On Tue, Nov 25, 2003 at 10:16:11PM -0800, Allan Bowhill wrote:
> On 0, Erik Trulsson wrote:
> :> 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.
> :> 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.
> :
> :But the only possible way I can interpret the statement "The skill sets
> :are mutually exclusive." is that knowing one skill set precludes
> :knowing the other. That is what that statement means.
> You are changing the meaning of my statement and arguing against it,
> pretending I said it. You are creating a straw man.

I am not changing the meaning of anything.
What I am saying is that the meaning of the phrase "The skill sets are
mutually exclusive." is that you cannot possess both skill sets at
once. If you think it means something else, I am afraid you are

> If you don't know what that is, see:
> http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/straw-man.html
> :> 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.
> :
> :And here lies the linguistical problem with your argumentation.
> :First you state that you cannot have both skills at the same time (this
> :is what is meant by saying that they are mutually exclusive.)
> Misattribution. If you read the thread, Mr. Neuhauser proposed there was
> a connection between possession of skills and mutual exclusivity of
> skill sets. He was being sarcastic.

He was being sarcastic, yes, but about there being such a connection,
but rather about the skill sets being mutually exclusive, pointing out
how absurd that would be.

> In response, I merely agreed to the part of his statement that said the
> skill sets were mutually exclusive.

I might have been somewhat mistaken in exactly who said what, which is
not surprising since the beginning of the thread does not seem to be
available in the mailing-list archives, and I have therefore not read

However I am quite certain that you did say the following:

"Skiiing is not driving, and driving is not skiiing.
They require mutually exclusive skill sets."

The first of these two statements is obviously true (skiing and driving
are not the same thing.) The other statement is just as obviously false.
Since many people do know both how to drive and how to ski, the skills
cannot be mutually exclusive.

Let me repeat myself again since you seem to be unable to grasp this
point: *If two skill sets are mutually exclusive, this means that you
cannot possess both skill sets at once.*

The activities are mutually exclusive. The skills are not.
If you believe otherwise you don't understand what "mutually exclusive"

> I won't argue this point any further. I believe my position is clear.

Your position is clear. Clearly wrong, that is.

> :Writing firewall rules is a form of programming, as is configuring some
> ieces of software, and even putting together complex command-lines.
> :These are also all part of system administration. Again I do not see
> :any clear distinction between the two.
> :
> :As you can see I disagree with your notion that system administration
> :and programming are two distinct activities, but rather believe that
> :many tasks fall into both categories at once.
> Now we get to the real reason for your attack. You have an expanded
> view of systems administration to include programming.

I include some programming in systems administration, yes.

> This may be a legitimate point, but I think it's open to debate, as
> I said earlier.
> My position, correct or not, is that systems administration and
> programming are two fundamentally distinct and exclusive areas.

And my position is that there is not a clear cut distinction between
the two, but rather a continuum, where some tasks clearly belong to one
of them, while some tasks belong to the other, and some tasks fall into
both categories.

> To tie this back to the original argument, I think the perception that
> they are one in the same has led to unrealistic expectations on the Unix
> front, that developers should also be expert systems administrators.

I don't think anybody has claimed that system administration and
programming is the same thing, since they are clearly not identical.

> To have robust 3rd-party development, one should not expect all
> contributing programmers to have advanced system administrative skills,
> because such an expectation would be self-defeating.


Erik Trulsson
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