Nevertheless, our style of answering questions is tuned for people who take such an interest and are willing to be active participants in problem-solving. Nor should it; if it did, we would become less effective at the things we do best. We take time out of busy lives to answer questions, and at times we're overwhelmed with them. In particular, we throw away questions from people who appear to be losers in order to spend our question-answering time more efficiently, on winners.If you find this attitude obnoxious, condescending, or arrogant, check your assumptions.
The first thing to understand is that hackers actually like hard problems and good, thought-provoking questions about them. If you give us an interesting question to chew on we'll be grateful to you; good questions are a stimulus and a gift.
Good questions help us develop our understanding, and often reveal problems we might not have noticed or thought about otherwise. Despite this, hackers have a reputation for meeting simple questions with what looks like hostility or arrogance.
It's OK to be ignorant; it's not OK to play stupid.
So, while it isn't necessary to already be technically competent to get attention from us, it necessary to demonstrate the kind of attitude that leads to competence — alert, thoughtful, observant, willing to be an active partner in developing a solution.
Just over a hundred years ago, at the turn of the 19th century, Jean-Marc Côté and some of his fellow French artists were commissioned to imagine what the world would look like in 2000.