A minor epiphany thankfully achieved...
Look, there are four levels of competency in any field of expertise.
(1) The student doesn't know enough to know how much it is that he doesn't know.
(2) The student knows enough to know how much it is that he doesn't know.
(3) The student doesn't know enough to know how much it is that he already knows.
(4) The student knows enough to know how much it is that he already knows.
By definition, first-time newcomers to any field, including film, are at that first level. Also by definition, when at that level no one—including the usual smug responders around here when they were at that same level—can even begin to formulate a meaningful question beyond, "I really don't know what you're talking about."
Because they don't even know what it is that they are supposed to be asking about.
The idea is to get them to the second level as quickly and painlessly as possible. And to do so without turning them off. If you can do that, THEN they will be in a position to start researching their own questions, and asking new questions when they tried and failed to find an answer.
And the best way to get them to the second level is to answer their initial first level questions as if it were the first time they had ever been asked. Because for them, it often is.
This arrogance of trying to make things as difficult as possible for others by hoarding knowledge just pisses me off. It's another manifestation of the "tribalism" that 'blansky' correctly refers to. It reflects poorly on traditional photography. It reflects poorly on APUG. And it REALLY reflects poorly on those smug information hoarders, making them look as insecure and immature as a bunch of teenagers.*
I've been known to kill and eat instructors, especially paid ones, who answer sincere student questions with gratuitous follow-up questions...
* Apologies to you APUG teenagers reading this who are, in fact, secure and mature enough to have stuck around APUG even after having this sort of BS tossed at you. You have my quiet admiration.