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homework: it asks if a light bulb will burn twice as long as other light bulbs because it is filled with oxygen...true? Answered

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user
Z.. (author)2010-01-13

i think that this is a perfectly acceptable place to ask such questions.

If nothing else it shows that the person asking the question has some faith that there are people on Instructables that have knowledge and even expertise.

That is an endorsement. Not an exploitation for a lazy mind.

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orksecurity (author)Z..2010-01-13

It's a good place to ask questions, but it's sorta courteous to at least attempt to research the question yourself first. Among other things you're likely to learn more that way, not least learning research skills.

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Z.. (author)orksecurity2010-01-13

We'll just have to disagree on this.

Who knows? Perhaps I'm just less than impressed with the way younger members are responded to on occasion...

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orksecurity (author)Z..2010-01-15

Not a matter of age, but of the kind of question ("do my homework for me") and the way it's posed (no indication that the student has tried to answer it themselves first). I've answered plenty of kid questions when it was clear they weren't just being lazy... and I've snarked  a bit at adult questions when they were being too lazy to try a websearch (or even an Instructables search) first.

The trick to getting good answers from a volunteer community is asking questions in a way that makes people want to help you with them. It's phrased a bit rudely, but the essay at http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html really is good advice on how to help other folks help you.

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Z.. (author)orksecurity2010-01-15

As I have already said..we will have to disagree.

Your response here is quite detailed in what you think poster should be doing.

But that is what you think. I am merely suggesting that people will put up questions-as they put up questions! Not all of them do so,- (in a manner that may not meet with the approval of some of you)- because they are 'lazy' or are seeing others to do their homework!

They do it because they see this as simply another avenue to get answers. You are neither their parent nor their teacher, and as such have no right to suggest how any poster should be posting!

Might I venture to suggest that if 'Instructable Answers' becomes too subjective in what it construes as a valid or invalid question, or a question that has been asked in the wrongmanner,- then this very successful section of Instructables will actively discourage people from asking questions.

Nobody is perfect. If Instructables gets to 'precious' on such matters, it will suffer as a consequence by inevitably gaining a reputation as an élite site only for those with superior knowledge. 

This has happened on one Australian site. An excellent 'help' site! But one in which the novice (who really needs the help!), does not venture unless prepared to take the risk of being ridiculed.

Don't go down that path.

I am willing to discuss this at length with you orksecurity, but consider it inappropriate to do so here. As I said: agree to disagree.

(I am mindful of your latest question-perhaps it might be better to let this one go?).

I would hope that my response is not considered a candidate for a flag????

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orksecurity (author)Z..2010-01-17

No flag; perfectly reasonable position.

You're focusing on encouraging people to ask; I'm focusing on encouraging them to learn how to learn effectively.  Both are valid goals, and there's some tension between them.

I agree novices shouldn't be ridiculed, and I try not to do so. I do think they should be encouraged to make some effort to look up an answer themselves, not least because this will often get them the answer more quickly.

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Z.. (author)orksecurity2010-01-17

No. I am not focusing on encouraging people to ask-(though surely that is what this sector is all about?), I'm encouraging people to use this option if they so wish without being judged in any way that is less than positive.

 It appears?? to me that your view is to 'teach' some members that there is a right and wrong way to approach the subject of knowledge.

My view is to concentrate on 'learn'. I see a far more positive outcome in providing information and not criticism!

It seems logical to me, that those who are assisted;- will learn.Those who are told to seek other avenues,-who are advised that they should not be seeking answers in this place, will learn nothing other than that the attitude of some members is simply to patronise them!

This in my view teaches nothing but dominance and superiority. One learns nothing from it, other than how to do the same thing! It is a negative rather than positive influence.

I mentioned the flag because given your recent question, it occurred to me that you might not be too happy with my post. My view is indeed perfectly reasonable, but Instructables would be by no means alone in having members use a 'flag' facility if they do not like a response. It is commonly done.

What is also common, is the perception by many longer term members that they have some sort of 'senior' position on the forums to which they belong. Instructables is no exception.

There is--(in general)--a core group here that give the most generous assistance to those who seek answers. It is excellent! But: it does not mean that those members are in some way 'Site Seniors'. They are not. We are all the same,-including non-Pro members. We are just..well,-folks!

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orksecurity (author)Z..2010-01-17

As you said, we agree that we disagree on details. No problem.

As another user, I've never flagged anything unless I thought it was seriously out of line -- meanly and gratuitously abusive, actively dangerous, or  the occasional question that looks suspiciously like someone planning to hurt someone else. In any case, it's up to the site's owners/admins to review the content; all the flags do is suggest items they might want to look at sooner rather than later.

I admit to being opinionated about the best approach; I've run discussion servers myself. But I try to remind myself that there are differences in styles and to leave Instructables room to evolve as it will.

Question: would you rather we answer with a pointer to a websearch result, or not answer at all? One may come across as patronizing but be useful; the other leaves the querant hanging.

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Z.. (author)orksecurity2010-01-17

'Question: would you rather we answer with a pointer to a websearch result, or not answer at all? One may come across as patronizing but be useful; the other leaves the querant hanging.'

Answer: Oh please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See what I mean about patronising???

No. Of course not.

Just try to behave with kindness. How about that orksecurity? Will that do?

That will make the querist feel at least a little validated!
 

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orksecurity (author)Z..2010-01-18

Just checking. it was an honest question; some folks do feel that unless you provide the complete answer in-line it isn't worth responding at all. Sounds like we're in synch.

And, yes, we agree about kindness. I'll try to work a bit on patience, and/or on holding off answering if there's a risk of my snapping.

Valid points. Thanks for raising them.

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Dr.Bill (author)2010-01-13

The bulb will pop! Wear your safety glasses.
Bulbs have a partial vacuum inside.

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orksecurity (author)2010-01-13

I've never been able to get a light bulb to burn. Maybe I'm not using a hot enough fire to light it.

(Seriously, websearching on how light bulbs work is a better way to find the answer. Or ask a reference librarian to help you find the answer; they love to show people how to track down obscure bits of information.)

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jeff-o (author)2010-01-13

I'd say it'll burn about 1/2,000,000th as long.

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RavingMadStudios (author)2010-01-12

Don't let these guy rag you. Of course the bulb will burn longer (and brighter) if it's filled with oxygen. Oxygen is highly flammable. Why else would they use it in welding torches?

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lemonie (author)RavingMadStudios2010-01-12

You are too kind, I could have given that answer myself, but.. well you know me.

L

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RavingMadStudios (author)lemonie2010-01-12

I believe that you are the kind one in this case. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.

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user

In the interest of fairness, I should add that free advice from the internet is worth every penny.

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Burf (author)2010-01-12

Assuming this is a not trick question in some way, google how a light bulb is made. The answer will then be obvious to you.

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AndyGadget (author)2010-01-12

Find out what normal light bulbs are filled with, and why.  Then look up the properties of oxygen and you should be able to work out the answer.
You'll have learnt something rather than have someone answer the question for you with no benefit to yourself.

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Jayefuu (author)2010-01-12

What have you done to solve this question yourself so far? Perhaps if you go away, do some research then tell us what you think the answer is and explain why that's the answer, we'll tell you if you're correct or not.

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lemonie (author)2010-01-12

You want a true / false answer to your homework question?
What do you think?

L

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