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12:01 AM
@hobodave to quote a German song, "Tiefe Wasser sind nie still" - deep waters are never calm.
@hobodave Indeed!
I bet it's because you speak German in bed
But still, I couldn't reach the mastery of a real Hornivore.
Um, that depends a lot on his primary language.
Anyway, I'm off.
Have a good day/night.
12:05 AM
The empiricist in me is slightly disturbed by the "Your above score was normalized against the average" statement.
But maybe it makes sense, given that slutiness is a cultural construct.
Still, it doesn't control for the self-selection of people willing to take the test.
Also, I'd love to see their standard deviation too, I just got an idea for the average from the knowledge of my answers and my results.
I'm curious how it is weighted
12:35 AM
Wow, I just took a computer test and scored:
Your Analysis (Vertical line = Average)

Guru Distribution

You scored 87% on Guru, higher than 85% of your peers.

Naive Distribution

You scored 6% on Naive, higher than 52% of your peers.

Windows Distribution

You scored 19% on Windows, higher than 21% of your peers.

Linux Distribution

You scored 47% on Linux, higher than 91% of your peers.
I beg to notice: the test was in French, and I don't speak French.
* Floats her nose in the clouds *
9 hours later…
9:38 AM
@hobodave still here? :o
8 hours later…
5:28 PM
Somebody remind me, did we decide at some point that online shopping requests were off-topic? I thought we accepted them, however the silverware question picked up a few flags. Is it because "silverware" is too general a category? Or because people don't consider cutlery to be culinary items?
@Aaronut I don't remember that we have forbidden it explicitely
But I also didn't like the silverware question
I didn't flag it, but it has a bad feel
it is first, way too generic.
I didn't like it either, but moderators shouldn't intervene on the basis of not liking a question, it has to go against some rule or principle.
Second, it asks us to vouch for the reliability of a vendor.
Let me read it again.
Ah, it was that short.
If it's too generic then we have NARQ; if it seems like an opinion poll then we have Not Constructive; the only flags I've seen are for off topic, which I don't understand.
I would say it violates the "this is a poll" rule at this point.
I don't have an overview over the flag accuracy in general. Do people always pick the appropriate flag in other cases, or do they just choose one?
Another explanation I can think of (aside from inaccurate flagging) is that, while silverware questions are on-topic, this question is not about evaluating silverware, it is about evaluating online shops.
So this is a view angle from which I would feel an off-topic flag appropriate.
And then, there are always the users who haven't noticed that equipment is also on-topic here. I think I once cast a close vote on one of the garbage disposal or dishwasher questions before somebody pointed out that they are permitted.
5:36 PM
@rumtscho We don't get that many flags, but most of the time they either have the "right" reason or they're just totally off-base.
@rumtscho I'm not sure if a dishwasher or garbage disposal question should be accepted... those are regular home appliances, not culinary equipment.
@Aaronut I find it counterintuitive too, but I remember there was a good argument for them somewhere... only not where the "somewhere" was. It was on the lines of "We accept questions about any kind of kitchen equipment including appliances. If ovens are on topic, dishwashers are, too."
@Aaronut I find the first of your examples marginal, it is a community wiki from the site's earliest days. I'd say it is more of the "tolerated because we don't want to close tons of old questions" type.
@rumtscho I wonder if it was me who made that argument on the basis that it would be too confusing to make that distinction.
I kind of hope it wasn't because it sounds a little stupid at this point.
The third one is an OK question, and it got some votes.
But it is also a specific question, which states that the OP has done some previous research, has visited the obvious places, and has a specific objection about buying from those.
The second maybe just interested people because it is about a niche product.
But I can see your point that these questions can be on-topic.
It is probably the low quality of the questions which make people reach for the flag. And because they aren't sure why they don't like it, they just grab the first available one.
Well, if you're maintaining that the spice question sucks but the others are OK, then it would seem that the saving grace of the others is that they're looking for a niche product.
No, I just re-read the answers of the salt question.
The question is highly voted, but let's face it, the answers are "That's where I buy".
So I guess that while this type of question is on-topic, it has a high potential to be formulated as a poll.
Maybe we should ignore off-topic calls for this type of question, but ask the community to cast Not constructive votes on the specific case of the silverware question?
5:53 PM
We can certainly reopen the debate on meta on the basis that previous "where to buy" questions have turned out crappy, and if the community agrees then turn it into a not-constructive policy.
Maybe someone will even have a workable suggestion to make them suck less.
I just made a close vote on the question, because the first answer is, indeed, of the poll type. Maybe the next voters who don't know why they dislike the q will be more likely to consider its poll nature once it is mentioned.
@Aaronut I wouldn't try to ban a category of questions on the basis that they have a probability of hurting an existing rule.
Instead, we can wait for them to appear and close the ones which are actually hurting the rule.
Who knows, maybe some asker will come up with a variant which doesn't hurt the rule, then the whole community wins from there being no ban.
What I thought I've been hearing here is that pretty much all of the previous examples are lousy. If none of them turn out well then that is evidence that the entire category has problems.
I really don't like murky scope rules where people basically vote on their personal instincts. If we can't explain the rule clearly to someone who just got here, it shouldn't exist.
I don't find the "poll" rule murky.
It's far, far saner to say "we outlawed shopping questions because a year's worth of trials proved that they inevitably turn to suck" than "well, some of these kinda sorta look like polls". Are we declaring them all polls, or not?
Do you have real proof that every shopping question is going to be a poll? Because our sample is pretty small until now.
6:03 PM
@rumtscho No, I don't have "real proof", although I'm sure there are far more than those 3 questions if you look around. What I'm saying is that, from my vantage point, these all have to be treated as a category, one way or another, otherwise there are going to be endless arguments about "good" vs. "bad" sourcing questions.
6:14 PM
@Aaronut I am not sure if this doesn't introduce unneeded bureaucracy.
If 100% of the shopping questions are polls, then all of them will be closed under the poll rule, and everything is fine.
If less than 100% of them are polls, then we shouldn't be closing 100% of them.
Actually, I think that a question of the type "Which of the 100 readily available places should I shop at" is a poll.
A question which asks "Is there a shop which offers X under the conditions Y and Z, because I searched, but couldn't find one" sounds more reasonable.
The chocolate question is of this type, and I don't find it terrible.
Your own question about electric knives could have been formulated in this way, without changing its meaning too much: "Is there a shop which sells restaurant-grade electric knives, because I couldn't find such a place".
Talking about flags, I just noticed a new user making unsupported medical claims in an answer about botulism. Yikes.
Actually, she wrote two answers to the same question. Don't even know whether to flag the other one, or to just downvote.
7:24 PM
@rumtscho What else is new - that's the main reason nutrition is off-topic.
@Aaronut It's not new, I'm just being grumpy about it.
@rumtscho I deliberately didn't phrase it that way because I didn't want a list of stores. If you're looking for restaurant supplies then just look up "restaurant supplies" in a directory - there are lots of them in every city, and many more online.
The more questions we answer about Where To Find X, the more likely we are to be treated as a directory service.
@Aaronut Good point.
Our history affects our future, as evidenced by the insane number of food safety questions we get.
But is a question closed for being "shop question" less googlable than a question closed for being "poll question"?
I guess you were right that this whole thing is big enough for its own meta discussion. Even though I suspect it will be read by the same people who follow the chat transcript, the viewpoints should be documented in the proper place and voted on.
7:37 PM
As for the garlic/botulism question, I deleted the nonsensical rambling answer and downvoted the other. "Low quality" doesn't begin to describe it.
Next time you cut yourself, just rub some crushed garlic on it.
Yes, I was charitable enough to add a comment explaining my own downvote, in the futile hope that the average glossy magazine reader will recognize why it is bad.

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