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To all,

Having seen and re-read the recent exchange between TinkerShaw and me, it's only fair to all of you that I take the time to clarify my perspective. Before I do that, I want to thank Tinker for his apology.

Understanding a technology enough to invest our hard-saved dollars in it usually requires time-consuming, hard work. That's true for each of us, whether we have long, established careers in technology or whether we are unitiated novices when it comes to technological matters. (Coming from the latter camp, I wish I came from the former camp.)

As if that is not daunting enough, in this particular folder we discuss how to apply the contents of a book that adds new terminology to the world of technology. The purpose of using Moore's metaphors is to hopefully make that world easier to understand. But if we don't at least try to hold rigid adherance to the use of that terminology, we do not effectively communicate with each other. We infuse complexity rather than simplification, misunderstanding rather than understanding, and chaos rather than order.

Despite our diligent attempts to use the terminology correctly, it's nearly inevitable that all of us are going to make understandable mistakes. But when they are politely made apparent, a simple acknowledgement is important so we understand that we are or are not on the same page. Otherwise, complexity, misunderstanding and chaos are perpetuated.

A quick "thank you" to someone who points out the error of our ways is also polite. Similarly, the ommission of that "thank you" is impolite and therefore unFoolish.

If we type messages that are consistently off the top of our heads, it's my thinking that we're showing too little regard for the people who come here to learn how to acquire the investing skills that will put children through the college of their choice, that will make it possible for an elderly mother or father to stop working and enjoy the latest years in life, that will make it possible for us to contribute to the non-profit organizations of our choice, etc., etc. These things are not unimportant. No, indeed. They are very, very important.

They are important enough that, in my mind, we need to take the time to write posts making a reasonably valid attempt to ensure that they foster enriching, amusing and educational debate and discussion. Otherwise, we really don't have anything Foolish. In my mind, knowingly writing posts off the top of our heads doesn't meet the criterion of a reasonably valid attempt.

That's my take on the subject. I hope you think it's a Foolish take.

--Mike Buckley
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