[development] Survey for a Master Thesis about Open Source CMS

Gerhard Killesreiter gerhard at killesreiter.de
Tue Mar 2 09:11:58 UTC 2010

Hash: SHA1

Michael Haggerty schrieb:

Hi Michael!

> If you are going to tell someone their survey displays a lack of
> proper grammar, please proofread your polemics before sending. The
> egregious errors in your spelling make my eyes hurt each time they
> fall upon them, and I really wish you would just buy a dictionary
> instead of trying to hack it all the time.

I've now let my spellchecker check the mail I wrote and it found one
error (it wants mailinglist be written as mailing list). Not too
shabby for a quarter to midnight. If you found more feel free to mail
them to me.

Generally, you should be glad I didn't reply in German.

> That kid is a business major from Belgium.

"Business Engineering", I've no idea what that actually
is. Wikipedia says it was invented in Belgium.

> There's about a 95% chance he will be working at a bank in a year in
> a role where his English language skills will prove completely
> useless.

Currently he's trying to obtain an academic degree, a M.Sc. no
less. That means he already got a B.Sc. and is probably past the age
he'd accept being called a "kid".

And getting any job without knowledge of English is nowadays probably
not possible.

> There is a good chance his major job function for the next decade
> will be standing outside sporting events in Eastern Europe trying to
> get people to sign up for credit cards.

You may call my simple letter "polemics", but this is just plain
mean. I like it.

> I am sure he does not care about how poorly he grasps the English
> language even after reading your letter.

That happens a lot to my letters.

> While I don't know what he plans on doing with the data he collects,
> the chances of him getting real opinions from an actual
> representative sample of open source developers with this strategy
> is very low, probably less than 5%. It's clear he has not taken the
> time to research the people he wants to connect with or found a way
> to ask for information in a compelling manner that makes people want
> to help him. I mean, there's not even a $10 Amazon.com gift
> certificate up for grabs - even part time business majors from
> community colleges recognize the importance of incentivizing
> respondents.

Considering the kind of people he wants to poll, offering money might
be the wrong approach. We know they are all Communists. At least his
questions made me think so.

> This lack of situational awareness does indicate more serious
> intellectual flaws which professors are exceptional at identifying.
> These deficits will probably be recognized before any academic
> institution grants a degree over this 'thesis'.

I so wish you were right, but I am quite afraid you are not.

> Given these factors, the joint probability of this survey actually
> uncovering something interesting is terribly low (far less than
> 1%). Do as you wish, but I don't see where getting all uppity about
> a bumbling, misguided attempt at academic accomplishment is worth
> all the effort of critiquing it.

If I'd do judge by word count, your efforts are probably much greater
than mine have been.

> It is a far better thing to give him completely false data in the
> survey or repost his request to 4chan / Something Awful so it can be
> dealt with in an entertaining manner by a more appropriate agent.

I don't even know what you are talking about.

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