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This question Why is Mathematics Complicated! has been closed, but I consider it a very important question and also I don't see why it is not appropriate for this site?

Can you please explain why it is not acceptable or even better help to reopen it?

It is true that the answer to the question is not a number - so one cannot simply take the question and feed it into the calculator (or look it up in the dictionary like some of the other recent questions) and post the result as an answer, but it is my hope that this site doesn't become a human powered calculator. The singular thing which a site like this is can do, that others cannot is have people who have understood things share their understanding - this (deep) question should be a good catalyst for this but instead, to my disappointment is just shut down!

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 vote to reopen. $\endgroup$ – T.. Sep 23 '10 at 23:54
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    $\begingroup$ I've cast the final vote to reopen this question. $\endgroup$ – Larry Wang Sep 25 '10 at 17:52
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I'm ambivalent. I would not have voted to close the question but I am not sure I want to vote to reopen it either. I agree that it has the potential for interesting answers, but as has been on discussed on meta.MO many times, the potential for interesting answers is not, by itself, enough to justify keeping a question open. The question just strikes me as too philosophical, although I think it could be reworded without much effort into a much more precise question.

A question of roughly comparable level of philosophicality was asked on MO once and was closed, but I decided to re-ask it on my blog because I thought that was a better medium for it. Perhaps if someone else is interested they could do the same.

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    $\begingroup$ There isn't a need to "justify keeping a question open". It is the closing of questions that needs justification. $\endgroup$ – T.. Sep 24 '10 at 13:06
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    $\begingroup$ @T..: What you've said is true when a question is already open. But when a question is closed, it is re-opening that requires justification (psychologically, anyway). $\endgroup$ – Larry Wang Sep 25 '10 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ That's a procedural flaw in the close/reopen voting system. When I last checked, there had been 5 votes to close and 4 to re-open, which sums to 1 close vote, so this question would never have been closed had both options been available for voting. As soon as there is a close vote the "open" option should also appear so a more accurate opinion count can be had. Offering the "reopen" choice only after -5 is reached leads to endless closure wars on meta. There there would be more certainty and less conflict with a bipartisan voting system. $\endgroup$ – T.. Sep 26 '10 at 6:15
  • $\begingroup$ @T..: Is there any example of a question that was closed, opened, and then again closed? The question at hand will probably remain open now. So maybe there's no need to worry about endless closing wars on meta. $\endgroup$ – Rasmus Sep 26 '10 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Rasmus: "endless closure wars on meta" meant that there is a steady stream of such contests on the meta, not that any individual question will have an endless cycle of closing and opening (though that could happen as the user base grows). The more common cycle is closing-metadiscussion-reopening. $\endgroup$ – T.. Sep 26 '10 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ @T..: I see. Thank you for the explanation. $\endgroup$ – Rasmus Sep 27 '10 at 12:10
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The question "Why is mathematics complicated?" implies that there is a reason for mathematics being complicated. I don't think there is such a reason. Therefore I'm under the impression that the question cannot be answered objectively.

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe there are, in fact, reasons that can be articulated. Isn't the purpose of the question to find that out? $\endgroup$ – T.. Sep 23 '10 at 23:55
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    $\begingroup$ Well I'd love to be disabused and find out that the question "Why is Mathematics Complicated!" is well-posed and answerable. Let's see! $\endgroup$ – Rasmus Sep 25 '10 at 11:45
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The question got one answer before being closed as "subjective and argumentative".

That answer was not argumentative at all, and whatever subjective opinions it offered, were supported objectively, citing 2 theorems and 3 undisputed examples. Where's the problem?

Closing threads as "subjective and argumentative" without evidence of those attributes, is premature.

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    $\begingroup$ It didn't really answer the question either. $\endgroup$ – Aryabhata Sep 24 '10 at 1:27
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    $\begingroup$ Unless you redefine "answer" to mean "total, comprehensive, eternal, all-purpose resolution of the question", it certainly did answer the question in one reasonable way. Specifically, it answered with examples and theorems supporting the idea that "simple questions often have no simple answers". Where is the problem in that, and is posting such an answer subjective and argumentative? $\endgroup$ – T.. Sep 24 '10 at 13:04
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    $\begingroup$ @T..: It didn't really say why simple questions often have no simple answers. It just restated some facts which form the premise of the question! So I don't see how that answer being objective or not is relevant to the discussion. As to the question, the title itself is subjective: "Complicated". Closing it does not mean it is not interesting etc. It just means it is not suitable for a stackexchange like forum. Anyway, what is suitable or not is itself subjective. I say let the close/reopen votes/community decided what is suitable for this forum. $\endgroup$ – Aryabhata Sep 24 '10 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ It did not re-state the premise of the question. The premise was that this phenomenon is surprising, and by producing five undisputable examples as evidence for the idea that the phenomenon is ubiquitous, the answer challenged the premise. Also, the question specifically asked for other examples, which is an objective request and which was fulfilled by the question. Had the thread stayed open, more fundamental "why" explanations such as, e.g., Goedel's theorem or coincidence (the large number of simply stated problems that DO have simple solutions) could have been posted. $\endgroup$ – T.. Sep 24 '10 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ @T..: The question title clearly says: "Why is Mathematics complicated", so I don't see any surprise there. In any case, "complicated" is itself a subjective word. The examples one provides might be simple for some and complicated for others. For instance, the example question/answer OP links to is simple, IMO. Also, if you are talking about Goedel's Incompleteness theorem, I don't see how that answers the question either. Anyway, I would rather not discuss this more. I don't think it is worth it. FWIW, I will not cast a close vote if it is reopened. It is upto the community... $\endgroup$ – Aryabhata Sep 24 '10 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Moron: the question and the title are two different things. There are plenty of mathematically precise questions here and on MO with more informal --- you might have called them "subjective" --- titles. A question that asks to prove a particular function has infinitely many discontinuities might be titled "show function is ill-behaved", for example. If you are suggesting that the title could have been improved, that's certainly true, but it's impossible to do that when the question is closed immediately. $\endgroup$ – T.. Sep 24 '10 at 18:30
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    $\begingroup$ @T..: It is not just the title. In this case, the title is relevant to the content of the question. Also, closing of the question does not disallow one to edit the question/title. Anyway, please excuse me from this discussion. $\endgroup$ – Aryabhata Sep 24 '10 at 22:44

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