I see regular questions that could be answered by some basic Googling. Examples would be In a large city how much hotter on average is it outside due to the air conditioning of all the buildings? and Quantum annealing computing.

To be charitable, newcomers to physics may not know where to start and what terms to search for, and a suitable answer might be to point them at a few introductory articles. However in many cases it looks as if the OP simply can't be bothered to put any effort in. Do we have a policy for closing (or not closing) such questions. For homework we have the "off topic/need to show some effort" reason, but most of the questions of this sort aren't obviously homework.

Or am I just being excessively grumpy? :-)

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    $\begingroup$ Concerning the second example it seems a bit excessively grumpy ;-), since physicists here can give good answers from a physics or expert point of view, which are not that easy googlable... Generlly, before the change of the closing system I used to flag "too localized" sometimes in these cases ... $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Jul 18, 2013 at 11:13
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    $\begingroup$ @dilaton: really? When the Wikipedia article on quantum annealing appears at the top of the Google results for "quantum annealing"? If the OP had asked for clarification of or expansion on the Wikipedia article I might be more sympathetic. $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2013 at 11:20
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie I'm just as grumpy when I find out that typing in the words of the title gives the answer in the first link... $\endgroup$
    – tpg2114
    Jul 18, 2013 at 11:52
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    $\begingroup$ The first one, I think a comment, "You are expected to do a small search for the answer before asking questions here, as this way, it will be no effort on your part." will do, but if the OP doesn't listen, I think "Homework" is the most appropriate close reason... For the second one, I would say, you're being too grumpy : ) . $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2013 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ John and @tpg2114 , the small paragraph titled implementation in the wikipedia does not really answer the quantum annealing question by explaining how it is used in quantum computing etc in a directly informative way. So I still say concerning that question, you two and everybody who upvotes the corresponding comments is too grumpy ... :-P $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Jul 18, 2013 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ I was considering down-voting the second one(feeling the same as everyone), but I didn't; just because of the same paragraph @Dilaton mentioned. Anyway the possible duplicate issue is still there. $\endgroup$
    – Ali
    Jul 18, 2013 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Ali hm, it can be that the two questions have very similar answers, but this is not plain obvious from just reading the two questions (without looking at the answers the first asked question of Lumo already has obtained). At least not for nonexperts in quantum computing such as myself. $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Jul 18, 2013 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


If you hover your mouse over the downvote button, you get this tip: "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful." The help section "What types of questions should I avoid asking?" does not say anything about insufficient research effort. This suggests to me that ofeeshul policy is to downvote these, not close.

I normally leave a comment explaining my downvote, quoting or paraphrasing the text in the downvote button's tip. If I don't do this, the OP will probably have no idea that I downvoted and will not learn that (IMO) there was a problem with the question.

IMO there is nothing wrong with having questions and answers that cover exactly the same information that's available somewhere else like Wikipedia. WP is not perfect, and WP is a different type of collaborative environment than SE, with different strengths and weaknesses. Many seemingly obvious, trivial questions are FAQs, and one of the strengths of SE is that we have mechanisms for collecting correct answers to FAQs in a single place and then avoiding wasting our time by answering those FAQs again.


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