Simple question - complicated answers

Bart Silverstrim bsilver at
Sat Sep 29 01:22:44 UTC 2007

alex wrote:
> I would have been very much satisfied if someone had anwered my simple
> question with a
> simple answer like:
> "Look, you dummy, the simple answer is that the kernel doesn't exist as
> an ordinary file
> that can be edited like a document."  The thread would have ended there.
> I still disagree with everyone who complained that my question was too
> complicated to understand..
> Anyway,, thanks for the ride.

Technically, the complaint was it was too vague to answer, and it was 
the wrong question for the answer you were looking for.

If anything I think people will be more offended that you're responding 
in a hostile and hurt manner rather than learning from what was said. 
Geeks aren't typically ones to coddle new users, and I'd wager that most 
on this list have had to weather some flames at some point or another in 
their quests to learn. Your replies make you sound more like you're just 
retreating away instead of showing a desire to learn more, which the 
replies often had pointers to for discovering more, and I didn't see ANY 
posts telling you to bugger off.

If you still don't understand why your question was plain vague or 
incorrect, NOT COMPLICATED, then I would think that indicates that you 
did not heed the advice I and several others had suggested in even 
looking at an article on what the Linux kernel, or any OS kernel, is or I right?

If you learn nothing else, please learn a community made up of 
sysadmins and geeks, you will almost never get coddled by them.  You'll 
take lumps.  You'll get insults, and you will either get a thicker skin 
for it or you'll slink away and not be missed.  We've taken lumps. 
We've bought our asbestos underwear for the flamewars that erupt.  For 
better or worse, it's what we endure from users all the time, and we 
admire and give respect to those who stick it out and instead of slink 
off will stand up and learn from mistakes and show a genuine desire to 
learn more.  In the end you're more enlightened for the experience.

If you're new to the group, welcome, and hope you stay, even if it's to 
lurk and learn.  But you should know that the responses you had were 
actually quite tame.  The most hostile I saw was a borderline rant on 
asking what color is sound, or something to that effect...the thing is, 
he was right, and trying to drive a point home to you about the nature 
of your question.  The fact that you turned around and started lamenting 
your age in relation to learning about Linux says more than anything 
else.  Sir, for geeks who probably read stories where sentient dolphins 
work alongside humans in space stations and young farmboys end up 
battling a galactic emperor with a sword of plasma energy, ageism is 
hardly a reason to turn someone away.  Expecting the geeks to learn for 
you, that will get you shunned.

Anyway, hope you stick it out and maybe take the advice to learn more 
about the kernel.  You never really said why you wanted to do this, or 
what your end goal was to be, but if you ever decide to ask more about 
it you're welcome to and we'll no doubt do what we can to offer pointers 
and advice...

...Cuz' that's just how we roll.


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