Lubos Motl has fairly complained that the site has had an unfortunate number of questions which are of a pop-sci philsophical flavor (Why is there something rather than nothing? What came before the big bang?), and many homework style problems (What happens to this pully/weight system?).
In order to allow these questions to get answers, but at the same time to allow people to ignore them, I had the following perhaps silly ideas:
- If a question can be answered in one line and involves nothing beyond Wikipedia facts: like "How to visualize the difference in scale between the nucleus and the atom", perhaps one can answer with one line, "The same difference as between a football field and a small kernel of corn", and close the question?
- If a question cannot be given a logical positivist formulation, so that the answer is not clearly meaningful, perhaps it can be redirected to a different stackexchange, like philosophy.
- If a question is homework-ish, if its solution requires no concepts beyond what is standard in the undergraduate curriculum, it can be given the "homework" tag, and omitted from the site list by default (so that only users who choose specifically to see such questions will see them).
- If a question is pop-sci-ish (involving rubber sheets for General Relativity, or balloons for big bang), then tag it with "pop-sci" and omit it by default.
I know this website is more like "math.stackexchange" than "math.overflow", but it is difficult to navigate the repetitive soup of pop-sci questions and homework. Perhaps it is possible to have one site which functions for all people, but I think that this means that the default questions you see should be the kinds of questions whose answer is not immediately obvious to all physicists.
I am just throwing this out there, I am a new user, and this has probably been discussed before.