Hot answers tagged

53

Because it's easier (and more quickly gratifying) to be a jack of all trades than a master of one. We're a community with topics described foremost in breadth, secondarily in depth. A large number of people can bring in general understanding of a variety of topics, a somewhat more specific (if still broad) understanding of the general subject in question, ...


22

I think one of the things is that we have a culture where people don't have to be afraid of trying. Let me borrow Durakken's reference to 2/10, 5/10, 10/10 answers. On many scientific subject-specific sites, such as perhaps Physics in particular, there's a lot of great content. If you are willing to spend the time to parse the sciency and mathy stuff, you ...


21

I totally agree. Unless the question says there is magic and gives a decent description of what is possible, I assume we are sticking to real world physics. Science fiction and steampunk stories have enough variety already, adding magical answers with no knowledge of if magic exists or how is just unproductive and isn't likely to be useful to the OP.


20

That's Not Possible is a sufficient answer anytime the question is too constrained. Questions that are Too Broad (unconstrained) are a problem because it's hard to know where to start answering. If the question is too narrow, with rules that are too tight, then the options can be limited down to zero. In those situations a response like "sorry, that won'...


20

The primary problem that I have with that question is that I find it unreadable. You wander off talking about crime and then start talking about a young man getting paid to go places and be good looking. Which you've decided is unethical. Reading it again, perhaps you were saying that your protagonist found it unethical. But that's rather unclear as you ...


18

Accepted answers are like car dealership stickers Personally, I hate leaving one of my questions without an accepted answer. But that's me. Neither I nor you owe anybody anything. In fact, if you think about it, what's the point of telling people which answer suited your needs? At best, it makes everyone else feel bad. At worst, it might suggest that ...


16

I am great fan of a certain NSFW webcomic called Oglaf. It has a high-fantasy setting and a lot of the situations happening in it are perfect answers for some questions in this site. For example, in my answer to How to build a trap to last the ages?, I even inserted a (non-NSFW) page from the comic. If I link to the source, I'm linking to a porn site. I don'...


15

This appears to me to be an outgrowth of link-only answers, except worse in a way (because while links are often possible to visit without paying, many books/movies/etc. require you to pay for them). Even interlibrary loans of the works in question may not be available everywhere. However, an answer that basically states "you can do this in manner X by A, B,...


15

We've had similar problems before with comments saying just use magic This is basically a duplicate of a problem that has already been discussed on this site: Are comments saying “just use magic” problematic? In the linked question the community talked about comments saying just use magic. In this question we should discuss answers saying it's fiction and ...


14

NO This is what the edit function is for. I thought the comment was unnecessary and over the top, thought not actually "rude". I think it expressed a valid (if exasperated) position regarding the querent's present line of inquiry and mode of expression. If Monty Wild thought that the comment was rude, that's fair enough. You thought it was rude as ...


13

As a newish user, I hesitate to answer older questions because I'm not sure that my answer will ever be signaled as useful with up or down votes. I get the feeling that viewers only look at the top two or three answers, find the info/perspective they want then move on. Sometimes I'll find a question that I do have an answer for but the info I would provide ...


13

Reality check is the big one for "that's not possible", I think a fair number of my answers are along those lines, but again, that to me is the point of the tag. Someone has come along saying "does this work?" and as often as not the answer is "no it doesn't" but it doesn't become a good answer until you explain why.


12

If a question is unclear, don’t answer it Vote to put it On Hold, and ask for clarification in the comments instead; that’s what they’re there for. Questions should stipulate at least this much detail in order to avoid being Unclear or Too Broad, anyway. Guessing or assuming will result, inevitably, in guessing incorrectly and that tends to lead to messes ...


12

This is not something I would support. Learn to live with disappointment, and I do not mean to come off snarky. The desire to be a completionist is admirable in my opinion (if you're not a little OCD you're not doing it right!) but is conceptually flawed in this case. Setting a goal that cannot be completed without cheating the system is not the systems ...


12

So my view on the subject. Who is/are the arbiter(s) of whether or not an answer meets the requirements of the hard-science tag? The community. Instead of taking the step of deletion, I think we should first have a stamped-out comment that people can post, something like: "Hard-Science tags require answers that _______. This answer does not appear to ...


11

Ill still stick with my initial response to "Do we want an answer sandbox?" and say that I find it more important to have a question sandbox as the implications of a bad or at least under-developed question have far more impact than a poor answer. Questions that need work can waste a lot of peoples' time. Some of my early questions when beta opened were ...


11

In addition to what Godric Seer said, at this stage of site development -- and well into public beta for that matter -- it's not unusual to have "should we do X?" questions on meta. Beta is all about shaping a site so that it will be useful and have a user base for the long haul. And early in beta a lot of these philosophy questions get set in motion. ...


11

I understand that doing this may reduce the quality of site That should be your answer, right there. Why would we want to take active steps to reduce the quality of the site? I can see no valid reason whatsoever for that. Some badges are easy to get (Autobiographer comes to mind). Others are hard to get. Consider badges like Reversal, Unsung Hero, and so ...


11

We've discussed cases before when it doesn't work that way or that's not possible are valid answers if correctly written. I don't think it's a valid reason to close a question, but it is a valid reason to give an answer that the questioner didn't expect. You can often find that the reason they're asking the question is that they weren't thinking about the ...


11

If we're talking about this specific case only, I would say delete both. The question asks about building a tower out of ivory. I think most of us would interpret that as asking about whether, if you had a large enough supply of ivory at your disposal, you could build a structure of any significant height. Therefore, a proper answer would . . . Hopefully ...


11

Locking can only be done by a moderator, or by the system under certain circumstances. It's not something you can do yourself. A locked post cannot be commented on, voted on, favorited, edited, or answered (if it's a question); basically it shuts down all activity on the post, so this is not something to be done lightly, and in particular not just because ...


11

I think that the following two steps are needed to ensure the quality of the answer: Provide proper reference, detailing out the specifics of the case Explain why the referred example is applicable to the question Example: A magical entity has created an artifact which contains and amplifies all the power of the entity and allows controlling the bearers ...


11

First of all, please be aware that moderators are volunteering their free time for handling exceptions that the community cannot handle. Based on the above, raising tons of flag is not likely to please any moderator. Clarified this, what do you expect a moderator to do with such a flag? Is that an exception? Is it something that the community cannot ...


11

The bottom line is that we're not here to compete with one another; we're here to write good answers (and ask good questions!). I'm struggling to see where there's been any misconduct here. LazyReader's answer linked to the video, but prior to JBH's edit, it was rather tangential. The main point of the rather succinct first version was that tapuis involve a ...


11

I will say that I do disagree with the deletion for reasons that many folks have articulated (though, as has also been acknowledged, the now-removed text was certainly over the line). Given that there seems like there's a fairly solid community consensus for undeleting the answer, I've gone ahead and done so. I'd like to give a shoutout to both the folks who ...


10

Your profile currently shows a single declined flag, so I assume that's the one you are talking about; that particular flag was handled by Tim B. I've taken another look at the answer, and the below is how I would reason. Flags should ideally be used for content that is basically "unsalvageable" within the scope of the site. As you say that after the ...


10

The guiding principle for whether to self-answer or to include previous efforts in the question itself should generally be whether you would upvote and/or accept the answer that you give, if it came from someone else. Self-answers should not receive a free pass, and in fact are often judged more harshly by the community than those posted by people other than ...


10

I think this is a practice we want to avoid, because it can be frustrating to ask a question and only receive answers of the type: "your premises are faulty". However, it might actually be useful. The OP may not realise where the fault is. So the challenging answer might be more valuable to the OP than a standard answer. It happens. Alternatively, the OP ...


10

This hit too close to our actual world and seemed to be some sort of sly remark on some current celebrity rather than an actual World-building question. While I don't love the implications, and I answered as to why I didn't like them when you specifically asked why people might not like the question, the basic reason and the reason why I downvoted this ...


9

It depends. If a question is tagged magic and someone says that magic is not real, then it's reasonable to flag the response Not an Answer. However, if a question is marked science-based and reality-check, then saying that something is not realistic is perfectly appropriate. There's a line somewhere in the middle. A large part of worldbuilding is ...


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