Last edited October 29th, 2005
I am often asked why I have this site. People are curious about the resources necessary to not only put it up and maintain it from a technical perspective, but also the time to keep the information fresh and updated. While I've answered those people one on one, I've never put forth a mission statement per se in writing.
There is a lot of knowledge in this world, and a lot of people who can share it. Some of those people are interested in sharing the knowledge so that the number of people who have the knowledge is greater... and so that more people become teachers... and so that the darkness of ignorance is extinguished with the light of knowledge. All my life I have taught the people around me. I have shared my teachings freely, and I have not withheld knowledge in order to wield power or authority over anyone.
I've been a prolific poster on the Internet long before there was a Blogosphere, or a blog, or a world-wide-web, or gopher. During all that time, my goal was, as it is today, to spread knowledge, and beat back the night of ignorance. Sometimes there were "rules" put in place by cop-wannabes who wanted their own importance and authority acknowledged. As the old saying goes, the net views censorship as damage and routes around it. I view authoritarian cop-wannabes as damage and route around them. I created the usenet group alt.backrubs, but pissed off the "usenet alt admins" because I didn't go through their "process." I deleted spam postings, but pissed off self-apppointed "usenet admins" I joined web sites, forums, and made contributions everywhere I could.
In the good old days (no time specified) web posters were members of rarified groups that had access to the net. These people were extremely literate. This means they could write as if they had passed elementary grammar school. These same people would read FAQs and use "search" functions prior to asking beginner-level questions.
In time, things change, and more people got on... now no longer literate, nor wanting to use search functions or read faqs. This too was a phase, and it was not that bad.
But now, we are at a time when the MAJORITY is like that, and they defend their right to expect everyone to be their consultant-du-jour. They defend their illiteracy by claiming that language changes. They defend their lack of reading FAQs or using "search" by suggesting that "if you don't like it you don't have to answer."
The old adage about teaching a man to fish vs giving a man a fish has strong meaning today. If we show people HOW to find information, we do much more for them than giving them their one answer (which yes, is in the FAQ.) What's worse, though, is that if we encourage a culture which rewards those who do NOT read the FAQ, we undermine not only the knowledge base from which we cull the information... but those who would contribute to that knowledge base.
And so we come to my mission statement. Put simply I am an educator. I am here to provide information. Where possible I have personally verified that information, duplicated procedures, done my own research, and gotten the facts down to help everyone in as simple a manner as possible.
If you use my site, and like it, feel free to recommend it to others. More importantly -- remember the lesson of teaching a man to fish -- and try and reward those who DO search, and those who DO read faqs, and to dissuade those who don't, and to shut down the detractors and the enablers.
Life is short. Tell the people you love. Live free or die.