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Re: st: responses to new users
This is a very good point. I tend to just ignore those posters I
am starting to find annoying, but if everyone did that the poster
might never find out how to get a better response or solve the
problem on their own. This listserv does seem to have a bit more
of an "edge" than some others I have been on, but overall the mix
of styles seems to work pretty well. Also, those responses that
might seem a little harsh or abrupt almost always seem to contain
an answer to the question.
I see both sides. As an economist, I am sympathetic to serious
policing of the listserv, because people who ask questions that could
be easily answered if they searched through the FAQ are imposing
external costs on everyone else. Listserv congestion is a real pain,
and seems like an electronic form of "tragedy of the commons."
Trying to get newbies to internalize those external costs is a good
idea. So maybe I'm just being over-sensitive when the other side of
me, the moralist, thinks that harsh, condescending responses to
simple questions is so bad. But I do find those offensive to read.
Many newbies are not just newbies to Stata listserv; they're
generally ignorant of listserv etiquette altogether. True, being on
the receiving end of a strongly worded email directing you to the
obvious solution has motivated me to search out the answers more
carefully the next time a problem arose. But is there a way to
pursue that same goal that does not look like bullying? I don't
know, but if there is a way to do that, I'd like to see it because I
have felt at times the listserv is overly harsh. It also has an
unusually high number of gracious people who continually surprise me
by how much work they put into answering questions, though.
But, like I said, I'm hyper-sensitive. I stopped buying the albums
of my favorite band after seeing the lead singer berate a fan on the
front row for singing too loud.
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