I am not allowed to create a new tag, please make an appropriate one.

I ask a question someone answers it. The design of the stackexchange sites (the reward system of earning points) ensures that good answers and even more importantly correct answers are distinguished from all the other answers to that question. Can we do more? What do I mean by more? Imagine a course on Quantum Mechanics, by course I mean lectures notes, exercises, a complete guide that has all the contents to take and mentor a beginning university student right up to post graduate level. Essentially it would take a novice and enable them to understand what is going on at the frontiers of that field. A dream set of lecture-notes/guide/book written by the thousands of users of this site. Keep in mind that this is no replacement for the formal process of studying at a university, but rather a resource that students can use. Wikipedia has individual articles, but it can be edited by anyone. There are more strict measures in place here. These can be made even more strict by imposing conditions that only graduate students and researchers (lecturers, professors I have seen plenty of them answering questions here) affiliated with recognized institutions can edit the course notes. There would be people who need to approve of any additions before they become part of the course. You get what I am trying to propose here right? Now physics.stackexchange may not be the place this is carried out, an affiliate or sister site could be proposed. Am I dreaming too big?

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% In light of the comments and answers.

A set of 'dream notes' that everyone contributes to will surely be superior to anything available on the arxiv as Chris White suggested. Kyle Kanos suggesting that I string together tags, I can't take this response seriously. My idea for the notes/exercises to be contributed to by everyone is because the final product will be based not on my style of teaching but a concoction of everyone's and will likely be understood by a large class of students, because every student learns differently. I want everyone to act as mentors/coaches not just one person, or a small group of people. (Lecture notes on arxiv is almost always by individuals).

Brandon Enright suggesting that I take free courses online or watch youtube lectures is not good enough. Right now sure individuals do exactly that. You can find tutorials on programming languages to physical sciences on youtube. The problem is each individual does that but it does not save the next guy any time. Imagine we had the proposed 'dream notes'. It would be a complete guide, with exercises and everything. "What you propose just isn't within the scope of what SE was designed to do or can do or should do." I don't get the last or should do part.

dmckee's answer makes sense. I need to make a proposal on the mother meta and polish and clarify my ideas. My ideas here are not entirely clear, because I posted the question on a whim.

Lastly are the down votes for me not posting the question on the correct platform or are they for suggesting something that others find outrageous?


migrated from physics.stackexchange.com Feb 13 '14 at 0:11

This question came from our site for active researchers, academics and students of physics.

  • $\begingroup$ For better or for worse, only those with approved affiliations/quality of past work can post to the arXiv, and indeed there are many lecture notes/books in progress posted there by academics. $\endgroup$ – user10851 Feb 13 '14 at 1:56
  • $\begingroup$ If you really wanted to, you could spend a lot of time searching the tags and piece together the dream notes that could exist here, just split up into >28k questions. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Feb 13 '14 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ Now that I think about it, I am reversing my downvote, and upvoting. But I don't think you are suggesting this to the right site, see my profile... $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Feb 13 '14 at 7:46
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Downvotes in meta usually mean "I disagree with this idea." Also, my idea was actually supposed to be sarcastic. As Brandon & dmckee point out, this site, like all the other stackexchange sites, is designed for Q&A, not for making lectures. If I am going to spend time writing notes for someone else to use for lectures/study, I am damn sure getting paid for it & that is not going to happen here. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Feb 13 '14 at 14:04

Stack Exchange sites are built on a questions and answer model.

That's what we do.

You can find many suggestions for adding other features on the mother meta, but they have all been turned down.


The "Wikipedia can be edited by anyone" criticism is tired FUD. Yes you will be able to find examples of errors, edit wars, and false information. You can find the same stuff here. The SE platform is designed for Q&A and it works well for that. Voting and editing is what keeps the quality up and makes the good stuff stand out from the bad.

If you want a good physics resource, take a free online course, or buy a physics book, or check out Wikipedia, or ask questions here, or watch a bunch of lectures on YouTube, or [...].

What you propose just isn't within the scope of what SE was designed to do or can do or should do.


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