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April, 2005

A type of frequently asked question that really gets my goat is the type that contains the phrase "is there a chance" or "is it possible" or "would it be possible"...

For example, someone might ask,

That kind of question makes me mad, and invariably my response is unsatisfying for the hapless wannabe who asked it.

To illustrate why that kind of question generates this sort of response from me, consider the following "is it possible" questions, and the answers that a reasonable person might give in return:

Please. Don't ask questions that begin with "is it possible" or "is there a chance." What's possible is an entirely different thing from what's probable. It's all well and good to have a realistic and firm grip on what's possible. But isn't it BETTER to have a realistic and firm grip on what's PROBABLE ... thus gaining an insight into your best course of action??

When you ask "is it possible," I can't know what it is you're really trying to find out.

Anything is possible. The question is, therefore, useless, meaningless, a waste of time for both the asker and the answerer.

If you want to know how to get a game design job (for instance), it would be more productive to ask how to increase your chances than it would be to ask if there's even a minuscule chance, if you just do whatever minimal thing your lazy ass is willing to do at the moment.

Ahem. Sorry, but I had to write a punchy ending here. The point is, there IS such a thing as a bad question. And questions that contain the phrases, "is there a chance" or "is it possible" are probably bad questions.

Read Article 26 and Article 30 and... aw hell, read them all, why doncha. I worked really hard at trying to help you. The least you could do is read the stuff I wrote for you... If I have to play the guilt card on you, and if it helps, well, I'm okay with that.

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© 2005, 2013 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved. May not be re-published without written permission of the author.