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st: Statalist FAQ; some other FAQs
Please note that the Statalist FAQ has been updated. As always the URL
is given at the end of this post. Once more will do no harm:
The specific update is to document the welcome addition of a
Statalist RSS feed within
As many people know, Statalist has been around for about 11 years.
As fewer may know, the number of members is well over 2000.
There was even a 10th birthday party in Boston with a "cake". Statalist itself
has a physical home at the Harvard School of Public Health not so far away,
so the place was apposite and the "cake" was too, even though the venue,
a Chinese restaurant, meant that they produced something else. But I
For most of that time we have had an FAQ which codifies rules and recommendations.
It is not meant to be officious, let alone offensive, but to wrap up experience
of what works well to mutual interest and advantage, and of what in practice
A wise Statafriend, with much experience of Statalist and life generally, advised
me, in effect, not to stress the "rules" bit. Statalist is not a prison or
a barracks or a boarding school. "Appeal to self-interest!"
OK. Here it is, the appeal to self-interest. Do you want to maximise
the chances that your question will be answered quickly, fully and
indeed at all? Of course you do. Well, then do read the r*l*s and
recommendations and follow them.
Not so long ago, someone referred to me in passing as a "nice guy".
That was wrong. I ain't so nice, nor are most of the other gurus.
(A few really are really nice.) I routinely zap not only most of the
econometric and all of the survey questions that I don't even
understand, but a fair fraction of the questions that are impossible
to answer, too complex, too vague, basically "I tried something,
but it didn't work", basically "What should I do next in my project?",
basically "I can't be bothered to read the manual" and so forth.
Also, I know from postings on Statagurugrumblelist that many other
Stata enthusiasts behave similarly.
All these is expressed in slightly more tactful form in the FAQ
itself, all the way down to why "STATA" is just wrong, so please
don't use it because some of us have sensitive ears and don't
The title promised a mention of some other FAQs. A glance
at http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/whatsnew.html will show
that some recent threads on Statalist have been summarised as
Stata website FAQs. There isn't a systematic process here: the
whole business of what gets written up is capricious, but what
does seems worth a mention here.
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