Asking Obvious Questions

I think society, broadly speaking, rejects obvious questions.

In the classroom, if you ask a question everyone else already knows the answer to, you are laughed at.

On the internet (stack overflow, etc.), asking a dumb question gets you mocked by a fleet of internet trolls.

I would like to think, however, that there is a place for obvious questions. I would actually think that understanding fundamentals — perhaps the more obvious parts about a skill, subject or technology — is far more important than any complex technical question.

Now, of course, that is a massive generalization.

But, to me, worth considering.

The fundamentals of math, for instance, will take you incredibly far.

The problem is that the fundamentals are not cool. They are cool for just a hot sec in 3rd-5th grade, but from there, everyone gets excited about flying to honors math.

What if we all were really good at the fundamentals?

What would happen then?

Originally published at



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