Sometimes I see really basic questions on Socratic. Why should I spend time answering these?

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Alan P. Share
Jun 23, 2015

Answer:

Sometimes it is the really basic ideas that are the stumbling blocks to understanding. Occasionally, it's only the lack a simple word or concept that prevents Eureka insight.

Explanation:

As a recent example from this site, someone asked how to "write the sum of x and y". You might say "That's really dumb!" but what if the only real problem was that this person had (somehow) never heard the term "sum" before?

Or, a more personal example, when I was quite young (4 or 5 maybe) someone asked me to read something from a book. Up until that time I had only read things that other people had hand printed. Suddenly I was confronted with the shape "a"; for me the lower case letter A was a circle with a short stick down the right side. I had never seen this shape with a curved cap over it. It completely threw me (to the extent I remember the experience 60+ years later) and I was unable to read something that should have been simple for me.

Perhaps a better question would have been "why should I spend time answering artificially complex questions?"

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Jun 23, 2015

Answer:

A basic understanding is foundational to understanding more advanced material, so good answers to basic questions are very valuable.

Explanation:

What seems easy to one person may currently be a stumbling block for another. If you can help someone to get past that stumbling block you open up more possibilities for them.

For the person answering the question, the challenge of explaining simple concepts in even simpler terms can be a very useful exercise. If you find difficulty in explaining something clearly, then you probably don't understand it fully yourself.

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Jun 23, 2015

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You should answer seemingly simple questions because we are building a lasting resource; an artifact. Thus, every question matters.

Explanation:

When you're looking at a really basic question, you might ask yourself, "why should I answer this if the student couldn't be bothered to look it up on their own?"

The answer is that you're not helping just that one student. You're ensuring that future students don't even have to ask the question—because your thoughtful answer is already there.

Also, basic questions often help the most people. Why? They address foundational knowledge that lots of people need to know. If you think about Socratic as a giant online textbook, basic questions are like the pages people turn to most.

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Jan 20, 2016

This may seem selfish, but I think it helps you be a more well-rounded person.

Sure, you may know the answer to a simple problem, but can you really explain it to someone who has trouble with even the most basic of things?

For example, when I was in the 11th grade, I had already taken Pre-Calculus. A friend of mine (same grade) was still struggling with elimination in the context of systems of algebraic equations. I tried explaining it to him at the time, and I thought I had made myself fairly simple to understand, but he was still confused.

It wasn't just because he didn't get it; it was also because I didn't understand what it was that he was primarily struggling with. It's a two-sided dilemma: what the other person knows, and how adaptable your teaching skills are.

Being able to answer a problem AND being able to explain it to someone who doesn't get it, no matter how simple the problem, is a useful skill.

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Jun 28, 2015

Answer:

You should answer really basic questions because, unless I am mistaken, Socratic has no age limit.

Explanation:

By no age limit, I mean a first year university student can ask questions about her introductory biology coursework or a fifth grader can ask for a clarification about his algebra homework.

Children are using computers, iPads, their parents' phones, and so forth before they can even read. We have no way of knowing the age of the person behind the computer. Regardless of age though, that person needs help and we should try to answer the question and further that person's understanding. After all, we were all young once.

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Piyumi Share
Jul 5, 2015

Answer:

You should because it all starts from a simple first step.

Explanation:

We all have started with writing letters to explain answer here or with drawing figures to calculate the complex computations all around the world. If the first step is not properly set, then the following steps will be either misguided until they are lost or the rest of the steps will be faded away from the world forever.

Thus, it is important to help those who are struggling to keep their first step strong. Even that effort should be appreciated : )

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Aug 4, 2017

Answer:

Maybe the person who asks a question/questions is a primary school student

Explanation:

Yes I see there are very simple questions time to time here. It does not mean (hopefully) that this is a simple site. Maybe primary school students asks questions here. It is my best guess.

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Jul 29, 2017

Answer:

Yes there are some low level questions asked .

Explanation:

Firstly you should never underestimate any question or the person who has asked , because it can be that somehow ,he is not clear with his concepts ,etc .Secondly the person asking the question may be in primary school ,in grade 6 or in xyz grade, so you might not expect a 6th grade student to ask something like 'state what is DNA made up of or what is sin 9 or how do radioactive cells behave '... Mainly helping someone makes you happy from inside let it be as silly question as "2+2"or as complicated as "cos 9" .

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Mark C. Share
Jul 29, 2017

Answer:

I used to be rubbish at walking, but I practised and now I'm really good at it.

Explanation:

Also, like the others have said ... it's good for you!

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