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I have voted to close "What is your favorite Math Quote". I think this question is outside what we hope to silly filling up the site. My comment indicating that it should probably be closed has four votes already. Can some others with enough rep please vote to close this question.

If you think this question is a good question and should remain open, please discuss below.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree that it should be closed (even though I quite like some of the answers) but more importantly the FAQ does not make it clear that this question should be closed (at least to me). $\endgroup$ – anon Aug 10 '10 at 3:19
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    $\begingroup$ Later down the road a question such as this may be allowed to survive on a case-by-case basis depending on how interesting the responses become before the "closers" move in. At this point I agree with you - it is not a good example for the new users we have flying around here! (There is precedent for opinion-only questions remaining open here and on MO) $\endgroup$ – Tom Stephens Aug 10 '10 at 3:29
  • $\begingroup$ One of the upvotes on your comment is mine. Since my close vote is binding, I don't want to cast it until 4 others had voted on the question. $\endgroup$ – Larry Wang Aug 10 '10 at 3:32
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    $\begingroup$ I am in favor of closure of this question, but I am wary of allowing this site to develop the way its target audience wants it to, since I already have MO as a stomping ground. (So I haven't voted to close.) Maybe this is a step forward: who can write a convincing explanation as to why the question should be closed? $\endgroup$ – Pete L. Clark Aug 10 '10 at 3:36
  • $\begingroup$ I am fine with a few of these types of questions $\endgroup$ – Casebash Aug 10 '10 at 8:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Pete L. Clark: This is a big problem for math.SE, I'm afraid: a lot of mathematicians from MO, who really have experience of creating and keeping working successful SE-like mathematical site, in most cases choose to "allow this site to develop [in it's own way]" — i.e. to leave decisions to, usually, less competent [mathematically, at least] people. (Of course, it's not for me to question that choice. Just makes me sad.) $\endgroup$ – Grigory M Aug 10 '10 at 9:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Grigory M: Well, I've been pretty active on both the main and meta sites over the last week, so I'm certainly participating to an extent: if you read carefully, you'll probably even catch me expressing an opinion or two. But on this question, I don't think that either there's a "correct opinion" or that those who are mathematically less experienced than I have less wisdom or perspective on this matter. It really comes down to: do you like these softish, big-list questions or not? Let's wait and see what people think... $\endgroup$ – Pete L. Clark Aug 10 '10 at 12:42
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    $\begingroup$ Note: the question in... Well... Question, has been closed. $\endgroup$ – BBischof Aug 10 '10 at 15:29
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    $\begingroup$ Meta^2 discussion here meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/549/… $\endgroup$ – Tom Boardman Aug 10 '10 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Moderators Can you add "Status Completed" to this? I tried but cannot. $\endgroup$ – BBischof Aug 11 '10 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ @BBishchof: Done. FYI, clicking the flag button is more effective for drawing moderator attention. $\endgroup$ – Larry Wang Aug 11 '10 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaestur, I was under the impression that was for bad things. I will keep this in mind, thanks for the info. $\endgroup$ – BBischof Aug 11 '10 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ I would like to ask your opinion. Would it be better for someone that has answered this question in the main site, as was my case, to edit his/her answer and delete it? Or, on the contrary, the quote should remain there, to cover the case the question is reopened? This applies to all closed questions. $\endgroup$ – Américo Tavares Aug 16 '10 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Americo I wouldn't worry about deleting your answer. It is not hurting anyone by being there. The point of closed was to avoid this sort of question being asked in the future, and to keep this particular question from jumping to the top of the front page repeatedly. Your answer effects neither of those. :D $\endgroup$ – BBischof Aug 16 '10 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ @BBischof: Thanks for your repply. I will leave my answer in the main site as it is. $\endgroup$ – Américo Tavares Aug 16 '10 at 21:20
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I created this question in a similar vein a while back in a bid to stop it being asked sloppily and as something of a seeding experiment. The results have been perhaps encouragingly underwhelming and after 8 answers (half of them from one user) and a sum of +3 upvotes, it is clear that the search for maths puzzles is not about to take over the site. Indeed the last answer was getting on for a good two weeks ago.

The question under scrutiny is perhaps similar and with a total of no upvotes it is unlikely to be around for long, at worst barring sporadic answers bumping it to the front page once in a while (something that would not be the end of the world for me at least- I know some people at MO defend the front page with their lives though, so who knows...), and as a temporary crowd pleaser that survived a while on MO, I feel there is good precedent to allow it to survive here a while.

In addition, I do not consider it the first of a slew of questions: "favourite X" only has rational solutions X= puzzles, formulae, theorems, quotes, jokes and papers (at a pinch) [perhaps there are, maybe, 3 others but] you get the point- once these are out of our collective system, anything else is [closed as exact duplicate] or interesting or closable for other reasons.

Finally, I will admit that I added a quote, and I may add another. I may check this question occasionally, in case someone adds something that really interests me- but you know what? No harm done.

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  • $\begingroup$ You make some good points, and I like the pun :) $\endgroup$ – BBischof Aug 10 '10 at 14:37
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I agree that this question could be valuable one day, and does little real harm, but I don't think we want it around at this point.

Questions like these can be fun for people to participate in; submitting their favorite quotes, voting up others they like, etc. I'd rather save that for when the site opens up to the public, so that new visitors aren't too intimidated by a question with 200 answers, some with 60+ upvotes, and they can't even submit their favorite quote because someone else already posted it 4 months ago.

Let's focus on building mathematical content for now, and leave the community-building stuff a little longer.

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It's somewhat bad for the site if the easiest way to gain reputation is through "recreational" questions, although that hasn't killed SO. We should insist that these questions are marked [big-list] and CW.

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    $\begingroup$ Agree that we don't want that. I changed it to community wiki about 15 min after it was created. Flagging such posts with a brief comment is a good way to prevent what you describe. $\endgroup$ – Larry Wang Aug 11 '10 at 16:34

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