I confess to having been following this thread (and others like it) with some interest, finding both sides of the "to-help-or-not-to-help" argument personally compelling. On the one hand Hitch's extended post resonated intellectually with me; professional Darwinism appeals to me as a consumer of all-too-frequently poorly formatted retail ebooks. When I come across one of these disasters, it inevitably leads to a solid 5 or 10 minutes of grumbling and stewing in my own indignation over the fact that someone was actually paid to produce such a shameful product. On the other hand, exaltedwombat's position is one to which i'm instinctively emotionally drawn to. After all, I've relied strongly—indeed, bordering on exclusively—on the generosity of MR's members in sharpening my own amateur ebook-creation skills. The idea that by virtue of being a "professional" one can no longer call on that same said generosity seems to me a bit draconian. After all, is a published author no longer allowed to use a thesaurus because he should already have an encyclopedic knowledge of that particular skill set (vocabulary)?
I wonder if there isn't some happy medium to be found. Whatever the case, I question the value of scolding the less-knowledgable professionals for having the temerity to ask. If you feel morally compelled to withhold your assistance, that is, of course, your prerogative, and—as I said—I certainly can see (and have seen) scenarios on MR in which the exercise of said prerogative would strike me as totally justified. But isn't staying silent enough? Or do you really think that there's any chance at all that by taking to task someone you consider to be a sub-par professional, he will suddenly repent of his sins, contact his client, and cancel his contract? Or more likely, will he just open a new account under a new name and remember never to mention the fact that he's being financially compensated?
Last edited by ElMiko; 12-14-2012 at 08:46 AM.