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aleph_two's user avatar
aleph_two's user avatar
aleph_two's user avatar
  • Member for 5 years, 8 months
  • Last seen more than 5 years ago

My evolving policy on how I use MSE

Guiding Principles:

  1. This site has too many Unanswered Questions. My job here is to make this number as small as possible.
  2. Duplicate Questions dilute the effectiveness of MSE as a repository of knowledge.
  3. Other things equal, I have nearly no need of Reputation.
  4. There are enough Questions which have been ignored or forgotten to fill a lifetime; I will not fight over Questions from the front page.

How I do my job:

  1. The most effective way for me to remove questions from the Unanswered queue is to upvote Answers that are already there. The only reason I will not upvote an Answer is if it fails to address some important aspect of the Question.
  2. When there are no such Answers, there usually are Comments which are essentially answers. I will tag the commenter encouraging them to write an Answer. If an Answer is not written within a few days, I will write my own, crediting the original source clearly.
  3. When there are no such Answers or Comments because the question is unclear, I will vote to close. (This on hold until I have 3000 reputation). I will also vote to close any duplicates.
  4. When there are no such Answers or Comments, but the Question is interesting, the most effective solution is for me to create a Bounty.
  5. As a last resort, when I am knowledgeable about the question, I can provide an answer myself.

How I answer Questions:

  1. When writing Answers, I endeavor to answer Question completely, not to offer hints.
  2. If I suspect that a Question was written for the purpose of cheating at their homework, but I still wish to answer it (see "How I do my job" #5), I will simply wait to write my Answer until it is a few weeks old.
  3. Unless I have reason to believe otherwise, I will assume that the OP has no interest in my Answer. I endeavor to answer a Question for the benefit of the site, not the person who asked it.
  4. I am not opposed to editing a Question for the sake of removing ambiguity, but I will not do so unless I aim to provide a Bounty or my own Answer. (See "How I do my job" #3)

On Reputation:

  1. The only purpose of Reputation is to have privileges to do my job better.
  2. In particular, every Reputation point I have above 3,000 is a disgrace. Reputation is for Bounties.
  3. Duplicates are to be closed; abstract duplicates included. I will gladly accept losing Reputation from upvotes, if this means that a duplicate is removed from the site.

On Chat:

  1. I used to have an account with a decent chunk of Reputation. I left the site because I got dragged into Chat drama and it had negative effects on my already poor mental health. Although I recognize Chat to be an effective tool for doing my job, I will not engage with it until I am sure I can use it safely.
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