Hot answers tagged

50

Personally, I don't think the question is sexist towards women, or that the edit is sexist towards men. With that said, the fact that I'm not offended by it doesn't invalidate the feelings of the people who are. They have a right to feel that way. There are good points on either side. But it doesn't matter. The edit itself is a matter of taste, and ...


48

Intuition is extremely important in mathematics and not always explicitly taught in math courses. As a working mathematician, I need "hard" knowledge to prove and define things in detail, but "soft" knowledge is an indispensable guide that steers my work. We would lose much if we were to ban intuitive questions here. It's not easy to apply the same standards ...


48

I think the answer here is to be more selective in your questions. The site has to protect itself against getting bombed by low-grade questions from any particular user, hence the limit. (I'm not saying your questions are low-grade, I'm just making a case for the limit.) So only post a question if you feel that a good answer would really help you.


43

I appreciate people taking the time to show how a problem can be solved using a computer (I have done it myself several times) and, honestly, I do not see why they should be deprived of the little symbolic recognition that a few rep points mean; it is often not a trivial task to coerce a computer to do what one wants. Not everyone knows how to do this, quite ...


36

I haven't been here long, and I rarely follow meta. That said, I am surprised and dismayed by what I perceive to be very open hostility among several prominent users here, over something that I consider to be not particularly significant--"contributions" to a site. No single user, no matter how high their reputation or extensive their contribution to MSE, ...


36

There are two issues at play, here. This post deals with the way the post was edited, rather than the end state of the post. The Editor is an SE Representative Regardless of whether or not Jaydles was acting in an official manner, he represents StackExchange. As such, his action reflects on SE whether he intended it or not. This has a large intimidation ...


34

Your answer is fine. I have no idea why it was downvoted so much. Even if the original person asking the question does not know about Cauchy sequences (we have no way to tell), it is OK for some answers to address more advanced viewpoints. And, surely, the most direct way to show that $\sum_{k \in \mathbb{N}} 1/k$ diverges is to verify that the sequence of ...


34

It is not allowed to make deals about mutual voting, definitely not explicitly and not even implicitly. This would be considered as a voting-ring. Even to just vote on many of a user's post because you might find the user is a friendly person brings you quickly on very thin ice. Such behavior can lead quickly to reversal of votes and even to suspensions.


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) ...


30

You can try to flag a post by that user for moderator attention. At present (and likely far into the future) there is no way to flag a user profile. But be aware that users have quite free reign on their user profiles. Sure, pornographic material, racist epithets, and other truly offensive material (e.g., there was a recent spate of avatars with Nazi ...


29

Tim Gowers has a series of blog posts on this topic and related topics. In one, he says: Let me introduce a notion of fake difficulty. Every pure maths supervisor at Cambridge has had conversations like this: Supervisee: I found this question rather difficult. Supervisor: Well, what were your thoughts? Supervisee: Erm … I don’t know really, I just looked at ...


28

Let's delete the post. I didn't see the original question, but it looks like it was about an incorrect computation of $0.657_8$ in decimal. Future readers are unlikely to benfit from such a highly localized question.


28

If you actually, truly and honestly believe that there was an abuse of moderator power, the appropriate thing to do would be to contact the SE staff using the contact us link found in the footer of every page of math.se and meta.math.se. Site moderators do not have access to messages sent to the SE team in this way. I believe you can also email them at team@...


26

Posting this as an answer to test how widespread my beliefs/definitions are :-) My creed (largely those of a loyal disciple of Jacobson's BA I-II): A ring is not necessarily commutative. The multiplication of a ring is associative. A ring has a multiplicative neutral element (often denoted by $1$). The lesser structures are rngs. A homomorphism of rings ...


26

I was going to just comment. Then, as writing a comment, it turned into two, then three...feeling a bit more courageous even as I typed, until it evolved into an answer. I found the edit to be both humorous and gratifying. No, I'm not the one who voted to close, nor did I find the original offensive. But I found it gratifying that on at least one occasion, ...


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-...


24

The question you mentioned should be closed. The argument given for closing it is arguably prone to cause confusion and dissent though. In our guidelines How to ask a good question. it is mentioned that some context should be provided. Some consider lack of context as a reason to close. There is a community specific close reason for just this: Missing ...


23

There's no written policy (until now, I guess), and each mod has his or her quirks (so the discussion below is guaranteed to apply only if the handling moderator is yours truly). While you asked about "not constructive", let me be more ambitious and answer in the greatest generality. Before saying anything else, let me first say this: Moderation on each ...


22

A week has passed since this post, and I'd like to leave some useful pointers for everyone, which I think will help everyone continue to have a positive experience in the site, and keep the community healthy. If you already commented a post regarding the EoQS and the behavior did not change, do not rinse and repeat. Please leave further interaction to the ...


21

A note from the other side This may not be evident from a single superficial look at Physics SE's homework-policy canonical meta post, but please do not come away with the impression that it is uncontroversial or that the stated policy fully represents the way it's implemented in practice. More to the point, there is a widespread feeling in PSE that the ...


21

I find these questions about intuition to be extremely valuable. A perfect example of an intuitive explanation appears on p. 553 of Terence Tao's book Analysis II: Intuitively, one can think of the several variable chain rule as follows. Let $x$ be close to $x_0$. Then Newton's approximation asserts that $$ f(x) - f(x_0) \approx f'(x_0)(x - x_0) $$ ...


20

After giving it some thought, I think the basic principles governing the discussion on context are: Determine where the OP stands. Have they tried anything? Are they trying to get their homework done for free? What level of answer will they understand? Value for later readers. Is the question of universal interest? Will different viewpoints yield ...


19

While it most certainly is possible, I don't expect that majority of these type of questions to induce - within those five minutes - deep and thought provoking answers. It's not that deep answers cannot be written in five minutes. It's just that a question which is retracted like that is less likely to be one which received a deep answer within the first ...


19

As a preamble let me say that I consider questions touched upon here as important in general, yet the precise instance seems in any case minor in the general context of the problematic so that I think one should not get too upset about it either way. I do consider the (original) formulation of the puzzle as unfortunate, to no small extent for the starting ...


18

I was asked in a comment elsewhere on meta to address this question...so I am. The "official on-topic list" is something that has been added more recently than the last time I ever looked at the faq, so it is not anything that I have ever given thought to. The SE team seems to like to mildly tinker with site mechanics from time to time, so I would caution ...


18

I agree that hints that lead the OP in the wrong direction or barely offer any help at all aren't valid answers, as are hints that simply restate information the OP has already stated. However, moderating every hint to check if they are valid is impossible, and we as a community should avoid at all costs putting in place policies that are impossible to ...


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