# Deleted question remark

A few minutes ago, I found a question with -5 votes, already closed, with the title "Were $n$-dimensional numbers discovered?", which linked to http://nicoladalfonso.blogspot.com/p/number-in-n-dimensional-space_2437.html

The question was closed as not a real question and deleted in a matter of minutes after I've seen it.

Edit: It is undeleted again, the question is: The numbers in the n-dimensional space have been actually discovered?

I'm not sure how to say this, but don't you think it's bad to delete so soon a potential real question? I know that its formulation was ambiguous, too general, but even I wondered a bit through the 123 pages of the pdf in the link to see what this is about. I do not say that I'm interested in the subject, since the man constructs some pseudo-field structure on $\Bbb{R}^3$ and $\Bbb{R}^n$, which may or may not be useful to anyone, but still got published somewhere.

Maybe the OP would have rethought the text of the question, after a few advices, since he/she may have been a newbie to the site.

One answer to this question could be:

The $n$-dimensional numbers were not "discovered" now. Mathematicians use them everyday. This paper deals with defining different operations on $\Bbb{R}^3$ which makes it almost a field. We cannot define field structures on $\Bbb{R}^n,\ n \geq 3$ which generalize the usual operations of addition/multiplication.

Shouldn't there be more time between the question is closed and the question is deleted? Give the OP a chance to make the question worth reopening ?

I know that there cannot be questions like: please explain the article in the following link, and this question was something like that. My point is that we let the OP rethink the question at least 12h before deleting it.

• I think it was highly inappropriate that the question was quickly deleted (esp. by a newbie moderator). That prevents any chance of it from being discussed, edited and reopened. Here's a link for those who can see it. – Bill Dubuque Jun 29 '11 at 17:03
• I saw this question as spam, flagged it as such and voted to close, so I take partial responsibility. In general, I don't think it is our job to look for potential questions in such posts. By the way: it's undeleted again. The whole thing is potentially more on-topic but it strongly reminds me of the whole qubrix brain twister thing. – t.b. Jun 29 '11 at 17:18
• Kudos to the person who undeleted it. Perhaps some of the folks who voted to close might wish to add some comments to the question to help guide the new questioner. – Bill Dubuque Jun 29 '11 at 17:22
• @Bill: look at the revision history. – t.b. Jun 29 '11 at 17:22
• @Theo Thanks. Then kudos to Zev for listening to community feedback. – Bill Dubuque Jun 29 '11 at 17:26
• For what it is worth, I agree with Theo that it isn't our job to look for potential questions. But I also agree with Bill that there's no point in deleting the question so quickly and manually. It would've been taken care of by the software anyway if the OP had decided not to revisit it and improve it. – Willie Wong Jun 29 '11 at 17:27
• On such, I don't recall that we ever discussed any policy on deleting posts. Perhaps the time is ripe for such. Clearly some posts that are spam (advertising) or unarguably off-topic should be deleted. But it may be difficult to determine a precise boundary otherwise. Since deleting could be construed as censorship one needs to be extra careful. – Bill Dubuque Jun 29 '11 at 17:29
• @Willie: Could you remind me, what are the criteria for when the software will delete a question automatically? – Zev Chonoles Jun 29 '11 at 17:32
• @Zev: Two ways: (1) If it has negative votes, no answers, and untouched for some specified-in-software amount of time that is about 1 month long. (2) If it is flagged by multiple people as SPAM. – Willie Wong Jun 29 '11 at 17:36
• On a related note: The OP of the question also posted this answer. – t.b. Jun 29 '11 at 17:44
• @Bill: There has been some piecemeal discussion about policy/ies for administratively deleting posts, but I think it more or less comes down to: don't. (Largely because there is little reason to delete things; closing and/or downvoting usually achieve the desired outcome without removing content.) – Isaac Jun 29 '11 at 18:10