I asked a bad question today (How to defeat an AI wizard?) and I'm not sure what to do. I was going to edit the question when the answers kept popping up. I can't delete or close the question myself. Now my edit will, in total, invalidate 6 existing answers.

What is the best action I should take? Let it be closed and ask a new question instead? Edit it with the new question anyway?

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    $\begingroup$ If six people jumped to answer it, some of them it looks like in depth -- is it really such a bad a question? I haven't really given it a hard look yet myself, but maybe you should include why you now think the question should be taken down? $\endgroup$
    – Random
    Aug 27 '17 at 19:38
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    $\begingroup$ It should be closed as "story based". Got carried away with the setting and asked the wrong "How do I defeat ...". Checked several examples and they also closed with the same reason. $\endgroup$
    – Vylix
    Aug 27 '17 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ simply flag it and consult with the moderator why it should be removed $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Aug 28 '17 at 7:55
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps you're right, but part of me feels like with even a subtle change of wording ... "What major weaknesses would an AI with these capabilities have, etc." you would have been fine. The line can be pretty blurry here sometimes. $\endgroup$
    – Random
    Aug 28 '17 at 21:03

There are two sometimes-conflicting goals at play here:

  1. Edits that invalidate good answers aren't allowed, as it's not fair to the people who wrote those answers.

  2. People shouldn't answer questions that they know should be closed, and if they do and their answers end up getting invalidated or deleted, it's on them.

On a quick review I don't think your question qualifies under #2. The lines between asking about (world) capabilities versus asking about characters, and asking about world versus story, are a little tricky sometimes. You asked in good faith and people answered in good faith a question that's likely to be closed. The best way forward for all involved is to use what you've learned from this question to ask better followup questions. If you can't edit this one to be openable without damaging the existing answers, it's better to just let it be and ask a new question.

If you'd like to get help/feedback from the community before you ask that next question, try the sandbox -- it allows you to refine a draft in a safe place before people start answering.

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    $\begingroup$ "Obviously" going to be closed? It isn't closed until it gets the last vote! I see nothing wrong with answering such questions, particularly if I disagree with the closure, and even then it might get reopened. Perhaps, "people should not answer questions they believe should be closed." $\endgroup$
    – Amadeus
    Aug 28 '17 at 10:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Amadeus' wording has a point. It often isn't all that easy to tell whether a question should be closed or not. I mean, many questions are obviously good, and some are obviously bad, but then there's the gray area in between those which this question appears to fall into. IMO it's almost always okay to answer a question that you wouldn't flag or vote to close; but it's almost never okay to answer a question that you would, or indeed do, flag or vote to close. I haven't looked closely at the question, but there seems to be disagreement about its fate. Maybe hash that out on Meta first? $\endgroup$
    – user
    Aug 28 '17 at 11:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Amadeus that's a good point. I wasn't talking about predicting the (sometimes-unpredictable) collective mind here; I was talking about evaluating the question and not answering things that are obviously off-topic, too broad, etc. I'll edit. $\endgroup$ Aug 28 '17 at 12:39

You can do both. Ask a new question with the correct question, provide a link to the wrong question to explain why this is not a duplicate. Then ADD to the wrong question with an edit so the answers are not invalidated, to try to direct people to your new question. Just use the "###" for a heading, something like:

Oops; asked the wrong question!

I got carried away while writing, the question below is not exactly what I intended to ask. I am leaving it so I do not invalidate the good answers; but please see my revised question for this setup HERE.


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