I just noticed the question on Accidental, unplanned breakthroughs in physics which you have probably seen if you're reading this. It's attracted a lot of positive attention, but I cannot for the life of me figure out any reason it should be an appropriate question for the site. Consider these excerpts from the Help Center:
You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.
This question is not based on an actual problem, but it is open-ended pretty much by definition.
To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where...
- every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”
- your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use ______ for ______, what do you use?”
- there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”
The "breakthroughs" question hits all three of these points on the nose.
Some subjective questions are allowed, but “subjective” does not mean “anything goes”. All subjective questions are expected to be constructive. What does that mean? Constructive subjective questions:
- inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”
This one doesn't, it's just assembling a list without any specific prompt for information.
- tend to have long, not short, answers
Naming a breakthrough is not a long answer.
As detailed elsewhere on meta, questions with these attributes fail to increase the quality of the site at best, and actively pollute it at worst.
We do have an active discussion (in a long-term sense) on list questions, but even looking at the suggestions made in that question and answers, nothing seems to allow an all-encompassing list of breakthroughs. A common opinion is that list questions of limited scope are likely to be okay, but this is absolutely not one of those.
So here's my question, primarily to people who upvoted or reopen-voted the "breakthroughs" question: in doing so, it seems that you're suggesting we ignore fully half a page of the help center and an emerging consensus on list questions from this site itself. Why? What are your arguments that these policies don't apply to this question?