:: [DNG] Obsoleting questions (was: sy…
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Author: Syeed Ali
To: dng
Old-Topics: Re: [DNG] system administration of non-systemd distros and releases
Subject: [DNG] Obsoleting questions (was: system administration of non-systemd distros and releases)
People ask stupid questions, and answering them is a tightrope to walk
on, lest they feel (perhaps rightfully) stupid. That happening will
make some people hesitant about a relationship. Worse yet, a
particularly smart questioner might intentionally pose questions to
trap the messenger by drawing out ego or arrogance.

A lot of questions end up being a social problem, not a technical one.

Working with some people ends up being:

- Determining what question they think they are asking.
- Helping them cooperate with asking a better question.
- Making them confident about not needing to ask the question any more.
(This isn't always about answering it; I think of it as "obsoleting
the question".)

What was being asked? Maybe something like "By making this init choice,
are you making yourself irreplaceable?" When the questioner doesn't
want to ask that directly they'll be obtuse.

Maybe the right question was already posed: "Will I be entrenched by
using Devuan or any particular init system?"

Hopefully the answer is no, and then the followup is something like
"Therefore I find Devuan to be the most appropriate choice for your
needs, and if your needs change then it is a basic skill and not
difficult or time consuming (read: inexpensive) for I or any available
sysadmin to change; it would be a basic skill. (read: I am not

A good conversation shows the surface-understanding,
deep-understanding, communication and other buzzword skills that
project managers and independent contractors have; it shows competence
and instills trust.

I'd bet some people here would use a time machine to answer "Will
people be entrenched by using systemd?" Personally I think freedom,
foresight and experience answer that well enough.


Pray to God, but keep rowing to shore. -- Russian Proverb