Joel Roth asks is violating encapsulation really that bad?.
In two words, it depends.
Encapsulation is merely a technique of structuring your program. The same goes for structured programming and design patterns and object orientation and functional programming and minimizing mutable state. These techniques exist (and good programmers practice them) to help programmers reason about the intent and activity of code.
If you had ten minutes to write a short program to save you a million dollars and you never had to touch that program again, never ever, you might make different design decisions than if you worked on a year long project with a dozen other programmers. If you're a capable and informed intelligent economic actor, this is because the reward of being able to reason about a system at every level from small to large governs the risk of unexpected interactions between unrelated components.
Ask yourself this: would you violate the encapsulation of your objects? Would you use global variables? Would you eschew lexical scoping in favor of global variables? Would you avoid function parameters and return values in favor of setting and reading global variables? Would you avoid functions altogether?
These design strategies exist along a continuum (just like scalability and performance strategies). You pick what you need when it's appropriate. If you're willing to bear the risk that your violation of encapsulation here or there makes maintaining your code more difficult in the future, at least make that choice with good information. (Again, if you don't need to maintain your software, do what's fastest.)
With that said, in the context of writing tutorials—especially for novice programmers—it's irresponsible to encourage people to write quick and dirty code with known risks. The experts writing tutorials have gone through the pain of maintaining and debugging and fixing plenty of code where the initial developer's gamble went awry. Tutorials should encourage novices away from well-known pitfalls. When they're no longer novices—when they really, truly understand the risks—they can do things the risky way.