E-mails: The Ultimate Answer
Last updated: 19.12.19
How to deal with "Please write my homework"
The text below was published in the New Scientist
issue of 28th August, 2004 (Vol. 183 No.2462) in the Feedback
column. It appears that the redoubtable Feedback
and I share similar problems. I wholeheartedly endorse his solution given below.
has an e-mail address that acts as a magnet for people needing answers. Queries here range from requests for ways of getting around drug testing of urine to subscription rates for obscure magazines, and from "please write my homework essay on the big bang" to "what's this that I found on my porch?"
Don't these people know that Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau invented the World Wide Web precisely to avoid answering such e-mails? It was the politest way possible of saying to particle physicists "look it up yourself". And search engines are almost perfect for this fundamental purpose, assuming you apply a moment's thought to the question.
Several people have become frustrated with those who fail to do this. One individual was sufficiently annoyed to create
, which tells them "Google is your friend: all smart people use Google. You appear not to be one of them."
You can even define the search for them. When someone asks you to help them with their homework about the big bang, just send them the link
and tell them to click on it and wait. After pausing a few seconds to allow the message to sink in, the site will send them on to the search they need to do.
Anonymous author, we salute you!
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