The thread started when someone asked the regular contributers on the site if it seemed that the questions being asked were getting worse. The first poster wondered if people were trying less, unable or unwilling to search, and unwilling to try and help themselves before posting a question.
I think that this can be partially explained by the fact that the professional and academic user base of SQL Server is expanding. Thanks to business intelligence and Microsoft marketing, we now have more corporate executives, data scientists, small business owners, university students, etc. who are casual users of SQL Server.
That's a goog thing.
These arn't stupid people; they're just out of their element and frustrated by what they perceive as cryptic advice provided by techie geeks. They're neither a DBA nor a developer, and have no desire to become one. Often times they're just trying to get SQL Server installed on their desktop or trying figure out why this thing that's been running fine for the past three years suddenly stopped working. They probably feel the same way I did when my mini-van kept sporatically running hot, and I got a half dozen different diagnosis from a half-dozen people claiming to be auto repair experts; all of them suggesting replacement of a different part.
Of course, there are also a lot of idiots on the internet. The internet has a way of bringing out the best and worst in people, and it seems like it's the idiots who are the most vocal. If someone is completely irrational or offensive, then it's best to ignore them. That's exactly what most of us would do if we encountered them on the street, so we shouldn't feel like we're being rude. It frees up our time to focus on real people with real problems (or at least those who suffer from the type of problem what we can actually help with).
"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho