Kara Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

Taking the initiative

Note: This post was written before I realized I was trans and/or before I came out online. As such, I might refer to myself as a man or use my deadname. Please read my name policy to understand how you should refer to me.

Back in June, my friend blogged about people showing off their Wikismarts to him. I envy him, because on the other side of the coin, there seems to be a plethora of people with zero initiative.

You know who I'm talking about. The people who seem to have no filter in their brain and ask you every question that bubbles up to the murky surface of their minds, even if the current discussion has nothing to do with the question. These people regularly lurk on message boards and in IRC channels, just waiting to begin asking questions that would be better answered by a trip over to Wikipedia than waiting for someone else to prepare a (probably inaccurate) explanation.

There's no excuse, really. Most browsers come with search forms built into the browser chrome itself. Even if not, Google (or one's favourite search engine) is a single page-load away. There is no excuse to derail an existing conversation by asking for someone to explain what the topic of the conversation is all about. Go find out, come back, and show off those Wikismarts.

This isn't much more than a short rant. It just flusters me, because I applaud those people's curiosity, but I deplore their lack of initiative in an age where information access is literally at people's fingertips.