How to ask the question about Poincaré's quote about mathematics?

Why is this question off-topic on Math Stack Exchange Meta?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ This question is sooooo meta... :P $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:56
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I was about to remind everybody that "meta is idempotent". IIRC Asaf coined that phrase, but since he decided not to repeat it this time, let me :-) $\endgroup$ Jan 19, 2018 at 11:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Jyrki: Huh, did I really coin that one? Weird. :) (Edit: Okay, apparently not!...) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jan 19, 2018 at 11:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf Sorry, my once flawless recollection is showing signs of wear and tear (by both the tooth of time and fine single malts). $\endgroup$ Jan 19, 2018 at 11:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ ok, dear the idempotent and omnipotent meta, can you help me? $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Jan 19, 2018 at 12:25
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Was there something about the highly upvoted comment "The website isn't really designed for gathering reactions to a quote." from Gerry Myerson that you didn't understand? $\endgroup$ Jan 19, 2018 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen ugh, that's an off-topic comment ;). But anyway, I think once one really experts on their field, any question is specific enough to them. I agree with it, but the question to it is how to make it not opinion based anymore $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Jan 19, 2018 at 14:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There are far too many people here on meta that view closure as a super-downvote/dislike button, and these things happen routinely. $\endgroup$
    – user296602
    Jan 19, 2018 at 18:59

2 Answers 2


Speculating as to possible explanations.

Your other post doesn't ask how to make a topic on-topic

In fact, it doesn't even contain a question! Instead, the content of your other post is of the form:

I want to ask XXX. My post asking XXX is closed. 'Witty' comment about this state of affairs.

The title attached to the other post contains the question you mean to ask, but titles are the wrong place to ask questions. Titles are for attracting readers to your post — the body of your post is where you actually convey content.

This may be a bit surprising to you as an author, because you write the title and the body in one continuous stream. However, that is not how many readers read your post: reading the title and reading the body are two disconnected actions. They may even be separated by a significant amount of time.

This formatting issue may induce:

Your post resembles yet another "I'm unhappy with how my post is received" posting

We get a fair number of these; someone posts a question that the community rejects, and then they complain about it on meta. IMO, it's easy to see why readers would receive your posting as yet another posting in this vein. (even for the readers who read the title concurrently with the body)

This is one possible rationale for receiving close votes with the reason

This question does not appear to be about Mathematics Stack Exchange or the software that powers the Stack Exchange network within the scope defined in the help center.

  • $\begingroup$ If I'm about to rewrite that other meta question, should I edit the existing one or ask a new one? $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Jan 20, 2018 at 3:42

"Help me get answers to an off-topic question" is off-topic.

This is basically what your other meta post is doing. But off-topic questions are precisely that: off-topic. They do not belong on math.stackexchange.com, and questions about how to get answers to them anyways do not belong on meta.math.stackexchange.com.

This is one possible reason for receiving close votes for the reason:

This question does not appear to be about Mathematics Stack Exchange or the software that powers the Stack Exchange network within the scope defined in the help center.

You would be better off trying to understand why your question is off-topic, and whether or not there are any specific aspects of what you want to know that would be on-topic to ask here. Or would be on-topic to ask on another stackexchange site.

  • $\begingroup$ So does this reason only happen on this site? Because this is the practice I've seen in other SE sites $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Jan 20, 2018 at 3:43

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