I'll second your second, Lars! The contributions of everyone (well, ALMOST everyone!) are what keep the discussions going, and the ideas flowing. Everyone should realize that innocent, honest questions on any topic, at any level, are most welcome here. Even more importantly, everyone has something to contribute to the learning, as well. I've learned more over the years from my students than they have learned from me, I guarantee it!
I regret that, as EpicSki has become such a success, its shear size may intimidate some people. The Instruction section, in particular, has become loaded with high-level discussion about the finest points of technique and teaching theory. I fear that these discussions may discourage some people from asking their burning "little" questions about skiing, technique, and whatever, and that is unfortunate.
A room full of people discussing the physics of weight transfer and the nuances of race technique probably doesn't inspire the beginner to ask, innocently "what's the best way to buckle my boots?" And it doesn't help that the occasional troll crawls in and "pretends" to ask a "stupid" question (a transparent attempt to cover up the fact that they lack the tools to ask an intelligent question, I suspect). Some of these discussions are, indeed, not for the faint of heart! "Pretenders" making bold statements without the ability to back them up are quickly exposed as frauds. Make a point about technique, and you'd better be prepared to defend it with facts and reason. If you don't know what you're talking about, you're going to get hammered!
But ask an innocent question, or express a well-intended, open-minded thought, and you can expect eager, earnest, warm replies and discussion to ensue. Most of us love to talk about this sport we all share a passion for, at least when we aren't actually on the snow doing it! Few of these instructors will shy from spirited debate, but most enjoy even more helping out "real skiers." It's what we do, and most of us love it!
So please, everyone, don't hesitate to ask "simple" questions, or add your honest thoughts to any discussion. If it interests you, it interests me, and it will interest others. No innocent, honest question is stupid! If you have it, it's a sure bet that others have the same question too--or that they will, as soon as you ask it.
What can we do to return to that friendly atmosphere that encourages people to ask any question, or offer any thought, without fear of ridicule or retribution?