ADMIN: Parasitism

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

From time to time the subject as recently titled "Parasitism" seems to find its way into discussion on the STMFC. As has been mentioned by others, none of us has a copy of every reference book associated with the subject of this group...or others. Given that, it is likely that most of us have, from time to time, asked for help. A problem I run into relatively often is...where is the info that I'm seeking in the stuff I do have? The magazine index is extremely valuable, of course, but it doesn't have everything AND the title may not be of much use. For example, I know I saw a photo in a long ago Trains Magazine of a pushing contest on the Milw Road in which an articulated steam engine and an electric engine were attempting to push against each other to see who had the most tractive effort and adhesion [ the electic engine won, BTW ]. would one look that up?

I suppose I view the issue somewhat like with the US Constitution's First Amendment. Free speech. Within certain limitations, you can generally say what you wish. And now for Brock's Amendment. "I don't have to listen". The point one should be offended by someone asking for help on a subject. At the same time, no one in the STMFC is obligated to respond. And no one should be offended by the reply...or non reply. Some replies can necessarily be a bit complex or they might be missleading. Hence, it might be better to indicate where the info lies. Note the STMFC rule:

"It should be noted that discussions by the group's members
includes questions and answers regarding the group's subject. However, it
should also be noted that the group is not to be considered necessarily as a
library with its members prepared to respond to questions or acting as
sources for information. Such responses are entirely voluntary and at no
time is any group member obligated to respond to a request for information.
In fact, the group is not a good vehicle to transmit large amounts of
information. The group is a good vehicle, however, to provide guidance as to
where a member might find information."

An interesting example occurred recently on another group. The rather simple question was..."Was UP 4-8-4 #833 and oil burner or coal burner?" The response is...both. However, there is much more to it because the questioner is intertested in modeling the engine with a brass model. To avoid missleading the questioner, a detailed response would be required...IMO...also requiring research for validation. I didn't have time to do an adequate job so I did not respond [ maybe later ]. Incidentally, responding to such questions can be rewarding and fun. It can also be a learning project. If one has the time.

Mike Brock

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