9
$\begingroup$

The question Math for computer science? was recently closed, without a single person leaving a comment presenting any reason for closure, and this despite my asking for such justification in a comment before the question was closed. So I'll ask it here: why would you vote to close this question?

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Ironically, this meta question could be closed as "too localized", since it (only) applies to the four closers of "Math for CS" question! $\endgroup$ – The Chaz 2.0 Jun 10 '12 at 13:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Allow me to quote Bender B. Rodriguez in his quote of the English-English dictionary (The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings):$$\begin{align}&\text{The use of words expressing something other than their literal intention,}\\&\text{Now that is "irony".}\end{align}$$ $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 10 '12 at 14:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Gerry I don't think it is "too localized", so I will gladly cast a reopen vote if a couple others also vote to reopen. Nor do I agree that it was correct to short-circuit the community decision process using a moderator supervote. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jun 10 '12 at 16:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is there a reason you haven't voted to reopen? $\endgroup$ – Isaac Jun 10 '12 at 18:46
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Bill: three other users voted to close before I did. I don't know how you can call that short-circuiting the community decision process; I would call it speeding it up. $\endgroup$ – Qiaochu Yuan Jun 10 '12 at 19:35
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @Qiaochu Casting a fourth binding close vote certainly does short-circuit the normal five close votes required. Please let the community decide such subjective matters democratically. And what you call "speeding up", others might call "censorship". $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jun 10 '12 at 19:52
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque Direct democracy isn't the only form of democracy, there's also representative democracy. The moderators are elected democratically, I don't see how a moderator that is using his powers is acting undemocratically. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Jun 10 '12 at 19:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Bill: I notice that you have not reopened the question yourself. Can you explain why? $\endgroup$ – Qiaochu Yuan Jun 10 '12 at 20:01
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Mad Scientist In my opinion, no individual should have the power to decide what material is off-topic here. If that ever became true, I'm sure many would cease participation (as some already have due to such issues). $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jun 10 '12 at 20:01
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @Bill Most moderator decisions can be overriden by the community, even if a moderator closes a question singlehandedly, the community can still disagree and reopen the question. There are enough ways to disagree with moderator decisions (counter-voting, flagging and meta) that I think moderators should not be afraid to act, they just should be ready to defend their actions and revert them if the community makes a convincing argument. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Jun 10 '12 at 20:04
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ No, it shouldn't happen often, but it eventually will for any active moderator. I've closed around 300 questions on the sites where I'm a mod, a large part of those unilaterally, and hardly any of those decisions were reversed, and then only after significant changes to the post. Moderators shouldn't be afraid of closing a post if they're convinced it is a bad one, and the community shouldn't be afraid to override a moderator decisions. Such events can often help to improve the site policies, they draw attention to unclear areas. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Jun 10 '12 at 20:19
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Bill, I generally agree that once the votes are binding one should reserve them for the last vote. However casting the fourth vote as binding means that there is some support to closing the question (especially since no real discussion was in the comments). It is no different than someone would have flagged it and it would have been closed. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 10 '12 at 20:58
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @The, I was careful to ask, "why would you vote to close this question?" not "why did you vote to close this question?" so in fact it applies to anyone who has a reason for voting to close, whether such a vote was cast or not. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Jun 11 '12 at 0:28
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque Yes, we already know that you are the only one here with sufficient experience to tell everyone else how true democracy works. $\endgroup$ – Phira Jun 11 '12 at 7:13
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ @Phira Please be constructive. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jun 11 '12 at 11:19
3
$\begingroup$

I know there are other questions like this on math.SE that are not closed, but to be honest I don't like them either. It seems to me that questions like this are pitched at the wrong level of generality: either they should be more specific to and include more details of the OP's situation (in which case at least it would be easier to agree on an answer) or they should be phrased more generally to apply to situations beyond the OP's (although this comes with its own problems).

I am willing to change my mind, although I'll refrain from reopening the question unilaterally if someone does change my mind so as not to "short-circuit the community decision process."

$\endgroup$
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ If the objection is that there are not enough details of OP's situation, then the solution is to ask OP to provide more details. We do this all the time --- if we closed every question where (say) I wasn't happy with the level of detail provided, about half of the volume of m.se would vanish. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Jun 11 '12 at 0:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Gerry: fair enough. Would you like to begin voting to reopen? $\endgroup$ – Qiaochu Yuan Jun 11 '12 at 0:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not especially, but what the heck, I'll do it. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Jun 11 '12 at 0:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .