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I've never understood why for so many basic questions, the perfect answer can be found simply by taking the title, copying it to Google, and clicking "I'm Feeling Lucky". Why do some people have an aversion to doing a little searching for an answer? Do they really not know how to search the Internet, or even that it will likely work? Or do they just like having a personalized answer given to them, even if it means waiting minutes, or hours, or days to get a response?

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Your question itself is a good example. It's recursive :) –  John K Nov 26 '09 at 21:50
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also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7441/… which I believe was a duplicate itself... –  dmckee Nov 26 '09 at 22:14
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you didn't search either - this is a dupe –  staticx Nov 27 '09 at 1:33
    
See the top voted answer in meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8678 'The point is to build a database of Q&A so that Google will always find it here.' Also Joel has mentioned that SO should be the canonical source for ALL programming questions, not matter how simple they are. –  David HAust Nov 27 '09 at 2:22

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Just a second, let me google that for you. Funny, it seems to say this question is mostly a duplicate.

So here is your answer:

alt text

alt text

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LOVE THAT SITE!! –  Bloodyaugust Jan 27 '10 at 23:36
    
a lot of people evidently don't know how to do a good google search like that –  Cawas Apr 13 '10 at 23:19

This is not a bad thing.

What you find easy, or obvious, somebody else does not, and that's what SO exists for. You know these answers, obviously, so tell people them, and let the world benefit from your knowledge.

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This answer run counter to the stated goal of having authoritative answers (rather than a scattering of half assed, half answered versions). Duplicates should be identified and linked or merged, and people coming to Stack Overflow should be encouraged to search first and ask later. –  dmckee Nov 26 '09 at 22:11
    
You're missing the point. Poor questions can still have good answers, and that's exactly what we want. Poorly worded questions should be edited into well worded questions, anyway. –  Phoshi Nov 26 '09 at 22:20
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But duplicate questions don't help. –  womble Nov 26 '09 at 22:53
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It isn't really about '"good", "bad", or "basic" questions. The problem with basic questions is that they have almost always been asked over and over again already; there are already good, complete answers, and when they are asked again, we end up with the data scattered all over the site, so that users who do search have a hard time finding the best answer. –  dmckee Nov 26 '09 at 23:47
    
@womble: I disagree. If a question is closed as an exact duplicate and there is a link to the thread that produces the answer, then the next time someone searches for it then they'll find the right answer. Of course, someone can always just go and delete their closed answer later. –  staticx Nov 27 '09 at 1:29

the perfect answer can be found simply by taking the title, copying it to Google, and clicking "I'm Feeling Lucky".

Unless the I'm Feeling Lucky button leads to StackOverflow (or one of the other trilogy sites), then theres nothing wrong with them asking basic questions here. If it does already lead to S[OFU], then close the question as a duplicate and be done with it.

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http://xkcd.com/627/

Cuz for some dumb reason, the image won't work for me ATM.

Todays noob is tomorrows job security.

Google is a verb these days - if someone doesn't want a lmgtfy link, maybe they should have googled it in the first place. But I do think that there are people out there who want nothing more than human contact, and are probably auditory learners. Nothing wrong with that, just a learning style...

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As has been discussed before the incentives from the rep system encourage people to ask and answer duplicates rather than searching, and Stack Overflow is so fast that asking is often nearly as efficient as searching. Sometimes more efficient.

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Sometimes a direct question yields better results than a search and I mean google search could have taken 20 mins, while SO answer < 2 if your question is well written.

But you have to make an effor to create a reasonable question.

Here's one mine. I didn't knew what (a,b) meant in python. I could have searched but since I didn't knew exactly what was I looking for, I just asked in SO and got the answer almost immediately.

I even asked a question here: StackOverflow for the lazy developer...

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If the perfect answer can be found by using Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky," then chances are good that said perfect answer is (wait for it) ... On the Trilogy.

If the answer is not on the Trilogy, it belongs here, such that when you click "I'm Feeling Lucky," you come to (wait for it) ... the Trilogy.

No question is too basic. Dupes will be closed by those of us with the ability. Google is StackOverflow's home page.

Anyway, why would you have an issue with it? Basic questions tend to equal easy rep.

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