MathGroup Archive 1997

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Re: Useful Dumb User Questions

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg9030] Re: [mg8988] Useful Dumb User Questions
  • From: seanross at
  • Date: Wed, 8 Oct 1997 00:05:28 -0400
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Mark Evans wrote:
> Hello,
> This is a general message to the Mathematica wizards who populate the
> newsgroup, and also to the beginners.

1) Unless the "mathematica wizard" has an e-mail address that ends in, you can bet we are not being paid for this.  We answer
questions as a hobby.

2) The condescencion you infer is mostly due to questions that show the
questioner was too lazy to even read the Mathematica book or perform the
most trivial experiments with syntax to see how the command worked or to
the extremely vague questions like:  I am a new user to mathematica,
could someone tell me how to use it to do quantum mechanics?

>>Maybe such analysis is only appropriate for WRI personnel, but I think
>the rest of us would do well to realize that this is a *really hard*
>program to use well, unless you are a gifted programmer.

3) No such thing as a gifted programmer.  Mathematica is hard to use-so
are C, Fortran, Excel, MatLab and sometimes even Word processors. If you
want to get good at something, you have to practice and study.  No way
around it.  

4) Mathematica is NOT a program.  It is a programming language.  If you
want a numerical program that is easy to use, I can recommend something

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