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I am a novice at this, and I believe I have only asked a handful of questions in total. The first were all rapidly tagged as "opinion-based", and I can see why. I don't see how to ask for suggestions in any context if that sort of thing is declared to be off limits.

Today for the first time in a long while I asked a detailed question about an electrical wiring error I'd like to understand, and the first answers I received are unhelpful and to tell the truth somewhat angry sounding.

I noticed that there's a warning in my home page (or whatever it should be called) that says I'm going to be locked out if I ask any more inappropriate questions. I am surprised at how aggressive the forces seem to be that would discourage me to be a user here. Am I just being unlucky or are others having similar unfriendly reception?

Honestly, I am not trying to be an irritant, but I am coming to the conclusion that I may as well give up. Or is there a solution?

EDIT: I appreciate the answers and comments so far. I think the first statements from CuriousOne that were stated in a way that seemed to speak on behalf of the entire community were what I found most bothersome, and that is why I reacted negatively and posted this question.

I believe I somewhat follow the logic of placing a question in the most relevant category (here in Electrical Engineering), but isn't there surely a connection between that and physics? Can't the same question be useful in both places? I don't quite see what the benefit of putting questions on hold is in the first place. Why not just leave them out there in case someone offers a response?

I must be missing the point in a major way. I am still confused.

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    $\begingroup$ By the way, good for you for trying to find out why your questions are getting a bad reception, rather than lashing out at the community as some people seem to do. $\endgroup$ – David Z Mar 14 '16 at 10:22
  • $\begingroup$ Everyone gets that warning, and not only you. $\endgroup$ – Anubhav Goel Mar 15 '16 at 8:36
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZ This could be an FAQ question. $\endgroup$ – Danu Mar 15 '16 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ Just to make this clear: my comment to your electrical installation problem wasn't angry. It was the right thing to say, both professionally and legally. I could have given in to my first instinct... which was to ask questions about what was going on... the problem with that is that I have no idea if you are the kind of person will act on those suggestions but without the actual knowledge of how to act safely. That I didn't was for your protection. I hope you understand that. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Mar 16 '16 at 13:08
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    $\begingroup$ As for " Can't the same question be useful in both places?", here's the official Meta.SE FAQ about crossposting and questions that might fit on more than one site. As for why we close questions: Every StackExchange is supposed to a repository of good answers to good questions. Leaving questions open that are not "good" tends to drown out the good ones. It's about choosing signal over noise. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Mar 16 '16 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Danu sure, if people agree... let me put faq-proposed on it and we'll gather community input for a while. $\endgroup$ – David Z Mar 17 '16 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ Gosh. Im going thru the EXACT same thing. There seems to be a case of elitism going around $\endgroup$ – user122066 Jul 11 '16 at 2:10
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I think you're getting a little unlucky, in that most of the questions you've asked happen to be off topic for various reasons. And I agree that some of the responses to your question (they were comments, not answers) were harsher than they needed to be. But the major underlying issue is that, judging by your question history, you don't seem to know the scope of the site - that is, the rules that determine what we consider on-topic and off-topic.

Now, that's not so bad. We do understand that new people won't know our scope right from the beginning. If you show that you're willing to learn about how we do things, as you're doing by asking this very question, we'll be pretty forgiving. The thing is, there are a lot of people who aren't willing to learn what sorts of questions fit here or don't; they just post off-topic questions one after another without caring that they're effectively polluting our site. To prevent that sort of thing from getting out of hand, we have several automatic quality control mechanisms built in. They trigger when someone posts just a few questions that get closed or deleted or heavily downvoted, and then you see the kinds of warnings you're getting. The warnings are written in a "no-nonsense" manner to make sure that they get through to people who normally don't read things.

Of course, the system doesn't really know whether you're going to be a good contributor; all it can do is guess based on how your posts have been received. So don't worry too much about the warnings. I think the fact that you're asking this question shows that you probably are going to be a good contributor, if you decide to stick around. You should definitely take a look at our help center and read the items about what sorts of questions you should and shouldn't ask here, if you haven't already. You can also ask for clarification here on meta, or in our chat room.

Every good (i.e. on topic, sufficiently focused, not opinion-based, not "lazy") question you ask gets you further away from the automatic question ban, so once you learn about our scope and post a couple good questions, you won't be in danger of that anymore, and the warnings will disappear.

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    $\begingroup$ Well said. Although: OP might be unfortunate, but not unlucky. All that happened was completely just as per the rule. Also, to what thing are you implying harsher? I'm not getting what you are implying. every comment were just and helpful. Please correct me, if I'm wrong. $\endgroup$ – user36790 Mar 14 '16 at 11:00
  • $\begingroup$ I'm guessing you are pointing at CuriousOne's comment; well you know how he talks: blunt but correct but not insulting or any kind of harsher sense. $\endgroup$ – user36790 Mar 14 '16 at 11:04
  • $\begingroup$ (re: 2 comments up) There's a difference? (between unfortunate and unlucky) In any case, I did mean unlucky, in the sense of which questions they chose to ask. (re: 1 comment up) Yes, CuriousOne's first comment is blunt, it is correct, it is not insulting, but it is harsher than it needed to be. $\endgroup$ – David Z Mar 14 '16 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ Well, you can't do anything of that- I might remember he was suspended for a week and Daniel took a class for amending his blunt behaviour; hope OP will get acclimatised. $\endgroup$ – user36790 Mar 14 '16 at 11:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Nathaniel well, in theory, rudeness/harshness is a spectrum. There's a point on that spectrum that marks how harsh something needs to be, and there's a point that marks the cutoff between rude and not. Each person has their own opinions about where those boundaries should lie, but there's no particular reason to put them in the same spot. $\endgroup$ – David Z Mar 18 '16 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ I agree, that's fine. (And I deleted my comment after looking at the comment in question and finding that it wasn't beyond my own personal boundary at all.) $\endgroup$ – Nathaniel Mar 18 '16 at 12:23
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Today for the first time in a long while I asked a detailed question about an electrical wiring error I'd like to understand

The question is not how much effort or details you've put into; the question is whether it really belongs to Physics.

Many people fail to differentiate between engineering and natural science; same thing is applied here.

Do you really think you've enquired about a physics concept?

You detailed the problem; but did the problem really seek any Physics?

Think about that.

the first answers I received are unhelpful and to tell the truth somewhat angry sounding.

Well, I don't know what answers you are talking about, for I'm not seeing any (I can't see any deleted answer). If you are asking about the comments, then I'm not seeing any kind of angry talks; the user there who voted to close the question put a legitimate reason for doing so- this doesn't sound rude. Others have also advised you to go at Electrical Engineering- a very reasonable, helpful, non-rude and expected behaviour from the users here.

I noticed that there's a warning in my home page (or whatever it should be called) that says I'm going to be locked out if I ask any more inappropriate questions. I am surprised at how aggressive the forces seem to be that would discourage me to be a user here.

Aggressive? Forces?

We are not against a particular user; there is no, I mean no, kind of vengeance acting here.

Physics Stack Exchange is a no-nonsense Q&A site; we are here to create noise-free, useful archive of quality Q&As based on concepts of Physics.

We definitely discourage low-quality questions like Do-the-Work, Check-my-Work; Engineering; Opinion-based; Broad questions. Physics SE is not at all meant for all that.

We don't discourage any new user but in order to acquaint with what questions are compatible, these sort of warnings are given. They are, in no way harsh or in the sense you are describing the scenario.

Am I just being unlucky or are others having similar unfriendly reception?

No.

You misinterpret the scope of the site and misconstrue the warnings and moderations that explicitly and implicitly tried to uplift the quality of your questions that are suitable for the site.

but I am coming to the conclusion that I may as well give up.

That's your choice.

Or is there a solution?

What is the problem?

You asked three questions; two of which are voted to close on valid grounds.

Another question was asking about Concepts of Physics and you got a good response at it.

So, the solution to the apparent problem is

Ask questions based on Physics, that are not too broad to answer and not opinion-based.

Questions like wire-problem is definitely frowned at as it is not related to physics anyway.

Also, don't misapprehend the warnings, moderations, comments; don't try to judge things from one side. We don't have any intention to discourage any newbie to ask here. But questions must be within the scope of the site.

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  • $\begingroup$ There are no deleted answers in the wiring post. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Mar 14 '16 at 10:09
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos: That's better. $\endgroup$ – user36790 Mar 14 '16 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ Part of my reaction was due to one or two other questions I had asked some months back that I simply deleted when the first responses to them were along the lines of "this should be put on hold" or something like that, and I was disappointed that nothing productive came of it. I see that when I delete a question it is as though it never existed. Now I see that helpful answers do come if I wait a bit longer. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – user55515 Mar 14 '16 at 12:18
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    $\begingroup$ @user36790 "If you are asking about the comments, then I'm not seeing any kind of angry talks; the user there who voted to close the question put a legitimate reason for doing so- this doesn't sound rude." I'm pretty sure capslock can be considered rude, talking about the wiring post... $\endgroup$ – Wolpertinger Mar 14 '16 at 13:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Numrok: That's a bit yelling, but it's not that rude. But still CuriousOne has to modify his behaviour with a newbie; I've no problem with his comments- they are blunt but damn correct. But that might not go well with the new users. So, yes, I agree with you. But it's not insulting. $\endgroup$ – user36790 Mar 14 '16 at 14:09
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    $\begingroup$ @user55515 You can always undelete your question. $\endgroup$ – Anubhav Goel Mar 15 '16 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ How do I undelete? I see no record of the question I vaguely recall asking some time ago. Or could that have been in some other place different from Physics? I clearly have not learned how to navigate well quiet yet. $\endgroup$ – user55515 Mar 16 '16 at 3:16
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    $\begingroup$ @user36790 "That's a bit yelling, but it's not that rude." I'm a bit curious what cultural norm you are using as a baseline -- any amount of yelling, really for any reason but particularly when somebody asks a question, would be considered extremely rude in my circles. Even if somebody was yelling something neutral or nice "HELLO AND THIS IS AN AWESOME QUESTION!" would be considered rude. Different people have different expectations and norms of course, so I'm just curious about the different perception. $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 Mar 16 '16 at 9:13
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    $\begingroup$ ...This is a remarkably unproductive answer, and I highly recommend you take a few social courses. The tone of this answer will very predictably result in defensive readers reacting primarily to your word choice and not to the content of your post. As annoying as it may be to we more scientific folk, when communicating with humans it is often more important to be polite than correct. $\endgroup$ – linkhyrule5 Mar 21 '16 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ @linkhyrule5: I'm really not getting why you are acting like this; you can disagree with my opinion that the question OP asked was engineering oriented and not of Physics- I've no problem with that- you can disagree ; but talking like I've committed a great sin in writing this is really quite abhorring. I'm not getting which word did bother you. Am I wrong in saying that the quality of the questions OP asked was not competent here? Am I wrong that other user tried to help him by recommending Engineering SE? I'm really not getting the sense. Though, thanks for commenting. $\endgroup$ – user36790 Mar 22 '16 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ Like I said - it has nothing to do with what you said, and everything to do with how you said it. You can be right and still be unproductive - in fact, being right makes it very hard to be productive, because humans don't like being wrong. $\endgroup$ – linkhyrule5 Mar 22 '16 at 2:30
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    $\begingroup$ Using emphasis is the internet equivalent of raising your voice; it makes you sound aggressive. So do a commanding tone ("Think about that.") and questioning their actions (which also tends to sound condescending, like you're a school principal or a teacher telling a child to think over what they've done.) Ultimately, if someone says you were being harsh, then they're right almost by definition unless they're outright lying. $\endgroup$ – linkhyrule5 Mar 22 '16 at 2:33
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    $\begingroup$ @linkhyrule5: Okay... I'm getting a bit that my language was bit bothering....okay, I'll try to fix this. Let you check it after I edit it; thanks for the feedback and sorry if my behavior is kinda harsh. $\endgroup$ – user36790 Mar 22 '16 at 2:36

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