A question was closed because: "question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion"

Although there is always a need for civility, what does it profit the community if debate and extended discussion is automatically discouraged?

  • $\begingroup$ As I understand it, this reason to close a queston should be applied to avoid flame wars and ugly nonconstructive discussions that would just annoy / upset / insult some people or pointless backward and forward arguments that lead to no valuable physics insight. Which question was it? $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Sep 15 '12 at 7:26
  • $\begingroup$ If you mean this question I think the problem is not too much or bad discussion. But it is unclear if the the OP wants to know which is the most reasonable and physical QM interpretation (as you and others who gave quite good answers assumed), that would be fine, or if he just wants to express his discontent with the fact that nature applies QM, which would be "not constructive" or useful here. Maybe it could be reopened if the asker clarifies this point by an appropriate edit of the question ...? $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Sep 15 '12 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ I have no real stake in whether the question is opened or not, I just think that it is inconsistent to say this is a question and answer forum instead of a frequently asked questions site. If it truly is a Q&A site, which in a pure sense is really just a FAQ, then the model as a forum is where constructive debate is banned is inconsistent. As far as polling, isn't that what is happening with the whole up down vote to begin with? $\endgroup$ – user11547 Sep 15 '12 at 11:39

This is a question with a long, long history first on Stack Overflow and then over the "trilogy" and now over the Stack Exchange network as a whole.

The basic position is that Stack Exchange sites are Question & Answer site, not a forum or a discussion site, and this decision was made way back in 2008 when Stack Overflow were conceived. Since then they have been designed, tweaked, twiddled and fixed to be really good at questions that have answers that the crowd can see are right.

This means that the engine is not very good at supporting discussion---a fact that is blaringly obvious every time meta.stackoverflow has a big argy-bargy---and we try to keep things on point.

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    $\begingroup$ To put it briefly, perhaps: debate is fine, but not here. $\endgroup$ – David Z Sep 15 '12 at 3:21
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks David, I can appreciate that answer, certainly moderating debates is not a goal of site. However, here's a thought on the language used for closing, open the specific criteria used for justification for closing a question to the community (maybe that is already what happened, I don't know). For the reasons stated above, there are some inconsistencies between the format of the site and the kind of dialogue that the site is trying to achieve. It would seem much better to engage more people in a positive way, a lot of people simply have never really thought of physics until posting here $\endgroup$ – user11547 Sep 15 '12 at 11:48
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    $\begingroup$ It is not just about debates. The organization in which material is presented on a Stack Exchange site is not conducive to discussion: there is no threading, there is no time ordering of posts if you start to consider comments, there is no stable relationship between answers on a page. The result is that readers see things in different orders and it is never clear what order stuff should be read in. Stack Exchange just doesn't do discussion very well, and it was never meant to. Comments provide an adequate place for sorting out simple issues, but they don't make this a discussion engine. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Sep 15 '12 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee Thanks, Very valid points. $\endgroup$ – user11547 Sep 21 '12 at 20:48

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