Why are fundamental questions dismissed on MSE?

I was not allowed to ask questions once before and followed the site recommendations of editing posts and answering questions to regain the right to ask questions, which I did regain successfully. Then I posted the following questions:

This resulted in another disallowance in asking questions. I am not sure why these questions are considered off-topic for MSE. The second question is particularly relevant to the research I am carrying out.

I know I ask a simple questions, but these questions are fundamental. For example, I want to ask the following question:

Are marks assigned during examinations fractions or vectors?

Let me clarify. Let us say that a student scored $$\dfrac{5}{10}$$ in a test and $$\dfrac{5}{10}$$ in another test. The total score cannot be calculated by adding the fractions as $$\dfrac{5}{10}+\dfrac{5}{10} = \dfrac{10}{10}$$ giving a $$100\%$$ score; however, the student only scored $$50\%$$ combining the two tests. This leads me to a conclusion that marks assigned during tests are actually vector quantities, and not fractions, as explained below:

$$(5,10) + (5,10) = (10,20)$$

I would like to know why I cannot ask such questions and what reservations does the MSE community have?

• What makes you think the 2nd question is considered off-topic? It has no downvotes, no votes-to-close, no negative comments.... Nov 23, 2023 at 20:57
• For your unposted third question, I think vectors is overcomplicating matters. Just consider the concept of a weighted average instead. Or perhaps mediants (though I guess that's no less complicated than vectors). Nov 23, 2023 at 22:24
• @GerryMyerson that I can no longer ask questions on MSE, and when I try to ask a question, the message says "...we (MSE) are no longer accepting questions from your account because most of your questions need improvement or are out of scope for this site." Nov 24, 2023 at 1:28
• About your last question, you're wrong even on the level that your proposal is simply incorrect: the average of the scores 1/3 and 1/6, for example, is 1/4, but your proposal would suggest it to be 2/9 which is not the same. Nov 24, 2023 at 2:54
• @YiFanTey let us say that a test included 9 questions each of 1 mark, and the first 3 questions were marked by one examiner, giving a score 1/3, and the remaining 6 questions were marked by another examiner, giving a score 1/6. Would you say the examinee scored 1/4 or 2/9? Nov 24, 2023 at 3:01
• Regarding your examination marks question, there would be no ambiguity if the question clearly defines the weights of the tests (or questions). If each test has weight $50\%$, then @YiFan 's comment is right; if one gets $1/3$ in a test with weight $3/9$, then gets $1/6$ in a test with weight $6/9$, then the examinee scored $2/9$. Nov 24, 2023 at 3:48
• This is only tangential to the question, but since you brought up question ban: Even if you're banned from asking questions, the system will still allow you post a new question after 6 months. If you don't have any deleted questions, then your most recent question is from end of July - so in a few months you should be able to post a new question. (And if it is well-received, it might possibly help you with lifting the question ban. Although from I read here on meta, typically people have difficulties to get out of the question ban.) Nov 24, 2023 at 5:33
• "Are marks assigned during examinations fractions or vectors? Let us say that a student scored $\mathit{\dfrac{1}{3}}$ in a test and $\mathit{\dfrac{1}{6}}$ in another test. The total score should not be calculated by adding the fractions since $\mathit{\dfrac{1}{3}+\dfrac{1}{6} = \dfrac{1}{2}}$ gives a $\mathit{50\%}$ score. This leads me to a conclusion that marks assigned during tests are actually vector quantities, and not fractions: $\mathit{(1,3) + (1,6) = (2,9).}$" Nov 29, 2023 at 2:53
• 1. Given that the two test scores are $33\%$ and $17\%,$ then the total score is indeed $\boldsymbol{50\%}.$ $\quad$ 2. Furthermore, if the two tests have the same weight, then the scores' arithmetic mean $\boldsymbol{25\%}$ is of interest. $\quad$ 3. Finally, if every mark in the two tests have the same weight, then the scores' weighted arithmetic mean $\frac29=\boldsymbol{22\%}$ is of interest. Elaboration; vectors are unnecessary for these computations. Nov 29, 2023 at 2:53
• @ryang the 'Elaboration' concludes with "neither average is more correct than the other; the choice of formula just depends on the assessment scheme" which suggests there is no 'rigorous' way to look at marks assigned during examinations. I think that points to a larger issue, different institutions have been devising different schemes to assign marks without worrying about the mathematics involved. Nov 30, 2023 at 16:34
• @ananta 'Elaboration' concludes with "neither average is more correct than the other; the choice of formula just depends on the assessment scheme" which suggests there is no 'rigorous' way to look at marks assigned during examinations. $\quad$ No, your inference does not at all follow from that conclusion. Dec 2, 2023 at 2:45

I think you are drawing faulty conclusions. The bottom line is that many of your questions have not been well-received, and as a result, the site automatically limits how many future questions you can ask.

This has nothing to do with fundamental vs non-fundamental questions; it has to do with the historical pattern in how your questions are received (e.g., votes, closures, deletions).

This limit on asking questions is a self-defense mechanism that was created to keep the site healthy. Our mission is to build up an archive of knowledge that will be useful to others. The site is designed to enable a community of volunteers who care about that mission to come together to work together on that mission. If there is a pattern where your questions aren't contributing much to that mission, or are harming that mission, you should expect that the site won't go out of its way to help you to ask those questions, and the site might even block you from asking.

The site is run entirely by volunteers. No one has any obligation to help you specifically. Each question consumes some attention from volunteers. If someone posts many questions that are not well-received, then it is likely that they are not contributing to the site's mission as we would like, and it's also likely they are taking up the time and attention of volunteers, which is detrimental to the health of the site and the continued participation of experts. As a result, to protect the site from being inundated with questions that aren't a good fit for the site, when that kind of situation happens, the site automatically imposes limits on future questions.

You asked "why?", but I suspect that part of your post is really a statement that you don't like it and want it to be changed. However this part of the system is not likely to be changed. The community generally appreciates these protections. Many people here have experience with other sites -- like Yahoo Answers, Experts Exchange, and Quora -- with no protections. Those sites have generally degenerated into a place that wasn't healthy and where experts don't want to volunteer their time. We don't want to see that outcome here. So, some protections are essential. And I think it is working. Many people want to ask here, rather than elsewhere, specifically because there are so many experts here who will provide useful answers -- but those experts only stay if the site has some protections in place.

Don't take it personally. Instead, I encourage you to think about how you can contribute to the mission of the site. Perhaps you can contribute by helping others and providing useful answers to other people's questions, instead of asking questions here. This site is not a resource intended specifically for you. It is intended for the general good of the public. You are welcome to contribute to that mission by posting good, helpful answers to other questions. If you get into that mindset, it is likely you will have a better experience here.

I hope this helps you understand better how this community works and its norms and expectations, and helps you evaluate whether you want to try to participate here under the terms that we impose on users of this site.

I dispute the premise in the title of your post. Fundamental questions aren't dismissed on Math.SE. And your questions are not any more fundamental than many others on Math.SE. Just because you call them fundamental, does not make them so; and just you consider a question fundamental, does not necessarily make it any more important or valuable than other questions on the site. And in any case I don't think it is particularly helpful or constructive to try to debate whether a particular question is or isn't fundamental. That is a matter of taste.

I dispute your claims in your post. The two questions you linked to are not considered off-topic. I think you might be confused about "off-topic". Some questions are closed because they are judged off-topic. Both of the two questions you linked to are still open; neither is closed. At the time when I write this answer, one question has been upvoted, and one question has been downvoted.

• Thank you for your answer. It clarifies a lot about how to navigate the site and contribute to it constructively. However, not having a formal training in mathematics, I do not have a head start and am not able to do so. You may have noticed that I am more active on Chemistry Stack Exchange. While being more informed about chemistry, I also identify as mathematics enthusiast. If the site could help me with a problem of interest to me, I would devotedly study it and, in the process, learn mathematics to a greater depth, and contribute to the site's mission with great enthusiasm. Nov 26, 2023 at 7:32
• I am here and not the other sites because I do believe in the mission of the site and aim to become a valuable part of the community while contributing to my best. However, I do need a starting point. The site guidelines do mention that most users only seek answers to their questions; however, I am here to do both. I love challenging questions and providing answers and have answered questions which I could, considered the comments and answers, and improved upon my knowledge. These problems are of particular interest to me and will pave the way for me to contribute more effectively. Nov 26, 2023 at 7:39

Firstly : The first question is not a fundamental question but rather one that shows less research. Rather none of the questions you stated are "fundamental". An example of fundamental would be something like a doubt in some theorem's proof or the conditions imposed during derivation or generally the building blocks of mathematics like Gödel's incompleteness theorem or something like that.

In the first question, you have cited research papers in your post saying it is an "ongoing debate/research" among scientists when if you would have seen the official SI unit brochure you would have realised that there is not debate, it was all standardised and defined long before 2023. Citing research papers is not a big deal. One can find numerous research papers for any topic arguing on both sides and that does not decide how important the question is or if there is a raging debate on that question.

Secondly : marks assigned during examinations to be considered fraction or vectors? You asked a question that does not concern any branch of mathematics because it is about naming/nomenclature rather than any specific problem or something that relates to mathematical knowledge. You did this because 1) you are not allowed to ask on the site, 2) you thought asking on the site would again result in closing of that question and you being banned from asking questions again (although it would be correct to close the question as "off-topic" - did you read off topic rules and "general asking question on this site" pointers?)