I sometimes want to ask questions that I know will not be popular, yet I think are good.

It's a weird feeling. And its double. Some questions are nontrivial, hard to state clearly, or simply unpopular. It has some disadvantages doing so thus it bothers me.

So what to do? It appears to me as perhaps the cause of undownvoting in that sense that people realize it was not a bad question 'after all'. I guess we all have different interests , but I would never downvote on something just because it is not 'my thing'. Tastes differ and so do our skills and experience. I wonder if maybe votes would be better if they were linked to the reputation of the voter?

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    $\begingroup$ What makes you think that people regularly downvote questions merely because they are not "their thing"? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ And thats what i mean with sticky :) Now seriously , not all people are like that but some are. And i assume the higher the reputation the less likely that they act that way. But the highest reputations are a minority. Call me undemocratic if you like. For the votes to close it works much better imho since you need some reputation for that. I guess you wont agree , but then tell me , why do they downvote a question that was good ? Or why do they undownvote ? $\endgroup$
    – mick
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 14:19
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    $\begingroup$ Do you have any evidence for what you wrote? Sometimes, people downvote questions because they are simply bad. But since you have complained about closing policies on MO (where getting closing rights is harder than here) after being a user for an hour, I'm glad you have chnage your opinion on closing policies. Btw: Hey yo, plz wrt I inst f i, t rds bttr. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ Tx fr da tip bro :p I appreciate that. Now seriously I do not like the exaggeration. I am not from US or UK and I might be a bit sloppy or wrong in spelling or grammar. But I do not intend to be rude or such. I just find 'i' more natural because it seems more humble I guess. As in most other languages I think. I think it reads equally well. But thanks for the edit anyway. $\endgroup$
    – mick
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 14:34
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    $\begingroup$ @mick In English, 'i' is always improper. Also, why do you keep putting spaces before your punctuation? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelGreinecker: FYI, I do not consider changing "realise" to "realize" to be a spelling correction, see en.wiktionary.org/wiki/realise ; also I consider your correction "Taste" → "Tastes" inaccurate. (only mentioning this here because I don't like to revert others' edits) $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ @BenMillwood Thank you for the information. Feel free to change my edits. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Ben , I feel more confident now :) $\endgroup$
    – mick
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


I will try to attempt your answer your question.

For most of the users, one must always account for the statistical out liners, they would not down vote a question because it not contained within the set of their either mathematical knowledge preferences and/or which tags they prefer.

The reason for any down votes to some of your questions would most likely stem from what you have already stated in your question.

hard to state clearly, or simply unpopular.

This site values well written questions and answers on the topic of Mathematics. The main reason is clarity of understanding.

I have seen several questions that were dressed up with some terminology and/or equations; however, for all the dressing up, the question was not about mathematics but more along the lines of total misunderstanding of the nature of mathematics, and filled with pseudo-intellectualism babble.

Please, understand that Mathematics is build upon rigorous proofs. Mathematics is so wonderful because of the strict unyielding structured proofs.

First, try to learn Mathematics, then read the high up-voted questions, and then revise your question.

In the end, the worst that can happen is you get down voted mercilessly. It was on my very first question, because I worded it so poorly. I learned, and that is half the battle.

  • $\begingroup$ I agree with your advice regarding "dressed-up" questions. However, "read the high up-voted questions" may send the wrong signal. We don't need more questions like the one about Batman equations. Here, popularity (votes) need have no correlation to quality. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque : Yes I agree. I did read the high up voted questions and I have seen the Batman equation. At best that equation was ' entertaining '. (at Mao) ( i cheat here :p ) : Nice answer. I should learn to state things more clearly , but the paradox is that if you do not understand something well and have a question about it , it might not be easy to express for you either. Communication is however crucial. $\endgroup$
    – mick
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ After reading myself I appear quite apologetic. Communication and understanding is a 2way interaction. That is to say for example if i ask ( a good question ) about FLT , some 17 yo voting me down because he does not understand the question or he does not like complicated things is quite a different situation than when i ask an unclear and bad question. You might argue he will upvote FLT , but that is then probabily because it is famous and popular and thus not the perfect example. Afterall there are infamous or even original questions of considerable debt possible too. ( continued below ) $\endgroup$
    – mick
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ The basic idea is not that the system is very bad , but that maybe votes measured on reputation might be better ? As expected this OP has downvotes because it is not popular , I seem to be nagging and they do not like the idea of giving unequal weight to votes ( seems unfair or so ). But imho this proves my point exactly. $\endgroup$
    – mick
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ @mick: if you are concerned about your downvotes on this question, perhaps you have not seen this FAQ entry: meta.math.stackexchange.com/faq#vote-differences $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 3:40
  • $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque I didn't state it clearly, but overall the questions with higher than normal upvotes, tend to be better questions. $\endgroup$
    – yiyi
    Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 13:22

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