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Re: st: responses to new users

From   Steffen Hokland <>
Subject   Re: st: responses to new users
Date   Sun, 16 Jul 2006 19:33:13 +0200

The issue of ''netiquette'' was much debated on the 'LaTeX on Mac OS
X list' a couple of years ago. The main issue was posting FAQ or
generic LaTeX-questions. I full heartedly agree that posting such
questions is basically the same as saying 'my time is more valuable
than yours - and I simply can't be bothered'. It is my impression
that the Stata-list works pretty much the same way that all the other
lists I subscribe to (which appears reasonable from a statistical
point of view) - a very limited number of people answer almost all

***I am very grateful in all cases to those who have chosen to use
their precious time to help others - my self included - at very
little or no return***

However, it is my impression that the tone at the Stata-list is
unnecessarily harsh, and that what some perceive to be trivial
questions (but not FAQs) are treated with outright arrogance. After
some months row and a few rather abusive postings it became the
consensus of the OSX-LaTeX-list to simply ignore the FAQ- and/or RTFM-
posts. May I propose a similar approach at the Stata-list? Replying
in a purposefully arrogant and condescending tone doesn't seem to
achieve anything, apart perhaps from scarring people away from the
list, and is in any case very little becoming in an academic forum.
It could be helpful to remember, that the person on the receiving end
- although not proficient in Stata - may be much brighter and more
academically successful that you. Or, to quote Niels Bohr: 'An expert
is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow

Now, I am in no way ungrateful for the huge amount of work that the
list-wiz's are doing, but I've just noticed this sometimes rather
unpleasant tone. Also I apologize for the salvaged zen-like post -
which is very much out of character - but why not just ignore FAQs
and RTFMs and save yourself the frustration?


Steffen Lund Hokland, MSc.
PhD Student

The MR-Research Centre
Institute of Clinical Medicine
Aarhus University Hospital
Skejby Hospital
DK-8200 Aarhus


Department of Experimental Clinical Oncology
Aarhus University Hospital
Aarhus Hospital Noerrebrogade
DK-8000 Aarhus C

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