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Watching this -- The Problem With "Google is Free" Activism -- and thinking that @dredmorbius may find it of interest.

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@woozle About half-way through listening, some initial thoughts, some agreement / disagreement / additions:

  • "There are no stupid questions, but there is an endless stream of inquisitive idiots" has high truth value.

  • If you are unable to answer a question for any reason, simply saying "I can't answer that", or responding with silence, is tots legit. As is muting or blocking.

  • A prepared set of responses to frequently-encountered questions is hugely useful. Create a FAQ. This needn't be your specific responses, you can link (or copy, with credit) relevant responses from elsewhere. Update and modify it as needed. Short responses to frequent questions are useful. (And no, idiots won't find their way to it, but you can point them there.)

  • A questioner is a supplecant to the answerer. Respect flows to the party being questioned, in most cases.

  • It's often far less emotionally-loaded to answer questions on behalf of someone else, rather than of your own direct experience. There's a reason numerous advocates are third-parties (lawyers, etc.)

  • Google hasn't returned the same results to all users for nearly two decades now. I remember when this first began happening, it was a seismic shift in the utility of Google. Expecting others' Google results to match your experience is an error. Non-tracking search services such as DuckDuckGo don't do this.

  • Matters of personal belief, choice, values, and experience are ... not entirely unfalsifiable, but answer to a vastly different burden of proof than claims of fact. Popper's "tolerance of intolerance" is a strong guide though.

@woozle On the 2nd bullet point above: responding by lashing out in anger, berating, or insulting the questioner is ... understandable, but really something that should be avoided if at all possible.

There are numerous people whose causes and views I respect strongly, but who have a very strong tendency to do this. I can undestand the pain. I cannot tolerate the abuse, unfortunately.

(I've my own pains I'm coping with as well.)

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