philosphy of helping

Like everyone else, I have limited time and energy. So I pick my battles when it comes to helping. I weed out topics based on a number of filters:

  1. does the question make sense?
  2. do I have expertise or experience in the subject?
  3. does the OP seem “helpable”?
  4. if not, could a discussion be useful or interesting to onlookers?

making sense

If I can’t figure out what OP is asking, or if they are so vague it’s impossible then I’ll pass.


My areas of expertise are quite limited: solar, battery charging, DC-DC chargers and combiners, boondocking. So I try to stay in my lane.

To avoid needless duplication of work I have put what I know about those subjects into the RVwiki.


I am aware this point might be controversial, but it’s my decision whether or not to devote my limited resources to any given post.

There are people who are unhelpable because:

  • they are chock-full of Bad Ideas. It would take too long to untangle the layers of confusion.
  • they are cognitively affected by longterm drug/alchohol dependance
  • they are argumentative when provided with good advice
  • they want support for a Bad Idea rather than help
  • they want simple answers when none are available
  • they won’t answer questions or clarify their post

None of this is related to their level of intelligence, experience, or familiarity with the topic at hand.


Even if OP is unhelpable sometimes the topic could still bear fruit. Forums and reddit are online for search engines to find and index….

someone is wrong on the internet

It is common for many bloviators & bullshitters to parrot things they do not understand. I generally do not address their misinformation, but rather provide useful information in my main reply to OP. To paraphrase the saying, you cannot reason a bullshitter out of a position they did not reason themselves into in the first place.