On 0, Bill Moran wrote:

:>My point was the skills themselves technically are exclusive to
:>one another. Not that someone couldn't have both.
:... however, if you aren't aware of the fact that you contracted yourself
:then you don't understand what "exclusive" means. If the skills are
:then someone can _not_ have both. If someone can have both, then the
:skills are
:not exclusive.

Perhaps I should have used the term "exclusive of" one another.
In the purest sense, one does not take into account the other.

If there are exceptions, this is not a problem with "exclusion".
It is a problem with the definition of system administration
or the definition of programming.

:>oes this make sense?
:>Sure. A terrorist philosophy is in opposition to a pacifist philosophy.
:>I agree. But I am not saying systems administration is in opposition to
:Opposition is not the same word or concept as exclusion.

OK, point taken. I used the wrong word.

:>Unlike terrorists and pacifists, they can certainly complement one
:Then they are not exclusive. For goodness sake, please check out m-w.com
r any dictionary you have to hand and correct your understanding of this

Definition 1: (hyperstat online)

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.

Definition 2: (Webster's online)

Main Entry: mutually exclusive
Function: adjective
Date: 1874
being related such that each excludes or precludes the other

If I am engaged in programming during any instant in time, it precludes
me from doing system administration for that instant. I cannot do both
at the same time. It is not possible. One displaces the other.

Therefore, they are mutually exclusive activities, as performing one
excludes performing the other at any given instant of time.

However, it does not mean they are incompatible in the overall sense.
Just that they have exclusion at the time that one or the other is being

Programming and system administration are complementary areas of
knowledge. One enhances the other. So, they are not incompatible.

I disagree with Webster's synonym for "mutual exclusion". I think
"incompatibility" does not carry the meaning of "mutual exclusion"

Incompatibility implies mutually exclusive events cannot work together

For example, if I have two dice, and need to roll a 5, there are
four complementary possibilities for this to occur:
2 3
3 2
1 4
4 1

Each dice rolled, represents a mutually exclusive event. Yet these
events can coexist harmoniously, yielding a 5.

Likewise, if I am writing a document, I can draw from programming
knowledge, system administration knowledge etc, while I am writing.

However, documentation is exclusive of programming which is exclusive of
system administration. When I document, I can enhance my writing by
drawing from programming knowledge, but I am not doing programming.

Yet, the areas of documentation, programming and system administration
are all compatible and complementary.

Allan Bowhill

November, n.:
The eleventh twelfth of a weariness.
-- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
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