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12:00 AM
@Tsundoku Since you've been looking over your old questions and answers, are there any you feel should have gotten more engagement? It doesn't surprise me anymore that an answer I labor over and am proud of often gets very little traction, while one I dash off in ten minutes gets loads of clicks because, e.g., the question goes HNQ. But it's still a bit unsettling to re-encounter old stuff I've written here sometimes,
because it reminds me that my own sense of how good my answer is doesn't track with its reception. So I was wondering whether you (or anybody else here, really) has stuff they liked when they posted it, but that didn't get the comments/upvotes to reflect what they perceived as its quality.
 
@verbose yes, you can download the archives as basically compressed xml representations of database dumps, though they're not quite the raw database dumps because a lot of deleted stuff is removed from them. the can be a few months stale but that shouldn't matter for your homework
 
@b_jonas Good to know. I'll follow up with you after finals to get more deets on how to do that
 
meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2677/… tells details about the database schema, which is the same as used on SEDE ( data.stackexchange.com ), only SEDE is updated more frequently
you need that node because there are plenty of non-obvious magic numbers
that also links to where you can download the dumps from
the most recent dumps are listed in archive.org/download/stackexchange
they're per site which is useful if you want something from the smaller sites like Lit without having to download all of the Mathematics SE and Server Fault dumps
I've used these for a few things specifically for SE sites and they worked, but of course I don't know if they're what you want for your homework
"to see what causes a question to go HNQ," I don't think HNQ records are in that dataset so that one isn't easy
or maybe it is for more recent HNQs because there was some recent addition to add HNQ stuff to the question timelines? I don't know really
you'll probably have to check yourself: find a few specific questions that went HNQ recently and look them up in the Votes, PostNotices, and PostHistory tables. Or ask the Meta SE folks, they may know off-hand.
meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2677/… does list a "Question became hot network question" type for PostHistory.PostHistoryTypeId
 
12:16 AM
wonderful! I don't have the processor cycles or network bandwidth to deal with Lit SE data until after finals, but I shall revisit this then.
Thanks so much, @b_jonas!
 
@verbose the archive download is 23 megabytes so I hope you don't mean network bandwidth literally
 
@b_jonas I meant neither cycles nor bandwidth literally. Some years ago I realized that kids these days looked at me funny when I said I lacked the cycles to do sth. When I explained, they said, "oh, you mean bandwidth". I had to explain that the series of tubes we called the Interwebs was not around when the "cycles" idiom was in vogue
 
@verbose yes, I understand the cycles part, but "network bandwidth" confuses me
data.stackexchange.com/literature/query/1724250/… second query to restrict by user, looks like I have one HNQ on Lit and five on Sci Fi, though of course this only counts the last few years, because before that the HNQs weren't logged onto the sites so aren't in the PostHistory table
 
people a generation younger than me, who grew up with network connectivity, use "lack of bandwidth" to do something in the same way that I (used to use) "lack of processing power"—there's too much other stuff going on already, so the new endeavor being discussed will need to take a back seat until more network bandwidth / processing power is available. .
Does that help clarify, @b_jonas?
 
@verbose yes, but even so would they say "network bandwidth"?
as opposed to just "bandwidth"
that's what confused me
 
12:26 AM
no, that was me. I used to say "cycles", they countered with "bandwidth"
 
I don't even know about these HNQs. SE doesn't notify me when a question goes HNQ so I don't always notice it.
 
and they absolutely had no idea what "cycles" meant, so I got into the habit of specifying "processor cycles"
and since it's syntactically more pleasing to have parallel phrasing, "network bandwidth" seemed like the superior choice to match "processor cycles"
sigh
 
sure, "processor cycles" makes sense because "cycles" can be vague
ok, I understand
by the way how SE selects HNQs is mostly public information
 
@b_jonas yes, but the question is not "How does SE select hnq?" but "what causes a question to be upvoted and receive multiple upvoted answers quickly, such that it goes hnq"?
 
123
Q: What are the criteria for questions to be selected for Hot Network Questions?

Maxim ZaslavskyI really like the new Stack Exchange home page, where certain questions from the Stack Exchange Network are presented, along with a hotness rating that is described as "arbitrary" in its tooltip. Such questions also appear randomly on the sidebar on sites across the network, under the heading "Ho...

@verbose right. nice understandible title (and possibly first few lines of text) that makes many people visit the question, usually connected to a big franchise they care about (Harry Potter, Shakespeare etc), and a FGITW answer that's easy to understand
clickbait title can also work but is not necessary
 
12:33 AM
what's FGITW?
 
@verbose fastest gun in the west
 
ah
 
38
A: List of common abbreviations

Kevin Please avoid using abbreviations, especially on the main site. The following list is meant to be helpful if you encounter an unfamiliar abbreviation. It does not constitute an invitation to use these abbreviations. See also: Stack Exchange Glossary - Dictionary of Commonly-Used Terms Common a...

basically readers will view almost all questions only once, shortly after the question is posted, so the only answers they upvote are ones that are already there at the time of that first visit
so the way to get lots of upvotes is to answer fast, not to answer good
this was known even before SE
I just got one such answer on MathOverflow yesterday. it can sometimes be sad when your fast answer gets much more upvotes than a good answer that you worked a lot on, but that's how forums like this work
(to clarify, I got upvotes for a fast answer, but it did not cause the question to go HNQ)
I should also search for HNQ where I gave an answer I guess
 
@verbose I typically accept an answer if it is demonstrably correct. If an answer is creative, interesting, good, etc. I upvote it.
The answers to these show a clear error in the text.
 
@verbose huh, an upper limit of 10_000. Lit has 6100 questions and 6700 answers so that can work, if you ignore eg. edits and comments.
 
12:47 AM
Or literature.stackexchange.com/questions/18507/… where the answer points out that I misunderstood the text, which seems obvious in retrospect.
 
@b_jonas I've explained above that my deadline for writing up my proposal and submitting it to the prof what data set I'm going to use was last night. When the straightforward download from SEDE did not work, I was not going to spend time trying to figure out alternatives such that I could still use LitSE as my dataset, as I had an alternative in mind anyway. Sure, I'd've preferred LitSE, but it's too late now. As I've said, I cannot do anything with this information until after my finals.
 
As opposed to similar types of questions like scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/191142/… and scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/191139/… where the answers are probably also some form of authorial error, but the answers do not prove it.
 
@verbose er ok. I don't see what you said the deadline was, but I do see you switched to voter data
the switch may be worth anyway
 
@b_jonas Okay, I guess I didn't specify the deadline, but I did say I had written up the proposal and submitted it to the prof. Even without the deadline's having passed, I'd be disinclined to write up a different proposal when the first one is already pending with the professor. I do appreciate the pointers you've given, they will help for later.
 
that said I don't understand why you couldn't get most of the 6000 questions and 7000 answers from SEDE. I should look at that.
even if the form in which you get them from SEDE might be less convenient than just using the dump
huh, I didn't know or forgot that literature.stackexchange.com/a/6893/139 was our highest voted answer
yeah, look, data.stackexchange.com/literature/query/1724252/all-answers gave 6688 answers for me, so that's all or almost all non-deleted answers up to a few weeks ago when the data was updated, and it lets me download as CSV
let me check questions too
how did you try to query them? did you try to include post contents too? that would increase the size dramatically
 
1:20 AM
data.stackexchange even lists me the 43000 rows of the Votes table and 14000 rows of the PostHistory table on Lit data.stackexchange.com/literature/query/1724273/votes-table data.stackexchange.com/literature/query/1724275/… .
Now if you tried something like this for a large site like Math SE then you might run into a limit and needn't be able to download everything from SEDE at once, but for Lit you totally can. But of course the xml dumps contain basically the same data all collected together and compressed so they can be more convenient, especially if you want eg. post content or edit content or if you want a larger site.
I think I used data.stackexchange.com queries to make the plot at scifi.meta.stackexchange.com/q/13238/4918 , and that covers over 20000 questions, though I needed very few columns for them
 
1:39 AM
@b_jonas I'm sorry, I do not have the time to go into this any further now. I'm glad and grateful you find this so engaging, but I need to focus on what I need to do for schoolwork between now and the end of finals. I will happily revisit after then. Thanks for your patience.
 
@verbose Sure, I'm looking this up for myself too, it's useful to know for the future, not just because it's your homework.
 
67
A: Now you can know if a question really hit the HNQ

CatijaOh, hey, someone noticed! Indeed, you're correct. We've added a history event to both the edit history and the timeline to indicate when a question first appears on the Hot Network Questions list. This was made possible by the work Adam did recently to move where we house the HNQ list in our c...

 
2:18 AM
@bobble yeah. four years old so it's not even that new a feature.
I just didn't recall it at first because I hadn't searched for HNQs on SEDE or the dumps before
 
 
3 hours later…
4:50 AM
0
Q: What were the changes in the Spirit of the West at the end of first millennium?

Gowtam ChandrahasaFrom the first Chapter of The Undiscovered Self by Carl Jung What will the future bring? From time immemorial, this question has occupied men’s minds, though not always to the same degree. Historically, it is chiefly in times of physical, political, economic and spiritual distress that men’s eye...

 
@verbose I did mean our Hamlet, he was notoriously opposed to accepting answers on a Lit site
 
 
1 hour later…
6:05 AM
@Mithical oh ah
 
6:24 AM
 
 
3 hours later…
9:08 AM
1
Q: Who are the speakers in John Barth's Meneliad?

Matt ThrowerMeneliad is a retelling of a Greek myth in which Menelaus, King of Sparta, recounts what happened to him and his crew on their way home from the Trojan war. It's included in the author's short story collection Lost in the Funhouse. Its conceit is that it's a multi-layered story in which a speaker...

 
 
1 hour later…
10:24 AM
@verbose I do mostly accept answers - I'm just slow about it.
@verbose To answer the other part of your question, "user was removed" covers any kind of removal - it could be a troll deleted by a mod (although we don't usually outright delete users who have any kind of reasonable participation) or a self-deleted account.
 
11:19 AM
@Randal'Thor and I think even merged accounts if both voted for the same question
 
11:50 AM
@Bookworm Chinese boxes or, to use a more literary term, mise en abîme.
@Bookworm I'm really tempted to buy Lost in the Funhouse now, but I'm already too far steeped in tsundoku.
 
12:24 PM
The Romans were so proud that all roads led to Rome, but they overlooked the road rage they brought to the city ...
I wonder how many Roman patricians went broke because they couldn't afford the alimony for their X wives.
- Have you met my former husband Alex?
- What do you call him now? Al or Ex?
Ali Baba: "Open sesame!"
Rock: [It's "Open quinoa" now. Do keep up with the times.]
 
 
1 hour later…
1:54 PM
"Open seasame!" is the password to access the SE administration control panel. Trust me
 
2:08 PM
@Tsundoku I heard about someone who plotted all of their past relationships on a graph. There was an "ex" axis and a "why" axis.
 
@Randal'Thor Short for "Scylla" and "Charybdis".
 
0
Q: Why was the illegal tunnel in Carbide mostly used to smuggle illegal cigarettes?

EJoshuaS - Stand with UkrainePossibly related: What is "Galacian tobacco" and what is its significance? Carbide by Andriy Lyubka starts with the following news item: BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - A smuggling title the length of seven soccer pitches complete with its own train has been found running beneath the border between Slova...

 
2:43 PM
2
Q: How am I supposed to parse the "...she might have passed over more..." line in "Emma"?

MithicalI'm having trouble parsing this excerpt from Jane Austen's Emma, particularly the bolded sentence: He was not a great favourite with his fair sister-in-law. Nothing wrong in him escaped her. She was quick in feeling the little injuries to Isabella, which Isabella never felt herself. Perhaps she ...

 
 
3 hours later…
5:26 PM
@Tsundoku Get it from the library?
 
that's a much more interesting answer than I was expecting to get, @verbose :)
 
6:03 PM
@verbose Yeah, it's next to Aristotle's book on comedy ;-)
 
0
Q: In Pirates of Penzance, why do the pirates go on to land after Fredrick?

a coderAfter Fredric meets Mabel and warns the girls of the pirates, the pirates come and try to kidnap the girls. Why did the pirates come on land, and if they were going to go on land why did the Pirate King say "Well, it’s the top of the tide, and we must be off" if he was going to the same place as ...

 
6:22 PM
@Mithical thanks, but by your lights it's still unacceptable 😐
(joking apart, Emma is a much more interesting book and Austen a much more interesting author than one might realize. It's one of my top three favorite novels.)
 
 
2 hours later…
8:35 PM
@verbose I have at least one more question scribbled down about it, and probably more will crop up as I read through it.
("Scribbled" in a very literal sense. My hands aren't very steady and my handwriting is, uh, rather sub-par.)
 
@Mithical looking forward to it
 
9:38 PM
yes, my handwriting is terrible too because I'm out of practice ever since I'm no longer taking lecture notes in university classes
 

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