Originally Posted by emptym
Tides change in both directions, no? But teh noobs we will always have among us.
Imo, there are different types of noobs:
Some just lurk. And that's probably best.
Some ask questions. That's good too, particularly if the questions haven't been asked before and the questions aren't too numerous...
Some offer their own thoughts. Even this is fine as long as they don't offer it with vehemence and don't resist being educated with even more vehemence.
The latter group is the worst. But even they can change. Many among us were in that group. I think we need to correct them with patience. And no one has been better at that than you imo, Doc. As my favorite thinker, Bernie L, once said, "Each new group of noobs is an invasion of barbarians, and it's our job to civilize them." Well, it was something like that.
The vehemence of the last group of noobs drove a few of our best posters away (really just to lurk. They're still here.). But even these noobs have been learning. Some resisted it. And some don't want to acknowledge the debt they have to the people they helped drive away. But they've learned, and the world is better off for it.
One thing that may help us to have patience is to remember Plato's allegory of the cave. It compares education to being dragged out of a cave and being forced to turn to the light. It's a painful, confusing process. Particularly when we've been praised by our peers before this, as the cave story says and as happened to many of us before discovering SF. How often does a noob think, "Wow, I thought I knew it all before I came here!"?
Another thing that should help us to have patience is to remember that we were once there too. And we're all learning, no matter how much we know.
At it's best, SF is a big community of guys learning together. At it's worst it's a bunch of guys trying to show off. In reality, it's what we make of it. I think we can help it be its best by being patient with noobs and correct them politely. And we can't leave this to Doc, or to Matt, or to Manton. It has to be all of us--constantly learning and helping each other with patience and politeness.