The question Is there something special about 2015? has just popped on the reopen queue. Although I agree that it is not right for Math.SE as it is (too broad and it inherently doesn't have a correct answer), it is a popular post with some very interesting responses. It's a shame that the question is closed.

Is there some way that this question could be asked that would make it appropriate for the site? It would be nice to edit that question in some way so that it is more specific and can be reopened. Also, I imagine that this will be an annually occurring question ("Are there any special properties of the number $\mathrm{This\;Year}$?") since many math competitions like to use the current year as a constant in questions.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I think you missed the fact that the question was not closed as "off-topic". It was closed as "too broad". It is also "unclear" (what is "interesting") and "primarily opinion-based" (some people are debating in the comments whether some property or the other is interesting or not). Really, I don't believe this question has any kind of place in this website. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2015 at 17:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Let me quote Pete L. Clark here (the quote is from 2011, but I think it's still relevant, the question asked was "Asking an amusing, but only very loosely on-topic question?"): "This is a site for math questions, not for all questions related in some way to math." I don't believe "interesting" is a mathematical concept. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2015 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ @NajibIdrissi, yeah I was using "off-topic" a little too generally. I see that it is closed because the question boils down to the opinion of what is interesting. But I think that this question is a math question rather than a question just relating in some way to math (especially compared to the question that Clark was responding to). Asking about the properties of an integer is certainly not just "related in some way" to mathematics. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2015 at 18:05
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Would it be better to ask something like "What are properties of 2015 that could be utilized in a contest math question?", or something more like "What are non-trivial properties of 2015 that few or no other numbers have?" where you go on to attempt to define non-trivial and few? $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2015 at 18:06
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ "Also, I imagine that this will be an annually occurring question " Great, you just have found one more reason why such a question should at least eventually be closed. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Oct 16, 2015 at 18:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @quid, you really don't think that this question should be kept around for posterity? If this question gets deleted, then we won't be able to Close-as-Duplicate when in a few years someone comes and asks a question like, "So I was studying for the Putnam exam and was looking at this problem back from the 2015 exam with the number 2015 in it and was wondering if there are any properties of 2015 that I need to know to answer this question.". $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2015 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ At the moment, we are discussing if it should be closed. If we should deleted it is a slightly different question. Please do not change the subject. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Oct 16, 2015 at 18:42
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ IMHO, this is the sort of question if it didn't get deleted before getting a lot of answers, then it should simply be locked (instead of closed), become a historical artifact and we stop discussing what should we do with it. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2015 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ @quid, Sorry. I misunderstood what it meant for a question to be [on-hold] or [closed] (I've gone and read exactly what those mean now). I had thought that [closed] posts are put in a queue to eventually be automatically deleted. Looking at this page, though, it appears that a closed question is only automatically deleted if it has "no significant activity over a very long period after being asked", but the specifics of what exactly that means are unclear. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2015 at 20:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I see, thanks for the clarification. Briefly, a post is only auto-deleted if neither it self nor any of its answer was received well (by score). This question will never be autodeleted. it could be deleted by votes of users, but this is a separate issue. And this question would need quite a number of delete vote to actually dissapear; it is unlikely it would happen. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5221/… for details on deletion. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Oct 16, 2015 at 20:59
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @quid, OTOH Shog9 has recently stated that "If you're voting to close a question, you should be comfortable with that question being deleted...." This was in the context of Software Engineering, where users make much more use of their delete votes, but it's probably something to keep in mind here, too. (Full disclosure: I am quite comfortable with the "2015" question, and its relatives, being deleted.) $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Oct 17, 2015 at 9:18
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @ArthurFischer personally I'd be comfortable with it too. But nevertheless deletion for this question is rather not imminent, given my impression of how things work. Furthermore, it is quite noteworthy given our context how the phrase you quote continues namely it says "you should be comfortable with that question being deleted - statistically, that is what will happen." Right, statistically. But that question is not at all typical. What would the statistic say when restricted to question with about that characteristics (score, answers, duration on the site)? Something different, IMO. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Oct 17, 2015 at 10:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ BTW that post has been reopened in the meantime. $\endgroup$ Oct 17, 2015 at 10:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The post has now been deleted. This was made possible by extreme abuse of binding close votes by the moderator Arthur Fischer, who voted 3 times to close it, each time short-circuiting the community process. If not for that it probably never would have had the potential to be deleted. So the opinion on this question is very far from a fair reflection of the community. $\endgroup$ Dec 30, 2016 at 15:47


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .