What are you supposed to do with the ignoramuses that ask a patently idiotic question and then refuse point blank to believe any of the answers because they have formed their own (completely erroneous) opinion? All the sites seem to suffer from them, but I haven't yet found a suitable solution short of closing the question "because you are an idiot" (well, not those exact words, but that kind of sentiment).

I see them all the time across the network - from people thinking you can make a yellow spot of light float in mid-air by crossing a red and green laser beam (duh...!) to this most recent one where the OP is convinced that because you can make a simple tuned circuit for low frequencies on a breadboard it would be simple and cheap to create a similar circuit for receiving the complex packets transmitted by a 2.4GHz nRF24L01 (in that case it got closed as off topic, thankfully. They don't always). Even though he has been told by numerous people that no, it can't be done by a mere mortal (certainly not by someone that would ask such a question and most definitely not below the cost of an nRF24L01), and shown alternative communications systems that would better fit his requirements, he still refuses to believe us.

And yes, this is (to a certain extent) a rant. It's also an opening for discussion on how we can best deal with these kind of people.

They seem to lack a basic understanding of the simplest underlying principles of physics and are completely close minded to any new information or teaching that doesn't fit into their small distorted little world.


2 Answers 2


Not every question is a good one, that's for sure. Plus you get ones that request an answer "within two hours" (assignment due, clearly).

You have options:

  • Vote the question down (which you can do without penalty)
  • Vote to close (eg. as too broad). The one about the 2.4 GHz was really about electronics, not Arduino, so you could also vote to close as off-topic.
  • Comment, seeking clarification.
  • Comment, pointing out they should try something simpler first


  • Ignore them. The question (especially with low votes) will disappear down into the unanswered pile.

It's probably preferable to also vote down or vote-to-close before ignoring them, otherwise SE thinks it is a good question which no-one could answer, which counts against our percentage of questions answered figure. (Currently 75%).


I saw that one :) I think the best thing to do is pretty much to close the question, and if he asks a similar question AGAIN (because his previous question about the topic has been closed) to just close that one too.

An other way is to implement the "penalty box" system from Stack Overflow. Maybe for user above 2.5k rep?

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