I specifically used the formulation in the title from here, the only place I found to deal with this. But I do not know, what to take from it.

To elaborate:

This question arose from comments on this answer. I know the "check my solution" questions are considered off topic. However, I think this is different. The solution is known to be wrong and we are seeking only the mistake, that must necessarily be there. Of course the mistake might be only forgotten minus sign, or the mistake might lead to clarification of important conceptual misconception and in this case, it would be helpful to broader audience. Sadly, as the mistake is unknown, better question than just "spot the mistake" cannot be asked.

It seems to me such question can be rightly heavily downvoted - as it is in general uninteresting - but I do not think it should be considered off-topic.

What is the official stance of this site?

| |
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "Check my solution" and "Check my wrong solution" are two sides of the same coin. Decidedly off-topic here. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Aug 13 at 13:57
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ To answerers and voters: we should consider this carefully. It's very hard to know in advance whether a wrong homework problem is due to a sneaky arithmetic error or a conceptual misunderstanding, and we don't want to put ourselves in a situation where the on-topicness of a question depends on its answer. If our community has evolved to where we only want clearly self-identified conceptual questions, we should update our guidance to say so. I personally hope not, because that's not what being stuck is like for me, but it's a community decision. $\endgroup$ – rob Aug 13 at 14:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ To the asker: note that elsewhere on Meta, we have discussed strongly discouraging questions where much of the content is buried in a screenshot or photograph. That is a strike against your question in its current form. $\endgroup$ – rob Aug 13 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster Our current guidance makes an exception for this type of question. If you think differently, please write an answer. $\endgroup$ – rob Aug 13 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ @rob - the question in question is a simple variant of bullet number 4 in the answer by ACuriousMind, so choosing to VTC is entirely appropriate. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Aug 13 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster Point 4 there talks about what should be allowed to be on the site though $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist Aug 13 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ @BioPhysicist - "Note that it is still possible that questions of the latter type are essentially based on a sign error or somesuch, because we all are sometimes blind. Point it out in a comment, VTC the question (or not, that must probably be left to individual judgement, but that's what the close/reopen queues are for), and move on." is an addenda to point 4, and even point 4 says "Why is the physical principle Y not applicable here?" has to be the heart of the question. The linked question falls under the VTC and move on bit. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Aug 13 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster I didn't read past point 4 haha $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist Aug 13 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster '"Why is the physical principle Y not applicable here?" has to be the heart of the question' That is really the same question as "spot my mistake". The question in the link could just ask "why I cannot compute the work using this integral here". The distinction seems to me entirely without any substance. $\endgroup$ – Umaxo Aug 13 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Umaxo - in the context of the other meta answer we are discussing (link in rob's comment above), that is a direct quote. Read ACuriousMind's answer to the linked question. I'm just quoting. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Aug 13 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster No, as the more voted answer by John Rennie seems to me claim something different than accepted one. So is there no consensus and every question should be considered on individual bases? Sorry, this is the first time I am on meta and I am not in fact sure how the site really works $\endgroup$ – Umaxo Aug 13 at 15:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Umaxo - well, even John's answer says that the core of the question has to be conceptual, not "spot my ... mistake". Anyway, remember that there is the reopen queue where the community can overturn a closure. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Aug 13 at 16:05

Browse other questions tagged .