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My original question

What in the world is "unclear or needs details" about this question? I actually felt the question was a bit long and included some overkill.

What needs to be improved about the question? Certainly, it has enough clarity for a valid answer as thanks to @RossMillikan has a legitmate solution.

Five people voted to close the question, but only one person could bother to tell me why?

I see one recommendation to migrate it to matheducators.stackexchange.com. Personally, I think it might be off topic in MathEducators. Currently on matheducators question page, there is maybe one traditional math question. Isn't math educators for discussion about teaching, creating exams, methods of teaching, what to include in a course or exclude in a course? Does the community consider this question better on the educators site or only a few people?

On a related note, I have seen for quite a while that MSE is unfriendly to those who are in high school or freshman or sophomore level classes. Most of the questions here on MSE are graduate level. If I have a BS in Math and my question is still considered vague or unclear then maybe something is incorrect about the closure system. I could cite many examples but this begins to get off topic.

Some context, originally I didn't realize that link to the question's image was broken. Thanks to @JamesA for noticing and fixing it. This caused some confusion initially. However, the link was fixed first then afterwards the question was closed.

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  • $\begingroup$ Also, why does meta require one of five tags? I couldn't post this meta until I added one of "discussion" "bug" "feature-request", ... . Discussion is specifically for "abstract idea" neither of which seem to apply to this question. From one of the required five tags, is there a more appropriate tag? $\endgroup$
    – nickalh
    Oct 27 at 8:27
  • $\begingroup$ To answer your comment first: meta is for discussion about the main site and the tags required are exactly those for things on topic here. Your question is on topic though, and discussion is the right tag since you're asking for a discussion of its merits. Second, I voted to migrate (just cut'n'paste your question over there now I've seen your question in the comments) and close/delete here yourself. Personally I think it's a fine question, but better suited to Math Educators. $\endgroup$
    – postmortes
    Oct 27 at 8:29
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    $\begingroup$ Do you see any or many homework questions on math educators? This one has someone commenting the reverse. "This looks like a problem for MSE rather than MESE."- matheducators.stackexchange.com/questions/24510/… @postmortes $\endgroup$
    – nickalh
    Oct 27 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ If you want me to be alerted to see your comments, you need to prefix them with @ and username (no space between them). As you're the poster of this question, this doesn't apply to you -- all comments here will alert you. Perhaps I've misunderstood then, I was under the impression you were after ways to discuss the problem and help a tutee. If the question is really "solve this problem for me" then MSE is the right place for it $\endgroup$
    – postmortes
    Oct 27 at 8:42
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe the tag (specific-question) could be worth adding. (See the tag-info for the description of that tag.) In the first comment, you have asked about the required tags. I don't think that is something to be worried about, but you can find some basic info in the help center and on Meta Stack Exchange. $\endgroup$ Oct 27 at 11:18
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    $\begingroup$ Note that the question has been reopened. $\endgroup$ Oct 28 at 12:23
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, of course. I still don't have any clarity as to why it was closed. Seems like an arbitrary and capricious system. $\endgroup$
    – nickalh
    Oct 28 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ @nickalh Lol yep. Welcome to MathSE, where quorum of 5 can close a post. $\endgroup$ Nov 9 at 19:24
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    $\begingroup$ LOL, I know that, but still don't know why about 4 of the 5 close votes. Other than, they weren't willing to tell me the link was broken, etc. $\endgroup$
    – nickalh
    Nov 9 at 23:39
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    $\begingroup$ Suppose that the four who didn't tell you why they voted to close had the same reason as the one who did tell you. Would you want to have four comments, each just saying "I agree with the previous comment"? It could be that the four just didn't feel they had anything to add to what the one had already written. Or, it could be that the four just didn't want to get dragged into an argument – some users have been known to get very stroppy when subject to any criticism, as some downvoters have learned the hard way. $\endgroup$ Nov 10 at 2:09
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    $\begingroup$ one of the original close voters (Parcly Taxel) is currently running for moderator. You could ask there if they can explain/justify their vote? $\endgroup$ Nov 10 at 6:59
  • $\begingroup$ @CalvinKhor Thanks for that link; I had no idea that reviewers can vote multiple times to close/open (and presumably delete?) posts; for the record, I don't think this is a good implementation, particularly since there are many other, much more blatant (less controversial) PSQs/duplicates on MSE for the reviewers to be dealing with after moving on from this one. $\endgroup$
    – ryang
    Nov 10 at 13:25
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    $\begingroup$ @ryang you're welcome; It seems like you shouldn't normally be able to, unless they aged away with no result. It looks it happened by being sent to the Reopen queue repeatedly, which might change the logic? This queue is also usually not full, so people who frequent these queues like e.g. Jose, amWhy and Harish, each with ≥2 votes are more likely to repeat vote. Or perhaps there is some fudging of the timeline due to asyncronicity $\endgroup$ Nov 10 at 13:42
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Question has been reopened, but I don't have clarity as to how to prevent this in the future.

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  • $\begingroup$ I plan on marking this as the answer, because I don't think I'll get an answer to the "why close this?" $\endgroup$
    – nickalh
    Nov 9 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ I think this question admits too many possibilities. Ross' answer is one possible interpretation, as is Especially Lime's, even if correct. You are saying it is a legitimate answer to your question , one part of which currently reads : "Discuss how it is possible that Torty wins the race" What you should have possibly said was "provide an example of a situation where Torty wins under the conditions above, along with supporting calculations". "discuss, address" these are , in my opinion, not the clearest words to use. You've also asked for a graph, that no one provided. $\endgroup$ Nov 10 at 9:30
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    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't close this question, not even at the point of time the link was broken. Having said that, I would ask for clarification, particularly because I would be asking if you wanted the graph, and what would adequately satisfy you as a "discussion" of the situation and "addressal" of the constant-rate vs average-rate conundrum. I wouldn't know if Ross and EL answer your question, because I don't know if they "discussed" or "addressed" the question to your satisfaction, unless you confirmed it. $\endgroup$ Nov 10 at 9:33
  • $\begingroup$ I can fill in the gaps for "discussion". I closed it more because I have long since moved on. Somehow I had a small mental block about manipulating the last few seconds after the race finished. $\endgroup$
    – nickalh
    Nov 10 at 20:54
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    $\begingroup$ It's good to know that you've moved on. You took the right action in asking for clarification. I would like to remark that I am a part of the closure system : and usually, about 90% of those in the review queue (with respect to the site guidelines) are pretty much nailed-on open/close decisions. It's the 10% on the border that come up for debate , and I'm sorry that your question ended up belonging to that 10% and that no feedback was provided. I would suggest that you keep faith in the system : it is there for a reason, and no system is error-free, particularly one involving humans. $\endgroup$ Nov 11 at 11:43

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