I have voted to re-open this question Is spacetime thickness constant everywhere? and I am interested in the views of other PSE editors.

The question uses non-standard terminology (“spacetime thickness” - looks like the author has in mind the bowling ball on a rubber sheet/trampoline analogy) but the intent is clear - does a given mass always curve spacetime by the same amount, or can this vary ? This is an interesting question - we think Einstein’s and Newton’s gravitational constants are universal constants, but how much evidence do we have for that ?

Yet the question was closed less than an hour after being asked under the “needs details or clarity” reason.

Rapidly closing a valid and interesting question only because the questioner uses non-standard terminology seems to me to be very hostile.

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ It's not really clear to me that your interpretation of the question is correct. When asked what they mean by "spacetime thickness," they linked to a paper that uses that term to describe something else entirely. Maybe they do mean what you think they mean and just googled "spacetime thickness" and linked the first result they found. But I think it would be more helpful in the long run to help the OP reword their question so it's more clear rather than just reopening it as is. $\endgroup$
    – Chris Mod
    Jun 9 at 9:58

Rapidly closing a valid and interesting question only because the questioner uses non-standard terminology seems to me to be very hostile.

One of the closure reasons is "needs more detail and clarity". If the OP is using terminology in such a way that makes the question unclear, then that's a valid closure reason. Furthermore, I don't see any hostility anywhere; the comments just ask for clarification, and question closure is a normal part of how Stack Exchange sites work.

Furthermore, as reminders to everyone (myself included)

  1. A question being "interesting" is obviously a subjective measure. Additionally, there is no site policy that says questions that are interesting should remain open no matter what. So the interest level of a question should have no bearing on whether it stays open, is closed, or is reopened.

  2. The "validity" of a question is only a necessary condition here, not a sufficient one. Just because a question is "valid" (whatever that might mean) does not mean it should stay open. Questions here must also be clear, focused, objective, and follow the site policies. There are plenty of amazing questions with the potential for amazing answers that could be asked here, but if they are unclear, unfocused, or objective, then PSE is not the best place for them.

  3. Questions should be judged as is. If one has the ability to pull from a poor post a (valid and interesting?) question that is a diamond in the rough, then that's awesome. What one should then do is either help the OP edit the question into a better form through the use of the comments, edit the question themselves while making sure to keep the intent of the OP (really make sure you have it right; you will probably need to use the comments for this as well), or they could even make a new, better post with the question they think is hiding in the poor post.$^*$ By posting answers to poor posts we are essentially bypassing the conditions raised in point 2 above, and at that point any question is up for grabs since one could argue for pretty much any post that it is a "valid and interesting question".

$^*$I think this solution would best achieve the reasons usually stated for answering off-topic questions.

  1. The question you find valid and interesting gets to be on PSE and not closed (assuming you made a better post that shouldn't be closed).
  2. You still get to post an answer to the question, since you can answer your own posts.
  3. You can still help the original OP by putting a link to your question on their question for them to look at. If the questions are similar enough, but yours is a better post, then you could even vote to close the old post as a duplicate of your new post. Additionally, since you have made a good post, it could attract other answers that could also help the original OP.

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