[H-GEN] It's OK to ask questions

Greg Black gjb at gbch.net
Mon May 13 17:02:48 EDT 2002

[ Humbug *General* list - semi-serious discussions about Humbug and     ]
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At the last Humbug meeting, two people independently mentioned
to me that they sometimes found themselves reading messages on
the mailing lists that seemed interesting but which they could
not follow because the author had assumed that everybody would
understand the background.

This will happen from time to time for a variety of reasons:
sometimes the old hands just forget how much background is
needed; sometimes they have no idea of the skills and experience
of the specific audience; sometimes they don't want to embark on
a lengthy discussion if there's no real interest in it.

However, if you read something on one of the mailing lists and
find that you need to know more to make sense of it, it's fine
to speak up and ask for the information you need.  That's what
we're here for.  If the topic turns out to be of interest to
lots of people and requires some detailed coverage to be useful
we can arrange a talk at a meeting or a web page that provides
the background information.  But people need to ask if they want
those things to happen.

So don't be shy about seeking further information.  People won't
think you're an idiot and they will help with the answers.


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