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A view from Dave Trott: Why the first brief is wrong and lazy

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26.05.2022

Recently I saw a post from someone called Annie, she said: “Every time I have a programming question and I really need help, I post it on Reddit and then log into another account and reply to it with an obscenely incorrect answer.

“People don’t care about helping others, but they LOVE correcting others.

“Works 100% of the time.”

This is very smart on Annie’s part, but it turns out Annie is using Cunningham’s Law.

This was coined by Steven McGeady in 2010 and states: "The best way to get the right answer on the internet is not to ask a question, it's to post the wrong answer."

McGeady says he learned this from Ward Cunningham, the inventor of Wiki.

But Cunningham wasn’t talking specifically about the internet, his advice was more general: “People are quicker to correct a wrong idea than to answer a question.”

For us, this is very interesting – Bill Bernbach says, in the communications business:........

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