Sunday, April 17, 2005

Dumb questions, and ignorant questions

On the forums that I moderate there are a lot of folks who ask a lot of dumb questions, and a few folks who keep asking ignorant questions...


A dumb question is where the question itself is basic or should be obvious, but you don't have the experience or resources necessary to answer it for yourself. An ignorant question is one that you have no right not knowing the answer to; either because it's already been given to you, or because it is so easy to find out.

When you ask a dumb question, you are just trying to learn; and the answers to dumb questions usually point you in the right direction for more learning on your own. I have a near unlimited tolerance for dumb questions, because answering a dumb question genuinely helps the person who asked it, and it isnt a huge amount of time and effort on my part to do so.

When you ask an ignorant question, you are insulting the people you are asking, because in effect you are saying "My time isn't worth wasting on making the effort to find out the answer to this, so I'm going to waste your time and effort to do it for me".

I have ZERO tolerance for ignorant questions. Answering an ignorant question is just an even bigger waste of time; because the person who asked it is not going to make any use of it, and will inevitably return with another ignorant question.