Create a contact book

Avi Gross avigross at
Wed Oct 27 19:54:58 EDT 2021

I used to be on the Tutor list for python and found it was not for me. Yes, we should refer people there especially those who seem to have HW and would like some gentle coaching but not outright answers.

What frustrated me is that rarely would we be told by people what they had learned and were allowed to use. Beginners rarely are supposed to use advanced features or modules like numpy or pandas or often even list comprehensions. Most conversations there have to be a back and forth asking questions and waiting for answers and repeat ad nauseum. Or give them general advice like what kinds of data structures and algorithm they think make sense before making an actual program, then finding out what python commands and techniques would be useful. The idea is to have them show us their solution and point out what may be wrong or bridge a minor gap or explain an error message. It was not really a place to discuss language design like here, or offer obscure algorithms for finding primes. It is more a place where you might program the Sieve of Ἐρατοσθένους more plainly and simply! LOL!

The reality is that many forms of "assistance" do verge on cheating BUT anyone with a browser can now find tons of information on so many things online. I just did a search with these words:

	"python prime numbers from 1 to 100 "

I found answers ranging from complete to hints.  Other similar requests returned plenty more.

So why ask here? Why waste the valuable time of so many (albeit mine is not that valuable, LOL) when most here probably have no interest?

And, if someone here answered, would that make it less or more likely they were caught if anyone wondered why their answer was so good?

I do not mind helping people when I have the time and inclination and especially not if the request is properly shown and it is easy to maybe even copy and run it and quickly see some minor thing they were not aware of. But spending days tutoring someone who starts seeming to know very little, not something I want to do.

If I wanted, I might even get $15 an hour tutoring any number of subjects, but then again, a job at McDonalds might pay as well and with benefits. 

My view is that the goal of Education includes learning how to do it by yourself, or do something similar again after getting minimal help. People taking classes should normally have enough local help.

-----Original Message-----
From: Python-list < at> On Behalf Of dn via Python-list
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2021 12:15 AM
To: python-list at
Subject: Re: Create a contact book

On 27/10/2021 04.16, Avi Gross via Python-list wrote:
> Chris,
> I think it is time someone set up a business where they do the 
> homework for people for a mere $1,000 or so per hour. Anonymously, of 
> course. And we can refer requests for free homework advice there.
> Maybe the answer to this request is to suggest they use FACEBOOK which 
> seemingly keeps you in contact and lets you add friends and view them ....
> On Tue, Oct 26, 2021 at 5:30 PM anders Limpan <lindtraxx57 at> wrote:
>> i would like to create a contact book were you can keep track of your 
>> friends. With this contact book you will both be able to add friends 
>> and view which friends that you have added. anyone interested in 
>> helping me out with this one ?=)
> Here at Homeworks Anonymous, the first step is admitting that what you 
> have is a homework problem. :) This isn't a project, this is something 
> you're doing for a course, and it's not really fair to pretend 
> otherwise :)
> ChrisA

It's a balancing-act:
- on the one hand writing (their) code is not helping a trainee to learn (and certainly not in the manner the trainer intended)
- on the other, we should try to welcome and encourage new-comers to our list/the Python eco-system.

That said, I've often recommended folk switch/also subscribe to the Tutor list, but can't say if many actually did.

"Essay Mills" are back in the news in the UK with a proposal to make them completely illegal. The Times Educational Supplement printed an article two~three weeks ago (
- likely behind a pay-wall - if so, apologies).

The author identified six reasons for not using an Essay Mill:
(the labels are his, the summaries beyond them are mine)

1 Harsh penalties - if caught

2. Fool no more - plagiarism software these days is not only comparing 'this work' with others' assignment returns, but this with your other submissions, ie noting if your personal writing style changes!

3. Career impact - how it impacts employment (possibilities) if such is either on your record or becomes evident later

4. On the record - if the 'mill' has your record, what if they're hacked? Do they have better security than the many organisations which have been breached?

5. No guarantee of anonymity - your shadow-author will have a 'hold'
over you, forever

6. Bribery - perhaps that essay should be about blackmail, how it could start, and what might be its effects?


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