Re: Sharing Knowledge: Was Parasitism

Denny Anspach <danspach@...>

Jace Kahn and Dan Stinson could not state the case any better, nor any more fairly. Knowledge sharing is a truly civilized and gracious activity. We are hobbyists, not members of a trade or academic group harboring competing personal agendas.

I have a fairly large personal railroad reference library (and one of the largest such public facilities is just down the street). Although I know full well that the answers to many of the questions that I might, or actually do pose to this erudite list must reside somewhere on the bookshelves or in the stacks, I also realize at the same time that the answers might only come after hours or days of searching (time better spent building steam era freight cars!); and even then the facts will arrive totally without the benefit of being wrapped in the broad rich editorial context so common on this List. The high value of the latter should not be underestimated in any way. It is the heart of this effort IMHO.

Listers undervalue their own knowledge whenever the posted response to a question is an intimidating abrupt 'Look it up!'. It takes not a whit more effort for those who are in the know to simply give a short positive answer, while perhaps at the same time also pointing out the availability of the information in specific reference or references.

Denny S. Anspach, MD

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