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    Re: Navigation "simplified". was: Buckley the Navigator
    From: Dan Allen
    Date: 2008 Mar 9, 21:05 -0600

    On 9 Mar 2008, at 3:59 PM, frankreed@HistoricalAtlas.net wrote:
    > Those gaudy yellow covers! And the words "for Dummies" in big, bold,
    > black
    > type!! Scary, aren't they? But you should open one up and have a
    > look. Of
    > the ones I've looked through, I've found that they are very well-
    > written. A
    > title in this series could as easily be "An Introductory Course in
    > XYZ",
    > e.g., instead of "XYZ for Dummies" (a title I haven't read), but the
    > 'Dummies' title serves a particular customer base --people who are
    > comfortable admitting that they are beginners whenever they begin.
    > Others
    > worry about even being seen with one of those dreaded yellow
    > volumes...
    Admitting you do not know something is a strength- it allows you to
    turn a weakness into a strength.  No difference of opinion here.
    Having well-written introductory books is also good: we all need them
    at some time or other for various topics until we can get to
    intermediate or advanced understanding.
    What I object to is the Dummies perspective of "you are a dummy -- an
    idiot -- and so we will dumb things down for you".  Typically that
    approach keeps things basic for too long.  I like the approach of
    "hey, you are new to this?  We'll teach you the basics and then get
    you moving towards good general competence".  Do you see the
    difference in approach?  Help the learner become an expert, not make
    the subject lame for a moron.
    By the way, many of the long time contributors of this group have
    helped others become more competent: George, Frank, Peter, Paul,
    Geoffrey, Greg, Chuck, Andres, Alexandre, Fred, Herbert, Jan, Ken, and
    others have all helped us to become more knowledgable.  Thanks to all
    of you!
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