Hot answers tagged

75

First of all, the question got closed only 7 hours after its posting: if this is because it was offtopic, that's fine; but calling an OP unresponsive after at most 7 hours from posting a question is extremely irrational. What if the OP went to sleep for the night? What if he was using a public-access computer in some library that he had to quit? What if he ...


66

Allow me to weigh in, in part as a long time contributor, in part as a set theorist who gets exposed to these type of questions perhaps more than the average mathematician, and in part as a moderator. There is a simple test here: does the person want to learn? Do they want to understand their mistake, or are they here to preach? If the question is phrased ...


55

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 ...


52

The author of the question flagged and requested it be migrated to Computer Science. Although such questions are also on topic here, if the author requests migration, and the question is also on-topic on the requested target, I see no reason not to oblige.


37

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


33

To be honest, I think the MO people acted incorrectly in this situation. Seeing it was a cross-post of a question they did not want, they should have simply closed (and possibly deleted) it on their side, instead of giving us a second copy of the same question. As it was the same question being asked twice, flagging it for moderator attention would have ...


32

There are so many approaches and reasons to upvoting and downvoting here (=Math.SE, not Meta) that it is IMHO largely pointless to attempt to codify them. A discussion is, of course, ok, if for no other purpose than to vent one's frustration. To simplify matters somewhat let me attempt to break them into three categories. It would be a miracle, if even a ...


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 ...


27

Consulting others for every decision we make would not scale, so if we are sufficiently sure of our judgement, we act without consultation. The level of certainty that is considered sufficient depends of course on the graveness of the action to be performed, a suspension for example is more likely to be discussed among the moderators than things like ...


26

I don't think it's reasonable to expect readers to sit on the shell of a question for 24 hours, waiting for the question to hatch. A question is not a baby or even a chick. It's natural for users who read a question to call it as they see it (e.g., unclear) right away. Software already provides a recourse for on-hold questions: once edited by OP, they ...


25

If a new answer does not add anything at all it might reasonably be considered as "not useful" (in the given context) and thus could be down-voted. Basically, I think this suffices to control such activity. Of course, if a question allows too many distinct answers it is "too broad" and could be closed as such. I think it is difficult to give a hard and ...


25

Not all users actually had the close privilege thus there were not five votes to close even though the review-ticket lists more than five reviews with that recommendation. Likely this distinction should be made more clear on the ticket (as it is done for "delete" vs "recommend delete").


25

It seems a reasonable (not overly broad) Question to me. I made an edit to improve it. In the original post the motivation is described, reading a claim about the "foundation" of probability theory. The actual book and author were given in the first Comment. A sympathetic reading of the Question is that the OP wonders why a $\sigma$-algebra is needed to ...


24

This is perhaps a little slanted towards the user who answered the question. Here goes: I've been caught between a temptation to answer and a desire to close before, and I agree it can be an uncomfortable place to be! If only the asker had taken the time to write a better question, but alas, here you are, with a solution burning a hole in your pocket and a ...


23

I think the best thing to do would be to post a CW answer containing a quotebox with the MO solution while providing both a link to the MO thread and citing who gave the solution. Justification: This way, the question will remain on MSE marked as solved, dissuading future duplicates. It is better to quote the text while crediting the author than only ...


22

Votes do not just accumulate, they can "age away" and how quickly actually depends a bit on the number of views. Moreover, questions with many views often are disproportionately viewed by users that cannot vote to close anyway. Finally, if they are closed and many disagree they are also reopened quickly. That said, for votes to delete the score of ...


21

I would like to summarize the key takeaways from this meta thread here. I will be brief (as I am not an expert meta poster, see my meta profile if you need proof). So here it goes: If you vote to close a question then don't answer it even if you feel that the math involved is interesting and gives you a high. Show patience while voting to close and if you ...


20

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 ...


19

The question is not spam in the literal sense of the word. And since the system is automatically trained by spam flags, you shouldn't use spam flags. You should downvote and vote to close. And you should let nature take its own course. You can should flag for a moderator's attention, to bring the account into their attention and hope it will speed the ...


19

TL;DR. Stack Exchange does not have any functionality to "retire" on-topic questions. The "Historical significance" lock reason is for very specific use cases where the question itself is now off-topic, and intrinsically so. The use of this lock reason to simply "retire" a question would be, IMHO, abusing that functionality. As is generally the case, ...


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" (...


19

A couple of points to consider: It takes five votes to close any question. If everyone saves their votes for some greater need, nothing gets closed. Do your share and vote. It's a community effort, and you have done a helpful share by giving 20 votes in a day. Some closure decisions are trivial, some are hard. If you're in a hurry, help with the trivial ...


19

Inherently, I don't think that "fringe" is a useful category to judge questions - as always, a good test to apply to a question is to consider if it does all it can to support a good answer. Some specific guidelines that seem frequently relevant when dealing with fringe questions are the following: Is there some clear question? Sometimes, fringe questions ...


19

If you are of the opinion that a vote to close or a review or another action on one of your posts was inappropriate you can signal this to the moderators via a flag, chose "in need of moderator intervention" and explain the issue. Moderators then can review the situation and, if appropriate, take some action. The action could be, e.g.: talk to the user (...


18

Here is some important context. There is, apparently, a massive campaign orchestrated by one user to delete all questions (and their answers!) if the question does not meet his standards of quality. This campaign appears to target not only recent questions, but every question, including questions many years old. As best as I can infer, this campaign has been ...


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