backchannel: technical irrelevant answers

I have changed my posting behavior in several ways.  The most important way is now I usually only make one attempt to answer a question on a given thread, linking where appropriate to my RVWiki project.  So if you want to read my extended discussion of forum threads, follow my Backchannel Explication articles.

This is mainly to comply with Bob’s deeming the delivery of correct information and informed discussion to be inappropriate methods of helping people.


[original article follows]

from this thread although not particularly related to it:

some one asks a question and gets a bunch of technical irrelevant answers.

They are not irrelevant.  Does someone start talking about breadsticks or unicycles in a question about battery chemistry?  No.

These factors cause topic drift into specific/technical information and debate:

  1. OP does not understand the issue well enough to ask meaningful questions (“mu”).  This is fine, and we all start somewhere.  But since forum members are forbidden from suggesting OP read further or do more research they either have to ignore or inform OP.   Teaching newbies one at a time takes a great amount of time and effort.  That is why further reading would be helpful.

  2. OP did not construct a clear question.  Often related to the above, but can also be a function of style, formatting, vocabulary, etc.

  3. another forum member tries to help but offers dogma, opinion presented as fact or incorrect /counterproductive information.

  4. the forum editing limit prevents OP from clarifying or updating the question.

The typical CRVL “technical irrelevant answers” pattern looks like this:

OP:  I am going into the desert for six months with a stick of chewing gum and a water bottle.  Here’s my question: what flavor of gum should it be?  I am leaning toward peppermint.

MEMBER: You really are going to need more water than that.  And shelter.  And food.  The gum is of no practical matter.

MOD:  Stay on topic;  the OP asked about gum.  No more technical irrelevant answers or you will be moderated/banned.

MEMBER:  but they’ll die without water…

OWNER:  Stop with all the judging! You don’t know what they’ve been through! You have to want to HELP these people by being compassionate and feeling your heart go out to them.  If you don’t feel their pain it’s best if you don’t answer at all.  All this technical mumbo-jumbo about water and staying alive is offtopic.  The thread is closed.