I agree, while I would be very interested in a philosophy of science discussion, this is not the appropriate place for it. Maybe next time I am in Philly, we can grab a cup of coffee together and discuss philosophy at length.
A couple of short notes I want to make to take this discussion back to the technical nature it enjoyed 24 hours ago.
I did not make any vague scientific observations, conclusions or explanations. I did not make any observations or conclusions at all. The possible vagueness is in the questions asked by people who are less experienced with LAMMPS, and the vagueness in the question does not stem from a lack of desire to be less vague, it it only because beginners, while they know a lot about the problem in hand and the solutions they have tried, they don’t usually have a “list of most relevant details” ready in their head when asking questions and discussing technical issues. What you deem an important detail, and is an important detail, might be less important because I don’t have such an experience you have.
Whether I am a LAMMPS beginner or not, whether you have been teaching LAMMPS for three weeks or since the fall of the Roman Empire, you are free to criticize me, or any one for that matter, without justification.
Nothing really entitles me to get more help, nothing entitles me to get any help actually. You are are volunteering your time and I am very aware of and grateful for that. This is why I said if you cannot tolerate the question or the person asking it, you don’t have to respond. I am nothing but a peasant who went to the town center and called out loud asking for advice on how to milk his cow. You can be a considerate advisor or a silent passerby.
And by the way, I did give Steve’s solution a try, in fact, Steve’s suggested solution is what I currently have. I am not sure if you received all the communications in this discussion, because for some reason, my emails stopped appearing on the mailing list (the one on sourceforge), but anyway, I implemented what Steve suggested, and I also looked up an example suggested by Aidan. In my last email I asked a couple of questions related to that particular solution, because I really want to know how exchanging fix information between processors works, and I really wanted to know the logic behind clearstep_compute(), and a couple of other things. I apologize if you missed these emails, I will make sure to copy you on all emails.
I have to admit that my story changed over the course of the discussion. I believe it is better to have started a new thread or kept this as a private communication away from the mailing list. But you know how persistent this is in scientific discussions, where you start somewhere and the discussion drifts as one of the parties learns more about the subject.
Finally, I am not asking you to change your ways, and I am not claiming that your challenging approach is this or that. I am just saying that your approach might turn someone truly interested in learning off. Since you are not obligated to respond, and since you strongly believe in your approach, I am just suggesting that, in the interest of benefiting that part of the community who would shy away from asking further questions after observing the attitude, that you don’t bother communicating with the stubborn few that prefer a larger community discussion over a “we did it before and we know how it works” approach.
At the end, I am really thankful to you, Steve and Aidan for all the time you guys wasted on this. I truly benefited from every piece of advice, as for someone as beginner as myself, every piece of information is new information.