I came across this question [edit - now deleted] and looking at the number of years and his reputation at MSE I feel that the questioner has quite a good experience of how MSE works. The moment I read the question I felt it was a homework question (no matter how you phrase it) saying "Solve these integrals for me".

The question itself is a trivial high-school problem but that's not the point. My problem is with the questioner who mentioned :

I tried few trigonometric identities without good success

And that's it. No attempts or thoughts mentioned. Ideally if this was posted by a new user it would have been closed as off-topic for not showing attempts and asking homework questions (which is why I feel MSE is a top-notch Q&A site with good standards and awesome people), so, why no-one asked the questioner to show his/her work? Why did everybody start answering it even though it was a homework question?

The policies should be applicable for everyone (irrespective of experience or reputation) here, right? So why can I feel (please forgive me for that) that it's alright for experienced people to ignore the policies?

I don't want to be offensive to anyone (if it's really that much offensive, in the worst case I would delete this question) but I just want to understand why these rules are taken lightly for some people while being aggressively imposed on others?

I really respect every member here at MSE so I feel that such a silly thing should not be repeated as I have seen this behavior for quite a few questions.

A note to the people who feel like down-voting or are actually down-voting this meta question: I request you to mention the reason as well so that I can understand what is that you feel is wrong about this post. This is very important for a newbie like me to understand how things work here (because I have been here for just around two months).

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ You cannot conclude that the question is on topic. You can only conclude that it takes more than 4 hours to close it. (2 hours when you posted) $\endgroup$ – GEdgar Sep 12 '18 at 13:08
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ In general, the thing to do is to vote to close, and to downvote if you feel it is appropriate. It can take a little time, for better or worse, for enough people to see the question to close it. This also depends on which users happen to see it, and whether the question stays on the front page very long. But your points are completely correct: a question that just says "solve these two integrals" doesn't meet the standards we can expect, especially, when the user is experienced with this site. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Sep 12 '18 at 13:13
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @paulplusx: for various reasons, even very low quality posts sometimes attract answers. This is, again, largely dependent on who looks at the question. If you find that such answers are "not useful" you can consider downvoting them. In any event, if the question is eventually close and deleted then any reputation gained or lost from the answers will be canceled. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Sep 12 '18 at 13:16
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @paulplusx: I see that one user wrote a "hint" and then voted to close - personally I don't find that so problematic, because the hint could be a placeholder to try to discourage other people from writing longer answers. Many users here do discourage giving a full answer and also voting to close. I am on the fence about that, but I personally feel it was more unfortunate to see a well-established user write a full answer for a question (now deleted). $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Sep 12 '18 at 14:04
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I agree, @paulplusx that the question needs closure, possibly deletion too. You have to understand that the number of crappy questions far, far, outnumbers what those users who help to keep the site high quality handle on any given day. So there are always questions like the one you mention that slip through, especially when there are a few, or a handful of answerers who have artificially inflate the merits of the question by all upvoting it. You can help by posting such a question to meta, but you'd be most effective in your use of time if you contributed close votes, and/or downvotes $\endgroup$ – amWhy Sep 12 '18 at 15:32
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ They may have very good intentions and probably due to the overwhelming goodness coming from them, they tend to forget/ignore the policies of this site: Which is quite simple - Post a quality (irrespective of the math level) question, get a quality answer. From now I'll probably start down-voting answers (on such type of questions) because as @CarlM said the reputations get cancelled if the question is closed/deleted and won't effect them eventually (that is if I am understanding this properly) $\endgroup$ – paulplusx Sep 12 '18 at 16:00
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @paulplusx If you want to do something additional, in the future, about very low quality questions, there are two additional things you can do to bring it to the attention of others. (1) Flag it as "very low quality". That will send the post to the "low quality review queue" and so users contributing in the review queues can evaluate it as well; (2) At any time you are feeling that the quality of a post (question or answer), you are most welcome to come to the CRUDE (Close, reopen, undelete, delete, edit) chatroom, ... $\endgroup$ – amWhy Sep 12 '18 at 18:19
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ ...and post a comment about the question/answer, including a link to it. We welcome participants! $\endgroup$ – amWhy Sep 12 '18 at 18:20
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ $(1/5)$ @dxiv Well, first of all, Thank you for showing me your perspective. Now, according to your question in the link that you have mentioned there are two prime examples that you have quoted. The first one Integer Solutions to ...., the questioner has shown his/her thoughts in written, explaining what he/she has tried. This is completely valid and hence, I suppose the questions is not closed (at least currently). The second example Quartic equations..., the questioner quotes I evaluate these roots, but the formulas are too complicated and I wonder if there is a different solution $\endgroup$ – paulplusx Sep 13 '18 at 7:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ $(2/5)$ If we calculate the product, the solution is complicated too. ( the question has been deleted so I judging it by your mentioned quote ). In this question, the OP explains his/her thought very briefly which doesn't explain much. If the OP had put down his/her attempts and thoughts of solving the equation in some mathematical form or at least had explained it in a very detailed manner it would have been perfectly fine but the way the OP has put it (according to your mentioned quote), it's impossible to determine if the OP had actually tried something or just sprouting up some $\endgroup$ – paulplusx Sep 13 '18 at 7:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ $(3/5)$....nonsense because the user is too lazy to try. If that's the case then we would be playing like fools if we start answering the user's question. If the OP has really attempted something in his/her own notebook and is facing difficulties with the complex formula the OP could mention his/her attempts and show us where the OP is stuck. Now coming back to the question I have mentioned in this meta post, it clearly quotes the questioner saying I tried **few** trigonometric identities without good success .... $\endgroup$ – paulplusx Sep 13 '18 at 7:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ $(4/5)$ Now I am quoting numbers, the questioner from the second post (in your question) is not that experienced but is still experienced enough to show what he/she has done fully knowing that questions showing vague thoughts will result in a closed question because we evaluate even a new user (rep - $1$) with the same rules and the OP has $400+$ rep (although I don't know what was his/her rep and experience originally it still doesn't matter). $\endgroup$ – paulplusx Sep 13 '18 at 7:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ $(5/5)$ So my question is how can you tolerate such questions from a $5.7+$k rep user with over $2$ years of experience on this site to post a question casually to solve the OP's homework or perhaps because the OP is lazy. Note that we don't know if the OP actually did something or is just lazy enough and is trying to fool us. Even after pointing that to the questioner and raising a full meta post for this particular question the OP didn't bother to edit and show his/her attempts nor did the OP bother participating in this meta question. So what do you conclude from this? @dxiv $\endgroup$ – paulplusx Sep 13 '18 at 7:34
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @paulplusx I obliged with pointing out the reason why I downvoted your post since you requested it. Sorry, but I am not engaging in further meta-discussions about this, since (by none of your fault, to be clear) my past attempts have been beyond futile and frustrating. To sum it up, you can either ride your imperfect bike, or you can service it to perfection death, instead. There was a Jerome K Jerome short story about that ;-) Bye now. $\endgroup$ – dxiv Sep 13 '18 at 7:38
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @dxiv Thank you. I understand that it could be a little frustrating when we have a clash of opinions and the discussion draws out too long. Nonetheless, thank you for showing me your perspective and I really appreciate that :) $\endgroup$ – paulplusx Sep 13 '18 at 7:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .