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This is my first question on the meta site, so I look forward to any feedback.

Sometimes we get questions from non-mathematicians that don't live up to the usual quality standards. Take a look at this question for example. This question clearly has problems: It's basically a PSQ (I think that's the right term?) and it relies on an image to understand the problem. On the plus side, it has a nice, descriptive title and polite language (and this counts for something in my book!).

If this was asked by a maths student, or if it looked like a homework problem, I would definitely ask for their own work/context etc. etc., and probably vote to close for now. But the asker writes: "I'm trying to get [...] for my welding research." This makes me want to help them with the problem and be lenient with the usual rules.

I think it's nice if we can help people from other fields with honest questions like this. Are there any official or unofficial positions on this?

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    $\begingroup$ No. Same rules apply. $\endgroup$ Jul 31 at 8:13
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    $\begingroup$ Suppose that you travel to the Amazon rain forest and meet a new tribe. By complete luck, they developed exactly the same language as English. So you invite one to your home. He has no concept of homes, possessions, or pizza. And so, after serving dinner to him, he takes the silverware you got from your grandmother for your wedding and puts it in his bag, they look nice and he wants them. Are you going to say something? After all, he's from a different culture, just let him have it. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jul 31 at 8:25
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila I realize your question is meant to be rhetorical, but I'll address it anyways. Honestly, no – I probably wouldn't say anything. That is to say, of course I wouldn't let someone steal all my precious silverware, but I don't think that's a fair analogy of the situation here. IMO this is more like not taking off your shoes when you enter a house, or some social faux pas like that. And then my disposition is, as long as we can all be polite and get along, what harm is really done? But that's just me, and of course the policy of being consistent with the rules makes sense. [cont...] $\endgroup$
    – Milten
    Jul 31 at 9:14
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    $\begingroup$ Of course I'll do my best to follow the guidelines. Though it's a bit of a shame in my own opinon. $\endgroup$
    – Milten
    Jul 31 at 9:15
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    $\begingroup$ You have clearly never stepped into a house in Japan while still wearing your shoes. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jul 31 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Haha well, that maybe wasn't the best analogy either. But I hope the intention got across ;) $\endgroup$
    – Milten
    Jul 31 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Milten This is one issue, and one person. I guarantee you, that you will be able to help this person by not necessarily answering their question. For example, you can direct them to resources , you can take them to a chatroom and help them out, so if your dedication to helping this user, and the user's own interest match up, then create a chat room and discuss for 15 minutes! There are many ways to work around your frustration. I semi-wish that we could go by on emotion, but even in the way of emotion we can do certain things. Someone asked a question about EE , I sent him my mail-id. $\endgroup$ Jul 31 at 11:23

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