# Hostility towards new members and treating them disrespectfully like they are total noobs? [closed]

So I asked this question Calculate determinant of a continuant matrix with variable elements? and then it was followed by a half baked 'answer' that should have been a comment at best. There is no way one can obtain a closed form answer using this method.

All my effort that I put into this question was reduced to nothing by a subsequent downvote of my question and an actual upvote of the 'answer'.

I can't understand this behaviour. Now it seems the question has been answered and I'm ungrateful bastard that I don't accept it and say thanks? Wow.

• Ok. Anybody care to explain what the downvote was all about? – Hans Oct 2 '20 at 15:18
• I didn't downvote here, but based on your question here, I reviewed your question and the comments, and you're the only one I can honestly describe as hostile and disrespectful. You posted your question only one hour ago, and a bit premature for you to brandish users here as hostile to newcomers. – amWhy Oct 2 '20 at 15:21
• @amWhy the 'answer' given to my question was disrespectful. I understand this kind of answer if the question is trivial and 0 effort spent by OP. This is not my case. – Hans Oct 2 '20 at 15:23
• You asked your question only one hour ago. You come to vent on meta; I wouldn't touch your question NOW with a ten-foot pole. Perhaps not others either, given your tone. You would have likely received other, better answers. I'm done here. You can't expect respect when you've refused to give it. – amWhy Oct 2 '20 at 15:26
• @amWhy that's the point. It is very unlikely to recieve a meaningful answer to my question very quickly. I spent effort to understand and solve it and know it is not trivial. Even the simplest case $y=n$ was not trivial. But here comes someone and posts an answer reciting certain general trivialities saying I'm a noob because I can't see the solution and he is so smart and entitled that does not even need to explain anything. – Hans Oct 2 '20 at 15:29
• I think the rule of thumb is that everyone speak mathematics and mathematics only. If you think their answer is not useful, say exactly just that and explain why. You may also say nothing and downvote, especially when one can't find anything nice to say. – Arctic Char Oct 2 '20 at 16:01

The comment history on the answer doesn't exactly look good for anyone involved in the discussion. I might suggest, when you feel a little calmer, that you flag it for moderator attention and ask them to delete all the comments -- they certainly add nothing to the discussion.

I can understand your frustration that the "answer" written was portrayed as a hint, which when you investigated seemed to lead nowhere (I'm being diplomatic as I've not attempted to solve your problem myself) but generally speaking getting annoyed with the answerer rarely leads to a positive outcome. I would suggest using the site tools in these circumstances: downvote or flag as "not an answer". You might comment asking the answerer to explain a little further, but since all contributions are voluntary there's no guarantee of success, or even a relevant response.

It can take a while before someone with the relevant knowledge sees your question: it is a good idea to post questions with an attitude of patience -- if it's a difficult one (and this seems to be) then it will likely take a few days. You may need to offer a bounty to attract enough attention, or find someone else willing to bounty the question for you. Don't forget that everyone here is a volunteer one way or another, and for some people it is very offputting if you appear to be acting with a sense of entitlement.

Your original question's answer and its comment train seems to have been cleaned up, so I can't say anything about them, but I can tell you that

• This meta post does come off as the work of someone who is new to math.se, and does not have much experience with interacting with the community here, which spans a wide range of English language ability, mathematical ability, and ability to gauge other's mathematical ability.

• Down votes come with the site. And, they frequently come without any explanation. It's within the rules, and it happens. It's not fun when you get your first ones, but learning how to brush them off is an important part of thriving here.

• Sadly, as this is my only knowledge of you as yet, I've got a bit of the feeling that amWhay describes, where I'm unlikely to want to spend my time here engaging with you or the problems you post. I'll be glad to be proven wrong by your future posts, but that's where I am now.

• Most importantly, this post has only been up for a while. My best advice to you is for you to delete it. Most everyone has had their frustration boil over at some time. There are comments I've left here that weren't a good idea. Luckily for me they've mostly been deleted by mods. The content of the problem you posted looked interesting, and I'd like for that, and other problems you'll post, to get some good answers. Leaving this as the way people first meet you makes that much less likely.

• Good luck with solving your problem and with finding a way to get along here!