Linus making statements for effect
Posted Jul 25, 2008 16:33 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata
In reply to: Linus making statements for effect
Parent article: Linus's mid-merge-window reflections
you *know* that the right way to find the answer to something on the net isn't
to simply ask (nobody will answer), but to confidently state something
slightly wrong, whereupon heaps of people will pop up to correct you and
prove themselves right.
That's a great observation, and it reminds me of another public discussion technique, pushing rather than pulling information:
Years ago, I participated in a mailing list where I knew the topic pretty well, but with significant holes. If I wasn't confident in an answer to a question, I hung back a few days to see if a real expert would step forward, but it never happened. Instead, I discovered quickly that when I finally gave my half-baked answer, a particular person - Ted - would immediately post with the correct answer. Well, I didn't get embarassed and stop answering questions; I started answering them all immediately, even irresponsibly. Where I was wrong, Ted would immediately post the correction and the questioner got good information quickly.
Incidentally, it was never my impression that Ted was trying to slap down people showing their stupidity. I believed that he was just letting others share some of the burden and glory of answering questions. After all, I wasn't always wrong.
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