[Clayart] The "Throw it away" mentality.

Vince Pitelka vpitelka at dtccom.net
Tue Oct 11 18:27:38 EDT 2016

Hi Snail - 
Your long-windedness is about the best long-windedness I have encountered.  Thanks for so much good information.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Tech University
vpitelka at dtccom.net  

-----Original Message-----
From: Clayart [mailto:clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com] On Behalf Of Snail Scott
Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 3:19 PM
To: Clayart international pottery discussion forum <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
Subject: Re: [Clayart] The "Throw it away" mentality.

> On Oct 11, 2016, at 12:20 PM, Randall Moody <randall.moody at gmail.com> wrote:
> As to the idea "It should have been "why do people feel the need to 
> answer questions that aren't asked and not answer questions that are 
> asked”...

And since Randall wasn’t actually asking…  ;)

This is a forum with a lot of readers, many of whom are ‘lurkers’. Some people may not be ready to ask questions, whether through shyness, a sense that they ought to look it up elsewhere first, thinking the topic is unworthy, or perhaps simply not having thought of the question previously. 
Further, although the pace of on-line discussion is a rapid one, the archives will be around long afterward, as a resource for those who’ve forgotten the details or who weren’t around for the original discussion in the first place.

When I answer a question, I do usually go beyond the scope of the stated request. I’m appallingly long-winded (long-typing?) at times, too. 
And I’m not giving it up here. (Hah.) Not even apologizing on Yom Kippur...

I do it for a number of reasons. I do it partly because the answer will remain in the archives for others, and it might as well address related issues that a hypothetical future searcher might have, and not just the laser-focused initial query. Other readers of Clayart may find that they have similar (but not identical) issues that they haven’t asked about personally, so why not expand a bit on the topic, into that peripheral, related (but unasked) zone?
Nobody’s gotta read it all, anyway.  Also, the person who asked the initial question may not have been entirely certain of what they wanted. 
(Paraphrasing the ‘Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy': ‘Did you really know what the question was?’)  When a topic is new or unfamiliar, it’s easy for the wording of a question to seem definite, when the intent was actually more general or vague, or even worded in an accidentally misleading way. 
Putting more information into the response than was actually requested increases the chance that the real question will be better addressed, and maybe even some questions that would stem from the response. And let’s add to thislist the fact that sometimes the question is simply misunderstood.

This is a discussion list, not a digital answer ‘bot, and surely no info is truly wasted.


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