[UFO Chicago] Re: Debian Newbies

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Mon, 2 Jul 2001 21:38:17 -0700

begin  Nick Moffitt quotation:
> http://newbiedoc.sourceforge.net/
> 	Debian docs by newbies for newbies.  

Any project with the string "newbie" in its name is doomed to eternal
weeniedom.  I held out some initial, unwise hope for the
http://www.linuxnewbie.org/ Web site and its 'newbie-ized help files".
My first big clue that something was wrong was when I submitted
corrections for a security FAQ, and they were repeatedly ignored

That got me to look closely at what was going on:  A handful of people
with about a quarter of a clue are writing inaccurate, misleading, but 
cloyingly "friendly" materials for a small horde of people with no clue
whatsoever, who are in flight from complexity and have no way to
distinguish good advice from bad.

The clueless many gain the (basically false) conviction that they're
mastering their systems as they are carefully directed away from those
systems' essentials.  The quarter-clued few, for their part, get to be
microcosmic gods for a not-too-bright world.  That's why my (and
others') corrections got ignored:  Accuracy is secondary to those
documents' purpose, and conveying an overall understanding is anathema
to it.

Essentially, such projects are deliberate ghettos, zoos for the
clue-deficient.  As a deliberate attempt to segment people by skill
level, they interfere in the community's educational function, rather
than aid it.

Cheers,                      Thank you.  We're all refreshed and challeged 
Rick Moen                    by your unique point of view.