Solipsism (was Fig./Figs./Figures)

Subject: Solipsism (was Fig./Figs./Figures)
From: Stan Brown <stbrown -at- NACS -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 23:10:02 -0500

In TECHWR-L, someome I'd rather not embarrass publicly wrote:

> So I went to the library at my
>university and looked at a few periodicals to see how they handled this
>kind of thing. [...]
> (Some may ask why I didn't start with those periodicals in
>the first place. The answer is that it was quicker for me to post a
>question to this board and get different opinions, all of which I appreciate.)

Well, yes, quicker for _you_ perhaps. But I would hope you (and others who
seek answers on the Net) would also consider the time spent by the persons
who read your request as well as those who respond to it. Just to pull
numbers out of a hat, assume a thousand persons spend a minute and a half
each to read your query, and a dozen spend fifteen minutes each responding
to it. That is twenty-eight non-billable hours, to save you perhaps half
an hour. (With different assumptions the number of hours would be
different, but the principle remains: saving a little of one person's time
at the expense of a lot of time from many persons.)

Am I the only one bothered by the solipsism involved? The writer is
telling us that an hour of his or her time is more valuable than many hours
of others' time. I wouldn't have bothered to post about this except that I
see some variation on this theme at least a couple of times a week.

Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems Cleveland, Ohio USA stbrown -at- nacs -dot- net

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