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1:29 AM
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Q: Is this question too broad?

Monica CellioThis question asks what possible events could bring about a global government collapse. We have a consensus that we don't do idea-generation for storytelling. Specific examples from that meta post: Q: What conditions have to exist in a world to explain giant insects? — EXCELLENT Q: Wha...

 
 
6 hours later…
7:43 AM
@overactor well done on your gold badges!
55 days until I get mine ;-)
 
8:06 AM
Let the downvoting rampage begin. ;-)
 
0
Q: What to do when a question should be closed but an answer is good?

overactorThis question seems to be too broad. As Michael Kjörling noted in the comments though (emphasis mine): I have a feeling that the more general question is better suited as a separate meta question, actually. For the specific case, I'm tempted to agree that it is very broad, but also (at a glan...

 
@MichaelKjörling I think the "[...]" is something you should do when omitting part of a quote, but you're absolutely right, the first part wasn't relevant.
@MichaelKjörling It does seem that every morning the new questions need some whipping in to shape. It seems like our more active members are all on a European rhythm.
@TimB A minimum of 50 votes for the famous question badge wouldn't be out of place.
Though one should keep in mind that the votes per view ratio generally drops as views rise.
It would be interesting to plot votes/views against views and time posted
for questions
I suspect the early days of the public beta (and the private beta even more so) saw way more votes per view.
@Liath Thanks.
 
@overactor About the downvoting rampage, I was referring more to my question on the main site. In the case of your meta question, it was my own quote, so I didn't feel too much qualms about removing an irrelevant (and potentially confusing) portion of it. :)
 
8:22 AM
@MichaelKjörling You're not the one who gets the final say about what can and cannot be done with your intellectual property though
 
@overactor CC-BY-SA.
Which of course also means I can remix your content, as long as I attribute it properly ;) Want me to lock that post to edits? ;)
 
Does it say anything about quotes?
 
I don't think it does explicitly, but in this case, you quoted my entire contribution :)
 
@MichaelKjörling Is that fair use?
 
@overactor I'm not familiar enough with US copyright law to say.
 
8:31 AM
I'll just trust hope that no one will sue me
 
But I'd argue that when you copy all of what someone wrote, even if it's fairly short, it starts approaching the limits of what can reasonably fall under the fair use exceptions.
I think you can be fairly safe for now. Too much work looking up your IP address. ;)
 
@overactor I have a diamond. We have ways.
 
@Liath congratz on hitting 4k rep, how are those full privileges treating you?
 
8:59 AM
@overactor thanks! Not used them yet, just basking...
 
@Liath Need any downvotes? :)
 
@MichaelKjörling nah I'm good...
 
@Liath Glad to hear it :)
 
@MichaelKjörling Not much activity on your question it seems
 
9:15 AM
@overactor Not really. I'm a little disappointed, honestly.
 
@MichaelKjörling It might be more physics.SE's kind of thing
Though there's also some biology thrown in the mix
 
@overactor Yeah, I considered Biology myself. If it doesn't attract more attention I might have a chat with some other moderators and see if it's more on topic elsewhere.
 
You know, we have a number of questions that have been saved by answers.
 
@MichaelKjörling I'm thinking the question will end up being that maximum force exerted by muscles rises with the square of scale and mass rises with the cube of scale
So that acceleration will be inversely related with scale
2 times bigger, 2 times less agile
But I can't find a credibly source to back the statement about muscles
and I'm likely overlooking complications @MichaelKjörling
 
@MichaelKjörling I can answer your question but you're asking for formula/proof/etc which I don't have handy
 
9:29 AM
@Mourdos Did those questions get edited afterwards?
 
any question like that takes longer to answer
 
@overactor That does seem plausible, and if I can't get anything better I might go with such a model.
 
Not really. The hacking the univser question got edited, but it did nothing to actually fix the problem
 
@TimB If you know the concept, you can always leave an answer then come back to it later and add the meaty mathy parts.
 
@MichaelKjörling Another problem might be the bigger animal's center of mass being higher
and thus creating more angular acceleration when trying to stop
 
9:31 AM
@overactor Like I said, it doesn't need to be perfect. :)
 
@TimB are you going to have a crack at @MichaelKjörling's question?
 
@overactor I likely won't downvote an answer that explains the concepts just because it doesn't have formulas in it. ;) Obviously a set of formulas and references would be even better. // cc @TimB
 
Our opposing points of view seem to be around what is too broad. We have one side who think that we should become a repository for all kinds of questions and that almost nothing is too broad if it is interesting. Points in their favour are that we have a community that often gives answers that are detailed and long enough that they address the question fully and give a good answer in a question that would otherwise be closed as too broad.

The other point of view is SE policy in general and those who follow it which state that a question is too broad if it doesn't have clear criteria for an
And we don't have enough engagement in meta to have that conversation as it stands.
@MichaelKjörling @TimB Do you think it is reasonable for us to change our 'Too Broad' closing reason to include a link to meta about the question? Or if we should introduce a more specific "Ideas generation" close reason?
 
@Mourdos The standard close reasons cannot be changed, although we can add site-specific close reasons. We have three slots standard, and can request more if they turn out to truly be needed (as has been done e.g. on Stack Overflow).
The site-specific close reasons will show up under "off-topic because..." in the close dialog.
 
Hmm. We really need to do something. I'm more than happy for our policy to change, but I'm not happy with policy simply being ignored. I just don't know how to do it.
I might work on the idea's generation close reason wording and definition and then post a meta.
 
9:40 AM
If we can find some sort of consensus that idea generating questions are off topic, we can certainly add a site-specific close reason covering that. It would help make the site's scope more clear.
 
@Mourdos I think we need to be a bit more lenient as to what is considered too broad for our site. Since some of our most popular/well-received questions have been borderline too broad and most answers to them have been exemplary. Though I do see it's a slippery slope.
 
@Mourdos I think a better start might be to establish whether we really do want to close such questions as off topic. Then separately discuss how such a close reason should be phrased.
 
@overactor That's not my issue. I've said I'm happy with policy change, but unless we change our policy to be more lenient, people are just going "but it is interesting" and ignoring policy.
 
I think mixing the two risks confusing matters.
 
@MichaelKjörling good point
 
9:42 AM
My preferred solution at the moment would be to close as "Bad Question, Good Answer" :-)
and allow answer voting to continue but no new answers, possibly.
 
@Mourdos Be careful with the term bad
 
@Mourdos Closing a question is equal to "no new answers can be added". Locking questions is a separate matter (that locks votes), as is protecting them (requiring having earned 10 rep on the site to answer).
And yes @overactor, a close reason should ideally be actionable by the asker.
 
In that case, just a normal close. Something similar to historic, but without the connotations of "this used to be a question that fit until we changed something"
 
@overactor We had a case on Amateur Radio where the two were confused, and it turned into a bit of a mess. Better to keep them separate from the beginning: first establish what we want to do, then exactly how to do it.
 
I still think questions that should be closed but have good answers should be attempted to be edited to ft the site
I'm in favor of a meta post asking if there should be an idea-generation close reason
Can it include a discussion of where the line should lie?
 
9:46 AM
Hacking the universe is still my bugbear on this.
It has had 5 close, then 5 reopen, then 2 close
Meta consensus is that it is too broad (the edit does nothing to fix that)
 
I think it would be better to have a meta post asking "what makes a question enough idea-generating that it should be off topic?".
@Mourdos Did it really have five close votes at one point though? I know I hammered it shut at one point.
 
Might not have then. But I'm sure the close reason had at least 3 names on it
in that case, its 5 for 5
But its been closed, reopened, and had more close votes, that and meta
Ideas generation fall into three categories.
a) I want this to happen, how could I cause it. This question is good, because it has an end point. We can answer these easily.
 
@Mourdos You mean something like this question of mine? (I think examples help here to clarify what exactly you mean by each.)
 
5
Q: How could a specific asteroid be diverted to impact the earth?

Paul WilliamsImagine someone wanted to divert a specific asteroid to impact the earth. The Current Impact Risks page at nasa.gov shows a list of known impact risks based on observations. Most of these asteroids are very small; this person would not be interested in them. Some of these, however, look promis...

 
9:51 AM
Michael, yours is a "reality check", rather than ideas generation
The one I posted and @overactor are good examples
They have a clear "win" condition on an answer.
 
@Mourdos What's category b) ?
 
@Mourdos Yes, but I also pretty quickly edited it to include for the possibility of alternate proposals to get the same result.
Anyway, if you post these on meta, I strongly suggest including examples for each category. It makes it much easier to tell what is meant. Just make sure to clearly label them as examples.
 
@MichaelKjörling agreed
 
I think I'm approaching this wrong.
I think I already answered this question.
 
@ Mourdos
26
Q: What should three men and three women do if everyone else is dead?

overactorRecently, I asked what could kill all humans except for those in low orbit. Out of the answers that popped up (which included the Ragnarök), I picked a plague as being the most desirable for my particular needs. Some background A virus, purposely engineered to target and kill humans was (delibe...

Where does that go?
 
9:55 AM
That was going to be a type b and a
It starts a question with a proposed start point and is clear about what you start with
but the intent is also clear "survive"
 
but a bit more open ended?
I see your point
 
It can also be written "How can three men and three women survive" crucially, it adds given these very specific conditions
 
Another crucial point
 
This question goes bad if that bolded above isn't added
Such as the "what could cause a governemnt to collapse"
which is on 4 close votes
 
If I had asked, these specific conditions are true, what happens now?
 
9:57 AM
If they added "How could corrupt cause a government to shut down?" we would probably be okay with it
Or even "How would a government cope with an earthquake"
 
@overactor "what happens now?" without being specific about in what context probably should be closed as "too broad".
 
Yes
 
I'm seeing a pattern
These questions are all basically
 
And then we have type c) I have a vauge idea, and no real information. TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU CAN THINK OF
 
@Mourdos "Unclear what you are asking".
 
9:58 AM
The answer to this question is effectively: Anything you want it to be.

That means there is no clear way to pick an answers, which in turn means that the question is too broadly scoped. Asking for a list that includes almost every set and subset of actions a person could take does not.
 
Or possibly "primarily opinion-based".
 
I think A) is normalyl always fine
 
I want to go from point A to point B, how do I get there?
You have to define A and B well
 
b) is "too many possible answers" if they don't define a specific context
c) Is simply "I have no idea what to do, I just want cool ideas"
 
And you can apparently loosen up on both a bit
 
9:59 AM
Yes, that is where judgement comes in
 
and the looser one point is defined, the better the other one needs to be defined
 
yes
 

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