Interesting article in InTech


Thread Starter

Bob Peterson

The Industry View column (by one Paul Gruhn) seems to be putting forth the idea that maybe some questions are indeed to stupid to answer.

he used several questions from this list as examples of "goofballs".

personally, some of these questions have bothered me of late as well. it seems that we get a fair number of goofball questions, that maybe the moderator should attempt to filter out.

James Ingraham

Let the goofball questions come. Wouldn't you rather KNOW the goofballs are out there? And this way, when someone gets 27 responses saying "You are a goofball," perhaps they'll take it seriously.

Besides, everyone has to start somewhere.

-James Ingraham
Sage Automation, Inc.
I think we all remember when we were fresh out of college and full of goofball questions. We
would all appreciate an answer from an experienced practicing engineer.
I try to answer any that are not lazy homework problems or from lazy engineers.
Hello Bob
I agree that some questions posted in have no merit and should be ignored but I don't think it is necessary to filter them out.
It is more disturbing to me to read some of the replies. Some people completely miss the context of the question. I think the moderator definitely has a role here.

Well, Paul is right.

Rather than having the overburdened moderator filter them, though, I filter them.

Every time some student emails us for help with his project that he hasn't done any work on and is due tomorrow, I filter it by hitting the delete button after enjoying a delicious chuckle at the student's expense.

But sometimes, even though the question is phrased badly, or might be considered a dumb question, you can sense the sincerity behind it...and then I take the time to answer. Because I was a dumb newbie once, and I still remember what it felt like.

I went to an AWWA (American Water Works Association) section meeting in the early 1970s. The custom was for everybody to go around the table and introduce themselves, giving their company and their years of service. The first guy stood up, and said he was so-and-so from the city of wherever, and he'd been there 27 years. And so on down the line. After about 2 dozen of these introductions, they finally got to me.

"Hi, my name is Walt Boyes and I've been doing this about 6 weeks now!" I squeaked out. Of course everybody laughed, and I felt about three cm tall.

So, help those newbies when you can. Remember, it might be one of them running your plant soon.

Walt Boyes

---------SPITZER AND BOYES, LLC-------------
"Consulting from the engineer to the distribution channel" [email protected] 21118 SE 278th Place Maple Valley, WA 98038 253-709-5046 cell 425-432-8262 home office fax:1-253-981-0285

Anthony Kerstens

I agree that some of the messages lately are annoying. The ones that bother me most are from those that didn't bother to search the archive or the web before asking.

As for filtering, my message list is sorted by subject so I can select groups of messages and use my delete key to "filter" them out.

Anthony Kerstens P.Eng.

Michael Griffin

It was with great reluctance that I erased my original opening line to this reply. You might however consider what sort of opinion the moderators may have of a suggestion that would greatly increase their work load while placing them in the position of having abuse rained down on them from all sides by those who disagree with their decisions.

The moderators are here to prevent spam and unprofessional language and they perform this task quite admirably. Questions and answers which are not as clever or insightful as they might have been are up to the reader to either ignore or laugh at or fulminate over as the mood may take him. I see no need for a change in moderation policy.


Michael Griffin
London, Ont. Canada

Jeremy Pollard

WHAT???? thats censorship.... and would remove some of the daily smiles. No disrespect intended but some of the goofball questions make you realize that there are people as insane as you are.

Being human aint a bad thing.

Cheers from: Jeremy Pollard, CET The Crazy Canuckian! Integration and Automation Training, Consulting, and Software

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Diana C Bouchard

I too use the delete key liberally to filter messages I consider not worth my while to read. However, one person's passionate interest is another's sleeping medication. We are a very diverse list, including geographically, and I have noticed that many of what I might consider basic questions come from people in countries where they might have less access to Internet or library resources. I am sure that the Automation List is a valuable information resource to them.

Diana Bouchard
I agree. Check out the post by M.Z. that came in two posts after this one. Can someone tell me what it means?