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corn dog @corndog

sometimes, when people ask a question on social media that could easily be answered with a google search, maybe it's not so much that they're looking for an answer as to make a connection with other people who are also interested in the subject

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@corndog Mmm, thats something I've been thinking about. For humans, asking questions isn't just about asking questions - it has all sorts of other functionality tacked on. Search algorithms can handle the core functionality, but not the rest. :/

@Angle @corndog validation from a sane source that your question isn’t nuts.


@corndog also possible, and one I do a lot: I am concerned about the effects searching for it might have on both my mental state and on future search results because google tunes results based on past searches

@corndog I've sometimes done this, and it was always just a mistake which I only realized after sending the post. "I could just search for that"

@bob @corndog No mistakes, sometimes the subconscious mind has enough to take control and does things our conscious mind wouldn’t agree to

@bob @corndog

But it's not a mistake. Getting the answer isn't always the sole function of a question.

@corndog That is a great point. What a beautiful way of looking at things.

@corndog I've seen one programming IRC slowly devolve into this mindless chant of "you should ask that on Stack Overflow, it's good for our SEO" and… urgh. It's only good for *theirs*.

@corndog definitely. if you're very new to something it can also be hard to be sure that the answer you find applies to your situation . like i can figure out if a stack exchange answer applies to my version of python pretty easily, but i have a lot of practice. finding answers is a skill in itself and of itself and it doesn't transfer completely.

@corndog any librarian would explain that people often a different question than that which leads to a relevant answer — searching Google will always be a very limited way to answer queries, finding the most popular not necessarily most relevant

@corndog yep...if people *just* wanted answers the website would not exist. People want to interact and have discussions and be opinionated...and in the case of Quora, get help with the math homework?

@corndog For me, it's usually because my executive function is borked and/or I have really low spoons and just can't manage a google search.

@corndog I do it because googling seldom gives one definitive answer. So I can't tell what bit of evidence the person was convinced by. It tells me nothing about the person's thought process or opinions. In short I'm trying to have a conversation.

@corndog Someone telling me to google something is just a brush-off. Suppose you ask me why I think that we should get out of Afghanistan, or whatever, and I give you a link to the library of congress? Not helpful.

@corndog plus just like, there is value in hearing something explained more than one way - tells you more about the thing, tells you more about the people. gathering your peers' individual perspectives may be more useful to you in the moment than like, the way wikipedia explains it etc

When I ask questions like that, it's usually because the returned results are too technical for my present goal, so I'm looking for an experienced guide to help me not waste time combing through all the information.

@corndog I normally do it because there are people whose opinion I trust, or I'm looking for confirmation/validation of what seems to be the correct/best answer.
Or, more often than not, both!

@corndog the only shred of justification I've ever come across for the whole shitty "RTFM!" attitude was back in the dialup days when heavily metered internet was more prevalent and you can kinda pretend you were doing everyone a favor by discouraging taking up precious bandwidth with foolish or redundant questions

instead the bandwidth gets spent on sneering "RTFM" and picking fights

@kara @corndog Please remember that people too have limited bandwidth (which is more often refered to as resources in psychology).

@corndog @steelman that is true! I think the best solution to a pointless question is ignoring it, though, rather than kicking up a row about it

@corndog @NerdResa Yes. However, not every question is a good way to make a connection. Questions, which have simple answers and are asked very often, are considered annoying.

@corndog I've thought this for a long time. It's not a case of "JFGI", they want to start a conversation, or maybe even find a friend.

@corndog or, simply put, people just like talking to people