Off-topic message confusion

From: Ronald Wayne <>
Date: Tue Dec 21 23:03:43 2004

Seeming as I do little more than read this list my comments may be a
tad unwelcome, but ...

What the heck is wrong with an off-topic message on an off-topic list?
 I can see anything "political" being out of bounds. That stuff
generates flame wars, and flame wars are distracting. But the only
"political" issue popping up in these off-topic threads is what is
on-topic/off-topic and what is off-topic/off-topic. So while the
original question (at least in the case of the angelfire incident) was
quite innocent, the blathering about it being off-topic (which
followed it) was not.

On the issue of using Google: I've found that most people use it and
simply have no luck. Now some people have the tendancy to flip
through all 100 pages of results, while some people will resort to
asking questions. Just because I favour the former doesn't mean that
I should discourage the latter. There are far too many people in the
world asking questions simply because they feel intimidated by the
consquences. Furthermore, a well placed question has the opportunity
to generate discussion. There is far too little of that out there
too. (Sorry, but I'm an educator and my views are highly biased. ;) )

Now you may be saying that a person who knows how to use Google will
not turn up 1000 or more results on a search, or they will know how to
refine the results if they do. I disagree. Your success with Google
has far more to do with how well you understand what you are searching
for. For example: if I were to search for something on the Apple II,
I would find what I need in minutes. Flip that around and ask me to
search for particular information on the PDP-11, and I would be
completely hopeless. Because I know considerably more about the
former than the latter, I am considerably more successful in finding
information about the former than the latter.

Anyhow, back into lurk mode I go ...
Received on Tue Dec 21 2004 - 23:03:43 GMT

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