"The more things change, the more they stay the same."
Every 6-18 months the forum has a crisis. This wasn't the first time this happened---more like the 5th or 6th---and it won't be the last: Some thread turns into a major argument that is (usually indirectly) ultimately about uncompromisable values. Usually 1-2 high-profile posters end up leaving. After it rains out, the forum atmosphere, which is set by who and what is posted, is changed due to the now changed mix of posting/posters. It's not surprising that those who decided to leave following a previous crisis appreciate the "new atmosphere" least of all.
It's worthwhile to keep in mind that "everything has a cost" and that cost is paid by someone.
The cost of anything can be expressed by the engineering triangle: (cheap, faster, better) [pick any two], where better ~ quality, complexity, depth, robustness, cheap ~ easy, simplistic, and faster ~ quick, speedy, instant.
There are three combinations available (cheap, faster), (cheap, better), and (faster, better) and there is demand for all 3 solution forms which are all quite different in form and (perhaps uncompromisable) values.
[More generally, cheap+faster+better=1, pick any combination but identify by the dominant variable... e.g. 0.4+0.4+0.2=1 is predominantly cheap+faster but not entirely maximized for those factors.]
When it comes to lifestyle design, how to live, or "embodied philosophy", if you will, the three forms look something like this:
Get rich quick schemes are the most popular and exemplify (cheap, faster) but that means they're not good or robust. They promise the moon but mainly benefit the seller of the product yet the have the highest popular appeal and demand. Indeed, in the aggregate they often leave people worse off. The health equivalent is 7 day diets, gimmicky equipment, 5 minute workouts, and various performance enhancing powders.
Steady conventional methods exemplify (cheap, better). That's your bogleheads, balanced fund, long-haul, "don't do anything radical"-approach. Valuewise, there's a recognition that you can't get something for nothing, so speed is sacrificed and "easy" is retained to avoid making huge changes. The health equivalent is 30 minutes of brisk walking and an apple a day. Long term steady does the job.
ERE is the (faster, better) type of product which means it's not cheap and as such it is the least popular combination. To "pay" you have to integrate years or even decades of knowledge making big changes in your life and so it requires a lot of effort. It is mainly appealing to "nerds" in the sense that paying the cost (not cheap) is driven by innate desire. The health equivalent is a comprehensive workout and diet plans involving continuing progression to become a full athlete over time. Like any hardcore gym, I think ERE is welcoming to newbies, but only those newbies who are willing to work hard. Those who come in expecting athlete-level results but who aren't willing to pay with sweat are a poor match for the culture or the system.
What's crucial to realize is that by definition YOU CANNOT HAVE cheap & faster & better at the same time. The reason is that the variables are all ratios, so desiring all three is like asking for an engine that's 150% efficient. No matter how many times you ask for 150%, it's not going to happen because it's asking for resource allocations that are physically impossible. There's only 100% available to improve any of the three variables.
So two important points here. First WRT ERE and second WRT me and my efforts here.
This was the first time ERE itself was the subject of controversy. Previously, it was climate change, gender wars, Trump, Trump, and then Trump again, IIRC. So I count ERE (the concept but primarily the WL table) as the 6th forum crisis.
ERE is my baby and in terms of the above three, it is (faster, better). Morally---insofar my name is being attached to it---if I had to slack on a variable, it would be fast
, thus solutions that are (cheap, better) are also acceptable on the forum. However, I'm loath to entertain (cheap, faster) versions of ERE. As far as I'm concerned that's effectively a contradiction in terms.
Asking for a cheap version of faster & better results in neither.
What this means is that ERE is NOT inclusive of all values from the entire demand-curve. As such, ERE is exclusive of approaches or explanations that aren't "good" in the sense of being fragile, oversimplified, or shallow. Anyone is free to start their own website with a "how to retire extremely early" with simple guides that are easy to understand and promise quick results even as the resulting success rate will be <5%. However, ERE is not going to be associated with it and it's not going to happen here, because I consider such efforts damaging to the "brand" and ultimately damaging to those who buy into such quick&easy schemes.
WLs touch a nerve because they're an explicit measure of "better". Insofar your values are in the mostly postmodern tradition exemplified by the liberal arts where hierarchies are anathema, a table that implies ranking will be offensive because it implies that some insights are deeper and better than other insights" and perhaps by extension some will extrapolate this into the idea that "some people are better than others" and so go down the "elitist" line of arguments. Here any question or opinion is an equally good and valid one... argue something something debate something.
Whereas in the more modernist tradition of STEM, people are quite used to dealing with different depths of insight into the nature of reality. They usually have no problem with hierarchical levels that imply that a kind of Bohr's correspondence principle holds: That each new level of insight includes and extends the insight all previous levels; that deeper levels mean a better perspective and not just yet another perspective that is simply different and equal to all other ones. However, the ability to hold a better perspective never implies a better person; some people are just not as far ahead as others. The implicit acceptance of hierarchical insight also makes this tradition less likely to presume that anyone can have a great revolutionary idea or ask good questions right after being introduced to the subject. Here the knowledge base evolves slowly in a kind of trial and error approach that can be developed systematically.
In retrospect it's not surprising that some took to WLs like cat-nip ("Yay! A roadmap to deeper insights!") and some thought WLs were insulting if not personally, then generally ("How dare you imply that opinion A>opinion(*) B, you elitist condescending jerk!") And of course seeing this in terms of modernist vs postmodernist values is a bit simplistic but I bet if we count the miffed parties, we'll see a strong correlation.
(*) Ditto questions, insight, understanding, solutions, ...
And so it rained. And so the atmosphere changed again for the 6th time.
Now, I understand that all modalities (the entire demand curve) are necessary to the process; modernists and postmodernists each have a role. All three triangle combinations serve a purpose. E.g. cheap/fast introduces people off the street to the concepts. After a while they fail and move to the cheap/good and after a while, some go on to the fast/good approach.
However, looking to turn ERE itself or add the cheap/fast approach or deemphasize the good/fast approach in the name of inclusivity is damaging to the overall movement chain. It caps the process at the lowest level as it cuts off the head of the chain. This is not good because there simply aren't that many fast/good forums out there. It would be like saying that since graduate school offers the deepest level of taught insight into a particular topic, lets open it up to everybody from grades 0 to 15 so that all may equally benefit. This fails to consider the second-order effect of doing so namely that the level of conversation drops to either the median, the average, or the lowest common denominator each of which would be a loss. This is why university classes aren't walk-in classes "catering to all comers" but typically either directly or indirectly requires taking the 101 before the 201 before the 301 course and so on. Yes, the "professor" can answer questions at all levels and will indulge the occasional newbie question but one person flooding the zone with questions that have been answered before is not helpful nor is it respectful of the "professor" or the other "students".
I think of these forums as a compromise. The forum is open to all. It's public. It's free to enter. I don't charge. I answer a lot of questions but not all. In return, there are some forum rules like http://www.albion.com/netiquette/rule3.html
and in return I'll follow http://www.albion.com/netiquette/rule9.html
Overall, there's a reason why things are the way they are. Yet, this being the internet insofar anyone is not happy with the exclusive emphasis on "quality" or "depth", they're free to join or start any of the many other subcultures out there.
My efforts and I)
My time and energy is finite and limited. Coffee might boost it a bit but it is not endless. 7wb5 explained me pretty well. I can elaborate on that and say that as an INTJ, explaining Ni costs a lot of Te energy. A lot! Writing this post, for example, means that nothing else creative will be done today.
This means I have my own cost function of life energy in terms of (cheaper, faster, better) which I try to distribute here on the forum as well as in other parts of my life. I will personally gain from explaining an interesting (to me) question to something I haven't answered before. Working through the Te for the first time will strengthen my Ni. I will also gain (Fi) from helping someone who is struggling to understand something. I will give people a lot of benefit of the doubt in terms of that, presuming that someone is genuinely trying to understand. However, I won't gain anything from explaining the same thing to the same person over and over.
There's some accounting of time/energy traded.
I think other INTJs will understand this well but other temperaments will not grasp it naturally.
My patience is high but it is not infinite. "If I lift one corner and the student doesn't come back with the other three, I give no further instruction". So I'll lift one corner, even a few times but I won't do it endlessly. In particular, a good way to test my patience is to ask the same question again as if it hadn't been previously answered. This to me indicates a very one-sided transaction. "Inquisitive ignorance" takes 3 lines to ask a question which may require 3 pages to answer in full. If this happens again (and again) while dismissing the previous answer with a "lol lol" or an "I didn't see that", it's eventually going to register as an energy sink. And---this is important---since I strive to maintain the "quality" of the forum, this is going to be a problem, since I have to do damage-control (see e.g. the climate change threads) lest people somehow think that the question is unanswerable. For example, wearing people down that way is a common strategy in climate denialism. I'm not someone who stays up all night because "someone is wrong on the internet", but I do care what happens and is written on this forum even if there will come a day when I too will move on.
Also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandolini%27s_law
Now if you were to pay me $500/day or $5,000/month, I'll "happily" answer the same question over and over. But if you want it for free, and lets be honest 99% here do, I consider that exchange very one-sided and disrespectful of the time/energy balance and will eventually lose patience. In particular, saying stuff like "a really smart person should be able to figure out how to explain complex stuff so anyone can grasp it without effort" might fly in undergraduate classes where students pay enough tuition to act like entitled consumers, but it's eventually going to trigger me. I'm not paid at the Paul Krugman rate for answering questions here. Claiming that such questions are helpful, part of some tradition, or [too] challenging is just adding insult to injury when the only challenge is the sheer amount and repetition of questions. Condescension most likely happens because I'm more inclined to think that someone is ignorant rather than inconsiderate/disrespectful of other people's bandwidth insofar they keep asking the same question over and over w/o any sign of increasing comprehension. This is probably an INTJ or at least an Enneagram5 thing.
Indeed, some do enjoy answering the same question over and over finding new ways to explain the same thing. When I quit blogging those types wondered why I quit since it was always possible to find yet another way to talk about e.g. "how to save money on insurance rates". There are [many] forums and facegroups where every other post is a question about "how to open my first brokerage account" as well as forums for "tl;dr - have opinion anyway" discussions which are optimized for low-effort socializing.
However, much like a garage gym, I see this forum mostly as a place for those who seek to get faster & better. Since it's *free*, you (re)pay with effort in the form of good answers and good questions. A good question means searching the archives before asking and paying it forward by answering someone else's question and paying it back by demonstrating a sincere effort at understanding the answer(s). Keyword effort.