(Also see collected vandwelling words of wisdom in the RVwiki)


People who say “What you want is…” don’t know what you want and don’t care what you want.

The loudest voices are often useless or even counterproductive.

People who don’t write clearly typically don’t think clearly.

hierarchy of bullshit

From most helpful to least helpful:

  1. experts - people who understand a subject and discuss it
  2. introverts (tie) - people who understand a subject but don’t discuss it
  3. laymen (tie) - people who don’t understand a subject but don’t discuss it
  4. blowhards - people who don’t understand a subject but bullshit about it

helping people execute a Bad Idea

Often a form of the x/y problem, and rarely ends well.

  1. OP wants help doing something that is technically possible, but usually not done for reasons of practicality, complexity, required expertise, etc (i.e. a Bad Idea).1 Normal solutions are brought up but dismissed by OP.
  2. since they lack understanding, OP requires extensive handholding to get the Bad Idea in place
  3. even if the Bad Idea works to some degree issues of practicality, complexity, and required expertise remain
  4. OP complains to source of help that the Bad Idea it isn’t working the way they expected.2
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until someone gives up.
  6. time, effort and money are wasted
  7. nobody is happy

as a

Whenever someone starts a sentence with the words “As a…” there is a good chance the rest of the sentence will be some self-serving tribal BS.


As Eisenhower said, beware the wedding-kids-mortgage-divorce-childsupport-legal-industrial complex. I may be mis-remembering exactly what he said. but I think that was the gist.

off-grid power

Solar-only charging is expensive. Solar augmented with another form of charging can be cheap and effective.

Solar generators are convenience products.


Building your own camper means you know where everything is, why it’s there, and how it works.

You don’t need a fancy vehicle or build to get started.

Custom, when used in a pre-owned item, means “the way someone else wanted it”. It doesn’t mean “something you should value or pay more for.”


“Renolgy” is a shibboleth useful for detecting low-information posters. It’s a cognitive error, not a typo: “I can see the two words in front of me and don’t see the difference”. Do not take solar advice from someone who cannot accurately copy down the name of the equipment.

two wheels

Secessus’ scooter axiom: anyone who needs to ask the question “should I buy this Chinese scooter” by definition should not buy one.


“Learn how to fail efficiently” – Devin Townsend

“It was the weakness of a moment with a lifelong penalty attached. – Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure.

“Abusers are the angler fish of humanity - they dangle a bright glowing ball of love in front of you so you don’t see the teeth in the dark.” /u/silentgreen85

“When you’re wearing rose colored glasses, red flags just look like flags.” - anon

“A gift is not an apology – it is a reward for accepting shitty behaviour.” /u/particularshadeofblu (I’d say payment rather than reward)

“When narcissists behave in an exhibitionistic manner, they are seeking the same sort of admiration as toddlers, and for the same reasons. They want attention. Some examples include inappropriate dress, talking too loudly, or gesturing in expansive and space-intruding ways.” – Mark Ettensoh n

There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs. ― Thomas Sowell, A Conflict of Visions

The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling. ― Thomas Sowell

When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination. ― Thomas Sowell

One of the consequences of such notions as ‘entitlements’ is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence. ― Thomas Sowell

The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy. ― Thomas Sowell

Reminds me of the timeless saying “you can lead a horse to water, and then you have to flatter his fragile feelings so he’ll drink, because that’s now your job for some reason.” – @zathripieleg

“Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready.” - President Theodore Roosevelt, San Francisco, California , May 13, 1903

Many are destined to reason wrongly; others, not to reason at all; and others, to persecute those who do reason. — Voltaire

A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. – Winston Churchill

Go where you want to go, and do what you want to do. The people you’re looking to meet are already there.

Taxes are the price we pay for mass incarceration, trapping kids in failing government schools, war, genocide, systemic racism, blocking people from work, regulations that make everything more expensive, and cronyism that lets government pick winners and losers. - Hannah Cox

“Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.” - Joan Didion

“Retreat into yourself, but first of all make yourself ready to receive yourself there… There are ways of failing in solitude as in society.” - Montaigne

“I need privacy, not because my actions are questionable, but because your judgement and intentions are”

“I do not think that the banks of a river suffer because they let the river flow.” - Frida Kahloh

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” - John Muir

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” - Voltaire

Dying makes a great difference to the person chiefly concerned, but has no retroactive effect upon the events of his life, and only sentimentalists allow it to influence their estimate of personal character. – Elliot Coues

We bemoan our visible flaws. Yet, the moon is scarred, and everyone thinks it’s beautiful. – @kimlockhartga@universeodon.com

You have to be epistemically humble. You can’t get bonus points for having accepted the correct theory on faith. That’s not a virtue; it’s more of an accident. – Megan McArdle, interviewed on Econtalk.

Schrodinger’s Douchebag - Someone who is a jerk and decides whether they were joking or not based on how people reacted.

Why do you choose to be poor? Why don’t you just buy more money?

  1. not a bad idea proper, but A Bad Idea for people who don’t understand the issues. 

  2. Surprise!