I'm confused about the rationale behind closing list-based questions. The problem is that almost any question can be rephrased into a list question, and vice versa. Consider the following examples:

  • List: where is technique X applied in physics?
  • Non-list: is technique X useful to physics?
  • List: when is the solution to equation X unique?
  • Non-list: does equation X always have a unique solution?
  • List: where does approximation X break down?
  • Non-list: what is the useful range of validity of approximation X?

In each of these pairs, the OP asks for the same information, but we chastise them if they happen to pick the first phrasing. It ends up looking like we're very touchy about a particular taboo.

Can we either stop doing this, or start editing list questions into non-list form?

Edit: I'm reviving this because of this example. The OP interacts with two high-level users. The first thinks it's obvious that no examples exist. The other thinks it's obvious that so many examples exist that the question is list-based. This is completely unhelpful and makes it look like we collectively have no idea what we're talking about.

  • $\begingroup$ The first non-list is off topic anyway, I think it's considered "opinion-based." $\endgroup$
    – Ryan Unger
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 21:24
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ See Good list, bad list and Why exactly are big-list questions discouraged? I also think your assignment of "list" and "non-list" to your examples is debatable, and that not all "list" would be off-topic and not all "non-list" examples on-topic. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ Your last two examples - specifically, items 3 and 5 in the bulleted list - I would not characterize as list questions. Not the type that should be closed as such, anyway. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 21:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Concerning the question you linked in your edit, unfortunately all communication is lost (due to deleted comments?). It's a shame that it is closed in my opinion anyway, because it is much more interesting than a lot of low quality, non-closed questions around. $\endgroup$
    – Sanya
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 9:54


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