Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(December 1997)

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Subject: Clueless
From: Mike Nolan <nolan @ celery . tssi . com>
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 1997 08:57:24 -0600 (CST)
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . com (List Managers)
Reply-to: nolan @ tssi . com

> > Not a good analogy. I don't know how to fix my car either, but the print
> > over the gas gague says "Unleaded Fuel Only." And so I don't put leaded
> > fuel into my car.
> *You* may not put leaded fuel into your car because of the print, but
> doing so was a serious problem until the pump folks made the nozzles
> different sizes.  The nozzles for leaded fuels are larger than those for
> unleaded fuels and won't fit.

There are at least two possible explanations for that behavior.  One is
the 'gas is gas' theory, the other is that '$1.15 gas is cheaper than
'$1.25' gas, and as I recall leaded gas was generally cheaper during those
confusing days.  (Does anybody still sell leaded gas?)

Likewise, I think there are at least three explanation for 'cluelessness'.

1.  Bad instructions
2.  Lazy users (why read the instructions?)
3.  True cluelessness (not always attributable to 'newness')

In my estimation, there are probably more people in the second category than
in the first and third categories added up, but I'm firmly of the opinion
that good instructions can reduce the counts in the third category, and
_might_ even have some impact on the second one.

However, as a list manager, I've had to accept that not everybody who gets
on my list is going to be the type of subscriber I would choose, including
the PITA's and clueless ones.  Although I get annoyed with both types on
occasion, they're just part of the landscape.  
Mike Nolan

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