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Just asked a question that got closed, and in fact the question/answer cited as a duplicate was not an answer to me; which is not to say it wasn't an answer to some.

More to the point, I'd like to start learning more about math, and in general find SE to be a great resource for learning in general.

These question is also a follow-up to these meta question: On New Users Asking Questions Poorly

Questions, feedback, requests -- just comment, thanks!!

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The problem is, to most reading your question it looks exactly like a duplicate, and on top of that it looks like very little time was spent when you wrote it. (Compared to the other question)

Perhaps if you had said "I tried searching for an answer, but I didn't really understand the ones I found," then it wouldn't of been closed. If you had just said something that indicated you searched even a little before posting your question, then it would have been a different case.

Edit: I continue: A quick Google search of your question found this webpage which deals with your question.

Also, when you imputed your original question, "Why is Pi a constant?" MSE suggests posts that have already been made. I tried this, and the second one it suggested was this which deals exactly with your question. Now again, perhaps this doesn't give the answer you want, but then you should of at least mentioned in your question that you had already looked at it.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 Good point, guess I figured doing so would in fact result in the question being flagged as a duplicate. $\endgroup$ – blunders Feb 26 '11 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ One just a heads up, for some reason if you make edits you your question... I don't get an alert, so if you do make an update, please post a comment to you own answer stating the answer was updated, otherwise I have no idea you spent the time to give me additional feedback. Also, while... I do agree about your feedback, it does not really add up to what is the norm on SE sites. Meaning I can't recall the last time I saw a question that reference another question, or gave links to a set of google searches, etc. Main point is, I did see everything you were referenced. Again,thanks $\endgroup$ – blunders Feb 26 '11 at 21:56
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    $\begingroup$ @blunders: Sorry about that, I should have said edited somewhere. I think what happened was that you posted your comment while I was editing. (Right after I posted, I decided to add a little more, so I didn't think too much of it) About that second thing, it is true, most questions arn't too well though out. But from what I have seen so far on the site, that seems to be the most common complaint among the regular users. $\endgroup$ – Eric Naslund Feb 26 '11 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ Works for me, how do I figure out who are the top users on math.SE, maybe reading their comments and answers would give me a better feel for the norm on this site. $\endgroup$ – blunders Feb 26 '11 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ Found the answer to my own question, that being, where are the top users of math.SE listed: meta.math.stackexchange.com/users and math.stackexchange.com/users $\endgroup$ – blunders Feb 27 '11 at 2:15
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Just asked a question that got closed, and in fact the question/answer cited as a duplicate was not an answer to me; which is not to say it wasn't an answer to some.

So ask the question again, and be more precise about what you are looking for and what you don't understand. I would say that generally speaking the average user provides too little rather than too much information. (Which is not to say that you should ramble: rather, clearly state your question and then add background as it seems appropriate.)

More to the point, I'd like to start learning more about math, and in general find SE to be a great resource for learning in general.

The rough procedure I would recommend is this: if you don't have easy access to textbooks (e.g. if you aren't a university student), start by finding a relevant Wikipedia article, and if after searching around for awhile you can't understand what you're reading, ask a question about it here. Again, it's important to be specific about what you're looking for and what you don't understand.

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  • $\begingroup$ More of a hacker when it comes to information, I'm not looking to be a master -- just looking to get more out of mathematics than I already do; which in fact might be the problem in terms of what mathematicians like; meaning logic and order. I've looked at a number of resources, though I haven't found one yet that's met my needs for rapidly orienting myself within a given mathematical concept. Anyway, not expecting a reply to my comment, and thanks for the feedback!! $\endgroup$ – blunders Feb 26 '11 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ I would say that wikipedia is probably not the best place to go to learn an unfamiliar subject (nor is it intended to be). Perhaps it is good for a quick overview, but it could also be discouraging. Moreover, I think the "if you don't have easy access to textbooks..." sentiment is now mostly obsolete: anyone with internet access now has easy enough access to pretty good textbooks. Maybe what they need is some advice about where to look and which books are good for what subject at what level. $\endgroup$ – Pete L. Clark Feb 27 '11 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Pete: sure, but the Wikipedia advice is mainly to discourage questions like "what is X?" when at least a cursory answer is easily available on Wikipedia. I just mean more generally that you should put effort into finding the answer yourself and Wikipedia is a convenient way to start doing that at least for surface-level questions. $\endgroup$ – Qiaochu Yuan Feb 27 '11 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ okay, I agree. $\endgroup$ – Pete L. Clark Feb 28 '11 at 15:05

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