# Why was this question closed and downvoted with no comments?

Referring to the question here: What does $|λ,μ\rangle$ mean in Dirac notation?

Recently I've noticed a lot of questions closed or downvoted when the answer is obvious to someone who already knows the subject well, or when the answer would just be very short and uninvolved. However, I think that many of these questions can cause a learner to stumble for a long time (certainly I've lost a lot of time on things myself that only became "obvious" in hindsight).

In this case, the reason given for closure

Homework-like questions and check-my-work questions are considered off-topic here

clearly does not apply to the question; the context is confusion about a learning video, which is neither homework nor work of OP. The score is negative, and also there are no comments on why it was closed or downvoted. The user, with 11 reputation, is not experienced with stackexchange.

I think we could greatly improve the site by helping to teach new members like this if there is something wrong with their question, rather than silently closing the question. This can simply be done by focusing close votes on quality, not quantity, when it comes to close/downvoting, by explaining why.

In either case, it seems like this question may have been closed for no good reason, but I'm not intimately familiar with policy here; under which criteria was the answer closed? Is there ever justification for closing a comprehensible question without any comment to an OP who is new to the site? I can find some gripes with the post myself (could be formatted rather than / in addition to screenshotting, could explain better what $$\Psi_{\lambda, \mu}$$ is) but it was clear enough for me to correctly answer what was being asked without asking for further clarification, and I feel like it would be more productive to focus on explaining to such new users how to improve their question, rather than silently removing them.

• Well, it has a frame from a video and a short guess and a pointer to the video to watch. So, it (1) looks like a homework dump, (2) Can't be easily searched for since a bunch of it is an image, (3) may need watching some video to get actual context, and (4) asks about fairly standard notation that they should have encountered if they are watching whatever video that is. Aug 17, 2022 at 14:18

I VdTC as unclear: is this a question about Dirac notation (as per title) or about eigenvectors?

I’m not sure how one is supposed to answer such a question for which there is a descriptive video with the answer screenshotted. I had initially written a comment but deleted once I realized that the answer was in the framed shot and the OP didn’t bother to put in context, like what is $$\Psi_{\lambda,\mu}$$.

As to your

I think we could greatly improve the site by helping to teach new members like this if there is something wrong with their question, rather than silently closing the question. This can simply be done by focusing close votes on quality, not quantity, when it comes to close/downvoting, by explaining why.

I personally disagree. One should expect posters to have done due diligence on posting questions. If you want people to invest time in providing good quality answers, invest time in producing a good quality question. If we don’t stick to expecting due diligence, the site will be inundated by variants of questions like this one where OPs expect the community to function like an instant answering service.

Furthermore, this question is so specific and its scope so narrow that I wonder what value it has on this site beyond the viewers of the video. Finally, I agree in all respects with @JonCuster

If some technical question requires an answer, then chat functions as default.

• I see, and thanks for taking the time for this answer. I think you have a good point that this question should be rewritten in a way that makes it easier to understand for others who might be confused about the same thing. We would agree that the question is far from ideal, and I can understand where the close vote came from. The difficult part for me to swallow is that without feedback in a comment, I think many posters just get a bad experience from the site without learning from their mistakes so that they can post better next time. Aug 18, 2022 at 0:12
• I can imagine that if the OP of a bad question, despite getting their question closed, leaves with a reasonable sense of what went wrong, then such a user is more likely to re-invest their time on the site, either as an asker or answerer Aug 18, 2022 at 0:19
• @doublefelix I chose to VTC as unclear, which would have been self-explanatory. While comments in some cases are entirely warranted, in this specific case what comment can one leave? “Your question is unclear please clarify?” Note that I did not downvote: although the question is badly formulated I think it would have been overly discouraging to a new contributor to downvote when the question can IMO still be salvaged by careful editing. Aug 18, 2022 at 1:06
• @doublefelix I still believe that it is the job of the OP to become familiar with the site and carefully (and sometimes patiently) construct a clear question that will be well received. Aug 18, 2022 at 1:10