Reffering to:

What can I use to power my Raspberry Pi Zero with rechargeable battery?

This question really has been answered already on Pi SE. Besides that, the OP clearly is asking a question about what kind of batteries to use. How has that got anything to do with Pi Exchange?

I am sorry, I down voted everybody several users there, including two moderators. I strongly believe that question should have been moved, merged or closed.


It looks like one of the main problems is that are WAY too many questions about batteries! Why is it a problem? Because searching for battery displays 500+ results.

One of the very first questions about batteries asked in 2012 with allot of GOOD answers already, which were repeated in this question.

Allowing for the question to remain open by 2 moderators may have been an oversight. Answering the question maybe also, but then allowing for a bounty, well in hopes of what? A little bit irresponsible in my opinion.

If you compare that the sites answer frequency is between 0 and 1 on new and unique questions, versus this one questioned/answered over 500 times.

I think that has gone way beyond the Stack Exchange guidelines.

  • 1
    The way to deal with a problem with the question is not by down voting the answers. Instead you should vote to close the question. Jan 5, 2016 at 9:37
  • I cant, because you allowed a bounty to be opened on it!
    – Piotr Kula
    Jan 5, 2016 at 9:38
  • 2
    You could flag it. You instead punished the people who answered for a problem not under their control re: the question Jan 5, 2016 at 9:39
  • If it gets dealt with appropriately all damage will be reverted.
    – Piotr Kula
    Jan 5, 2016 at 9:40
  • You mean dealt with as you feel necessary - closed, migrated or deleted correct? Jan 5, 2016 at 9:43
  • I don't know. You are the moderators, and in the first instance you allowed this thread to continue. This is not why I voted for you guys.
    – Piotr Kula
    Jan 5, 2016 at 9:44
  • How does downvoting the answers help? Jan 5, 2016 at 9:45
  • Maybe you should open another thread about that and lets not stray of topic here
    – Piotr Kula
    Jan 5, 2016 at 9:47
  • Technically we don't "allow" the bounties. They just happen. There is a flip side to "two moderators leaving it open to score points too", namely that since the OP changed the question to depreciate our answers, doing so might have seemed vindictive on a question that, as you observe, got a lot of attention from some bunch of people. I don't like to play Sheriff when it means drawing my gun to disperse a crowd, if you get the point. I'm happy to let them gather and if we have to send everyone to lock-up in the end then we can.
    – goldilocks Mod
    Jan 5, 2016 at 15:14
  • I understand you dont press a button to start a bounty. What I meant was that the OP could have been redirected to Electronics SE, or to an answer which I personally think would have helped the OP. SInce its pretty clear the answers here are the same as in answers in 2011/2012/2013/2014 ... Technically allowing a bounty on a low quality question. I get it, we still on quantity instead of quality... which I believe should not be the case.
    – Piotr Kula
    Jan 5, 2016 at 15:24
  • I mean if you really wanted SEO, then you could have answered that "the Zero is the same as the full model. Please refer to these answers." That would get you SEO, without duplicating (where duplication is very bad for SEO)
    – Piotr Kula
    Jan 5, 2016 at 15:29
  • 3
    I think it is a little more nuance than that, as I said in my answer. To be frank, I think Steve and I have our finger on the pulse of the community here a little more than you do. I don't even have time to spend on SO or U&L anymore (which, BTW, if my main interest where scoring points, that's what I'd be doing: Notice #1 and still <20K). Anyway, we make decisions on that basis. It is a mix of idealism and pragmatism, not simply quality vs. quantity.
    – goldilocks Mod
    Jan 5, 2016 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


I don't totally disagree with you, and I'm actually glad to hear somebody else noticed the shenanigans. However, as a moderator, I sometimes have to distinguish between my own feelings and the community I'm suppose to serve. No doubt a good portion of that is also not impressed and I will explain why I did not stop this from happening.

If you look at the original question, it is very simple and brief:

Is there a 5V rechargeable battery and cables compatible with raspberry pi zero? I don't want to have to plug my raspberry pi in every time and nonrechargables get expensive.

Very likely there is one duplicate or another available for this. But: At that point it was actually a decent canonical form. It also refers explicitly to the zero in the title. Of course, the zero is not significantly different than any other model in this sense. But some things to consider:

  • We've had a lot of new questions about the zero like this, and they have proved very popular. I.e., they have been up, not down voted. And please do not now go on a crusade, I believe you are more of an adult than that.

  • Since people have also been eager to answer them, rather than telling everybody "No, please move along", this seemed like an opportunity to make the point in a friendlier way and help draw people in rather than push them away. It also gives us a dupe no one could take issue with.

  • It is also an opportunity to revisit and improve upon past questions. A frequent problem with questions from 2012 here is that if you close everything as a duplicate of them, no matter what, people will keep coming back and insisting they want an update. And frankly, not all oldies are goodies anyway. Closing duplicates does not have to occur in historical order. If a newer question stands a better chance of serving as the canonical case, then it is much more sensible to close older questions as a duplicate of it. It is not always possible to edit and rephrase to compensate.

As a bit of an aside, as they say there are two kinds of people in the world: People who believe there is only one right way to do things and people who believe there are usually multiple right ways whose ultimate correctness is not, and may never be, truly resolvable. 1 I'm one of the latter. I know that it may sometimes make me appear contradictory here.

Anyway, I took a couple of minutes to provide a simple answer (it's still the same) at the same time as Steve did (also unchanged, note they are three minutes apart). So now two moderators have answered the question, it is pretty clear which right approach we are taking.

Unfortunately, the OP then decided what he said in the first place is not what he really meant. I was very tempted to exercise another right way and hammer it closed. I won't say that I went against my better judgement though, because I did not see leaving it open anyway, to allow it to resolve itself openly, as a bad decision either. I did make my personal opinion clear in a few comments but gave the OP the benefit of the doubt as a moderator.

I don't regret that. Understand that we are not SO, EE, U&L, or a brain child of Meta. I have nothing against those sites or the general principles of SE, which I sense you are trying to be very orthodox about. In fact, I think I've probably argued more loudly for those principles here more than anyone else. Literally, anyone. However, as with all forms of orthodoxy, it has its pitfalls, and I certainly do not believe SE has achieved perfection in form and it is just a matter of properly applying that perfect system. I also do not believe we should feel bound by the imperfections and orthodoxy until such time as they change: That approach is actually a no change approach and implies we are already living in a perfect creation of a perfect being within which any deviance is therefore a corruption and devaluation of the whole.

I would like to believe that way of thinking died with logical positivism. Unfortunately, the computer scientists and other technically educated people who make up the bulk of the membership here and elsewhere on SE often seemed to have skimped on the liberal arts electives whilst getting their educations and we are bogged down in a perpetual version of The History of Western Thinking 101. Put another way, if I were to take one extreme "right" way of doing things at this point, I'd close this question and suspend you for having admitted to using voting in an inappropriate way.

That's not at all a threat ppumkin -- I like you and I'm glad you asked the question. I'm just pointing out if we are all going to play hanging judge all the time there's going to be a lot of hangings. I don't think that is in the best interests of the community in the end ("Whoops! I guess that wasn't the right way after all!"). That question was harmless, and as evidence of the fact that leaving it open was a good idea, we might look at the first answer to hit the floor after the OP changed the question, which I am very happy with and evidently so was the OP. It addresses concerns people might have particularly in the context of the zero, etc.

So, I hope you will reconsider downvoting that one at least. Not everybody capable of providing good answers is interested in office politics and I would hate to think that these politics stand in the way of people doing the actual fundamental work of providing useful answers to questions. Tai Viinikka deserves praise, not punishment for that.

1. The savvy will note an old python vs. perl thing here from the days when python programmers at the highest level had a significant inferiority complex and even felt obliged to pick fault with the TIMTOWTDI philosophy in official documentation. Ironically, if people really approached the world in a "we already have a right way to do all this" manner, python would never have existed because it is completely redundant in that sense. You don't want to hear it, but it's true.

  • Im sorry i came across as "right" wing in this. I have only been on SO for a mere 4/5 years and have been scowled a ton of times for doing just this similar thing. Clearly I lack the "office politics approach" on this whole thing but that is OK because I am a realist. That is why why I will never be a moderator, or never will want to be one. What pees me off is this grey area that always seems to be on the moderators side. I know we have been working side by side on this Exchange since it start, and I have utter respect for You and Steve.
    – Piotr Kula
    Jan 5, 2016 at 15:00
  • This is my point about us not being SO (I didn't go into detail since I was long-winded as is). Anyway, our membership is not up to SO standards, but that does not mean it should be squashed. Sometimes I look at it as a training ground or launchpad for SE. I think it is totally appropriate since, contra some people's belief that it is a cure for cancer, the pi is mostly a toy that is good for learning and experimentation. Unlike SF, etc., we don't have "professional" in our subtitle. Being a professional doesn't always mean good things though, which was my point about logical positivism.
    – goldilocks Mod
    Jan 5, 2016 at 15:08
  • At the time I thought it be fair to downvote everybody.. but in hindsight you are correct. Why did I punish somebody that was only trying to help (except You and Steve). That could have been me a few years ago. Not afraid to admit to my mistake and if I could un-downvote I would to it now for the others. I suppose if had not been drinking mulled wine during that week I would have flagged that question straight away.
    – Piotr Kula
    Jan 5, 2016 at 15:19
  • End of the day, if you believe my "rage against the machine" constitutes a penalty against me. Then I deserve it as I stand with my opinion and take full responsibly for my actions. At least I wont be festering in the grey area any more.
    – Piotr Kula
    Jan 5, 2016 at 15:31
  • I'm certainly not interested in punishing you, ppumpkin. You have made many positive contributions here and you are expressing a reasonable opinion as far as I am concerned. I will investigate whether we can reverse the downvotes.
    – goldilocks Mod
    Jan 5, 2016 at 16:05

I tend to agree with ppumkin When I read the original question (which I interpreted as a battery the same "size" as the PiZero) it struck me as naive but otherwise valid, if not strictly Pi related. I chose to ignore it.

This reminds me of my early days as a mobile (GSM - pre 3G) planner. The Europeans liked "small" phones (they didn't seem to care how thick they were). The Americans liked thin phones (they didn't seem to care how large they were - maybe the ancestor of the current rash of smartphones which are too large to hold in the hand). The Asians liked short "flip" phones.

These days I am reluctant to make any negative comments on questions or answers, although I think the majority of questions show no evidence of research, and many "answers" seem to reflect the respondents "pet theory" and often don't show evidence of reading the question and jumping to conclusions (I plead guilty here).

By the same token I am not sure the SE guidelines are a good fit to RPiSE. The questioners are mostly naive, never appear again and often don't respond to requests or acknowledge answers. Add this to the fact that the vast bulk of questions/answers over 1 year old are at best irrelevant and often misleading.

I tend to answer any sensible question where I think I can help a new (usually young) enthusiast, even if it is not strictly on topic. (This means I do not often agree with many of the "duplicate" flags - they may appear so to experienced users, but not novices.)

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