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I think the main problem is that everyone has a different definition of a wrong answer. Consider this: No one will post a wrong answer intentionaly (at least I hope not). You then have to wonder where these wrong answers come from. Assuming no one intentionaly answers questions wrong, then you have a couple of flavors I can think of:

  • Answering the wrong question
  • Answering the question, but the OP asked the wrong question.
  • Giving the wrong answer but thinking you are right.

Now if you look at those options (and please feel free to add more if i'm missing something because I could be "wrong") you should see that general a "wrong" answer could be caused by many things. The only truly wrong answer is the last one in which case the person answering doesn't know they are wrong. This is the case I think most the "pro-wrong" have been supporting. The belief is that at least the person answering the question is going to learn what they did wrong, and others who may also falsly think are right will learn as well. No bad comes from someone learning like this. Consider however that we tell everyone not to answer unless they *KNOW* they are right. Now the last answer is never given, never corrected, and many people out there continue on thinking they are right when in fact they arn't.

Perhaps you don't see it as an answering machine, but that's how PM is being marketed ("if you have questions, Perlmonks is the place to be"), and that's how the largest and busiest section looks like.

A place to get "answers" and a place to find a "machine" to get answers are two seperate things. A machine doesn't make errors, humans do. Therefor perlmonks is not a "machine" because we never ever gauruntee 100% accuracy.

Eric Hodges

In reply to Re^9: To help not to misguide by eric256
in thread To help not to misguide by c_chipster

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