I have a question about my Physics Stack Exchange post: Is it really true that space is continuous?

This question was closed by Qmechanic♦ on the grounds that "This question already has answers here":

and this is the linked question.

Apart from the question I posted having very similar title to the one linked, the body of the question is much different, as can be seen easily.

I am, for example, asking:

  • Are there really legitimate physical theories (or subtheories) where there really seems to be a mostly physical need to assume that space is not continuous?

and this question is non-answered in the answers to the linked question, because answers address mathematical constructions and not precise physical needs, whether of theoretical or experimental nature.

Furthermore, I also ask:

  • And, if there are such attempts to actually quantize space, are they consistent with the so far collected physical data and successful models constructed so far?

and the answers seem to address some consistency with data and other models while possible inconsistencies are almost not mentioned at all, even if they are only of theoretical nature.

And, furthermore, this is included in the private feedback:

Your post has been associated with a similar question. If this question doesn’t resolve your question, ask a new one.

So, even the edit of the question (which is even not needed) does not resolve this issue but all the effort I included is supposed to be futile since there is a suggestion to ask a new question.

Observe that my question is not about re-opening of the question I asked but about abuse of moderator rights.

Specifically, it seems as the question I posted was closed with just a quick glance over it, and without detailed and analyzed attempts to observe how much it is different from the linked question.

Because of that, I would like to know what moderators think about this abuse of moderator rights and what is the procedure that needs to be done when things similar to this one happen?

Edit: After some responses I can agree that was not an abuse of moderator rights, but rather misuse of moderator rights.

| |
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "Abuse of moderator rights" has malign connotations, if your question is very similar to another already answered one it is worth reading those responses first and or making your question more specific. $\endgroup$ – Charlie Apr 24 at 21:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Charlie Yes, but truth needs to be accepted, the question I asked was closed very quickly, without any mention at all why it is a duplicate, because it is not a duplicate. I have read the answers to the linked question before asking this question on Meta. $\endgroup$ – user261976 Apr 24 at 21:33
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ "Truth needs to be accepted", there's no need to be dramatic, if you rephrase your question and be more specific about what you're actually asking it might be better received. $\endgroup$ – Charlie Apr 24 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Charlie I am not being dramatic now, I just stated to you and others that might read these comments that the question was closed very quickly, without any mention at all why it is a duplicate. $\endgroup$ – user261976 Apr 24 at 21:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I agree with the moderators that the questions are very similar, the titles are almost synonymous, the mods don't have to filled out paperwork every time they close something, if you can still edit the question you can try making it more specific and clear what you're asking. $\endgroup$ – Charlie Apr 24 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Charlie If moderators do close questions because they seem to be duplicates without mentioning why the questions being closed as duplicates are duplicates, then that is a community problem, because some non-duplicates will be closed that way, and then, if that is not abuse of moderator rights, then it surely is a misuse of moderator rights. $\endgroup$ – user261976 Apr 24 at 22:10
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't know what to tell you, your question is very similar to others. Be more specific about what you're asking, it's not unreasonable that it was closed. I'm not discussing this further, the moderators decide what is and isn't a similar enough to be considered a duplicate. $\endgroup$ – Charlie Apr 24 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ In all fairness these “what if” questions are IMO bait to start a discussion rather than provide an answer using the known principles of physics; as such not a good fit for the site. If it is NOT a bait then it’s a simple “yes/no” answer (to boot probably opinion-based) which is not terribly interesting for the site either. $\endgroup$ – ZeroTheHero Apr 25 at 1:17
  • $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero Of course I can agree that question asked on the main site can be edited to include some more thoughts and hows and whys and it can be fitted to be more interesting for the readers, but the truth is that the question was closed before the chance was given to me to improve the question, so, in all your fairness, the closure of the question is not a fair-play, not even a fair response at all, so that is not even close to some reasonable fairness. $\endgroup$ – user261976 Apr 25 at 2:22
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You can still edit the question to improve it... (even if it is closed). $\endgroup$ – ZeroTheHero Apr 25 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero It is clearly stated in the private feedback: "Your post has been associated with a similar question. If this question doesn’t resolve your question, ask a new one.". Some folks behave like they do not know that some effort was included in writing that question, and after all that thinking about how to phrase the question and how to write the question and even how to ask the question, someone closed the question with just a single-click. $\endgroup$ – user261976 Apr 25 at 2:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ There’s really nothing more for me to add. I’ve made my position clear. The productive thing is to rewrite your question, contrasting it with others, and making it less speculative. Maybe you have a paper to refer to either in support of an argument. $\endgroup$ – ZeroTheHero Apr 25 at 3:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Canaan As ZeroTheHero mentioned, I'd suggest that you ignore the "ask a new one" portion of the private feedback. That wording was chosen by the company, but it doesn't reflect what we'd actually like people to do, which is edit the question to clearly identify what it is asking that the proposed duplicate does not ask. $\endgroup$ – David Z Apr 25 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ Lots of questions get closed as duplicates on Physics.SE and across the network. Sometimes mistakes are made, but that's generally not an issue because dupes can be reopened, single-handedly by mods and by members with an appropriate gold tag badge, or by votes from 5 ordinary members with rep >3k. But it is up to the question asker to give evidence that the question isn't a dupe, by editing such evidence into the question. $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring Apr 25 at 10:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I tried to give you some helpful advice (& info) in the comments of your question. I expected it to get closed as a dupe, although I didn't expect it to get closed quite so quickly. ;) However, that closure does not constitute abuse or misuse of moderator powers. And at this stage, I am not convinced that it was an erroneous closure. Obviously, you believe that it is erroneous. So the onus is on you to edit appropriate info into your question. If you do that, people will consider reopening it. $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring Apr 25 at 10:09

No, it is not. Moderators are empowered to vote to mark questions as duplicates of other questions, and while our decisions about when to do this won't always be correct, exercising that power is not abuse. (Same goes for users who are highly active in a tag and who have the same power to mark questions with that tag as duplicates.)

I suppose it would be different if your question was closed as a duplicate of an entirely unrelated question, and if we find this to happen repeatedly. E.g. if your question, "Are there really legitimate physical theories (or subtheories) where there really seems to be a mostly physical need to assume that space is not continuous?", was closed as a duplicate of something like "How do I compute the normal force for a block on an inclined plane?"1, then that raises some questions, and if a moderator was found to be doing things like that over and over again, then it would prompt a conversation about abuse. But that's not the case here.

1Setting aside the fact that "How do I compute the normal force for a block on an inclined plane?" might not even be on topic here....

| |
  • $\begingroup$ I think that we can agree that closing of the mentioned question I posted is not correct decision, so it can be viewed as an abuse of moderator rights, with appropriate and suitable definition of "abuse". $\endgroup$ – user261976 Apr 24 at 20:55
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ @Canaan No, I have not indicated my agreement to any such thing. $\endgroup$ – David Z Apr 24 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ I understand, but if questions are closed if they bear some similarity with questions that are already on the site, even though something much different is asked inside the body of the question, do you consider those to be a non-correct decisions? $\endgroup$ – user261976 Apr 24 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ I can agree now that was not an abuse of moderator rights, it was only misuse of moderator rights. $\endgroup$ – user261976 Apr 24 at 22:13
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @Canaan: Even "misuse of moderator rights" would seem too strong, even if the closure were a mistake. That said, kinda curious.. why the bombastic approach? I mean, you seem more interested in taking a negative stance toward the mods than clarifying the question and getting it re-opened, which seems a bit strange. $\endgroup$ – Nat Apr 25 at 5:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Nat This is not "taking a negative stance toward the mods", actually one of the mods closed the question I put so much of an effort into it, without justifying that closure. $\endgroup$ – user261976 Apr 25 at 6:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Nat Of course, I am just trying to prevent similar misuse in the future, because the closure of the question on the grounds that it is a "possible duplicate" does not resolve this issue, of which you are aware of. The mod who closed the question needs to prove that question is a duplicate, or re-open the question. Unless one of these two actions is done, this just seems to be a continuation of the misuse of the rights of the user, which in this case is me. $\endgroup$ – user261976 Apr 25 at 7:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Nat I am not expecting that most users observe closing the question to be a duplicate on the grounds of being a "possible duplicate" as problematic, but it is surely problematic, and I know of at least four legal solutions of this problem, and I just need to decide what action of those four I will personally take. $\endgroup$ – user261976 Apr 25 at 7:54
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Canaan Legal solutions? $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist Apr 25 at 12:05
  • $\begingroup$ @AaronStevens Of course, you can easily read this: "Canaan is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. " I am not thinking that immediate fast closure of the question I posted is the best way to handle questions. $\endgroup$ – user261976 Apr 25 at 13:05

You must log in to answer this question.