so I asked this Question in the main SE:

[I would appreciate If someone could translate the following for me. I want to know if it is coherent, thanks in advance. Or, instead of translating you can tell me if it is coherent, or do I need further explication.

$P$ is a constant two place predicate, not arbitrary.

$A=\{x|(x\land \lnot x)\}\neq \emptyset$, that is, $(x\land \lnot x)$ has substantial semantic value.

$B=\{y|\exists Q,\forall z[(P(z,y)\land Q(z))\implies\lnot Q(z)]\}$

$g: Constant$

$Q(x):x$ has property $Q$ or $x$ is $Q...$ theory of description

In essence B is the set all x such that when any object $Ps$ x, then x looses a property.

$$\forall x(P(g,x)\iff x\notin A \land x\notin B)$$]

However, I kept on accumulating downvotes without comments on how to fix it. I wanted to ask: what is wrong with the question, and how can I fix it.



closed as off-topic by amWhy, Saad, José Carlos Santos, John B, Shailesh Nov 30 '18 at 23:17

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave these specific reasons:

  • "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." – John B, Shailesh
  • "You posted this mathematics question on the meta site attached to the site Mathematics. The meta site is intended for support questions and discussions about the main site (cf. the help center). Please post your question on the main site instead: http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/ask. For further information see: How to Ask and How to ask a good question?" – amWhy, Saad, José Carlos Santos
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ It would be helpful if you provided a link to the original question (high level users can view deleted questions, but its hard to search for them). Also, there is no question mark in your quoted maths question. So its difficult to work out what you are actually asking. I am guessing that you want to prove the "$\Leftrightarrow$" equivalence holds, but really I have no idea! In short: make the actual question clearer! $\endgroup$ – user1729 Nov 30 '18 at 12:15
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    $\begingroup$ [Incidentally, this question had two downvotes and no comments when I posted my above comment. When a meta question is asking about silent downvotes, the answer is not more silent downvotes...] $\endgroup$ – user1729 Nov 30 '18 at 12:17
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    $\begingroup$ Please link the question, if it actually exists. Asking math questions on meta is poor practice, even if you try to disguise it as some mysterious former question you asked which doesn't show up under the list of questions you've asked on main. $\endgroup$ – amWhy Nov 30 '18 at 12:30
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    $\begingroup$ I assume the OP will add this to the question, but since already two comments asked for the question, here it is: Please translate the following into colloqual english or tell me if it is coherent. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Nov 30 '18 at 13:39
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    $\begingroup$ Hi and welcome to MSE. For me, a downvote or a close vote without a comment is an unkind act, unless there is already an explanatory comment from a previous user. I always comment because the stock text on closure notifications is actually quite cryptic, because it frequently asks a user to do something which they already believed they were doing. $\endgroup$ – user334732 Nov 30 '18 at 14:54
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    $\begingroup$ You have to bear in mind though, that there are those who like to maintain standards and who work in such volume doing so that it would not be economical to moderate so many questions, and remain courteous. There is a lot of housekeeping to do so to some degree we have to be grateful to those that do it even if it means we may not like the way it is done. $\endgroup$ – user334732 Nov 30 '18 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ @user1729 Hi, thanks for the input. I don't how to paste the link to the original question since I have deleted the question. I can not see it. $\endgroup$ – Bertrand Wittgenstein's Ghost Nov 30 '18 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ @user1729 Yes, thank you for understanding. That is what I am saying. I don't mind the downvote, just say how I can better ask a question so next time it won't happen. $\endgroup$ – Bertrand Wittgenstein's Ghost Nov 30 '18 at 20:06
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    $\begingroup$ @amWhy I have deleted the question, I can't link it sorry. I do not want an answer. I want to know how can I better ask a question like this so I can actually get answer to it rather than angry downvotes. Thanks for the input. $\endgroup$ – Bertrand Wittgenstein's Ghost Nov 30 '18 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Sorry I can't link it because its deleted. I am sorry about that! $\endgroup$ – Bertrand Wittgenstein's Ghost Nov 30 '18 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ "angry downvotes." Why do you assume those who downvoted were angry? $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Dec 1 '18 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson, because anyone who down-votes without a constructive comment is angry... JK, of course. I don't know why I wrote that lol. $\endgroup$ – Bertrand Wittgenstein's Ghost Dec 1 '18 at 4:33

I suspect that one reason for downvotes on the original question is that it is very far from being coherent. For example, the notation $A = \{ x : x \land \lnot x\}$ might well be viewed as nonsensical, the way it is written. The expression does not make sense in elementary set theory, predicate logic, or second-order logic, which are all tags on the question. This does not mean that it was asked in bad faith - only that users who are trained in standard mathematical notation cannot understand what it is asking.

If the post were just slightly incoherent, it might have attracted more answers or comments, but when something is as difficult to follow as the original post, some users may hesitate to engage at all, for fear of getting into an endless circular discussion.

Another possible factor: although "Bertrand Wittgenstein's Ghost" might be intended as a humorous or playful username, it could also be viewed as a red flag indicating a troublesome user. Usernames that match a real-life identity avoid that kind of worry. If you insist on using a pseudonym, choose one that could not possibly be viewed as provocative.

I would recommend taking a class in mathematical logic and set theory to learn the standard formalisms, before trying to ask about more philosophical issues such as sets of predicates. This will enable you to write questions in a way that the intended audience (trained mathematicians) are able to understand what you are asking.

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    $\begingroup$ I can't see the question but is $A$ not just the set of contradictory sentences? $\endgroup$ – user334732 Nov 30 '18 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Robert Frost: the original question is copied starting in the third paragraph of the question above. From my perspective, if $x$ is a sentence, it is never the case that $x \land \lnot x$, so the set $A$ would always be empty. The use of "Wittgenstein" in the username makes me suspect the OP may be interested in paraconsistent logic, but then it would certainly be necessary to say more about what is intended. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Nov 30 '18 at 15:28
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    $\begingroup$ I see $x\land\lnot x$ and I think "This sentence is false"... but I should stick to discussing the meta $\endgroup$ – user334732 Nov 30 '18 at 15:31
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    $\begingroup$ If a sentence $x$ is false, then $x \land \lnot x$ is false (from the definition of $\land$). If a sentence $x$ is true, then $\lnot x$ is false, so $x \land \lnot x$ is false. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Nov 30 '18 at 15:32
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    $\begingroup$ IMO It's false independently of the system in which it is inserted, or vacuously false. $\endgroup$ – user334732 Nov 30 '18 at 15:33
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    $\begingroup$ Hi, thanks for the answer. I am relatively well-versed in mathematical logic and set theory. By the way, @RobertFrost, was indeed correct as A is indeed a set of contradictions, which I tried to show with $\neq \emptyset$, so forth. However, that is not what this question is about. So you are saying it is incoherent, which is fine. That is all I wanted to know. This could have been done without all the downvotes. Regardless, thanks! $\endgroup$ – Bertrand Wittgenstein's Ghost Nov 30 '18 at 19:03
  • $\begingroup$ I know meta isn't the place and all that but I'm intrigued about the apparent implication derived from your comment above, that the set of Godel sentences over all theories is the empty set. $\endgroup$ – user334732 Nov 30 '18 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ @RobertFrost I reformulated my question, please give some input on it here, I will appreciate it. math.stackexchange.com/questions/3020987/… $\endgroup$ – Bertrand Wittgenstein's Ghost Dec 1 '18 at 4:29
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlMummert I reformulated my question, please give some input on it here, I will appreciate it. math.stackexchange.com/questions/3020987/… $\endgroup$ – Bertrand Wittgenstein's Ghost Dec 1 '18 at 4:29
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    $\begingroup$ Reformulation now self-deleted. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Dec 1 '18 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson tbh I now see why it got so many down-votes. when I reformulated the question in a different format. The comments were all philosophical than formal. That is not what I intended the question to be, but that is how it was perceived and therefore it does not belong in a math Q and A. $\endgroup$ – Bertrand Wittgenstein's Ghost Dec 1 '18 at 10:07

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