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Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 11:02 AM

I recently replied to a post in the "Engineering Careers" section and felt that it should be repeated here so I will adapt my reply into a post in the "General" section as well. The following is what I had to say:

The more I read the replies on this forum the more discouraged I get. The people that seem to reply the most seem to spend their time berating what they feel is the stupidity of the original poster and not actually helping with a situation. When someone posts a question they are actually displaying ignorance. Never in my life have I been ashamed of ignorance. It simply means that someone has not had another person explain something to them yet. Ignorance is an opportunity to expand your knowledge base. That is what people are trying to do here.

I posted a question a few months back and was actually reticent to post it because I didn't want to hear the derisive comments that I was sure would flow from the usual suspects. I was shocked to see how quickly people responded to my post. Within five minutes after posting I was receiving replies. Some of them were helpful but some contained the usual "homework" and "interview" comments that degrade the intended purpose of this forum. These members that reply in the negative seem to post more of these kind of responses than actual helpful replies and it also seems that they are the ones that reply the fastest. Its as if they were waiting for a chance to shoot someone down instead of helping them up. There was a reply I saw in the last few days that stands out as a prime example of this. The person replying had posted over 550 "answers" to people's questions and only five of them had been categorized as good. If this is any indication, this person spends less than 1% of their time actually being helpful to other people.

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you can't offer some useful advise to the people that are trying to reduce their level of ignorance - not to be confused with stupidity, which just might be what the useless repliers are exhibiting - why waste your time and the time of everyone else.

I will add a few things here that occurred to me after I posted my original reply. At the risk of being to general and delving too deeply into the psychological landscape, I pose this question: Could it be that the negative repliers are possibly compensating for childhood feelings of inadequacy? Could it be that they were bullied as children - this is, after all, an engineering forum - and are seizing on the opportunity to bully from the anonymity of the internet?

While I understand the "Tips for posting on CR4" that are staring me in the face as I submit this and fully realize that some people do not follow the guidelines spelled out above this little box in which I am typing, maybe if the "usual suspects" mentioned in my original reply would spend more of their time building up instead of tearing down the people that are earnestly trying to find answers to life's persistent questions (do I have to give Garrison Keillor credit for that) there would be fewer people that would need to post questions here.

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#1

Re: Quality of forum replies.

11/12/2014 11:37 AM

This entire post is ill conceived by a new comer who has not spent enough time here to understand the nature of this forum, nor apparently the rules for posting...

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Quality of forum replies.

11/12/2014 11:55 AM

That was the reason I posted it in the "General Discussion" section. If the nature of the forum is not to find answers to questions then please explain what it really is. It seems a lot of the time that it dissolves to berating and denigration.

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#5
In reply to #1

Re: Quality of forum replies.

11/12/2014 12:21 PM

NO, IT'S NOT!!

This person just has the guts to bring up what 95% of the people who post on this forum feel. Face it, the kind of response you get to posts is predicated upon the number of posts and GA's you have (which are easily given to yourself, by the way). The fewer you have, the more likely you are to be berated and bullied.

Yeah, I'm posting anonymously, because I don't want to be blackballed!

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#9
In reply to #5

Re: Quality of forum replies.

11/12/2014 1:38 PM

I already blackballed you for posting ANON

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#6
In reply to #1

Re: Quality of forum replies.

11/12/2014 1:03 PM

This response also proves what I'm talking about - the first one posted was negative and belittling.

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#14
In reply to #6

Re: Quality of forum replies.

11/12/2014 4:31 PM

...as was the op....and it seems each subsequent post thereafter....and as it turns out many before as well....

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#33
In reply to #1

Re: Quality of forum replies.

11/13/2014 7:13 AM

I know I always enjoy it when someone puts the cuss into discussion.

I randomly replied to you SE because... why not?

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#38
In reply to #1

Re: Quality of forum replies.

11/13/2014 10:08 AM

I've been here for 5 years. No, it's not.

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#2

Re: Quality of forum replies.

11/12/2014 11:53 AM

I hear what you're saying. any online forum will draw this element. the forum doesn't exist to serve the people asking questions as much as it exists for those that care to respond.and you are correct, it attracts a few frustrated bullies that find a need to be jerks or act as if they are somehow more qualified to decide what has value and what does not. I also am guilty of bashing, ANONS are just lazy. some questions are beyond ignorant and just plain foolish. many answers would come to the individual if they just took 5 seconds to read their own inquiry before posting it.

I suggest you take a step back and realize that regardless of ones knowledge they receive no compensation so all input is given freely...including the ones that hate life. there's a person or two here that gets their notice deleted the moment I see their name in the notification email. they only spew negativity and rarely offer anything worth my time. I suggest you develop a similar strategy because you can't silence their online being.....an ignore "idiot feature" would be nice.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Quality of forum replies.

11/12/2014 12:00 PM

Maybe that's what I've been searching for all my life - an "Ignore Idiot" feature.

And yes, I agree that some of the posts are ill-conceived and could be answered with just a little extra effort on the part of the poster.

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#28
In reply to #4

Re: Quality of forum replies.

11/13/2014 5:17 AM

"And yes, I agree that some of the posts are ill-conceived and could be answered with just a little extra effort on the part of the poster."

Actually, that is the "Crux" of the problem roeblinggrid....

People post here with questions that a tiny bit of web-work would have answered.

They have obviously not done anything other than post a question on CR4. SIMPLY NOTHING!! and it is very obvious.

That is the first type of post(er) that gets "ragged".

The second is the poster who supplies no useful information that might allow a helpful hint or two. The classic one here is:- "my car won't start! Why?"......

This type of post will also draw nasty comments.

Lets face it, if anyone is so silly as to make these types of post, then sad to say, but I feel that they get what they deserve. If they cannot handle it, then they should please log-off for ever and find somewhere else to annoy.

Not start complaining about the quality of answers when my 3 year old Grandson could have written a better question!!

They certainly will never improve their thinking if they are not told what they did wrong. In fact, I sincerely believe they will simply get worse.

Also, homework questions from students, who should have listened better in school/college, should never be posted here. I have worked with Engineers who appear to have slept though their studies for 5 years or more and did not deserve to even take the name. Am I alone in such thinking, I think not!!

Also, if you make your question and information look and sound like homework, even if its not, then you will also get treated badly.....

In the future, anyone wanting a substantive help here should also tell us the reasons behind their question. But if it is to remain secret for patent reasons, go somewhere else please.....I want to be educated as well, not simply used!

We should run a small contest here, looking back on all previous initial posts and then vote on the most stupid one of all in our eyes. Anyone game?

Of course, the number of Off Topic posts will help guide us as well in many cases!!

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#7

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 1:05 PM

This is a topic that pops up now and then. I understand both sides of the argument:

  • People come to CR4 because they would like conversation, answers, or advice from a human being that is experienced in that topic.
  • Some of the members are a bit jaded for various reasons... the poster could seek this information from other sources like a book, Google, or the manufacturer.

My advice for you (and the others that may feel this way) is to participate! If you can answer a question in a helpful way, do it! This is what makes CR4 a good place (or a not so good place.) A community is all about participation and it's what keeps this place going.

So speak up, get involved, and help shape CR4 into a great resource and place to converse and learn.

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#8

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 1:35 PM

"If you don't know the difference between magnetic north and true north you shouldn't be allowed to have a compass." roeblinggrid

Your second post and here I thought you were going to fit right in. What changed?

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 2:01 PM

Oh, man! It sucks to get caught out like that. Kind of kills the well-developed feeling of self-rightousness I had been working so hard to cultivate. On the other hand, I was replying to a replier's inanity and not the original poster so I feel somewhat vindicated.

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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 2:35 PM

Vindicated? As in you shouldn't be blamed for tasking a swipe at SolarEagle?

"If you have no useful comments why do you bother contributing?" Do you remember this comment you made on 3 September?

Now that we have that out of the way...

It appears that about 25% of your 28 comments here at CR4 are complaints. Please tell us about the fatherly figures in your past, and what they might think about this. Is this whining possibly the result of some childhood feelings of inadequacy?

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 3:42 PM

Hear Hear !

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#15
In reply to #12

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 5:08 PM

I gave you a GA for not working henweigh or duckdo into your responses, so far.

I'm posting anonymously, keeping true to the spirit of 99% of anonymous posts that are pointless and seemingly without merit.

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#16
In reply to #12

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 5:23 PM

Oh, snap!

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#23
In reply to #12

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 9:04 PM

Due to the original question of asking about childhood problems I think it was a comment that could be made.

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#49
In reply to #12

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/14/2014 8:47 AM

In the mirror we look the same but the complete opposite Doorman.

We call this typical guy right in our place KJ -Kill Joy and OS, Overly Sensitive.

What's the whining all about, though he is not enjoying the forum. Good laughs right here, who says C4 forum sucks?

Good laughs and learning, that should be this forum's all about. The hell with the political things on the job site and workplace.

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#11

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 2:04 PM

There is no such thing as a "dumb question" , but there is definitely such a thing as a "stupid answer".

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#29
In reply to #11

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 5:18 AM

How true

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#34
In reply to #11

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 8:22 AM

balony

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#17

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 5:32 PM

roeblinggrid, I don't want to leave my comment #12 hanging. In fact, I'm going to go back and mark it OT, so I don't profit one of these GA things you mention at your expense. I did, after all take a swipe at you.

Now, the reason I did so was not to have some sadistic fun, bullying you from an anonymous chair hundreds of miles from you. It's called 'Give-And-Take'. I've been around here long enough that I treat the forum like a discussion forum, as if we weren't miles apart but in the same room, the same table, having a coffee and discussing your issue. In such a conversation, we can size each other up, read the eyes, watch the body language... At the CR4 table I haven't got that luxury, so I will sometimes intentionally set someone back with an abrupt comment.

Without delving too deeply into the psychological landscape of it, we can learn much from someone's response to an abrupt comment. Your acquiescence to the comment, for example, tells me about you. It's a tough world out there, and because of that, to be quite honest, I usually won't offer a lot of grease for the skids to someone who whines, bitches and snivels about the way they are treated.

SavvyExacta has excellent advice (I'm gonna go give her a GA thingy). Participate. Give and take. Observe, and make observations. Maybe crack a joke. Be yourself. Get to know your neighbors, help when you can.

This forum is, after all, like the stove and cracker-barrel at the general store.

So, in response to "I guess what I am trying to say is that if you can't offer some useful advise to the people that are trying to reduce their level of ignorance - not to be confused with stupidity, which just might be what the useless repliers are exhibiting - why waste your time and the time of everyone else." I would say... Here, have a warm seat, some crackers and cheese, slow down a bit and explain things so maybe I understand a little better.

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 6:04 PM

Doorman,

How's that move out of the brutal cold of Fargo N.D. to balmy Cheyenne workin' out for ya' right about now?

Cheyenne, WY Weather

Wind Chill Advisory from Wed, 5pm until Thu, 9am

3:25 pm MST 0°F Feels Like -17°

Sunny

Sorry, I know this is OT, but I just couldn't resist.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 6:13 PM

Yeah... BRRRRR! Well, November in WY, at 6,000 feet. Not too many swimmin' pools around here, either.

But, ya know, it's a dry cold here. Might call it sort of windy too.

This is still nicer weather than Fargo.

Think I'll scoot a little closer to the stove.

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#45
In reply to #17

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 11:33 PM

Instead of coffee, could we change the beverage to a nice beer instead?

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#20

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 6:36 PM

See numerous previous threads on CR4 when this sort of question has been raised and we have answered it from our own points of view (including mine).

I really don't feel like going into it again and as you can see from some of the posts above neither do many others, but on the plus side you get to try out the CR4 search feature and delve into our previous discussions finding out what we think.

Short answer, GA's are not a true indication of good answers (not by a long shot), garbage question's in=unhelpful answers out (or requests for more information followed by silence from the original question poster) and I'm one of the positive ones.

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#21

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 7:01 PM

I appreciate the single stars in the morning. They aptly identify the spam and inane.

On the other hand, I'll never quite understand the need to disrupt threads that someone wouldn't typically be interested in, just to take jabs at the OP or other members that are attempting to carry on a conversation...regardless of how stupid the subject may seem.

I'm assuming extreme boredom. Most rational people would just skip those threads and leave the stupid people to carry on.

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#30
In reply to #21

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 5:21 AM

Now I know why you post!!

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#22

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 9:00 PM

I think you have it backwards.

Ignorance is a trait that has no room in engineering and is being frowned upon.

Nobody can heal stupid but we can work against ignorance. The way this goes is the hard way. If you take somebodies ignorance as a reason to help you actually doing the opposite and cement the ignorance.

If you think the "do it yourself answer" is wrong think twice.

Teach your kids that they can do it, teach the third world countries that they have and can do it. We fail again and again by doing it for them.

The way I see this is that for some unknow reasons we have little chance here to delve deeply into engineering questions. The reason is that we usually get stuck with sorting out the question and it comes down to teach How to ask a question properly.

The thread you posted in is exactly the sort of we have to sort out the question and bit by bit we learn that there is a need to move is at stake, another course is available to decide for or against. Now we can discuss if this is ignorant or foolish. Probably a bit of both.

Your oberservation of this forum does not fail you entirly but as Fredski points out there is two sides. The ones asking and the ones that take time to answer. Your post by the way was not helpful by itself for OP but could be seens as moral support.

I went back to the question you had and can not see where there was a problem. There was some very good advice in it. Dont you think?

To answer your question: No I would not see any relation to childhood bullying. Which book did you read this in? Have you never been bullied one way or the other. Are you suggesting that all the good advice comes from people never been bullied? Is the never been bullied tag something that makes you good forever? Dont you even think that somebody that has been bullied has a better understanding of the issue and is more sensitive about it?

I bet with you that most of the responders you calll bullies here have been very valuable in bringing up their kids and/or support the development of young engineers.

Well I do and I fight ignorance where I see it exactly for the reasons stated above.

One can not know everything (this is not ignorance) but one has to made an effort.

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#25
In reply to #22

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 11:32 PM

I'd give you more GA's if I could, excellent reply. The OP's statement rates up there with starting a post as "(Dear Sir)"s" As most of us know, there are well educated women here too.

To the OP, stick around and you'll feel the frustrations that most of us feel when students, (want a be Engineer) ask, rather demand the answers to their "home work assignments". And the sad thing is, they spend waste more time looking through and reading answers to their post, than spend the same amount of time using a search engine and doing their research and Actually Learn Something on Their Own!!

OR, when someone comes here looking for answers to questions regarding working around electricity, over-head cranes, self-anchoring bridges or ...., when they have no clue what they are doing!

So, are some of us cynical? Yes. Why? Because people in today's age, are to damn (yes DAMN) Lazy to Do Their Own Work!! Is it because of robotics or is it they actually have to use their own brain to think for themselves and do key strokes? Either way, it's a sad state of affairs.

As the Heading states; "CR4 - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®"

This is Not A Question and Answer Forum. That said, most of us will try and answer questions, legitimate questions, that will not put people's lives at stake. Tho, there are some here that feel compelled (thru self gratification) to guide these OP's (AP's) to harm themselves or other's.

Have a Great and Safe Day, where ever in the world you are

dj

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#24

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/12/2014 10:35 PM

Response to all:

I like it here, I seem to have been accepted here, I have taken some beatings here, I've provided some helpful answers here, I have received helpful advice here.

Still being a relative newcomer to CR4 I enjoy coming to this site any time I have a chance just to see what the cast of characters is up to, I get a little tired of inane posters that beat a subject to death in multiple posts that are worded differently but asking the same questions and get upset because they are not getting the answers they WANT to hear.

I like to think that I have something to contribute and be helpful when I can. I sit back and am amazed at the amount of information that is posted at this site on so many varied subjects from alchemy to zener diodes.

Some of the subjects are so far above my head I feel very humbled, the intellegence displayed on this site is amazing. That being said I think all who come here have been humbled at one time or another either here or IRL so I'll keep coming back because I enjoy it and that's what it's all about........Right?

But I think on of the main thing I like about the site is the FUN that is posted on a regular basis, granted sometimes at someones expense (myself included).

These men and women that post here regularly have created a community that they have become members of by accepting the striping they sometimes get and getting on with it, yes we all have had gripes here but you can't take it too personally as none of us have the power to control you or your feelings.

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#26

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 4:50 AM

You're right, there are a number of people who enjoy attacking posts but, amongst all of those there are also many thoughtful, incisive & informative answers that really get to the heart of the posters question. It's just a case of sorting the wood from the trees, if the posts take a nasty turn, just leave them but don't give up completely.

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#27

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 4:55 AM

I joined this forum a number of years ago, and there was a lot of good interaction between the members and guests, I liked the idea of guests, to me an expression of free speech. But as I have learnt over the years, in any group you have people who have an opinion that they must uphold the standards of the group? Yes there are those that express their opinion like your self, and yes I sometimes don't agree, and the standard I would like for this forum is free speech. Welcome to the group.

Regards JD.

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#31

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 5:45 AM

It's all about speaking loudly but carrying a small stick. Amateur psychoanalysis not needed.

--Sigmund Fraud

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 6:41 AM

You forgot about Teddy Bear.

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#35

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 8:49 AM

Try these on for size.

Sensor Design

Reliability

What is Pressure?

Pulling Out Tube Bundle

Neutral Displacement Protection

Then imagine getting this quality of thread, over and over and over, day after day, after day.

Then add the requests to size wire, define MCCB, with examples, explain how motors work and the "do my homework for me" or "do my job for me".

Don't forget the many who find this forum then ask a question that could have been answered, in detail, by spending less time just typing the title of the lame question to the furum into a search engine.

Answer all of this type of response, 99% of which come from anonymous posters who never add anything useful to the forum and then, let's talk again.

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#36
In reply to #35

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 9:32 AM

I guess the crux of the matter for me is to answer the genuinely worthwhile questions and then ignore (and don't waste your valuable time on) the ones that don't deserve a response. If people keep responding to these ill-conceived posts then people will keep posting ill-conceived posts. But then again, according to Solar Eagle this one was ill-conceived and probably displayed the hints of deep psychological issues.

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#39
In reply to #36

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 10:33 AM

"The supply of fools will always outstrip the demand"

Could be changed to read, "The supply of ill-conceived, poorly thought out, senseless, posts that would be far better answered by a Google search than coming here", will always outstrip the demand."

Performing a search means that the searcher has to make decisions about the quality and applicability of the responses they get. In other words, they have to think.

Getting a direct response to:

I just want to know,

1) Reliability "what does it means"

2) What is Equipment reliability?

3)What is plant reliability? frees the hapless, anonymous poster of any need to think. They just want the answer! Usually with justifications and examples.

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#42
In reply to #36

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 5:03 PM

The bad must be characterized as much as the good, this requires communication and interaction, or verbal interaction if you like...In a free thinking creative problem solving environment all contributions are of some value, if only to point out what's wrong or unacceptable...sort of like whittling a point to a wooden spear, you must remove that which does not contribute to the point...All of the wood cannot be a point, that which is left is defined as the point...Having made my point, I would now like to drive it through the heart of this undead thread, so that it may finally be put to rest....†

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#40
In reply to #35

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 1:04 PM

You got to love it. It seems to only get better by the day

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#41
In reply to #35

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 1:25 PM

GA

Well put with good examples.....

Surprisingly I am the first, maybe nobody else understood you.....

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#43
In reply to #41

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 6:57 PM

I thought I did give Lyn a GAn but apparently it didn't register. They are fine examples of " you got to be joking, right?"

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#44
In reply to #43

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 9:48 PM
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#46
In reply to #44

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/14/2014 12:09 AM

You got give jhone some credit, he/she didn't post as an AP and didn't hide the fact that it's a home work assignment, it's straight out of the book

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#47
In reply to #43

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/14/2014 4:46 AM

Lyn is not in a good mood this week, so give him one now to improve his demeanour!!

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#37

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/13/2014 9:41 AM

After reading through everything, there are a lot of good points. I somewhat agree with your gripes, but this is a learning forum. I think you just have to do as I do, and quickly scan(read) some of the comments and just shrug them off or forget them. Any one who posts should be giving the question an honest answer based on their past experiences.

Personally I like the old adage "you learn by your mistakes" and you can see that in some of my posts. I give some of the down sides because, face it, been there done that, hopefully there are lessons to be learned from other peoples mistakes as well.

Live, read and learn. As for the chit-chat and negative posts, either forget it or live with it.

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#48

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/14/2014 7:38 AM

I find the quality of the replies is directly proportional to the quality of the question.
Therefore, the quality of the replies on this forum is quite good!

You pose some questions, which I will answer.

Could it be that the negative repliers are possibly compensating for childhood feelings of inadequacy? No.

Could it be that they were bullied as children - this is, after all, an engineering forum - and are seizing on the opportunity to bully from the anonymity of the internet? No, and not all engineers fall into whatever sterotype you're making about being bullied.

Does that help? Let me know if I can assist further.

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#50

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/15/2014 12:04 PM

Since I have access to every crisis in the world, that doesn't mean I have to worry about every one of them. This is also known as knowing where the off button is.

The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.

Just 10 years ago, a top professor at MIT would not have had the knowledge at his fingertips that a ten year old kid in a fishing village in Bangladesh has today.

A wiser fella than myself once said; "Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear, …… well, he eats you."

Acknowledgements to Google Executive Eric Schmidt and The guy with the Cowboy thing going on in The Big Lebowski.

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#51
In reply to #50

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/16/2014 8:21 PM

Hey. That's my handle!

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#52
In reply to #51

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/17/2014 2:31 PM

You may want to find another handle, the other "wrenchtwirler" has been around since Nov. 2009

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: Quality of Forum Replies

11/17/2014 5:08 PM

!!!!!!! FIGHT !!!!!!!(Apologies to Harry Hill)

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