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53

My opinion is that we should be substantially more aggressive about closing questions than we currently are. In particular, I think we should be substantially more aggressive about lazy homework questions than we currently are. The community currently disagrees with me about this in aggregate, or at least as measured by the most vocal of people who have ...


47

I can't understand at all why this question was closed. It is a perfectly sensible question in algebraic number theory. I have answered many questions of this kind before on MSE (some asked by the present OP, and some not), and one of the things I enjoy about MSE (which makes it different to, e.g., MO) is that it provides nice beginning graduate-level ...


45

Since this will be inevitable: Vote this up if you think Context Missing (see definition below) should be among our "Off topic" reasons. (And down if you think otherwise.) (Please vote on the idea of having a listing such as this, and not on the exact phrasing I used below. If you think the listing is poorly phrased, you can comment below with ...


37

It should be neither closed nor downvoted, if anything because both are quite contrary to the whole spirit of the mathematical endeavor!


32

The standard reference for this is "Good Subjective, Bad Subjective". Note that when we compare the two description you quoted there remains a gap. On the one end of the spectrum there are those questions whose answers "[can] be objectively evaluated as correct or incorrect," these are not soft questions. On the other end of the spectrum there are those ...


31

I am so frustrated with no effort, copy-paste homework questions that I would support a one-flag close/delete policy on them. In my opinion, these are not on topic for MSE, and if they are, they damn well shouldn't be. It's important to keep in mind how many of these questions we're getting. In the past month I've found myself posting fewer and fewer ...


30

I propose that we just be more sincere and direct about the reason for closure; why wouldn't we introduce 'not enough/too little research effort shown - please check whether you have included your own work'? Since this is basically what most people are trying to say when voting for closure in such cases, I think this (or any formulation similar to this one) ...


26

For the specific question, the context seems completely clear. The question reads: How deep is the liquid in a half-full hemisphere? I have a baking recipe that calls for 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, but I only have a 1 tsp measuring spoon available, since the dishwasher is running. The measuring spoon is very nearly a perfect hemisphere. My ...


25

Your Comment contained a link to an older Question. Although this Question was not the final target chosen by voting to close-as-duplicate, someone may have voted to consider that target the duplicate, or the system may have identified that link as a duplicate of the target that was eventually chosen. What is known is that when a vote to close-as-...


23

This is a difficult issue, but I basically disagree with your conclusions in these two cases. Sporadic thoughts: I didn't vote to put either of those questions on hold even though I saw them in the queue. I was following my private policy of keeping non-trivial questions open. If I had noticed that the first had a contest-math tag, I would have voted to put ...


21

I did vote for closing with the following reasons: At first I think that this kind of question didn't really fit on this site, as it says in the faq, which questions can I ask here: Understanding mathematical concepts and theorems Hints on mathematical problems (but please read our FAQ about homework questions) History and development of ...


21

Complementing Alexander's answer, a close reason of "lack of research effort" is, in my opinion, intrinsically bad for multiple reasons: it is impossible to ascertain how much research effort there was, "effort" is not a cop out for a poor question, it often gets dragged down to debates about how often students have "no clue on where to start" etc. If ...


20

I think there are two separate issues: The complaint about your edit is of course unsubstantiated. If you face such a situation, please feel free to flag. (Flagging the post can be preferable to flagging in chat, as chat flags go to all network mods, while post flags stay on the site.) I was in the chat room when the comment was posted but had not (yet) ...


19

"No context" does function as a bit of a catch-all, and certainly 90% of the time, it is applied to "do my homework!" PSQs. However, there are several reasons it is stated like it is. Its "forms of context" list suggests ways that a question can be improved. For a user acting in good faith who happens to have asked a bad question, "lack of research effort" (...


18

I usually stay away from meta matters, but this is an issue I feel strongly enough about to want to contribute something to the discussion on. To make this actually an answer to the original question, you should see it as an attempt to explain why, if it were solely up to me, I would have a policy requiring that users posting "homework" questions (broadly ...


17

The "homework" reason was a temporary placeholder, apparently taken from some other Stackexchange site or devised by SE ad hoc, for the (at that time, not yet written) "lack of context" reason derived directly from the meta.MSE discussions, and should be removed now that the latter exists. The discussion on meta, over a period of weeks or months, ...


17

If a question includes a precise statement of the question they wish answered, includes enough context for us to judge where the OP's misunderstandings may lie and what sort of facts may be obvious to them, and is actually about mathematics, then, excepting extraordinary cases (to which we have custom close reasons and moderators), it should stay. The worst ...


17

Sorry about being late to weigh in - I was busy last weekend. Why I support this feature-request? The norm re context that we have developed means that new questions at varying levels of mathematical sophistication often get put on hold for falling short of that standard. That is all well. But, the fact that the message This question is missing context or ...


16

Because many times you can get a better answer, you can get more answers, you can change your mind and decide that one answer is better than the others. Because the questions are also for [future] readers, which might come from a different context and a different answer might be useful to them as well, or they might have some different idea. Because this ...


15

I think that it is a bad idea to closevote based on what you think that other people want (or have close-voted in the past). If there aren't five people that actually don't want a particular question that is a splendid reason to leave it open. I don't even see a problem here.


15

I was not involved in any step of putting the question on hold, but even cursory reading of your question and the related comments makes the hold reason "not about mathematics" perfectly valid: the question was not asked in good faith. You say in a comment that a submitted answer diverging from your answer key shows that the answer key is wrong, and that ...


14

I seem to take the contrarian viewpoint here (by here, I mean the general sense of closing questions because they are particularly theoretic or advanced). When I think of closing things as "too localized," three things come to mind. I think of MathOverflow's "too localized" blurb in their faq. It says: If your question was closed as "too localized," it ...


14

The common approach on other sites is to either define the scope in the FAQ to exclude such questions and close as off-topic, or to close as "too localized". Both are far from optimal, and SE has hinted that they might allow sites to define custom off-topic subreasons, which would solve this problem. "Not constructive" is pretty much the worst reason one ...


14

Personally I think that it would be bad practice to close a question that is perfectly valid, it just doesn't feel right. (This is possibly in part because the question isn't really a duplicate, it is just about the same subject matter so I object to calling something a duplicate when it's not.) It might also annoy people who ask this type of question if ...


14

No, it doesn't really mean "off-topic", but it seems that the only way the SE platform supports site-specific closing reasons is by putting them under the "off-topic" heading. So that's where it ends up, as a matter of software.


14

It may be relevant to downvote such a question, but that wouldn't merely be because it is asking for proof of something that is false. Something more is needed -- for example, sometimes a user will post a string of questions that boil down to "here's a random conjecture I made for no particular reason without verifying even the single-digit instances; please ...


13

I would guess that the reason is to prevent new answers, which would likely not add anything to the existing discussion. That question attracts a little too much attention.


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