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Re: Request for fixes to

Quoting Christopher Faylor (

> I've added some comments mentioning how stupid such an activity would
> be.
> I'm sorry that our link has generated extra work for you.  Even after
> many years of supporting the cygwin community, it never occurred to me
> that I would have to caution against sending email to people who
> obviously have nothing to do with the project but, in retrospect, it
> seems pretty obvious that this would be a problem.

Thanks, Christopher.  That will be a big help.  I (also) regret having
put you through extra trouble.

Frankly, Eric and I likewise never anticipated that so many people would
throw sense to the winds and write us directly about their technical
problems.  We get about a half-dozen each and every day.  With
(seemingly) thousands of software and non-software projects linking to
the essay, it'll probably never end.  (Note that the essay also has its
own prominent don't-be-an-idiot warning, near the top.)

After years of this, I still don't entirely "get" the mindset involved:
I mean, is there any _other_ area of life where you just lob off an
inquiry to an utter stranger, expecting free private help with your
personal problem?  I've followed up with some of these people, and most
aren't even embarrassed.  (I'd be mortified!)  About a fifth _still_
hurl those same questions at me, even _after_ having their gaffe
explained.  It's very peculiar, in an anthropological sort of way.

I have two alternative theories:  (1) Opportunism:  Some people act in a
clueless and impertinent way because it costs almost nothing, and bears
fruit some percentage of the time.  (2) Shallow end of the gene pool:
With 6x10^9+ humans, some will always be doing any dumbass thing you can
imagine -- and, if you're unlucky, you'll be the person they do it to.

It's probably some from each group.

Cheers,                   Now, it's time to hack the real world, and let other
Rick Moen                 people write Web sites about it.                                   -- Donald B. Marti

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