Re: feedback and sharing knowledge

Joao Pedro (
Tue, 30 Sep 1997 00:09:47 -0700


Geoff Smith wrote:
> > > > Like I mentioned before, I know the meaning of the word but I couldn't
> > > > find an appropriate application for it in economy, in the context of our
> > > > argument, in explaining to me the author's (EvMich) point of view. Like
> > > > I said a thousand times, I don't know nothing of economics
> > >
> > > or english grammar ;)
> >
> > Why do you say that? Most people I met in the Internet say I have an
> > excellent English. Even when I go abroad and have to speak English,
> > no-one has ever said I had a bad knowledge of the English language,
> > you're the first and I would like to know why.
> I apoligize sincerely, it was a very mean thing for me to point out. In
> general, your grammar is very good-- probably better than mine; however,
> my little remark was in reference to your statement "I don't know nothing
> of economics." When you say "don't know nothing," that is a
> double-negative. It's almost as big a mistake as when I finish half my
> sentences with a preposition. Ah, we're Science students, we don't know
> nothing about grammar, do we?

Apologies accepted (was the "apoligize" error intentional?) and, yes,
you're right, I should have written "I know nothing", in Portuguese (as
well as other languages that come from Latin such as Spanish) a
double-negative such as this one is correct.
Answering your question, I think we should know about grammar, rhetoric
and even marketing. Remember that when searching for, say, a job, it's
not who you are that matters, it's what the employer thinks you are. I
read some things about marketing, I read a book about arguing and I
worked hard to improve my vocabulary (both in English and Portuguese).
It doesn't matter if you are a good professional if the others don't
think the same way! Of course that being a good professional is
important to impress others but, personally, I know lots of incompetents
with great jobs and fame and lots of brilliant persons who are
unemployed. Also from personal experience, my writing skills (which are
not exceptional but do the work) have surely earned me many points in
exams on those questions one is not particularly sure about the answer,
know what I mean?

> >The more people try to solve the aging problem, the
> > quicker will it be solve, the better for all of us, including myself.
> > Answering your question, if someone woke me up to ask me how to play a B
> > chord, I would be upset because that persons disturbed my sleep.
> As some people on this list are disturbed by the massive amount of mail in
> their box every day from people asking the same basics questions, over and
> over.

Do you want to compare the trouble of replying to a couple of messages
once in a while (which can be a matter of days, weeks or months but no
less than that) with the agony of not being able to sleep? It's two
completely things, the word "disturbed" has two different meanings in
the two sentences.

> > A better example is my aging research,
> > the more people I can teach about aging, the more people will be
> > interested and start researching and the more people would try to solve
> > the aging problem.
> And so you must weigh the advantages of spending your time teaching others
> and spending your time actually doing research. When you spend too much
> time teaching others, you have to cut back so you can do more research.
> This is all anyone on the list is saying: too much time is being spent on
> answering basic questions(as opposed to more complicated and unanswered
> question), so people asking these questions are being discouraged in
> favour of going and reading a book.

I saved this reply for later, as a sort of finishing touch, I think that
with the amount of people asking this kind of questions (in the last
week I think that was just me, not too much), you don't have an arguing
base to complain. As I said before, I respect your positions and I shall
ask no more basic questions but I think that if you spent a few minutes
per week answering basic questions that wouldn't do you any harm, that
wouldn't disturb you and in the end you would convert more persons to
your ideas.

> > > If I told you "the A chord isn't actually an A, it's a B flat", you would
> > > say I'm wrong. What if I replied: "I don't believe you, but I don't want
> > > to read any books on subject... maybe I will eventually get around to it.
> > > In the mean time, I don't believe you. It's obvious that the A chord is
> > > actually B flat, I don't understand how you can even begin to think it's
> > > not." Wouldn't that make you a little frustrated? (come on, be honest ;)
> >
> > Yes but if you ask 100 guitar player what is an A chord, they will ALL
> > give you the same answer. However, if you ask 100 economists if
> > free-markets are the best solutions, they won't give you the same
> > answer.
> I have yet to have an economics professor or teaching assistant who
> doesn't think a free-market is the best solution. If you admit you
> haven't read any books on economics, how can you make this statement?

Personally I never had any teacher of economics because I never had to
learn economics in scholastic life but just because I don't read any
books that doesn't mean I don't know anything about it. I read the daily
newspaper, I watch TV, I read books that mention economical issues, I
talk with other persons about economics, I manage my own money, I buy
and sell things, I'm no ignorant and, fortunately, I have the ability to
think based on observations. Just because I don't have a Ph.D. in
economics that doesn't mean I don't have the ability to talk about
economical issues. And I do know economists that don't see free-markets
as the best solution.

> > Free-markets is not (at least for many people) the best
> > solution, it's not the ultimate truth.
> No, but what is?

That is what I would like to find out. I asked my original questions
because I wanted to see if free-markets was a possible solution to many
of the world's problems.

> > An A chord is always an A chord
> > and if anyone disagrees on that he is immediately wrong,
> I think you should go to your local library or even the internet, and
> search for the word "epistemology" before you make a statement like that.
> What makes you so sure? Why is he "immediately wrong"?

Come on, a philosophical discussion now!? You know what I mean.

         Hasta la vista...

"Life's too short to cry, long enough to try." - Kai Hansen Reason's Triumph at: