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9:03 PM
Is this what our site is about?
I'm really not getting the negative reactions to that question
just cut out the word "alien" and it's immediately an okay question
@Ixrec Yes, it is.
@Ixrec Personally I don't see why the word "alien" has to be cut out at all :)
And thats actually part of the problem.
9:04 PM
I didn't really mind the alien bit either tbh
@Rachel how far do you have to read to get the actual question that is relevant to the site?
the body of the question definitely had too much fluff at the start
@Ixrec That is also part of the problem.
it reads more like a Worldbuilding.SE question than a PSE one
@MichaelT As I said in comments, I thought the alien example was a good hypothetical to give context to the question
9:05 PM
but that's a really easy thing to fix
@Ixrec And that is the real problem.
@Ixrec And that was attempted...
OP has indicated that they do not wish for the alien bit to be edited out, and the question is OK in it's original form, so I don't see the problem with leaving it as it is
If OP didn't care, I'd say sure edit out the aliens
(personally I like them, but that's just my opinion)
9:06 PM
I probably would've kept one or two sentences about aliens personally
> Focus on questions about an actual problem you have faced. Include details about what you have tried and exactly what you are trying to do.
> You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.
notice that the alien-less version of the question also fails those criteria
It is a very interesting question. Especially if caused down to the core unicode question.
unless you were the guy that realized Unicode needed to be more than 16 bits
9:08 PM
However, the alien nature of the question makes it veer off into other non design questions.
I actually appreciate the aspects of that though, and the points made about character glyphs, combining glyps, etc
did anyone attempt an edit that reduced the emphasis on aliens without completely eliminating it, to the point that it would feel like a technical question again, or was the debate all vs nothing?
@Rachel very interesting and answerable question that has nothing to do with aliens.
@Ixrec Yes, you can see it in the post history
@Ixrec When the OP got into a "this is the way I want it and I will roll back any changes" it became a bit difficult to do anything
9:10 PM
@MichaelT That's just your opinion though. My opinion is the alien language factor really made the context make sense to me
@Rachel When you have a practical problem about aliens...
lol I'm sure the US govt has some "practical problems" about them... I know there are plans in place
@MichaelT Some of us like to future proof our designs. Just saying.
Hangul in unicode is a very interesting area. programminginkorean.com/programming/hangul-in-unicode
if I recall correctly, US and USSR actually had an agreement to work together in the case of an alien invasion :)
9:11 PM
wow, one of the "fluff" paragraphs was added by Doc Brown
and that was back during the cold war...
That would be a good politics questions.
Or History?
Politics or History.
hello Thomas, long time no see :)
(sorry I misspelled your name earlier)
9:13 PM
Talking about how to design a character set for a wide range of transformations is also an interesting and answerable question.
Asking how to support an alien invasion in unicode... I really want to say goes beyond the practicality points and far beyond the "trivia" questions that we occasionally answer and get.
the original title was bad
but it was an easy fix
The original and current title is awful.
@MichaelT would you like it better if we replaced aliens with some unknown amazon tribe?
the current title's okay
9:14 PM
I know there are many tribal communities out there with languages we do not know of
@Rachel Glen's edit appears to have simply replaced them with unnamed ancient people
@Rachel possibly... though I'd point out that you might get a tangent to the Cherokee language there.
Cherokee (Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ Tsalagi Gawonihisdi) is the Native American Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee people. It is the only Southern Iroquoian language and differs significantly from the other Iroquoian languages. Cherokee is a polysynthetic language and uses a unique syllabary writing system. Today, Cherokee is one of North America's healthiest indigenous languages because extensive documentation of the language exists; it is the Native American language in which the most literature has been published. Such publications include a Cherokee dictionary and grammar as well as translated...
also, wtf, I'm siding with Rachel against MichaelT
that's not supposed to happen
:) The thing is, the question is fine in it's current format. Sure it's not perfect, but it's acceptable
lol @Ixrec I'm not that bad :D
9:15 PM
Its hot, its unprotected, it has answers that have nothing to do with unicode.
eh, downvote answers you don't think are related
I have already.
I'll go do that myself when this episode finishes
The question is alright.
The title itself, being a hot title, undoes a bit of the "our site is about programing design and architecture" that we've slowly been trying to get the rest of the network to realize.
9:17 PM
It further complicates the question of "well, what is this site about?"
you know, all our focus on it is probably giving it even more attention
its had what... 13 revisions?
and it keeps coming up in chat
I just got back from work, so this is the first chance I've had to chat about it
that's probably part of the reason
personally though I think a question about the limitations of unicode is very much on-topic and is fine
I just got back from the physics museum with my nephew.
I'm still at work.... :(
9:19 PM
@Rachel then ask that without needing to resort to the hypothetical alien invasion.
There are good questions there.
Its just that the OP is too attached to the fluff part of the question that makes it difficult to edit it out.
I don't get why people want to hide the "humanness" of the SE sites.. they're part of what makes the Q&A community so great
I recall a rather similar discussion on Meta.SO about the "how to parse HTML" question..
@Rachel Because bikeshedding gives disproportionate weight to those posts.
9:21 PM
there's multiple opinions here, and in this case it's been indicated that the question in it's original form is perfectly OK, and the OP is strongly against changing it
so why is everyone so determined to change it?
Because it is excessively popular because of the fluff.
Asking questions on Stack Exchange should be about getting answers to your questions, not about being cute or gaming the system.
That sort of fluff is causing non-design answers.
That said, I'm not sure I have a problem with all the "alien" stuff.
And other people have avoided dealing with the "what is your site about" questions that we get - that this further confuses - and the moderation and curation of other poor questions.
9:22 PM
:) As I mentioned before, I think the alien stuff actually provides a good context for the question
It is completely unnecessary.
at the risk of being nitpicky, the original form of the question was not ok imo, but the current form is
Popularity is a tough thing. I'm tempted to call it a curse, but what we try to do at Stack Exchange is make sure that questions and answers are popular for the right reasons -- because they are amazing resources for learning from your peers. If you want to slip a few jokes in there with the learning, that's fine, but when the question devolves into little more than entertainment, I hope you can understand why our community moderators are obliged to step in and protect the community from, well ... itself.
This question is popular for the wrong reason.
And that popularity is rewarded, it encourages others to also add questions that are also popular for the wrong reason.
9:24 PM
Well, we can't screen out human response. Those men in the silos know what it means to turn the keys, and some of them are just not up to it.
When we get the next alien invasion question that is off topic here, they're going to point to this question and say "but this one is open"
(Oh, sorry. Wrong movie)
And the people who are consistently moderating the site will have to deal with that question, and that upset user too.
This is an edge case. It's not the larger problem. People asking their homework, interview and troubleshooting questions here is the real problem, not intricacies about whether or not we can mention aliens as a qualitative example.
If that shows up, I'll probably be flagging it and saying "Thomas, Yannis - you reopened that other question, you explain this one."
9:27 PM
See pages.cs.wisc.edu/~markhill/cs252/Fall2009/handouts/hw4_sol.pdf for some background and a possible solution. The reason this is an important problem is that bit streams can have sync patterns. — Robert Harvey 57 mins ago
252? thats a new class. Hmm.
I can see the meta post already
"To the moderators who reopen questions about aliens"
The (x5x are theory and fundamentals classes... 2xx is an entry level... 352 was digital systems logic, 552 was "build a computer from the ground up")
@Ixrec mods I can deal with via other channels.
9:28 PM
SE is rather hard to get a straight answer from.
@JimmyHoffa -255? What am I, some sort of negative only 8 bit number?
> Arthur C. Clarke wrote, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Do computers seem like magic to you? Would you like to understand how they really work?
Introduction to Computer Engineering (CS/ECE 252) is a two-credit course that surveys the basics of computer hardware and low-level software.
> Logic components built with transistors, rudimentary Boolean algebra, basic combinational logic design, basic synchronous sequential logic design, basic computer organization and design, introductory machine-and assembly-language programming.
CS/ECE 252 is required for majors in Computer Engineering and Computer Sciences and is a prerequisite to both CS/ECE 352 (Digital System Fundamentals and CS/ECE 354 (Machine Organization and Programming).
@AshleyNunn OMG I just read the last chapter in the second book! WTFFF
I thought I had read all the good parts already
9:32 PM
what books?
Newsflesh series by Mira Grant
@Ankush You might like poking at discovering.cs.wisc.edu
Zombies and political intrigue mixed with some tom clancy-esque combat scenes
Q: Dealing with "Find out who's going to buy the croissants"

Mark BoothOn Stack Overflow at the moment, there is a popular question which is currently high in the Hot Questions feed: http://stackoverflow.com/q/17807531/42473 So far it has been closed twice (once by the community and a moderator and once by a moderator alone) but re-opened twice by the community. It...

^^^ undelete and reopen?
9:37 PM
@gnat Because aliens are buying the croissants?
@gnat "This question has not received enough attention"—really? It's received at least as much attention as the original question, if not more. What other answers or types of discussion are you hoping to attract with this bounty? Don't the answers we have just about cover all the bases? — Cody Gray Jul 30 '13 at 6:08
^^^ funny how SO folks start crying and complaining when they get a question like that
A: Dealing with "Find out who's going to buy the croissants"

Shog9First off, the answer to this question is easy: Should it be left open? Power to the people? Yeah, that. There's nothing particularly exceptional about this question apart from its popularity; given that most of the attention is coming from this post and SO itself, I'm not too worried that ...

@psr no, aliens encode croissants and use them to communicate. How many croissants can UTF-8 handle?
I think it would be better move it to programmers.stackexchange.comlrkwz 28 secs ago
9:41 PM
@Ampt Oh, you hadn't read that yet? Maaaan. :D Extra need to pick up the third one now, don't you ;)
lol that question
@AshleyNunn I already bought and downloaded it
gonna be a fun train ride home
@Rachel croissants ended up with two additional copycat questions. One on CS and the other here on Progs. And the evil mod who deleted it on SO frequents this room.
what a jerk, I tell ya
@Ampt hahaha man I can't wait for you to get to various bits.
9:51 PM
But back to aliens ... the alien bit was sensationalism intentional designed for a click-bait title and was detracting from the core question. The edit I put in maintained the core of the quality question and left a bit of the discovery open. I was tempted to mention an ancient civilization language in there as there's more than a few that are heavily glyph based, but didn't want to push the question too far in a different direction
And she just finished a new trilogy called Parasitology that also looks amazing :D
The real problem came about from the rollback war that the OP started along with the borderline comments he was leaving
The issue wasn't about aliens at that point, but the OP's sense of entitlement
I'm not sure I 100% agree with that last point. We can't just punish someone for disagreeing with us.
but the question he was pushing for was unnecessarily specific on aliens.
I don't view it as punishment for disagreeing - I don't see a need for punishment at all. Rev 6 yields a relatively decent question that doesn't get surrounded with fluff. Creating a rollback war because the changes don't match someone's sense of humor isn't how the site is supposed to work
9:57 PM
this alien question seems to be the highlight of the month
And I'll acknowledge that the non-fluff version probably wouldn't have hit the HNQ either, but so what? HNQ is for entertainment purposes, whereas the sites are meant for meaningful Q&A. If someone said their sole purpose in writing the question was to hit the HNQ, it would likely get shot down quickly.
@whatsisname Nah, the real highlight of the month is the 3 votes-to-close experiment. The aliens question will be forgotten in at most a few days.
@GlenH7 Been there, done that, got my question deleted.
@Ampt That was just so you could vote in the election anyway... :-)
A little of column A, a little of column B
10:05 PM
oh we're still talking about the aliens
And I'm pretty certain it was a social experiment to demonstrate how easy it is to create an HNQ
@gnat I don't see that as the same problem as the alien question. The alien question is primarily focused on the size of the Unicode space. The croissants question is focused on... Croissants.
@GlenH7 And also to poke fun at the top questions on TWP :)
But I am beginning to see your point.
1 min ago, by Ampt
A little of column A, a little of column B
10:06 PM
"That's odd... all the top questions on TWP appear to have to do with having inappropriate relationships with your boss"
@JoeStrazzere oh there are plenty magic combinations to trigger lemmings attention. "git is fantastic" does the trick. Anything "sexual" in the title does it, too. It's not a rocket science, really — gnat Mar 10 '14 at 14:12
You always have the most relevant links.
I think it's a deliberate tactic
@Rachel: The original version of the Croissants question (it went through many revisions) contained a very large, yummy picture of croissants.
I think it got so many views because people were hungry.
A little brown for my tastes, I like them a bit more buttery and golden
10:10 PM
@RobertHarvey The image had a lot to do with the number of views that question got
@JimmyHoffa nice contributions to the drink repo. I'll have to try some of them. Interested in the grog and the manhatten ATM
ugh, interacting with the Windows screensaver is a pain in the butt.
and one of the hackiest things I've ever had to do.
@Ixrec not necessarily. OP may honestly think they invented a c00l title and hold on to it emotionally. It's "entertaining" model of HNQ that exploits natural stuff like that. "Aliens", "toilet", "sexual" words in title attract eyeballs, and SE team folks believe it's a good thing... unless of course this happens on Stack Overflow (which would also be a good thing to them but SO folks complain too loud on meta)
@MetaFight errr... why are you doing that?
@gnat views = ads = $$$
@gnat I was reading the Heechee saga about some aliens and am confused about the shape of their chairs... how do they use the toilet?!
10:14 PM
@gnat actually I was referring to
7 mins ago, by Ampt
You always have the most relevant links.
i.e., I think gnat keeps all the good links around on purpose for when these things get discussed
(and yes, the topic of how the chairs are sat in is brought up in the books)
@Ampt I wrote an SMS-based doorbell that notifies people in this building when someone's at the door by popping up a desktop notification. They, however, insist on having a screensaver running at all times. bleh
@MetaFight so... you have to draw over the screen saver?
or you need to wake the computer up?
@Ampt I never thought about drawing over the screensaver... hrm. I'm just trying to kill it when new notifications come in, and prevent it from starting when there are unacknowledged notifications.
the computer is always awake.
i think I should get a new monitor for home
I sometimes wonder how it would be on my eyes to get something like a 40" 4K tv, then run it at half-resolution
10:21 PM
@MichaelT it would be also interesting (and entertaining!) to know about their sexual life, wouldn't it?
> Heechee relationships do not generally feature couple cohabitation for lengthy periods as with human marriages. A burrowing species, they tend to display more solitary conduct than humans. A Heechee bed is a cocoon, stuffed with soft bits of fabric. Heechees only breed when a female is in season.
Again, covered in the books.
@Ixrec I kept that one in my head. Subject of "hot titles" pops up frequently enough to make me remember that link
@MichaelT "Heechee have boring sex" would be equally good as hot title. Lemmings don't care about such minor details. As soon as that word is there, they stick...
Q: Is there a non-sexual phrase for sleeping with someone?

Double UThe phrase "sleeping with someone" often means "having sex." What is the origin of this sexual connotation? Is there a non-sexual equivalent of this phrase to express sleeping with someone without sexual intercourse?

@gnat Aliens - need to get all the words in there.
@MichaelT aliens managers have sex in the toilet
"manager" also typically clicks
of course, "...avoid sex in the toilet" would work too
10:32 PM
we stop talking about aliens and now it's sex in the toilet?
@Ixrec alien managers having sex in the toilet. Need to hit all the hot push button words.
Number 12 will surprise you.
I guess I'm not one to talk, there were aliens having sex in this show at one point
....I've come back in at a weird time.
how do you think I feel
(or for the full part)
@gnat I'm sure there's a good Sci-fi question in there...
come to think of it, one of their recent HNQs was "What alien was Kirk having sex with in the 2009 movie?"
10:45 PM
This is probably the 3rd time I've asked this room for the link... but here goes again. A while back somebody posted youtube videos of compilations of interludes for a japanese (I think) TV show. The interludes consisted of cute rube goldberg machines. Does anyone remember the name of those videos?
Pythagoras Switch
right when I just half-remembered it!

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