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9:17 AM
@F'x how did you make such short comments in
A: Academia Community Polls

F'xIs English your mother tongue?

9:46 AM
Q: Taking Courses As A PhD student

NunoxicI am currently in a PhD program for Applied Math. I have finished all my core courses but am now required to take any (from a list) of courses which span Econ (Micro Econ, Time series type stuff), Management (Business Intelligence) and Statistics (Mathematical Stats, the gnarly stuff). My researc...

was closed in under 4 hours with no comments about what is wrong with it. Yes, it is too localized, but isn't there a general question which could be coaxed out of it?
3 hours later…
12:22 PM
@DanielE.Shub with amazing StackExchange skills! :)
Short [ ](http://nonsense)
this is long enough to pass the threshold, and includes a nonsensical link on an unbreakable space, which is invisible
you can detect the link if you mouse over the space after the end of the text, though
2 hours later…
2:15 PM
@F'x that is genius... To bad there are no bounties in chat...
1 hour later…
3:20 PM
@AndyW I don't know what the point of the polls was. It has been said we are US and CS centric. I asked how we might find out. F'x suggested a poll thread. Please down vote the threads if you think they are useless/off topic. If the community agrees they will go away.
3:59 PM
Ok @DanielE.Shub - that is fair enough. I downvoted the initial poll question - although I'll refrain from commenting on that question directly. Again, the polls are a really awful way to answer that question - but given there popularity already I doubt the community will be interested in criticism.
2 hours later…
5:29 PM
@AndyW I think criticism will be very welcome if it is constructive
it's one thing to highlight the limitations of such polls, and I think most participants are mindful of such limits (as you said, by the very nature of their job!)
but to go one step further, you would have to flesh out alternatives, which simply do not exist at the moment (user page scraping leaves you with very small sample size, data explorer is not available for beta sites, and has other inherent issues, etc.)
6:05 PM
I'm highly skeptical users are "mindful of such limits", this is why I bring it up! Academics are hardly an exception, one of the reasons why I bring it up.
The comment about small sample sizes is either silly or hypocritical, to vote you need to have a user-profile! Data scraping you can scrape all the data, so sample size is immaterial, selection bias in what people report in there profile is the bigger problem.
I provided the only reasonable alternative I know for some questions, and that is scraping data. SO could do it directly with email polls - but that isn't likely to happen.
As I said a few times in my response, just because there aren't other reasonable solutions doesn't justify a bad poll! I agree if I had alternatives it would be nice, but it is like saying I need to eat a turd sandwich because there isn't any other food.

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