I've been a fairly active member for about a month, and I first of all want to say that this is a terrific site for someone like me that loves to mess around with challenging problems for no reason but the pure joy of it. Thanks to the moderators and others that make this site hum.
That said, I would like to ask about some ethics in answering some of the questions, driven by the (understandable) goal of increasing one's rep score. I am finding that, on more than one occasion, I may post an answer, and then, not 1 or 2 minutes later, but more than 10 minutes later, a nearly identical answer is posted, with nearly identical insights. Answer collisions - even collisions in additional insights - are understandable when there are questions in elementary subjects such as calculus. But after 10 minutes or so, when the duplicate answer has been posted either without even looking to see that a proposed answer has already been posted or even without caring, seems unreasonable to me.
My question is: shouldn't there be some responsibility of the users to check answers already posted so that those who answered first get proper credit?** And, if the incentive for rep score is too strong to be trusted to us users, shouldn't some moderators do a check of questions with many answers to make sure that duplicate answers are removed? (With an explanation sent to the answer-er, possibly with a path to appeal.)
**I understand the irony of this statement given my "pure joy of it" comment. But the joy is removed when you feel usurped.