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 11:41 AM

sorry, this should have went off-topic

RCE,

Thank you for the information.

With the paper trail and the engineer(s) that keeps restarting a business due to nonperformance of products his firm engineers could have his license pulled also from the state?

phoenix911

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#58
In reply to #57

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 11:55 AM

The engineer himself has the license, not the company he is employed by. Any complaint is filed against him with the State Board. The state will investigate and determine a suitable penalty or fine, including suspension and revoking of his license. Such actions by the State Board are separate from any other legal actions taken against a engineer, whether criminal or civil. The State keeps a record of all complaints and actions taken against an individuals license. In California, you can look up an individuals license online just by name search at the State Board Website. However, the state rarely takes any actions against a license more severe than a small fine (except for against those practicing without a license, which seems to be more common in the practice of land surveying). Again though you can see the complaints against a license and learn a little more about the competency of the engineer. This is something i would recommend you do whenever you retain a consultant. Always know who your responsible principal and project engineers are and investigate their record. I have worked for a few large corporations for many years, and in that time I came to realize that marketing personnel who out any substantive qualification is a common practice.

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#43
In reply to #10

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 10:11 AM

Very good point, RCE.

Let them all ask questions!

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#236
In reply to #10

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

04/07/2008 9:44 AM

"Plus, it allows us to observe peoples answers and learn who the real practicing (licensed) engineers are, what each engineers strengths are, and weed out the sales/marketing people and contractors with agendas."

Weed out the Contractors? With agendas?

Hmmm... being a licensed General Contractor (requiring extensive experience and a 16 hour certification test and continuing education) that works in the consulting engineering field, I find myself training professional engineers (licensed PE's) every day! Having 38 years experience in construction and engineering I have seen all types of people in these industries and have come to the conclusion that those that rely on the "paper on the wall" do so because they can't rely on their abilities!

Long live real life experience and to blazes with letters after your name! :)

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#237
In reply to #236

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

04/07/2008 12:02 PM

I agree that frequently PEs need experience with labor force to be able to design product that most contractors can construct, and understand contractors limitations. Frequently, we design based on what can be built as we understand it, not what can be built by the contractors labor force with less time, money and skills than would be required if properly bid. As an inspector for many years, I realize that contractors agenda is frequently to circumvent the building codes and seek to share the liability for the short cuts, thus allowing for more project profitability for themselves and higher risk for everyone else. So being able to identify a contractor with these types of agendas is always good. Some contractors who do not have such an agenda, e.g. retired, etc., make for good sources of information about what unskilled labors capabilities are to construct designs. However even this is quite variable, as I have seen many contractors in some areas of California do certain activities, that others in other jurisdictions claim are impossible. So, skill and the appropriate bid for time and money are compnents that highly impact the growth of contractors skills. However, every contractor, with the exception of a few very specialized contractors, I have met wants the regulations reduced to some lower standards of the past because they feel it adversely imapcts their bids and requires them to high more expensive trained and skilled labor. Therefore, you tend to get a perspective from an agenda of reducing contractors labor costs, risks and liability, and increasing contractors profits long before quality of product.

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#11

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 4:59 PM

Thats a tall order to sort thru. As I have been told time and time again there is no such thing as a stupid question. Life is a continuous learning experience and one way we learn is to ask questions. If imposed by a question in which the reader feels is stupid the reader has the right to respond or not. We can not read the poster mind. I once made the mistake of putting the expectation that everyone thought and reason like I do. What a mistake that will frustrate the best of us. Now I try to look at it as at lest they are trying to learn, trying to educate themselves.

As far as the questionable purposes are concerned. I think each one of us knows the extent of the harm our knowledge can do. It is up to us to police ourselves in what knowledge we give.

I some times find my self over whelmed when surfing the WEB for info when what I googled came back with 1 million possibilities. Until iI sit and think about the right questions to ask. Those posters that seem lazy maybe don't know how to ask the right questions or haven't learned how to.

As far as those that like to poke a little fun in there. The worst of them can be very helpful when provide with all the info to answer the question. It is very hard to answer a question that so very obscure its meaningless. I am sure the poster knew what they wanted to ask but then again didn't know how to ask the right question.

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#14

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 8:18 PM

I try to answer any question that is either sincere or interesting. But, once in a while, I see a question like "I am a structural engineer and I want to know why steel is used." and then the evil TVP45 just pops out and grabs hold of my keyboard and away I flame. Most of the time I manage to delete those answers before I actually post them, but once in a while my finger slips...

And truly, I won't help anybody with homework (on here - I do participate in several homework forums) and will get a little sharp-tongued if they try to disguise their homework as a question. I enjoy technology and engineering and science and don't want to waste my time with somebody asking "Why is there air?"

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#25
In reply to #14

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 3:28 AM

Yup... I write a few that don't get sent too

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 3:39 AM

It would be fun if CR4 had an 'orphan' section for questions that don't get a responce after, say, 1 month. A rosta could be posted compelling those of Guru status to take it in turns answering them. I claim exemption 'cos it was my idea.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 3:49 AM

Your head on a post in the main courtyard!!!

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#30
In reply to #27

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 5:43 AM

Congratulations, you are the first volunteer ! Only upon completion of 1 mission can you pass on this onerous burden. The orphan must be at least 1-month old, and your parenting skills will be closely watched. Failure to elicit speech from the child within 1 week will terminate your contract. Unnecessary crying by said child will oblige you to continue nursing it.

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#104
In reply to #30

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 5:03 AM

Ok, bring it. You have never seen a question I can't screw up an answer to.

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#107
In reply to #104

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 5:33 AM

Due to apathy by vermin and Del to my #38, you can take poll position. Locating a suitable 1-month orphan will be part of your task. Please report back if such a poor child can be found, I'd love to spectate on your nursing skills.

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#108
In reply to #107

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 5:38 AM

ok, but I hope my hypocritic oath won't be compromised :P

and on a purely functional note...how the hell do I search for questions that haven't been answered?

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#109
In reply to #108

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 5:51 AM
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#111
In reply to #109

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 6:13 AM

http://cr4.globalspec.com/browse/allthreads?sort=comments&order=desc

That does the trick! And that is a long list!

When you go to all theads, press the comments title. First it put them in order of merit, then press again and it puts them in reverse so to speak!

Good luck team and remember, this message will self destruct in 5 seconds!

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#113
In reply to #111

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 6:24 AM

Doh ! I didn't notice you could sort by 'merit' as well as date. There isn't a little by the 'comments' title. What else have I missed.

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#122
In reply to #111

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 12:47 PM

MTB,

that's great!

How can we further filter the results? I've done a quick once over of the 1st 17 pg's. Leaving out all the editors. Chris, Rodger, Moose, Jloz, BRonda..... most are what I would call engineering infotainment. I'm looking for an orphan questions, that weren't posted by a guest or a participant w/only single digit post #'s? There are 343 pages how many of them have no comments? below is a short list:

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/2567/Ductile-Brittle-Transition-Temperatures

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/2584/Grid-Tie-for-Pico-Hydro

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/3153/Roofing-No-How

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/4168/Monitoring-Carbon-Black-in-Silos

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/4294/Solar-Cell-Efficiency

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/4308/Using-cxref

This 1 is the subject of the thread!

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/3009/Plumbing

& a if you're asking this question, you won't have a sucessful out come.

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/3242/drain-valve-for-slurry-handling-pumps

I Went to the beginning of 07

Have fun, Since I've compiled the list I'll exempt myself from the task.

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#123
In reply to #122

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 1:13 PM

Interest to review, sometimes it seems we're putting ourselves (CR4) on a analysts couch.

Next someone will be asking Freudian questions.

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#114
In reply to #109

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 6:31 AM

MUAHAHAHAHAH, I found an old one...and guess who the asker is? (with 0 comments and 72 views)

I know he's still around as he is User #1 - HEHEHE. You can check my posts and find out where I've been gallivanting

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#120
In reply to #114

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 8:10 AM

I don't know whether to shriek in horror or worry about the gathering pool of urine at my feet ! PMSL is something of an understatement. Even vermin would have thought twice. You deserve the highest badge of meritorious endeavour available. My nights are now a thing of the past, as I shall be sitting here oblivious to all distraction, waiting to see if the child awakens.∞/10 !

Your biog was worth a visit in it's own right - probably the best I've read. It's quite proper that my own biog is a vacuous silence by comparison.

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#110
In reply to #108

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 5:59 AM
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#112
In reply to #110

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 6:16 AM

Good grief, Mr Brain ! That's mighty impressive. Did you find an easy way to locate the thing ? tomkaighin is going to have a hard time with a child that appears so in need. It's going to be hard stopping myself from being a back-seat nanny.

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#115
In reply to #112

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 6:39 AM

I thought we would test his grit on an easy one first, just to get him ready for the show stopper!

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/17568/eee

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#119
In reply to #115

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 7:52 AM

It's entirely possible that there is a one-size-fits-all answer. I'm much too polite to do it, though I did once see a post that was along the lines of "This may help ;" checkasearchengineyoulaztbas*8rd.com

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#124
In reply to #110

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 2:08 PM

Mission accepted, Answer posted, awaiting response and suing MTB because he forgot to warn me the message would "explode" in a massive bombardment of smut and porn. I almost missed it as I was engrossed in my own self-sought deluge of neked womens I

I hate it when that happens!

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#33
In reply to #26

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 7:26 AM

You must be in management!!

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#35
In reply to #33

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 8:31 AM

Not really - neither Del or vermin will do as I suggest.

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#36
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Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 8:43 AM

Kris who? Never heard of him .

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 9:33 AM

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#116
In reply to #38

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 6:58 AM
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#118
In reply to #116

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 7:46 AM

Trying to cut a pizza into 13 is sheer folly.

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#56
In reply to #14

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 11:35 AM

Well, right there, based on the question posed, you know he isn't even a Civil Engineer. so in the future, you know that any comments or discussion by this person should carry no weight.

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#15

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 9:12 PM

First of all, stupid questions do exist. Years ago, on a comedy program (Assaulted Nuts), a man asked a woman if he can ask her a stupid question. She said, "There is no such thing as a stupid question!" He replied, "Oh, yeah?" Then he pointed at her chest and asked, "What are those? Hmmmm?"

A stupid question is one that you should already know the answer to, or one you should know how to find the answer to. It can also be a legitimate question, but one that is stupid to ask under the circumstances because it would embarass someone.

Also, some of the best advice about answering questions came as a reponse when someone asked how parents should answer their kid's questions about the facts of life: Big questions deserve big answers, little questions deserve little answers, honest questions deserve honest answers.

Any questions?

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#34
In reply to #15

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 7:31 AM

I've learned to apply the "Glazed Eyeballs" test to even the seemingly honest questions, in the event I cannot tell how deeply the questioner wants to go. It doesn't work on a chat forum, but in person, I watch as I answer until their eyeballs get that glazed look that indicates their mind just left the room. Then I stop, and wait as long as necessary (sometimes their mind is orphaned and never comes back) to hear another question indicating more knowledge is desired.

It worked raising my kids, too!

That and a gallon of coffee a day will work wonders for generating long answers.

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#45
In reply to #15

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 10:23 AM

Hi 3Doug,

You remind me of a joke: a family of three (mother, father and 10 years boy) was traveling by train. At some point, the boy start asking questions to his father.Boy: pa, why are those pols so high? Pa: I don't know. Boy: what are those overhead lines for? Pa: I don't know. Boy: pa, what is moving, the train or the station? Pa: I don't know.

And so on until the father said: don't ask me anymore, you annoy me. At that point, mother intervened: let the kid ask questions, this is the best way to learn!

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#82
In reply to #15

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/19/2008 8:33 AM

by josh — last modified 2007-08-14 16:56 Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Transcript of Richard M. Stallman announcing the release of GPLv3 on June 29, 2007

A video of this talk can be found at http://gplv3.fsf.org.

I'm very happy to say that we are actually releasing GPL version 3. Today. Right now, I believe. During this speech it's becoming official and people can start to release software under GPL version 3. It has been, essentially, sixteen years since GPL version 2 came out. We didn't think it would be this long before we made the next version, and we'll try to attend to future upgrade needs more quickly. We won't wait more than a decade, this time.

But what's so important about GPL version 3? Well, first of all, what's the GPL for? What's its purpose? I designed the GNU General Public License for a very simple purpose: to defend the freedom of every user of a free program. Not all free programs do this. There are free programs released under other licenses that are lax and permissive, that allow modified versions to be made non-free. Some even allow just compiling as enough excuse to make it non-free. But what happens then? The software may be very popular, it may be powerful and reliable, but it fails to deliver freedom to the users.

So the GNU General Public License is designed to make sure that everyone that gets the software also gets the essential freedoms that the user of software must have.

These are

Freedom 0. The freedom to run the program as you wish.

Freedom 1. The freedom to study the source code and change it so it does what you wish.

Freedom 2. The freedom to help your neighbor, which is the freedom to distribute exact copies up to and including republication when you wish, and . . .

Freedom 3, which is the freedom to contribute to your community, the freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions up to and including publication, when you wish.

These are the freedoms necessary so we can control our own computing and be good, helpful members of our communities. And together, they give us democratic control over what our software does.

Only with a license like the GNU GPL do the users have these four freedoms. But, the adversaries of freedom don't stand still, they've thought of new ways to separate users from their freedom since GPL version 2 came out. So, we have had to find ways to block them from doing this in order to make sure the GPL continues to achieve what has always been told.

For instance, there's a practice we call tivoization after the product which began it. The Tivo contains software released under GPL version 2, and they comply formally with the requirements of GPL version 2. But, it doesn't do the user of the Tivo any good. Yes, the user can get the source code of that software, but if the user tries to change it and compile it and install it in the Tivo it won't run. It is guaranteed not to run. And that's no accident. The Tivo contains special circuitry to check the signature of the program and if it has been modified at all, then it shuts down. Now why would they do a thing like this? The reason is not innocent. The reason is, because the Tivo is designed to restrict the user and to spy on the user. Nasty malicious features. And they want to make sure the user can't get rid of these nasty features in the most natural way, the way that users are supposed to be able to do it with free software. They have put in this special circuitry to make sure people can't run modified versions of the software.

So, GPL version 3 blocks this practice. It says that if you distribute binaries in a product to consumers, that you've got to provide them with whatever information is sufficient so that they can install and run their modified versions in the products they bought.

There's another variation on tivoization, which is, Treacherous Computing. That's where the computer is designed so that a web site you are trying to talk to can tell whether you are running the officially approved software or your own modified version. And if you are running your own modified version then it says, "they don't trust you," so you are not allowed to talk to the site. Well, with GPL version 3 that's not allowed either. They have to provide you with information sufficient to install your modified versions, so that they can function just as the original version would have done, unless your changes make it do something else. They're not allowed to distribute it in such a way that the mere fact that you modified it prevents it from functioning the way the original would have. So we've blocked both variants of this way of turning freedom number one—the freedom to study and change the source code and make the source code do what you wish—into a sham.

Another threat to our freedom comes from software patents. I'm sure you've heard about the Novell–Microsoft deal, which was dangerous, because, effectively, Novell is going to pay Microsoft to give customers protection from some of Microsoft's patents. Well, if Microsoft, or anyone, can make users pay for the privilege of running free software, that takes away from freedom zero: the freedom to run the program as you wish. We can't sit idly by and let that happen.

Now, GPL version 2 had a change in it from GPL version 1 to protect us against use of software patents to make the program effectively non-free. But, it only applies when the distributor gets a patent license. Well in the Novell–Microsoft deal, they were clever, and Microsoft didn't give Novell a patent license. So, they slipped through this crack in GPL version 2. Well, in GPL version 3, we don't have this crack anymore—such deals are not allowed.

However, instead of simply saying that Novell can't distribute GPL version 3 covered programs under their deal, we found a cleverer thing to do with it. When Microsoft updates to versions that are covered by GPL version 3, GPL version 3 will extend this patent protection from the customers of Novell to everybody who uses those programs. Effectively, we found a way to turn that deal against Microsoft and make it backfire. So, it's extremely important for free software to upgrade the license to GPL version 3. So that, Novell, in the course of time, will put in the new versions, and thus our community will get this benefit. It has to be done fairly soon, because if we wait too long, Microsoft may distribute all its coupons and then we won't be able to turn the deal against them anymore. So, get your programs relicensed soon, it's very important. We expect all the maintainers of GNU software to relicense in the next few months—it's important. But, other free software developers should also relicense.

There will be people who will ask you not to do so. A minority of our community seems to be very angry about GPL version 3. And, when we try to probe to find out their motives, it usually turns out that they disagree with the goal of the GNU GPL, the goal of guaranteeing freedom for every user. Please, when people who hold those views ask you to leave users' freedom vulnerable, don't listen to them. Defend the user's freedom, that's important. And even if they are people who ask us not to do it, we've got to do it. We have to defend the user's freedom against these threats.

There are, of course, many other advantages of GPL version 3. Compatibility with the Apache license is one. Better internationalization is another. You'll also find that its termination conditions work much better in the case of a distributor of an entire GNU + Linux distribution who makes a mistake, and thus violates the GPL for thousands of programs at once. And, of course, wants to correct it. With GPL version 2, that person who made a mistake, loses the license permanently for every program from every copyright holder, and has to then go and beg forgiveness from everyone, which is not feasible. But, with GPL version 3, if they correct the mistake and the copyright holders don't complain in 60 days, then they're in the clear. So they'll only have to negotiate with those who actually did complain. Assuming of course that they are sincere people and they correct the mistake. We are still in a good position to enforce the license against anyone who intends to violate it and doesn't correct the mistake.

So, GPL version 3 will help our community in many ways, and I urge people to upgrade to it. Thank you.

Who is going to speak next?

Well, I'll fill this pause by drinking some tea.

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#84
In reply to #82

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/19/2008 12:32 PM

Hmm that really diverged away from the discussion.

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#85
In reply to #84

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/19/2008 12:52 PM

I hope that your lost, because when I read it it lost me before the first paragragh, and I hate be lost all by myself.

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#86
In reply to #85

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/19/2008 3:28 PM

Has 'Guest' just found how to copy and paste then??

John

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#89
In reply to #86

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/19/2008 6:04 PM

Hello John, This 'guest' has done the same all over the site! I've opened numerous threads only to be confronted by the same speal!

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#93
In reply to #89

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 2:06 AM

I noticed that too. Some have been erased I think, but 'Guest' appears to be working an agenda.

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#94
In reply to #93

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 2:14 AM

Guest is indeed working on an agenda. I have had to challenge him in several forums. His claims are suspect in every endeavor and his proclivity for anonymity belies any serious consideration. So far, his only claim is that he has been using the nick "Der ber" on the "net" for 60 years. Neat trick. Probably follows the one his mother though she was using with a dick and a condom. Though I'm not actually sure Guest's parentage is completely humanoid...there are several ape-like subspecies that could have produced him.

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#95
In reply to #94

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 2:53 AM
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#102
In reply to #95

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 4:58 AM

Gotta love family portraits, but where the hell did you get mine? I thought we burned all of those (when the tree we crawled down out of went up in flames)?

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#96
In reply to #94

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 3:02 AM

PMSL ! Guests downfall is that he's indistinguishable from the other guests. Annonymity is probably a reaction to being told the best part of him was left on a soggy sheet. Life is cruel.

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#105
In reply to #82

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 5:10 AM

I can't figure it out, sorry. My hearing isn't quite acute enough to determine if it's the sound of a million tiny violins playing "Whine, bitch, whine" or the thoughts of a million searchers for knowlege thinking "Nope, none here"

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#16

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/17/2008 11:24 PM

"Another category is the silly/stupid questions."

Ask stupid questions, get stupid answers. Hey, if these guys want to prove they're morons by asking moronic questions, we might as well have some mean-spirited fun at their expense by giving them ridiculous, condescending answers. After all, life is short, so we might as well enjoy ourselves any time the opportunity presents itself.

Someone/something here once posted a question?/discussion? simply stating "subject", so I humored him/her/it by answering "?"

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#67
In reply to #16

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 2:45 PM

Who decides who's a moron and who's not? This might be your personal perception. For being respected you have to show respect. If not, simply pass. No one will notice you.

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#78
In reply to #67

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/18/2008 11:30 PM

Actually, I agree with you on the whole. However, there have been people who have posted some really ridiculous questions or comments here. I won't name names to protect their identities, but those of us who have read their threads or postings will know who they are. Here are a few examples.

One guy sought help in creating a perpetual motion electrical generator powered by "electromagnets that don't use electricity" (his words, not mine). As if his initial posting wasn't ridiculous enough, he proceeded to announce to everyone several days later that he simply ignored all the postings informing him that his idea won't work (i.e. virtually all of them) because "they are just being negative or are trying to provoke debate" (again, his words, not mine). And finally, after all the criticisms he received, he posted a comment saying that he felt unloved when actually we are all willing to help him, but he just refused to accept that his idea is impossible, and his pigheaded refusal to accept reality had just annoyed everyone.

Another guy, a mechanical engineering student, kept complaining about why he was wasting his time studying in the university when he learnt nothing useful at all. He too came under heavy criticism for his negativism, but just kept at it anyway. I finally told him to identify and solve his own problems instead of venting his frustrations on us all here. He apparently never posted another comment after that when actually, none of us here have any problems with him posting messages at all. He just shouldn't be blaming the education system for his own refusal to make the most of it.

I once posted a thread ridiculing a "water-for-gas" website. Someone, I don't know who but possibly the website owner himself, criticized us all for not believing it. Interestingly enough, when I requested that he prove to us all that the process really works since he was so adamant about defending it, he never replied.

Some people also submit threads saying something like "I want to know about (enter subject matter here)" without clearly stating what they are actually looking for. Then there are those guys who simply submit a 3-worded post that could mean just about anything. How we are supposed to answer questions like these only these guys know.

These are just a few examples. I'm sorry if you were offended by my bluntness, but unfortunately, with guys like those I just listed above, it's very hard to not to doubt their logical thinking ability .

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#88
In reply to #78

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/19/2008 4:39 PM

I'm with you, I gave you a GA for honesty.

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#127
In reply to #78

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 8:00 PM

I agree with that there are far to many schemes posted on the web with no scientific support or justification, simply someones idea pitched as an investment opportunity or scientific fact utilized for some agenda. There is far more misinformation on the web then true scientifically supported information. Unfortunately, a lot of this information is meant to support fraudulent schemes seeking investors, or someones political agenda to gain support for an unfounded belief. These people depend on the general publics belief that information on the web is what it appears to be, but unlike older methods of disseminating information, you can not distinguish the real information from the false information by the paper it is printed on, the method of distribution, or the body language of the speaker. Additioally, much of the information becomes democratized, such that the truth on the web is whatever most of the people agree with, and this becomes fact (even if scientific evidence rebukes the idea).

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#81
In reply to #67

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/19/2008 4:45 AM

"Who decides who's a moron and who's not? This might be your personal perception. For being respected you have to show respect. If not, simply pass. No one will notice you"

I like these nice words, thank you Hottech.

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#101
In reply to #81

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/20/2008 4:37 AM

I have two quotes that I love to iterate (even if it is only to myself) when confronted by adversity/stupidity...

A pipe gives a wise man time to think, and a fool something to stick in his mouth <C.S. Lewis>

Don't argue with an idiot - he'll drag you to his level and beat you with experience...ok, it's a paraphrase of Murphy's Law, and I don't know who originally said it, but it still works better than the original for me.

The choice is always yours. It all depends on how you deal with morons. I've known and trusted many morons in my life. I've known and trusted many geniuses in my life. Who do you think I've been disappointed with more?

I think I've found a conundrum in my life. I am glad I know more that I should and thirst to know more. I'm sad that I could be happier if I knew less. Paraphrasing Thomas Grey...

Ignorance is Bliss.

When you embrace ignorance, you need not know any more than you do now. Your expectations do not rise, hence your failures remain minimal and accepted. You never leave your comfort level.

My experience is an affirmation of the preceeding. I am a certified genius. I am a Mensa Member. I am currently self sufficient, I have been homeless. I have been a criminal. I have made more personally catastrophicly disaterous personal decisions than you can shake a stick at. I can't justify any of them to more than my own lack of morality.

Yet I've had people that I consider eminently inferior, mentally, makie far better decisions in life. Where does that leave me? I understand my own moralities, and sometimes fail them. How can I say I am smarter than anyone, yet I still judge.

Probably not a discussion for an engineering site. You can all probably tell me how I was wrong, but not why I did so with the information I had.

I think, in truth, these are just dynamics of morality. Dynamics that cannot be quantified.

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#159
In reply to #101

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/24/2008 7:37 PM

Intelligence is no substitute for character and morality. You have discovered that you need a more balanced personality. Hopefully not too late in life.

I once knew a mongoloid man who was unhappy because he knew he was stupid. Ignorance is not bliss to the jungle savage put in the middle of New York, it is terrifying.

There are books that have compiled the wisdom of generations into rules of behavior and they boil down to a simple few. Love others as you love yourself. Treat other people in the way you would want them to treat you. Be honest in all things. You can find them in the Bible and various other writings. Religions are not just about God[s], they are also lessons in how to behave written by many very wise men.

Many of those who post here need to remember those things. Love those who argue with you, because you learn from them. Turn away from those who anger you, lest you harm yourself.

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#160
In reply to #159

Re: Stupid questions: should we answer them or not?

03/24/2008 9:55 PM

I was debating posting a reply, but I just couldn't resist. Oxymoronic examples tend to do that to me. I do understand your sentiments and have probably read many of the books that the infamous "They" have written. And I do try and balance my life, my beliefs and my understandings. You can take a look at my bio on this very site, to get a very short and somewhat lighthearted understanding of 'Me'.

Anyway, I just had to say that I was amused that the example you used to attempt to negate my statement that "Ignorance is Bliss" contradicts itself.

"I once knew a mongoloid man who was unhappy because he knew he was stupid."

If he knew, then he was not ignorant. I think you may have missed the point of the proverb. Bliss does not protect you from the dangers of ignorance, but protects you from the fear of ignorance. Ignorant is the normal state for everyone. It is usually peeled back, layer by layer over the journey of a lifetime. Some only have the facilities to peel back few layers (but leave my family out of this ). Some have the drive and ability to peel back more. No one ever gets to the chewy center of that particular Tootsie Pop.

There is a little crocodile part of your brain that is genetic, and that is what tries to keep you from pulling the sleeping lion's tail, brushing your teeth with that burning branch or even trying to find out what the '3rd rail' tastes like (hopefully not chicken). It was his knowledge and experience that caused him fear. He may have been ignorant of the specific actions going on around him, but his imagination caused him fear.

My little paraphrase on this is:

You are never afraid of the bullet that kills you, only the one that came before it, or the one imagined.

I wont go into the roles religion have played in the formation of our social standards other than to say I agree with them and understand the wisdom of the creators of Organized Religion and their use of them. Some very wise men figured out that we needed to mostly adhere to a set of underlying moral codes in order become societies. But I will say that I think the entire conflict of religious views belies the very basic tenants of all of them. Even the Quran is nothing more than the Third Book of Christianity, somewhat akin to the Book of Mormon. No where in my perusal though Dr. Rashad Kalifa's translation did I see blatant deviation in the morals that are so succinctly summed up by the Old Testament's 10 Commandments.

Taoism and Buddhism also subscribe to the same basic tenants but usually take a more prosaic and contemplative approach. Even Mormonism promotes them rigorously, and it is still considered (in some circles) cultish, more from it's more modern foundings and claims. It's founders are much closer to us, historically, so are not yet viewed with the same awe and forgiveness as their historical (or composite) brethren.

I've found a couple of other small inconstancies in your post, and would be glad to discuss any of them, or just principles in general, but I feel that it would be prudent to do so in a different venue. One bit of unsolicited advice. Take heed of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's prophetic insight after his wildly successful implementation of the attack on Pearl Harbor..."I fear all we have done is to waken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."

Remember, I agree with much more of your post that I disagree with. I just think that you cite examples you haven't fully thought through. But one Joy/Regret is that I have currently been waiting on further assignments and have the time to peruse these discussions and post, what I hope to be, thoughtful responses. I have, however, been prone to posting from my inner idiot as well, so continue to challenge me if you feel I have misspoken or misthought something. I will think the more of you for it.

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