[I brought this message to freebsd-chat, becuase the discussion is off-
topic for -ports]

On 0, Erik Trulsson wrote:
:On Tue, Nov 25, 2003 at 01:44:26AM -0800, Allan Bowhill wrote:
:> On 0, Roman Neuhauser wrote:
:> :> :> > The skill sets are mutually exclusive.
:> :> :
:> :> : aha. you can't possess skill in both skiing and driving. the skill
:> :> : sets are mutually exclusive. eh?
:> :>
:> :> Yep. Skiiing is not driving, and driving is not skiiing.
:> :> They require mutually exclusive skill sets.
:> :
:> : Perhaps it's just my poor English (ESL speaker here, beware!) but
:> : doesn't "exclude" imply "to prevent the other from existing"? At
:> : least the online Merriam-Webster would make me believe so.
:> No. It just means they are separate entities, not dependent on one
:> another. You could argue systems administration depends on you ability
:> to program. You could also argue it doesn't. My problem is with the
:> definition of systems administration.
:Wrong. If two things are mutually exclusive that does mean that you
:can have either the one, or the other, but not both at the same time.

I am not disagreeing with that. But time is peripheral to the argument.
Minus time, skill set A is not skill set B.

:I can't imagine any situation in which two skill sets could be mutually
:exclusive, since that would mean that knowing one set of skills would
:actually prevent you from knowing the other set of skills, which would
:be very strange indeed.
Knowing how to ski does not prevent you from knowing how to drive, and
:knowing how to drive does not prevent from knowing how to ski, thus
:they are not mutually exclusive skills.)

Knowing one set of skills does not necessarily preclude knowlege of the
other. In fact, one often complements the other. But that is ouside the
scope of the argument.

:What you apparently tried to convey was that the skill sets are
:"completely separate", "non-overlapping", or "independent of each
ther". None of which is equivalent to "mutually exclusive".

The following (from a probablility text at Rice) might suffice for the
sake of this question.


"Two events are mutually exclusive if it is not possible for both of them
to occur. For example, if a die is rolled, the event "getting a 1" and
the event "getting a 2" are mutually exclusive since it is not possible
for the die to be both a one and a two on the same roll. The occurrence
of one event "excludes" the possibility of the other event."

Can you agree with this?

Minus time, you should be able to see that the skill sets of system
administration skills and programming are mutually exclusive. The two
activities are so distinct, that you cannot do both at the same time.

You can be a sysadmin with great programming skills. But when you write
code to automate systems administration tasks, you are programming.

You can be a programmer with great system administration skills. But
when you format a drive, write firewall rules, configure software,
monitor services and vendor equipment, etc., you are doing systems

:Here endeth todays English lesson.

I think this problem has more to do with communication than with

Allan Bowhill

Never put off till tomorrow what you can avoid all together.
freebsd-chat@freebsd.org mailing list
To unsubscribe, send any mail to "freebsd-chat-unsubscribe@freebsd.org"