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Strathead

Senior Member
Sometimes they just want to know what time it is, not how to build a clock. Or who invented them. :happysad:
With all due respect, I don't see that as the gist of this forum. (the following is just using this as a jumping point, not a direct argument against you.)

The forum is specifically for those in the trade, not laymen and sometimes the best information here is found in the diversion. As such, if the answer is simple, then the OP should be challenged to come up with their own answer, not simply answered. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. I am not trying to speak for the forum, but this is the way I interpreted the forum information years ago when it was presented to me by the great Dennis Alwon, a lowly moderator at the time. (Oops, not that is an off topic diversion)

This also isn't a disagreement with iWire's original post as I interpret it, which is more about straying off topic, not delving more deeply in to it.

OP: "How often do you have to strap conduit?"

Proposed answer, "What research did you do before you posted this question here?":p
 

dkidd

Senior Member
Location
here
Occupation
PE
With all due respect, I don't see that as the gist of this forum. (the following is just using this as a jumping point, not a direct argument against you.)

The forum is specifically for those in the trade, not laymen and sometimes the best information here is found in the diversion. As such, if the answer is simple, then the OP should be challenged to come up with their own answer, not simply answered. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. I am not trying to speak for the forum, but this is the way I interpreted the forum information years ago when it was presented to me by the great Dennis Alwon, a lowly moderator at the time. (Oops, not that is an off topic diversion)

This also isn't a disagreement with iWire's original post as I interpret it, which is more about straying off topic, not delving more deeply in to it.

OP: "How often do you have to strap conduit?"

Proposed answer, "What research did you do before you posted this question here?":p
I can agree. Sometimes its tempting to respond with GIYF. (Or actually hard to resist) :ashamed1:
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
As such, if the answer is simple, then the OP should be challenged to come up with their own answer, not simply answered.
If it seems like homework questions I agree.

If it seems like a trade guy with a real issue I would hope we would just help, sometimes that help may be just where to look in the code book, or what supplier may have a part they need etc.

Your comments here are appreciated.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
I see iwire'so point and agree with him. Too many times an unimportant details get more attention than the meat of the question being asked.
"Hi, my name is gadfly56 and I'm a serial thread drifter."
 
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al hildenbrand

Senior Member
Location
Minnesota
Occupation
Electrical Contractor, Electrical Consultant, Electrical Engineer
The forum is specifically for those in the trade, not laymen and sometimes the best information here is found in the diversion. As such, if the answer is simple, then the OP should be challenged to come up with their own answer, not simply answered. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. I am not trying to speak for the forum, but this is the way I interpreted the forum information years ago when it was presented to me by the great Dennis Alwon, a lowly moderator at the time. (Oops, not that is an off topic diversion)
Strathead, I like your summary, and want to expand just a bit.

I see Bob and the other Moderator's concern for paying attention to the original post's content. And yet, many original posts are worded such that a forum reader can not easily arrive at the same understanding of the original post as the next forum reader.

This "understanding", to me, is the heart and the art of this Forum. To me, the "intent" of the Forum is to derive meaningful understanding that can be shared, an understanding derived almost entirely from the printed word.

In practice, learning (the process of deriving meaning) generally includes risking asking questions. A first-day apprentice all the way to the credentialed electrical engineer professional engineer to the most seasoned inspector or Authority Having Jurisdiction, will, in my opinion, struggle with words in the course of asking a question about something that is not clear to the asker.

My recollections of my first posts way back last century was that my language was corrected. I simply was entering into the Forum community with a less-than-complete command of the defined terms from the NEC, and my personal use of words would give rise to all sorts of confusion, if responded to, and many times just was returned with additional questions. The freshest apprentice to the most seasoned Authority, when asking questions, can easily struggle with the terms used in the question.

I figured I would post this and let you know what some of the moderators are up to. There are a number of us that feel we have been letting threads drift too much and that is not great for the original poster (OP)

What I am asking is that we try to stay directly on the OPs question and not expand on it until we hear back from the OP and they ask further questions.
I like the idea of staying directly with the OP's question, because it will tend to better extract the nature of the learning that is being grappled with by the original poster.

ASIDE: I apologize for my thread jacks over the years, as I have been involved is some long ones.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
During the last cold spell, I had the reason to 'search the web' for information on draining air out of my hydronic heating system.
I did not need to know how the air got into the water, I wanted to know how to get it out.
I did not need to know the advantages of alternative heating systems, I did not plan to replace what I just installed.
While I appreciated the information that 'automatic' air removal devices are available (contact a local plumber), the problem at hand involved the equipment that was actually installed.

This experience got me thinking about how we treat people who visit this forum and how useful our threads are to those who just stumble onto them.
 

Strathead

Senior Member
During the last cold spell, I had the reason to 'search the web' for information on draining air out of my hydronic heating system.
I did not need to know how the air got into the water, I wanted to know how to get it out.
I did not need to know the advantages of alternative heating systems, I did not plan to replace what I just installed.
While I appreciated the information that 'automatic' air removal devices are available (contact a local plumber), the problem at hand involved the equipment that was actually installed.

This experience got me thinking about how we treat people who visit this forum and how useful our threads are to those who just stumble onto them.
But isn't this example exactly what has you moderators close down a thread? To me this example is the poster child of a layman asking a DIY question.
 

al hildenbrand

Senior Member
Location
Minnesota
Occupation
Electrical Contractor, Electrical Consultant, Electrical Engineer
But isn't this example exactly what has you moderators close down a thread? To me this example is the poster child of a layman asking a DIY question.
It is a "poster child" only because we know Jim Dungar to be who he is. A first day apprentice or a PE, both working in the Mechanical trade, could also ask this question, and it is within the Forum Rules of a Mechanical Forum.
 

Strathead

Senior Member
It is a "poster child" only because we know Jim Dungar to be who he is. A first day apprentice or a PE, both working in the Mechanical trade, could also ask this question, and it is within the Forum Rules of a Mechanical Forum.

And on that note, if you are an apprentice or especially a PE, information on automatic systems, and/or how the air got in to the system is exactly the kind of information you may want, even if you didn't know it going in.
 

al hildenbrand

Senior Member
Location
Minnesota
Occupation
Electrical Contractor, Electrical Consultant, Electrical Engineer
But, that is the Forum readers ASSUMPTION. And it is not really responsive to Jim Dungar's hypothetical OP.
Tapatalk
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
But what happens instead is a new guy gets the drink from the fire hose treatment.
You want to water the roses, not blast them out of the ground. If the OP says "Thanks! By the way, why do they...?" after his initial question is answered I suggest that's the time to display the gory details.
 

al hildenbrand

Senior Member
Location
Minnesota
Occupation
Electrical Contractor, Electrical Consultant, Electrical Engineer
But, that is the Forum readers ASSUMPTION. And it is not really responsive to Jim Dungar's hypothetical OP.

Tapatalk

Look, I'm not saying don't EVER go to "the fire hose". Just, refrain until it ties in with the original posters later posts in that same thread.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Look, I'm not saying don't EVER go to "the fire hose". Just, refrain until it ties in with the original posters later posts in that same thread.
:thumbsup:

Al, in your earlier post you took the time to apologize and while that was nice of you there is nothing you or anyone has to apologize for.

I do not think for a moment that anyone is trying to ignore the OPs, I think most if not all feel they are helping or at worst not thinking of the original question.

My goal is to make this forum a welcome place for a first day electrical student or trade member. :)
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
And on that note, if you are an apprentice or especially a PE, information on automatic systems, and/or how the air got in to the system is exactly the kind of information you may want, even if you didn't know it going in.
After the original OP has been satisfied, it makes perfect sense to expand upon the topic. We are simply asking that the unnecessary or off topic discussions be moved to a separate thread.
 
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