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'[OT]: Is RTFM necessary? If not, is it useful?'
2010\03\05@154539 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 2:15 PM, Bob Blick <spam_OUTbobblickTakeThisOuTspamftml.net> wrote:
> There's a reason why the term "RTFM" came into existence. There's got to
> be a way to tell someone to look something up for themselves

I disagree - there doesn't have to be a way to tell people to look it
up themselves.  Take, for example, this programming question website:

http://www.stackoverflow.com

Peruse a few questions.  None contain answers that consist soley of
"RTFM" or even google search links.

I don't see a downside to requiring that responses be in the form of
an answer (rather than a reference to the answer - include a reference
if one exists, but at least give the answer first).

If someone is peppering the list with questions and it annoys you, let
the admins know - they are the appropriate people to discourage users
from overusing the list.

Perhaps this can be analogy-ized:

You have glasses of water on a table in front of you.  There is a well
20 feet away behind some brush.  Someone comes up and asks for a
drink.  Do you:
1) Give them a glass of water
2) Tell them they have to go to the well
3) Give them some water, and tell them where the well is

I agree that option 1 can possibly be considered a poor choice in the
long term - if you aren't there, they go thirsty.  But keep in mind
that there's about 2,000 people with tables full of glasses of water,
and even if you aren't around, they are _very_ unlikely to go thirsty.
It's not a bad option.

Option 2 isn't unreasonable, but it's rude/impolite/arrogant to have
the item they need, and instead take the time to tell them you are not
going to give it to them.  It's not really wrong to take option 2 -
they'll still get what they need if they also have the tools to use
the well.

Option 3 seems to be the best of both worlds.  They slake their thirst
immediately, and know that they can go to the well in the future.  It
turns option 1 into a learning experience, and eliminates or at least
reduces the offense of 2.

In some cases you don't have water (ie, don't know the answer) but you
know which well to go to among all the wells available.  Giving a very
precise reference or pointer is a great course of action.  But
pointing in the general direction of all the wells, and saying, "The
water you need is among those 30,000 wells.  I suggest you start
sipping." is rude and inconsiderate.  Giving them directions to the
exact well, or even narrowing it down is good, but saying, "It's in an
app note on microchip" doesn't really make it easier to find the right
information.  In this case I concede that giving an indirect answer
may be better than none at all, but it can be presented so much better
than, "Leave my table and find the well yourself" (ie, RTFM)

In a recent example, a list member asked a very specific set of
questions about a particular protocol that is partially documented on
the internet.  He received several responses that answered his
questions point by point.  He received one response that said, "You
should have searched the wells first.  Here's directions to a well,"
but unfortunately that well did not answer even half of his questions.
Another answer was essentially, "I can't believe you didn't search
the wells." with absolutely nothing else of use.

But the interesting thing is that anyone who has spent any significant
amount of time on this list knows:

The list itself is a wellspring.

Yes, one could go ask google, and one could go ask the datasheets, and
one could go ask wikipedia, but when one can get all their answers in
one spot in significantly less time, then why should we punish or
belittle them for saving time and frustration?  In the example above
there were questions that cannot be found on the internet (crazy, I
know, but sometimes the internet doesn't know everything), AND anyone
paying attention to the list for several months knows there are some
crazy-smart people on here that know a LOT about the particular
subject in that example.

"It's in the datasheet or app note" or "Google knows the answer" is no
longer useful to the beginner:
- Manufacturer websites are very difficult to find the needed information
- Google can be _very_ hard to use if you aren't using the right search terms
- Once the information is found, and beginner may have significant
difficulty understanding where their specific answer is amongst the
300 pages of datasheet.  It may seem easy to us, but even the simpler
Microchip datasheets are daunting to even college educated EEs new to
a particular device/company/industry.

If one doesn't have time to give very clear directions, AND one knows
that very few others on the list will be able to help, then a quick,
"I know it's in the datasheet, but can't remember what the answer is,
or even where in the data sheet it is.  Datasheet can be found by
searching '16C54' at microchip.com" _is_ better than nothing, and
gives more information than "RTFM". (I actually had someone ask a
16C54 question today - talk about a blast from the past!).

But I don't see a valid reason to wave one's hand in the general
direction of the eighty thousand wells and say, "It's over there
somewhere, start sipping."  At best it's noise, and at worst it's rude
and inconsiderate.

So my arguments against answers that consists only of RTFM are:

A) An answer now, and specific directions to the well is a far better
option when possible.
B) There is no reason to push people away from the list for even
simple beginner questions, telling them to visit another well.  The
list should be that well, while also helping them understand, over
time, where and how to search other wells.
C) Beginners are better off when the specific well is pointed out
rather than a group of wells - searching is hard enough when one knows
what one is doing, nevermind when they don't know what they're doing.
D) Contributions to the list should add to the total group knowledge,
ability and skill.  Answers consisting of "RTFM" add nothing.

So this is my response to Bob's call to action:
On Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 2:15 PM, Bob Blick <.....bobblickKILLspamspam@spam@ftml.net> wrote:
> I think a little thinking needs to be applied. The Piclist has
> lots of helpful and smart people. Let's use them all and grow our
> way out of this.

All IMHO, of course.

-Adam

2010\03\05@171048 by Mike Hord

picon face
The bar for RTFM, IMO, has gotten too low.  The point of a forum like
this is that, while Google DOES frequently know the answer, and it
usually IS in TFM, neither of those facts is helpful if I can't trick Google
or TFM into yielding the answer- a 250-page datasheet or 1.7 million
search results are too large a pool to be useful.

If I ask a question, it's because I haven't been able to get Google or
the manual to yield the info.  OR, it's because I'm seeing bizarre
behavior, but I don't even know where to look for insight into that
behavior in a datasheet and Google is of no help.  I'm not asking you
to look it up in a datasheet for me- if you know the answer, or know
where it is in the datasheet, great.  If not, don't say anything.

RTFM is shorthand for "I'm better than you but I don't have time to
prove it".  IMO, anyone responding in a public forum who is anything
but courteous in their conduct (at least, in the first message) is
responding for the wrong reason- out of a desire to prove personal
superiority rather than to be genuinely helpful.

Mike H.

On Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 2:45 PM, M. Adam Davis <stienmanspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\03\05@171332 by Alexandros Nipirakis

picon face
I almost never post, and am just a casual observer -- but I think that this
is probably the most level headed and cogent addition to the discussion.

It may be summed up by saying "if you don't have anything nice to say, then
don't say it at all" or in this case "if you have no answer to give (or
desire to give no answer) then do not respond at all".

For myself, I have always had fun reading what others post and learning from
that.   I have nothing other to add to the situation except to say that I
agree that RTFM is absolutely useless -- and that the person writing and
reading that statement are much better off without the statement being said
-- but again, I am a relative outsider since I really don't post any
questions and sit on the sidelines.  I might say that over the last while I
have been here, reading these messages the reason I have decided to sit on
the sidelines is precisely because I do not wish to get trampled on.
Perhaps, then, one could conclude that the RTFM attitude has worked.

I would only say that there is a reason why this list has only 2000 people
and StackOverflow is -- well -- overflowed, but then again, this may be by
design also.  The members of this list may prefer fewer rather than greater
numbers of members -- I think that this is a mistake but whatever.

It is an interesting social experiment -- I often wonder if people would
talk and react the same way in public as they do on the internet (this
list).

It may also be the difference between those who are more into egalitarianism
and those who are not and the difference between how they react.

I have rarely had anything to say about anything on this list, because I
simply am not at that level in EE -- but if I one day know the answer to
someone's question, I would be more apt to help them with that answer and
give them the tools to learn more about the subject manner than simply say
RTFM.  I treat posting to a public forum in the same way as I would talking
at a meeting -- if I have nothing interesting to add, I cannot imagine why I
would waste my time and the time of those around me to simply stroke my own
ego.

Imagine if someone in a meeting asked a relatively easy question about the
subject matter, I have very little belief anyone would waste the time to say
RTFM or to labaste them for it.

Anyways, I think M. Adam Davis is absolutely correct -- for what ever that
is worth (admitedly very little)

Aleksei

On 5 March 2010 15:45, M. Adam Davis <stienmanspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\03\05@173233 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Mike Hord wrote:
> If I ask a question, it's because I haven't been able to get Google or
> the manual to yield the info.

Maybe for you, but we've certainly seen people that were just too lazy to
bother.  If you are truly overwhelmed and don't know where to look, ask
that.

Q: What bank is PORTA in?
A: RTFM, moron.

Q: I'm trying to find out what bank PORTA is in, but all this
 documentation is overwhelming and intimidating right now.
 Where should I look?  By the way, does anyone happen to know
 the bank PORTA is in?
A: <Pointer to datasheet DSxxxx, probably a page reference for
 the register map, probably the bank of PORTA, and maybe a
 ensuing discussion of banking, how to deal with it, possibly
 general guidance to PIC datasheets, maybe pointers to beginner
 tutorials>

How you ask a question DOES matter.  The questioner needs to have some
responsibility too.

Dumbing things down is for the dumb.  If you keep doing that, those are who
you'll be left with.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\03\05@175136 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Fri, Mar 05, 2010 at 05:10:48PM -0500, Mike Hord wrote:
> The bar for RTFM, IMO, has gotten too low.  The point of a forum like
> this is that, while Google DOES frequently know the answer, and it
> usually IS in TFM, neither of those facts is helpful if I can't trick Google
> or TFM into yielding the answer- a 250-page datasheet or 1.7 million
> search results are too large a pool to be useful.

Often that is true. The problem is that it is difficult to distiguish those
who have tried and failed (actually it's not too hard, often they say
exactly that) and those who are frankly of the attitude "Peasant you are
here to do my bidding, now get me my grapes!"

{Quote hidden}

That's not entirely true. Sometimes it's a teachable moment for "at least
make the effort to show that you tired to look it up for yourself instead
of being a selfish ingrate."

All that's required is the common courtesy say stating where you have
looked and what you tried.

My problem with all this is that all of the call for courtesy is on the
respondant, but none seems to apply to the petitioner.

When you post on this list, there are thousands that will see it. If you
can't take 2 minutes to either look it up yourself or to take the time to
describe how you in fact tried to solve the problem.

And the problem with saying nothing is two words: tacit approval. By saying
nothing, it gives the petitioner the very wrong impression that their
behavior is acceptable.

How hard is it to say "I looked here, and here, and here, and this is why
where I looked did not apply to my problem."? It shows that you took the
time to try to solve the problem yourself.

And that is exactly what RTFM is trying to tell the petitioner to do.

BAJ

2010\03\05@180700 by Marechiare

picon face
> How you ask a question DOES matter.  The questioner
> needs to have some responsibility too.

But you are not Judge Dredd to take the power to act as judge, jury,
and executioner of the suspect.
:-)

Regards.

2010\03\05@182012 by ivp

face picon face
>> How you ask a question DOES matter. The questioner
>> needs to have some responsibility too.
>
>But you are not Judge Dredd to take the power to act as judge,
> jury, and executioner of the suspect.

(I saw you added a smiley but) Sure it does. When I was out the
other day sucking on my juice bottle a teenager came up to me
from behind and said "Gimme a drink". I told him no, asking like
that isn't going to get him one

I asked him what happened to

- Hello
- Excuse me
- Would you mind if
- I'm really thirsty
- I'd be grateful if

I got a "**** you", and he shuffled off, still thirsty. My juice never
tasted so good. If he'd had the manners to ask properly (if he knows
how, which is a subject in itself), I'd feel OK, he'd have a drink and
overall it would have been a not-unpleasant encounter

wbr

2010\03\05@192917 by Rolf

flavicon
face
Byron Jeff wrote:
{Quote hidden}

So much interesting discussion about etiquette.....

I like the well analogy..... and it will work for my 'issue' with the
RTFM....

Piclist is for *all* subscribers, not just the 'petitioner', and the
'respondant'....

The 'petitioner' demands a drink, and you decide that the manner of
delivery deserves the 'RTFM' type response....

Do you ...
1. email all 2000 other people with a message that means nothing to
them, adds no value to their lives....
2. email the guy offlist and say whatever you want to communicate....
3. add value to the list and provide an answer or pointer that some
future newbie can find in a search engine like piclist/google so that it
does not have to happen again.... (even if that answer includes RTFM
with a pointer to TFM...).

As far as I am concerned, the plain RTFM answer wastes 2000 peoples time
as much as the silly question, and worse, it pollutes the archives so
the next person can't find the answer for the noise.


RTFM is as bad as or worse than a dumb question.... it is a dumb
answer.... there's no such thing as a dumb question, but dumb answers
abound....

Rolf

2010\03\05@211702 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 5, 2010, at 2:10 PM, Mike Hord wrote:

> RTFM is shorthand for "I'm better than you but I don't have time to
> prove it".

Actually, when I say things along those lines, it means that I'm  
pretty sure the data is in the manual, but don't have it on the top of  
my head.  So it boils down to whether I should look it up in the  
manual, or the original poster should look it up in the manual...

BillW

2010\03\05@235841 by Russell McMahon

face picon face
>> RTFM is shorthand for "I'm better than you but I don't have time to
>> prove it".

> Actually, when I say things along those lines, it means that I'm
> pretty sure the data is in the manual, but don't have it on the top of
> my head.  So it boils down to whether I should look it up in the
> manual, or the original poster should look it up in the manual...

That's what you say :-).

Seriously though, where's the pain in the very very few extra letters
required to turn it into something just as pointed, or, if you must,
even more pointed, but without the expletives-abbreviated non-deleted
(to misquote Nixon badly)? Addition of the magical F is usually done
with care in even vaguely 'polite' circles. If you wouldn't use it in
professional environments, why use it here. if you would usually use
it in professional environments, why use it here?:-). That can be
taken as "PC" if desired. I'd hope that it would be taken as 'polite'.
I can be every bit as pointed and attention focusing as Olin ever is,
when I deem the need is there, F acronyms not being required. Think it
as a life skill worth learning :-). (My smiley bucket is getting a bit
depleted by now :-( ).

You'll find that information in the manual.
It's in the manual.
That's covered in the manual.
As advised last time you asked that question, it's covered in the manual.
People keep referring you to the manual when you ask that question.
Have you looked?
I think it's well past time that you had a good read of the manual.
If you are in any way serious about this subject them you are going to
have to take the time required to properly understand the manual.

[[Note that that latter says more than a standard RTFM does]].
...

All sound fairly tame but are all liable to make the RTFM point well
enough without adding culturally variable value added standard
abbreviatiions :-).




           Russell

2010\03\06@012714 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
I think the whole subject is about an attitude or generation gap if we
can say that so. When i was kid there was no internet, had to learn
how to turn pages in book. If i had a question i had to wait few days
or weeks before even had the chance to talk to someone might know the
answer. Now with internet and mailing lists like this we can just ask
as many times as we want - so why bother to read books? :)

What is going on here with the thirsty analogy mentioned before:
Q: I'm thirsty.
A: The tap is behind you.
Q: But I'm really really thirsty,why don't you give me a f. glass of water?
A: Because the tap is right behind you, help yourself.
3rd person: You moron, why  don't you give him a glass of water, can't
you see he's really begging you?

Tamás

On 3/6/10, Russell McMahon <RemoveMEapptechnzTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2010\03\06@015508 by Joe P. Farr

flavicon
face
Nice analogy, except for one thing.

The person who needs the glass of water, is in a wheel-chair and can't reach the tap; you would know this if you turned around and looked. So in this case, it's just cruel to not give the person the glass of water that they need.

The point is, everybody's different, and so is their situation.
Maybe English isn't their first language, and it's hard for them to read through endless documents looking for a simple fact that somebody knows off the top of their head.

One of the great things about the internet, is that in some cases it can save you time. But within a mailing list, it shields you from the person at the other end and their circumstances.

There's only one stupid question to ask... that's when you already know the answer (and even that's perfectly valid in some situations).

If people feel it's a stupid or lazy question, they shouldn't answer it.







{Original Message removed}

2010\03\06@031636 by Russell McMahon

face picon face
> What is going on here with the thirsty analogy mentioned before:
> Q: I'm thirsty.
> A: The tap is behind you.
> Q: But I'm really really thirsty,why don't you give me a f. glass of
water?
> A: Because the tap is right behind you, help yourself.
> 3rd person: You moron, why  don't you give him a glass of water, can't
> you see he's really begging you?

You MUST, I think,  add " ... I think ..." or similar to the 1st line :-).

ie that's an opinion of the process, and not one that everyone agrees with.
I can safely say that because I at least disagree.
It's a "straw man" with only a semblance of correctness.

You have put the f' and moron in the mouths of the wrong parties.
To make the analogy more accurate the second line would read more like
"A. Go away and find a tap f moron."
(That also isn't accurate - just closer to what people hear).

And, I have at no time seen anyone demanding that anyone else provide
technical support to someone who requests it. It ha so far been universally
accepted that a person may freely choose to offer advice or withhold it -
even if withholding it can be a somewhat "dog in the manger" act in extreme
cases.

Also, I don't recall anyone having much sympathy with people who beg
repeatedly or who don't learn lessons about contributing and asking
appropriately.

And the questions maybe should be written in a style as used by a person who
is unfamiliar with English.


        R



.

2010\03\06@035450 by cdb

flavicon
face
Thoughts that being missed in this great literary drama are:

A turn of phrase or usage of words on paper are NOT always the same as
when saying them in person.

Sometimes the impact of the written word can be mitigated if the
receiver has met and spoken to the sender - people can often hear the
senders voice when reading a phrase or sentence . That can often make
a big difference to someone if they've never heard someones speaking
style or put different weight to words or phrases used.

It is a fact (sad though it maybe) that the world in general tends to
write differently in emails and forum posts etc than they do when
writing an actual letter.

I still write important letters using a fountain pen (smearing nicely
being left handed), my writing style and spelling are often different
to that in internet posts.

One only has to look at responses to articles in august newspapers
from a supposedly highly educated readership to see that there is a
significant disconnection between how questions and responses are
framed to that which hopefully they use in their work environment.

People often tend to write on forums, lists etc as though the other
people are in the room with them, know their thought process, know
exactly what they've done previously, how they've done it and why they
are now stuck and they know you and you know them.

Whilst this is deplorable, it is now a fact.

If you think this list is bad, then toddle off to the Acronis forum
(where self plugging (is that illegal :)  where I'm an MVP) and see
how many shouts of help start with - 'I got it and it don't work' or
variants of that. Some people here would be requiring surgery for a
burst poofer valve within 5 seconds or reading a post.

Therefore, on an open list where most of us have never met each other,
a degree of circumspection is required before losing patience.

I never knew the OT list could be so lively. Bring pack Wireless World
and the continual invective fed spat between Mr Doug Self (Hi-end
Audio Amplifiers) and his EE contemporaries - it did liven the letter
pages, though was extremely offensive and non professional.

Colin

--
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Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

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2010\03\06@043147 by Chris McSweeny

picon face
On Sat, Mar 6, 2010 at 6:27 AM, Tamas Rudnai <TakeThisOuTtamas.rudnaiEraseMEspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:
> What is going on here with the thirsty analogy mentioned before:
> Q: I'm thirsty.
> A: The tap is behind you.
> Q: But I'm really really thirsty,why don't you give me a f. glass of water?
> A: Because the tap is right behind you, help yourself.
> 3rd person: You moron, why  don't you give him a glass of water, can't
> you see he's really begging you?

Sometimes a better analogy is
Q Can you fill my glass up for me?
A Its just as easy for you to go and fill it up at that tap over there
you already know about as it is for me

Even a person in a wheelchair can reach that tap without any more effort.

In which case the only appropriate response is the modern equivalent
of RTFM - lmgtfy. Not something I think I've ever used on here, but
certainly have done elsewhere when the very first page usually gives
them the answer they're after.

Chris

2010\03\06@060359 by Russell McMahon

face picon face
> In which case the only appropriate response is the modern equivalent
> of RTFM - lmgtfy. Not something I think I've ever used on here, but
> certainly have done elsewhere when the very first page usually gives
> them the answer they're after.

:-)   http://live.lmgtfy.com/

Links that stream (slowly) past are live.
Click to see query and results.

I'd suggest that there is a vast difference between RTFM and lmgtfy.

lmgtfy is sarcastic but probably only penetrates as far as the "mild
offence"  level or less, in most cases.

RTFM, while jargon and stylised, is meant

EITHER
      as a complete throwaway abbreviation, often self referenced,
(eg "If I'd only RTFMd I'd have saved myself hour of trouble")

OR
       very consciously as an intentionally- rude rejoinder with as
much or more emphasis on the F as the wdyRTM? aka rtfM-moron.

ie the F is intended as a 'refreshing' slap across the face of the
putative brash and foolish, the moron and the arrogant uppity doesn't
know their place newcomer.
Add to that, no doubt:
                                     young people these days who
weren't brought up as we were and have no sense of values, work
priorities, values, hard work, ... flipping burgers, good enough for
me, ... job at their age, uphill in the snow barefoot to school both
ways cardboard box at the bottom of a lake don't know what this
younger generation is coming to,  respect their elders, Petronius
Arbiter, know their place, didn't do me any harm, got to learn
somewhere, world doesn't work like that, your mother doesn't work
here,  can't expect us to do their homework, moron, moron, wet fish,
phase of moon moron, shape up or ship out, my way or the highway,
moron, ... .

I think that "Google is your friend", perhaps with a decently mentated
serach string where apposite, is probably going to do as well as any
amount of 'RTFM moron'ing' in all but the more intractable cases.

And for the intractable, rtFm,M may make your point as intended, but
it won't change the recipient.


              R(?tf?)M

2010\03\06@062730 by cdb

flavicon
face


:: dd to that, no doubt:
::                                      young people these days who
:: weren't brought up as we were and have no sense of values, work
:: priorities, values, hard work, ... flipping burgers, good enough
:: for
:: me, ... job at their age, uphill in the snow barefoot to school
:: both
:: ways cardboard box at the bottom of a lake don't know what this
:: younger generation is coming to,  respect their elders, Petronius
:: Arbiter, know their place, didn't do me any harm, got to learn
:: somewhere, world doesn't work like that, your mother doesn't work
:: here,  can't expect us to do their homework, moron, moron, wet
:: fish,
:: phase of moon moron, shape up or ship out, my way or the highway,
:: moron, ... .

I used to get oop t'six in mornin, 'for I went ta bed ,and we slept 8
t' bed.., you don't know how lucky you are, when I was a lad....  
apologies to the aerial  circus that burst forth from  Monty's pet
snake.   :)

Liberty Bell anyone?

Colin
--
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Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

Hosted by:  http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=7988359








2010\03\06@073314 by Marechiare

picon face
ivp <joecolquittEraseMEspam.....clear.net.nz> wrote:
>>> How you ask a question DOES matter. The questioner
>>> needs to have some responsibility too.
>>
>>But you are not Judge Dredd to take the power to act as judge,
>> jury, and executioner of the suspect.
>
> (I saw you added a smiley but) Sure it does.

"It", what "it"? And what does "it" sure do? What are you talking about?


{Quote hidden}

This thread is not about questioners who replied with "**** you" in
private discussion. This thread is about answerers-community members
replying publicly with sort of that phrase to a newbie who does not
precisely follow rules "how to ask question in a smart way".


> My juice never tasted so good.

???

2010\03\06@085934 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Rolf wrote:
> there's no such thing as a dumb question,

Absolutely wrong!

You are basically saying the questioner has no responsibility, and it all
falls on the responder.  I find that absurd.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\03\06@090815 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:
> If you wouldn't use it in
> professional environments, why use it here.

But I do and have in the appropriate occasions.

> That can be taken as "PC" if desired.

Russell, different people have different communication styles.  Stop trying
to make them all use your style.  It's not inherently better, only what you
prefer.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\03\06@093803 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
cdb wrote:
> People often tend to write on forums, lists etc as though the other
> people are in the room with them, know their thought process, know
> exactly what they've done previously, how they've done it and why they
> are now stuck and they know you and you know them.
>
> Whilst this is deplorable, it is now a fact.

"The morons have taken over, get used to it."

Sad but possibly true.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\03\06@101457 by jim

flavicon
face
All,

If only 10% of the effort used in these trivial discussions were used to
answer
actual questions posted regarding electronics, microcontrollers, and related
subjects instead of this long winded, punch trading, not getting anyone
anywhere
bickering, this list would not only have returned to it's former helpful
glory,
it would have improved substantially.

Why don't you all let this subject have a rest, and get on with the real
reason
this list was created in the first place.  That is to help the PIC user
community
with problems and questions that come up all the time.   There is so much
talent,
experience, expertise, and humanity on this list that no question or problem
that
arises should be left unanswered.   I would wager the combined work
experience on
this list numbers into the hundreds or even thousands of years.  With that
much
experience and knowledge to pull from, why waste time on this moderation
tack.
Just accept it as it is.  Watch your P's and Q's, and you won't be
moderated.
It truly is that simple.  There are rules.  Follow the rules.  No matter how
much
you think they are unfair or don't apply to you.  

Over half of the emails I have received in the last week or so have been
about the subject
of moderation, and it's pros and cons.  And yet here we are a week later,
and still
in the same position.  Talk about spinning your wheels and wasting
bandwidth.

Let it go people.  Get on with answering the real questions, and helping
users out
there solve their design and software problems.  Let's get back to why this
list has
been so productive and popular in the many years since it's creation.
Answering users
questions and providing answers and guidance to engineering and design
problems that
come up in the normal course of the R&D and design cycles of any project,
whether it
be for hire or for personal enjoyment or enlightenment.

Thanks for at least listening.  I now return you to your regular program
already in progress....


Jim


2010\03\06@101741 by Russell McMahon

face picon face
> Russell McMahon wrote:
>> If you wouldn't use it in
>> professional environments, why use it here.

> But I do and have in the appropriate occasions.

I assume you read my next line. If quoting me then that would be the
right line to quote :-).

>> That can be taken as "PC" if desired.

> Russell, different people have different communication styles.  Stop trying
> to make them all use your style.  It's not inherently better, only what you
> prefer.

Just the opposite. I was saying that that is my perspective and I
understand that some may apply labels to it or put it / me in a box -
I'd rather they didn't but I acknowledge the differences.
Acknowledging differences seems to be much what this is all about.
Whatever "this" is :-).


R

2010\03\06@102213 by Russell McMahon

face picon face
> If only 10% of the effort used in these trivial discussions were used to
> answer
> actual questions posted regarding electronics, microcontrollers, and related
> subjects instead of this long winded, punch trading, not getting anyone
> anywhere
> bickering, this list would not only have returned to it's former helpful
> glory,
> it would have improved substantially.

Noted.

Excercise for the student.
Count the lines, words or posts of mine over the relevant period that
are on this tiopic and on providing technical input. Divide B by A.
Compare with 10%. :-)





  R

2010\03\06@102628 by jim

flavicon
face
Sorry,

Make it 11% then.  The point is use the effort for something more
productive.

Jim

-----Original Message-----
From: EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspammit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesEraseMEspamEraseMEmit.edu] On Behalf Of
Russell McMahon
Sent: Saturday, March 06, 2010 9:22 AM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [OT]: Is RTFM necessary? If not, is it useful?

> If only 10% of the effort used in these trivial discussions were used to
> answer
> actual questions posted regarding electronics, microcontrollers, and
related
> subjects instead of this long winded, punch trading, not getting anyone
> anywhere
> bickering, this list would not only have returned to it's former helpful
> glory,
> it would have improved substantially.

Noted.

Excercise for the student.
Count the lines, words or posts of mine over the relevant period that
are on this tiopic and on providing technical input. Divide B by A.
Compare with 10%. :-)





  R

2010\03\06@120917 by Vitaliy

face
flavicon
face
jim wrote:
> Just accept it as it is.  Watch your P's and Q's, and you won't be
> moderated.
> It truly is that simple.  There are rules.  Follow the rules.  No matter
> how
> much
> you think they are unfair or don't apply to you.

You only say this because the current rules suit you. It is a very selfish,
and nearsighted position.

Vitaliy

2010\03\06@124154 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:
> Acknowledging differences seems to be much what this is all about.

Yes, I think we've found something to agree on.  There are differences
between people you can't legislate away.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\03\06@125858 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
jim wrote:
> Why don't you all let this subject have a rest,

As long as the outcome is what you like, of course.

> That is to help the PIC user community
> with problems and questions that come up all the time.

I think you're smart enough to see that the issue is how to best do that.
Therefore your comments are obviously meant to inflame while masquerading as
the opposite.  That's pretty low, since there's clearly nothing at all
useful that could be gained by that, unless of course you truly believe we
would all suddenly shut up and accept the status quo without further
complaint because you said so.  In that case I apologize for calling your
post "low" and substitute "naively unrealistic".


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\03\06@133925 by jim

flavicon
face
Wrong. Sir,  

I say this because I try to obey the rules put forth for the list members.
I have never been put on moderation because of it.  In short, I follow the
Rules.  I watch my P's and Q's.  And all is well between me and the list
management.
There is nothing selfish about it.

If you want to see it that way, knock yourself out.  But I stand behind what
I said.

Regards,

Jim


{Original Message removed}

2010\03\06@140452 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sat, Mar 06, 2010 at 10:14:52AM -0500, jim wrote:
> All,
>

> If only 10% of the effort used in these trivial discussions were used to
> answer actual questions posted regarding electronics, microcontrollers,
> and related subjects instead of this long winded, punch trading, not
> getting anyone anywhere bickering, this list would not only have returned
> to it's former helpful glory, it would have improved substantially.

That's a shortsighted view.

{Quote hidden}

The community has the right to question the rules, especially when they are
being unevenly applied.

The target of this undue onorous moderation is a valuable and longstanding
contributor to this forum. It's a shame that we have to waste bandwidth
discussing this issue. But the underlaying basis of the issue is faulty.
And so it will not be easily resolved.

> Over half of the emails I have received in the last week or so have been
> about the subject of moderation, and it's pros and cons.  And yet here we
> are a week later, and still in the same position.  Talk about spinning
> your wheels and wasting bandwidth.

Considering the side of the issue you are on, I'm sure you see it that way.

>
> Let it go people.  Get on with answering the real questions, and helping
> users out there solve their design and software problems.  Let's get back
> to why this list has been so productive and popular in the many years
> since it's creation.  Answering users questions and providing answers and
> guidance to engineering and design problems that come up in the normal
> course of the R&D and design cycles of any project, whether it be for
> hire or for personal enjoyment or enlightenment.

The problem is that one of the most prolific and productive contirbutors to
this list is left out of the process. It's wrong and it needs to be
discussed.

I reiterate my suggestion for change:

1. All longstanding contributors (one year or more) are released from
moderation permanently.

2. New list members are subject are subject to moderation so they can
understand the culture of this list.

Simple. Effective.

Please consider it.

BAJ

2010\03\06@150741 by Vitaliy

face
flavicon
face
Byron Jeff wrote:
> I reiterate my suggestion for change:
>
> 1. All longstanding contributors (one year or more) are released from
> moderation permanently.
>
> 2. New list members are subject are subject to moderation so they can
> understand the culture of this list.
>
> Simple. Effective.

Unfair.

What do you see wrong with Olin's proposition that an offense be punished
*after* it's committed, in full public view, for a defined period of time?

Vitaliy

2010\03\06@151117 by Vitaliy

face
flavicon
face
jim wrote:
> I say this because I try to obey the rules put forth for the list members.

Would you obey them *no matter what*? Even if they were stupid or
ridiculous?


2010\03\06@151429 by jim

flavicon
face
If my view is shortsighted, then I'm sorry, but that's the way I see it.

As for your suggestions, I think they look reasonable, and I for one would
vote them in if I were asked.

However, it still is a basic tenet that there are rules.  Rules should be
followed.  If you have issue
With those rules, follow them anyway, and discuss them after the fact.
Until your discussions convince
The person or persons with the final say that they should be changed, follow
them, and continue in your
Pursuit.  And in this case, since this list if by, of and for the PIC
community, then all should have a say.
But that doesn't mean you or anyone else can break them in the meantime just
because you don't like them or
believe they are unfair.  

I don't necessarily agree with all of the rules set forth, but I follow
them.  I try to get along with everyone.
And I certainly am not going to open up a can of worms such as this and use
bandwidth to discuss something that
So far has proven unproductive.  If some progress were seen in the last week
or so of discussion, that would be
Another story.  But it hasn't seen any progress.  At least any that I can
tell.

So, to all who of those who want to carry on with this, go ahead.  I'll sit
back and wait for the dust to settle,
And for things to get back to productively answering questions and problems.

And just as an aside, if the rules favor some and not others, or if they
tend to be unfair to some and not others,
that truly is a shame.  But, you can't please all of the people all of the
time.  That's human nature.  
I don't know what else to say, so I guess I should just be quiet now.

Good luck to all of you in this pursuit.  I hope it works out.


Jim






{Original Message removed}

2010\03\06@151943 by jim

flavicon
face
If I wanted and/or needed the advice and expertise on the forum that the
rules were a part of, then YES, I would.
But, what may seem to be a stupid rule to you, may not seem such to me, and
vice versa.  Rules are meant to service
The vast majority.  You can't have specific rules for each and every member
of the forum.  That not only would be
Wasteful, it would be impossible to keep up with, unless you only had 2 or 3
members.  Of course then the usefulness
Of the forum would probably be questioned before the rules.

Jim

-----Original Message-----
From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamKILLspammit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspamspammit.edu] On Behalf Of
Vitaliy
Sent: Saturday, March 06, 2010 2:10 PM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [OT]: Is RTFM necessary? If not, is it useful?

jim wrote:
> I say this because I try to obey the rules put forth for the list members.

Would you obey them *no matter what*? Even if they were stupid or
ridiculous?


2010\03\06@154243 by Carl Denk

flavicon
face
KISS (Keep it simple s.....). The Ford motor current labor contract with
the local union at Cleveland Engine Plant #1 is 2 pages. That plant,
home of the former 302 (5.0L) Mustang Gt engine, now producing the 3.5L
EcoBoost, and the new Mustang engine won that work with a very simple
contract, it used to be many pages, a little book. Ford competitively
bids work between the various plants.

jim wrote:
>  You can't have specific rules for each and every member
> of the forum.  That not only would be Wasteful,
>

2010\03\06@154848 by Vitaliy

face
flavicon
face
jim wrote:
> However, it still is a basic tenet that there are rules.  Rules should be
> followed.  If you have issue
> With those rules, follow them anyway, and discuss them after the fact.

The pressure of Godwin's Law is starting to get unbearable.

Vitaliy

2010\03\06@180004 by jim

flavicon
face
I have no preference in the outcome either way.  I am just pointing out that
there is more bickering going on than progress.
I couldn't care less which side wins.  But the real losers are the people
that want help with their questions and engineering problems, but can't get
it because of the moderation dialog getting in the way.

As far as the issue of how best to do that is just do it.  What is so hard
about that?  Someone asks a question, give them a realistic, helpful answer.
Not some smart aleck remark that rubs some members the wrong way.  Even if
the question or problem seems stupid to you, be helpful.  If you think it is
so stupid that it is beneath you to answer, then leave it alone and let
someone else answer that doesn't necessarily feel that way.
This isn't rocket science.  It's just plain common sense.  

And I really don't care what you call me or my opinions.  It's no skin off
my nose.  I plan to remain a member of the list, follow the rules as laid
out for the membership, be helpful when I can, and lay low when I can't.   I
have gotten much help and direction from this list since I have been a
member, which has been several years now, and I believe that I can still
gain more knowledge from this list.

So with that said, I guess I'm done with the whole issue.

Adios amigos, and good luck.

Jim



{Original Message removed}

2010\03\06@184506 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sat, Mar 06, 2010 at 03:07:08PM -0500, Vitaliy wrote:
> Byron Jeff wrote:
> > I reiterate my suggestion for change:
> >
> > 1. All longstanding contributors (one year or more) are released from
> > moderation permanently.
> >
> > 2. New list members are subject are subject to moderation so they can
> > understand the culture of this list.
> >
> > Simple. Effective.
>
> Unfair.
>
> What do you see wrong with Olin's proposition that an offense be punished
> *after* it's committed, in full public view, for a defined period of time?

Subject to moderation isn't automatic moderation. It means that if a
newcomer goes postal on the list, then they are moderated.

In each and every one of the previous blowups, the offended newcomer always
pitched a fit that starts the flamewar.

The mods solution is to prevent any non PC language from triggering such a
response instead of saying to a newcomer "Dude, grow up and come back in a
week after you've calmed down."

We're having this discussion as if Olin antagonizes everyone on a daily
basis. Any longtime list member knows this is not the case. The vast
majority of his content is insightful and helpful. When warranted some
plain language may be used. The opposite argument is that warranted or not
plain language should never be used. Either be nice or be quiet even when
someone is offending you.

That I believe is what is unfair.

I agree with the off the list for a predetermined amount of time if someone
pitches an F-bomb E-mail fit. Works for me.

But perpetual moderation for long past events? Not so much.

BAJ

2010\03\07@001706 by YES NOPE9

flavicon
face
>>
>
> The pressure of Godwin's Law is starting to get unbearable.
>
> Vitaliy
>


Go for it    H H
Gus


2010\03\07@033255 by Russell McMahon

face picon face
> > The pressure of Godwin's Law is starting to get unbearable.
> > Vitaliy

> Go for it    H H
> Gus

Godwin, eh?
Well, below for reference is the standard Godwin background.
It's not quite obvious how the proposer and the rifle loader wish to
apply it :-):

However it is, some care may wish to be applied in doing so, so that

- people are not offended unintentionally.

- people are not compared to Nazis by your insinuations, while you
appear or pretend not to mean what is insinuated.

The latter is the real reason for this response - if you start
comparing people and actions with those of thje Nazis, be it ever so
much in jest, please be utterly sure that you do so very clearly so
there is no doubt what you intend.

(If you wish to make open comparisons then by all means do so, so that
due process may be followed).
_________

Godwin's framework:

Once upon a time, oh my beloved, there lived a truly great man.
He was of somewhat delicate and artistic temperament and in other
circumstances may well have lived out his days in some simple role
such as, let us say, a painter of postcards.

Fate intervened and he became embroiled caught up in the drama of a great war.
This was in a universe far far away and long long ago and not for him
or them were the modern wonders of remote controlled impartial death.
In that far off universe war was fought with gun fist and bare hand
(shaken not stirred). Tanks had yet to be invented and when they were
it was the other guys that had them. War was largely fought from set
peace positions where high explosive was used to transform the
environment into an endless morass of mud, blood and miscellaneous
spare body parts. Men lived and died in the ooze and tunnelled beneath
it to assault each other.Nobody had much fun (except a few Australians
who turned it into a contact sport, from which evolved Ozzie rules
footy and league).

In this war our hero proved himself to be brave and selfless beyond
all reasonable measure. His assigned task was to carry messages to and
from the shell shocked frontlines. While his mates kept their heads
down our hero shuttled to and fro at vast personal risk. So dedicated
was our hero that when he was given time off he would voluntarily take
on the assignments of his fellow runners. Along the way our hero got
gassed (as one did in those days) and variously introduced to the
horrors of warfare.It also happened that he had a nearly perfectr
'photographic memory', which fact was to stand him in great stead and
also get him in great trouble along the way.

When his side lost, as happens, the victors mercilessly extracted
their pounds of flesh from the losers and bled their country dry with
reparations.

Our hero aspired to become the great white hope to lead his people
from their wilderness of ground down poverty, damaged pride and
national shame. Along the way he painted postcards, ate at soup
kitchens, slept rough and was indistinguishable from your common or
garden variety bum. Like dreamers do he wrote a long and rousing and
boring and unrealistic book about what he was going to do and how he
was going to set things right for his people.

In due course our hero, against all odds, against all sensibility, as
if in a dream, arrived at the position of power that he had aspired
to. He set out to make things right for his fellow countrymen, to
restore national pride, to give them breathing space and the respect
and honour that they truly deserved. He did truly great things. He
restored the national pride. He improved working conditions, build
holiday camps and welfare schemes for the workers, ocean liners were
built to take the workers on holiday. Factory production soared. He
built great a network of majestic high speed roads across his country
to link its far flung regions and reduce trip times greatly. That this
also improved military interior mobility as well was not wholly
irrelevant. Many and great were the things which this great man
achieved. If he had limited himself to doing well for his people, for
making his country proud and rich again for restoring his nations
place among the people his name may well have gone down in history as
one of its most famous leaders. Which happened anyway. BUT he had a
deep and dark problem. Amidst his altruism he was a hater. And as his
means of achieving beneficence and dominance he chose unremitting
violence. He preached to his faithful that the path to his goals was
to always be pummeling his opponents without mercy and without letup.
He took this rather more literally than others might. And along the
way his hate took on an embodiment. He found that he needed to
personify his opponents in the form of a group of people. If he had
learned to leave the theatre when the credits started he may have been
home by now but instead he got involved in unspeakable acts in support
of his worthy goals. He inflicted on the innocent and the uninvolved
damage in support of his cause which was not supportable by decent
standards. He made enemies of those who could have and would have been
his allies. And in the end his bullying writ large ate him up and spat
him out. He still went down in history as one of the most famous of
all leaders. But not as he might have wished.

OK.
That's the Godwin framework.
Is it relevant here ?


  Russell

2010\03\07@075644 by Justin Richards

face picon face
> cdb wrote:
> People often tend to write on forums, lists etc as though the other
> people are in the room with them, know their thought process, know
> exactly what they've done previously, how they've done it and why they
> are now stuck and they know you and you know them.
>
I am often in awe as some folks on the list seem to have the ability
to:-  know their thought processes, know exactly what they have done
etc etc and give the OP the exact answer they need.

Not sure how wide spread Sale of the Century but I have watched when
they have had the champions of the champions on and the compare only
gets one or two words of the questions out and the contestants are on
the buzzer with the correct answer.  I think "how did they do that".
It is spooky.

It is sometimes like that on the list.  Some respondents say "you
really need to give us more information before we have any chance of
giving you an answer" and others are spot on with their responses.

I often thought I was missing part of the thread.

Anyway, I am enjoying the discussion.  It has made me think and not a
waste of effort.  All sides have very good arguments.  For me it has
become a grey area.  I guess it comes done to the fact that we are all
different which has been mentioned often.

Cheers Justin

2010\03\07@084350 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
jim wrote:
> I have no preference in the outcome either way.  I am just pointing
> out that there is more bickering going on than progress.
>
> ...
>
> As far as the issue of how best to do that ...

I see.  You want everyone to stop voicing their opinion, right after you
voice yours, of course.  And when people disagree it's bickering, except not
when you state your opinion even though it is well known some disagree with
it.  You say this discussion is a waste, but continue to add to it.  This
hypocritical arrogance is a lot worse than what you're complaining about, in
my opinion.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\03\07@133319 by Vitaliy

face
flavicon
face
Russell McMahon wrote:
> people are not compared to Nazis by your insinuations, while you
appear or pretend not to mean what is insinuated.

The latter is the real reason for this response - if you start
comparing people and actions with those of thje Nazis, be it ever so
much in jest, please be utterly sure that you do so very clearly so
there is no doubt what you intend.<

Why would I compare Jim to a Nazi? <:-O

You see Russell, this is what happens when one employs allegories (I learn
from you). IMO Jim's position was better described by Niemoeller, which by
an indirect reference invokes Godwin's Law. Is it clearer now?


> (If you wish to make open comparisons then by all means do so, so that
due process may be followed). <

"Due process"? Perhaps it has a different meaning in New Zealand, but what
usually happens here does not fit the definition of "due process" as
commonly understood in the US.


> In due course our hero, against all odds, against all sensibility, as
if in a dream, arrived at the position of power that he had aspired
to. He set out to make things right for his fellow countrymen, to
restore national pride, to give them breathing space and the respect
and honour that they truly deserved. He did truly great things. He
restored the national pride. He improved working conditions, build
holiday camps and welfare schemes for the workers, ocean liners were
built to take the workers on holiday. Factory production soared. He
built great a network of majestic high speed roads across his country
to link its far flung regions and reduce trip times greatly. That this
also improved military interior mobility as well was not wholly
irrelevant. Many and great were the things which this great man
achieved. <

I (and a great many others) do not subscribe to this point of view. It
reflects the opinion of those who think that the "good" things you describe
would not happen without this "great man", and likely at a quicker pace,
with less waste, and with far fewer casualties. After all, the country was
(and had again become, after being bombed into the Stone Age) the economic
powerhouse of Europe.

BTW, is this far enough? Would you like to take the conversation off-list,
or continue to use your immunity to advance your views on the forbidden
subject, and perhaps later use my lack of the former to "follow the due
process"?

VItaliy

2010\03\07@133757 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Vitaliy ha scritto:
> Why would I compare Jim to a Nazi? <:-O


ehm no, I guess this refers to something else... older... concerning
(also) Olin IIRC...

2010\03\07@135918 by solarwind

picon face
On Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 3:45 PM, M. Adam Davis <EraseMEstienmanspamspamspamBeGonegmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I really really really like this!

2010\03\07@154728 by Russell McMahon

face picon face
> The latter is the real reason for this response - if you start
> comparing people and actions with those of thje Nazis, be it ever so
> much in jest, please be utterly sure that you do so very clearly so
> there is no doubt what you intend.<

> Why would I compare Jim to a Nazi? <:-O

That is the reasonable implication to be taken from such a veiled
comment. And from its explanation, alas :-(. See below.

> You see Russell, this is what happens when one employs allegories (I learn
> from you). IMO Jim's position was better described by Niemoeller, which by
> an indirect reference invokes Godwin's Law. Is it clearer now?

Please read carefully if this sub-thread is of any interest to you.
Please try not to invert my meanings or ignore anything specific which is said.

A reference to Godwin is (very very very) clearly saying that
something in the argument is reminiscent of the actions of the Nazis.
[ie This is the meaning which would get the right answer in a yes/no
multiple choice question in any exam you would ever be liable to find
it in - so it is what 99% of people would understand when they read
such a reference.]

It would not be clear to the vast majority that a reference to Godwin
should be taken to mean that some action *opposite* to that which was
characteristic of the Nazis was being implied. [ie This is the meaning
which would get the wrong answer in a yes/no multiple choice question
in any exam you would ever be liable to find it in - so it is what 99%
of people would NOT understand you to mean when they read such a
reference.]

No specific mention of the person being compared was made.
No mention of which characteristic or anti-characteristic alluded to was made.
All that was effectively said by mentioning Godwin was, " ... this all
reminds me of the things that happened in Nazi Germany in the 1930's
...".

You then say the reference to Godwin was really reference to the
actions of Niemoeller.
Even this is not totally clear.
Which further demonstrates my point.
If it means that the person or action is similar to that of
Niemoeller's in th 1930's, which he subsequently repudiated as being
effectively pro-Nazi, then the reference is STILL standard Godwin,
just with another level of obfuscation.

So my original comment stands - references to Godwin are understood bt
99% of people (as would be cored in a yes/no exam) as implying that an
action is similar to that of the Nazis, and the Niemoeller comparison
reinforces that impression.

As you will no doubt say that this is not what you meant, then it
would be immensely wise not to use such indirect references. If you
mean that Jim or i or anyone else are like shining examples of people
who styood up to the Nazis, then please say so (eg perhaps Dietrich
Bonhoeffer) then please say so directly if you consider it
appropriate. If the opposite is meant, say so.

Best of all though, don't refer to Godwin or the Nazis at all :-).

Re forbidden subjects and historical views. I'm not sure that
discussions of such are forbidden on thr list in OT - although they
would probably lead rapidly to problems due to encroaching into other
areas. My attempt at historical discourse was based on what I have
read in many places. I claim no historical accuracy for any part of it
and if something there is wrong and I would usefully be informed of
this then I'd be genuinely willing to hear. But, I suggest you do so
offlist.



 Russell

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