I am troubled by the comments on this question and many others like it. The (obviously very naive) questioner posits a physically impossible situation (often FTL travel as in this case, but there are other examples), asks what it would imply, and gets jumped on for positing something impossible in the first place.

But positing things and trying to understand their consequences is a perfectly good --- indeed admirable --- way to learn. Professional physicists, mathematicians, and others do it all the time. We trace the consequences of a hypothesis, sometimes discover that those consequences are absurd, and if so reject the hypothesis.

Posters like this one are often doing exactly that, though with hypotheses that more sophisticated readers have already realized are impossible. Instead of telling them "your hypothesis is impossible" in a tone that implies their curiosity is reprehensible, maybe it would be better to encourage that curiosity with pointers to the absurd consequences of the hypothesis.

In particular, I object to the closing message that says this is "Not mainstream physics". On the contrary, thought experiments like this very much are mainstream physics. An experiment (thought or otherwise) does not become non-mainstream just because somebody else has already performed that experiment and knows how it will end.

That doesn't mean we should tolerate questions of the form "Ha ha, you guys think that FTL travel is impossible and I'm going to prove you wrong". It also doesn't mean that questions like this should stay open; in fact they are almost always duplicates and should be closed on those grounds. But it does mean that people who are (as far as we know) making a genuine effort to reason their way through things should not be shamed for their curiosity.

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    $\begingroup$ So... what's the main problem that answers should address, in your view? Is it the comments? Is it the close reason? Is it the fact that the question is closed at all? These are legitimate things to ask about, but I'm not quite sure which of them (or something else entirely) you're getting at. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jul 16 '16 at 13:33
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZ: The comments echo the close reason, and do so in (it appears to me) an unfortunate tone. So I'd primarily like to address the tone of the comments, and secondarily the close reason. I also very much hope that answers will address the general issue more than this particular example. $\endgroup$ – WillO Jul 16 '16 at 13:35
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    $\begingroup$ But it's not mainstream physics. The question is basically "if we assume special relativity is false, what does the theory of special relativity predict". That's an unanswerable question. Either SR is true and the original assumption is false, or SR is false and so what predictions it makes is irrelevant: you need an alternative theory (non mainstream physics) that is consistent with the original assumption. $\endgroup$ – PhillS Jul 16 '16 at 13:50
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    $\begingroup$ @PhillS: No, the OP does not assume SR is false because (as far as we know, anyway) the OP is not aware that SR precludes FTL travel. If entertaining a hypothesis that contradicts something that somebody else knows is "non- mainstream physics" then every working physicist is doing non-mainstream physics every single day. $\endgroup$ – WillO Jul 16 '16 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ You seem to be saying that whether or not a question assuming FTL travel to be possible is a "good" or "bad" question depends on whether the asker knows it is impossible or not. On some level, I agree with that, but within the confines of SE, I do not agree: Questions must be judged (i.e. voted upon) own their own, not by the person who asked them. And a question that assumes that something physically impossible is possible without giving a mainstream physics explanation for why that should be possible is simply off-topic, in my view. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Jul 16 '16 at 14:34
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    $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind: I am inclined to agree with you re the intrinsic value of the question being all that matters for voting. But I still think it's unfortunate for the OP to be told --- without further explanation --- that this is an instance of "garbage in, garbage out" when the OP had no apparent reason to be aware that his assumptions are "garbage". Again: Every single time any one of us does a thought experiment with a negative outcome, we've got an instance of garbage in/garbage out --- but that doesn't mean we should be effectively chastized for our thought experiments. $\endgroup$ – WillO Jul 16 '16 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ ...so, your meta post is actually not about what is done with these questions, but about CuriousOne's specific comment? That's not something site policy can control - as long as the comments are not actually insults or otherwise offensive, users are free to comment whatever they wish. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Jul 16 '16 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ "maybe it would be better to encourage that curiosity with pointers to the absurd consequences of the hypothesis." - 10 times? 100 times? 1000 times? How many FTL questions do you propose we provide the same pointer to? Perhaps we should point them to you? $\endgroup$ – Alfred Centauri Jul 17 '16 at 2:26
  • $\begingroup$ @AlfredCentauri: I understand that these questions are a burden, and I do not propose to increase that burden. I do think it would be much better if they could be closed with a standard reason along the lines of "Under the assumptions of this question, so much known physics would be wrong that it would be impossible to predict the outcome". That seems to me to be very different than "Not mainstream physics", which seems to suggest that the poster is willfully ignoring what's known as opposed to doing a legitimate but naive thought experiment. $\endgroup$ – WillO Jul 17 '16 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ @AlfredCentauri: And I am also suggesting that comments like "garbage in/garbage out" with no further explanation are not helpful to anyone (including the OP who has no idea he's put garbage in). But I don't see how refraining from posting such comments imposes a burden on anyone. $\endgroup$ – WillO Jul 17 '16 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ If the question is otherwise good, and the only real reason for it not being a good fit on this site is that it's too hypothetical, then it just might be a good fit on Worldbuilding. Particularly, WB SE often fields questions on the form "what would be the consequences to X if Y was possible in the manner of Z?" which tend to be relatively well received. As an example, a question positing a specific method of FTL travel as a possibility and asking how to preserve causality in such a framework wouldn't be considered off topic on WB SE, but I imagine it would be considered off topic here. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jul 19 '16 at 15:31
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling: I am very reluctant to point questioners to sites with whose standards I am unfamiliar, especially when the questioner has already indicated a certain willingness to post without first checking standards. $\endgroup$ – WillO Jul 19 '16 at 15:40


The basic problem is that thee is a conflict between what we say this site is:

Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics and astronomy.

and a very wide-spread belief that it is OK for complete newcomers to a subject to raise their question is absolutely any place on the web that seems to cover the same topic.

It is a strongly held belief of many Stack Exchange users (especially those from the earliest days who watched and participated in the original forging of the Stack Overflow we know today) that being completely accepting of either "fun" or know-nothing questions drives out high quality question, reduces the value of the site to its intended audience, and eventually drives out expert answerers. (I am a subscriber to that belief, BTW).

I understand that there are few places on the web for a rank beginner to go and get good answer to really basic questions in physics like that, but that is not the mission of this site as I understand it and allowing it will only result in endless repetition of the same question and answers over and over again. I saw it on BBSs in the 80s and on usenet in the 90s and you can look around the internet right now and see it on "forum" type internet sites all over the place. You can see it right now on this site by just looking for the insane number of question users who are convinced that they have discovered something wrong with special relativity and can prove it with yet another boring and unenlightening variation on the twin paradox (how many have we had this week, anyway?); of course all that each such question proves is that the asker hadn't really understood the theory in the first place.


All that said, there is a second issue. That's the sometimes brusque tone with which such askers are met. If you troll through the archive of meta.stackoverflow.com you'll find many places where the team came on and asked people to

  • Be nice to people asking off topic questions while firmly closing the questions.
  • Flag places where people are not being nice.
  • Exert what social pressure they can to support the culture of niceness.

And when they do it works for a while—months, most of the time—before things start to drift away again. That happens because it is fatiguing to hold one's metaphoric thumb in the dike and in time people get frustrated and lash out. Which isn't fair to the poor soul who has made his or her very first overture to this site, but frankly the pure repetitiveness of dealing with one "I don't know any thing about physics but I have a theory..." questions after another for weeks on end isn't really fair to the regular users here either.

What you can do

  • Be nice.
  • Be an active participant in getting off-topic questions closed quickly and nicely.

    As fast close is a firm message, and if it is a nice but firm message then the user can go elsewhere without hard feelings.

  • Don't answer off topic question. No, not in the comments either.

    I know you think that answering them is nice, but it tells that user that they can get what they want from us even when what they want is outside the bounds of what we say we do. If you answer them, they will be back.

  • Flag comments where people are being not nice. With enough user flags those go away even before a moderator sees them: the community can insist on niceness.
  • If you disagree with a closure argue the point without calling the people doing the closure names. Namecalling isn't nice.
  • $\begingroup$ These guidelines seem exactly right to me. Thank you for posting them. $\endgroup$ – WillO Jul 16 '16 at 19:18
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    $\begingroup$ I think it would help if there were a standard "close" reason that could be applied to questions like this without labeling the post either non-mainstream or homework-like or unclear. This question was none of those things, and neither are many other questions that should be closed as off-topic because they are not "for active researchers, etc.". $\endgroup$ – WillO Jul 16 '16 at 19:23
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    $\begingroup$ @WillO We're currently at (standard) capacity in terms of close reasons, and the three custom set reasons we have are used rather frequently. However, if you can propose a suitable wording and there is a strong case that it applies to a substantial number of questions and that it would eliminate a lot of friction with those, then I understand that more close reasons can be accommodated by the team. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Jul 17 '16 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ @WillO What would you suggest that close reason be? $\endgroup$ – David Z Jul 27 '16 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ: I've just started a new thread in response to your comment. $\endgroup$ – WillO Jul 31 '16 at 22:15

I have read through the responses and am one of those individuals who did not understand the actual purpose of this site was for the active researcher, the academic and for students with an eye toward becoming a physicist or an astronomer. It was only after I had posed my first question and moved on to my second that I began to realize the nature of this site.

It seems to me that there was no discourtesy in the responses I received. What I would have appreciated was a response telling me that this question was already asked and answered with a link to the original question. Perhaps before a question is posted it could be vetted by volunteers and handled this way.

Let me tell you that there is a lot of misinformation and trolls lurking around on the internet. When I found this site and saw that it was populated by people who would take a question seriously and give a serious response, I was surprised. Surprised nd very pleased. The people I have encountered here have not tried to make me uncomfortable with my simplistic questions, lack of education and general ignorance. It has been a good experience.

But it seems that this is not the site for people who are just curious. I am a retired blue collar worker and have time on my hands. Looking into things that I often wondered about but never had time for is one of the things I looked forward to when I reached this age. I hope to find a site that is similar to this one but intended to reach people like myself. Interested in this world of ours but not interested in starting a new career or obtaining a degree.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for chiming in! Ultimately I think you're right, this is not the site for people who are just curious. Make no mistake, if someone who is just curious, not a researcher or student or so on, manages to ask a good question, we will happily answer that question and upvote it, but asking good questions is not exactly easy for anyone, and especially not for those without education (formal or otherwise) in the subject. If you want to ask questions that wouldn't fit here, you might try Physics Forums or reddit's AskScience. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jul 18 '16 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ Also, having questions vetted before being posted is a suggestion that has been considered and rejected many times. We have our hands full just checking questions after they're posted; there simply aren't enough people and enough time to properly check every question before it's posted in a timely manner. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jul 18 '16 at 11:10
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks David Z, it boils down to using the right tool for the right job. I will try those two sites and thank you for recommending them. $\endgroup$ – Luke.H Jul 19 '16 at 2:46
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    $\begingroup$ @Luke.H You may also want to check out Worldbuilding, which specifically caters toward the more hypothetical scenarios. See What topics can I ask about (on Worldbuilding)?. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jul 19 '16 at 15:33
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    $\begingroup$ "Perhaps before a question is posted it could be vetted by volunteers" is way too much hassle between a newcomer and their first question; despite some of the consequences we do want asking and answering questions to be easy for, say, a researcher who just found the site. What we do have, instead, is vetting immediately after a newcomer posts, in the form of the First Posts review queue. To see roughly what review outcomes come from that, use this query. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Jul 20 '16 at 11:14

I think they are doing worldbuilding. Most of them did not study college physics.

I am not a physics student in college too. Sometimes I need to confirm the correctness of my setting, however I can't find my answer on google. I really need to ask someone who have studied physics in college. Before I make some scifi settings, I tried to study some materials related to that topic, but I don't want to use to much time to fully understand all college physics, it is too demanding for a scifi writer. May be he/she doesn't know worldbuilding SE, so he/she asked that question here. I think we can ask whether he/she is trying to make some scifi setting, if yes, we can move it to worldbuilding SE.

  • $\begingroup$ I trust that you are aware of Worldbuilding? Not that the physics answers there are always exactly correct, but if you want to be exactly correct you're going to have to study the subject with some diligence. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jul 21 '16 at 0:34
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    $\begingroup$ @dmckee The wordbuilding is very LQ, recently they've reached the deepness of actively discouraging scientific questions and answers. I don't think that a migration path for them would be useful. You can't send an OP asking goodstanding naive questions into a site where magic is a main topic. $\endgroup$ – peterh - Reinstate Monica Jul 24 '16 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. It didn't start particularly well on that front, and there are many accepted answers that contains very bad science, indeed. A few aren't even wrong. But that is a venue that is willing to handle such hypotheticals. If you want them handled well, you should be working on the culture of that site. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jul 24 '16 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ An example of the Worldbuilding "quality": Would a world tree be feasible in the real life? $\endgroup$ – peterh - Reinstate Monica Jul 25 '16 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ I have asked a fictional physics question last month. worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/45287/… They did not close my question, so I think they are not discouraging scientific questions...? there may be some misunderstanding...? However, I think that people in the worldbuilding SE seldom care of physics question. If David.Z didn't answer my question last month, it would have become tumbleweed question. I hope more people with physics knowledge could join the site... $\endgroup$ – fairytale Jul 26 '16 at 13:13

On my opinion, the users of the site are quite different in their behavior and also in their physical knowledge.

So, we have:

  1. Newbies with low rep and low activity, asking mostly very naive questions. There is a lot.
  2. Enthusiasts with limited knowledge. They can answer the questions of (1) and get often a lot of rep by that.
  3. Professionals with very high level knowledge. Their communication is more important as the whole site, and group (2) find probably highly interesting to try to decipher it. They are surprisingly active to answer the questions of (1), but not so in the questions of (2).

From the social / moderating behavior, we have

I. Deletionists. They are mostly trying to apply rules algorithmically. These rules have a mainly destructive nature packed as cleanup. Despite their algorithmical style, their behavior is often unpredictable.

II. "Nice people" trying to advice and answer everybody. They are ineffective in cleanup tasks.

The conflicts of the past happened mainly between (I) and (II), and not between (2) and (3).

These differences are leading to continuous troubles on the site and trying to hold the community together leaded only to escalation in the past. The collective behavior is like an ideal gas: everybody moves unpredictably and as you try to hold them together, so stronger they try to escape.

Knowing a lot of other SE sites, the Physics SE looks to me like the silence after a storm.

In the case of the math, the division between the Mathoverflow and the Math SE solved the problem. Yes, I know, mathoverflow is done by some special agreement with the SE Inc, but it doesn't mean that a similar division wouldn't be useful also here. Now the math SE is one of the most friendly, and best going SE sites. Although there is a significant part of low level content here, if somebody wants to take part only in high level communication with only a limited level of moderation, (s)he can do this by using only the MO.

I always said that a similar division in the case of the PSE would be also useful, it would make the things clear. Once a Theoretical Physics SE existed, it was closed probably in the lack of interest. Now that many HQ user has gone, this lack of interest was made finally real.

Btw, as the interest existed, but it wasn't admitted, it produced what it wants and now a Theoretical Physics exists again - but it is out of the SE network. Grat, good work.

I strongly suggest to not commit the same mistake again. If you don't need a different HQ site, then see how things are being done on the Math SE. If you want a well going site, this is the only way.

  • $\begingroup$ You have the history of the math sites wrong. Math Overflow came first and was started by people of the caliber they were looking for who actively recruited from thier own professional networks. And they were (and are) brutal in defending their notions of quality. The physics mods have been described as "kittens in comparison" to the Math Overflow mods. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jul 24 '16 at 23:05
  • $\begingroup$ Theoretical Physics on the other hand had a lot of initial support from people who wanted intellectual commerce with the leading figures of the discipline but few who could be classed in that group themselves. Their professional networks didn't include enough of the intended audience to get the site off the ground. And they made a strange (to me, anyway) decision to exclude the practical half of the discipline. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jul 24 '16 at 23:08
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    $\begingroup$ @dmckee I didn't write anything from the history of the math sites. I only wrote that the division between the MO and the MathSE is useful and it leaded to two well going sites. On my opinion, it had been useful also there, but it seems it is too late. Now the only possibility is to follow the way of the MathSE and to hope, that once a Theoretical Physics will be viable again. Btw, I don't have any problem with a hardcore MO-like censorship here, if also a lightweight brother exist. It wouldn't even a problem to me, if it wouldn't, but then the rules should be clear. $\endgroup$ – peterh - Reinstate Monica Jul 24 '16 at 23:10
  • $\begingroup$ Physics has grown steadily year after year without giving in to the (ever present) demands to become a homework answering service or a first stop for everyone on the internet interested in starting to learn physics. It simply isn't the case that we have no choice but to go that way now. And unless the active users want that it isn't going to happen. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jul 24 '16 at 23:13
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    $\begingroup$ @dmckee Now what de facto is going: it is theoretically a MathSE-like enthusiast site, but practically the enthusisast-level content, and also many of the group (3) is consistently bullied and harassed by group (I). Group (I) probably wants a MO-like direction, despite that their communication is unclear in this question. They should have got what they want and now everything would be fine. $\endgroup$ – peterh - Reinstate Monica Jul 24 '16 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee I don't understand this intellectual commerce-thing. What could have they done? Any unethical thing is the kiss of death in the academical world, and if the core team of a site does this, the CMs would interact. Maybe this interaction was the killing of the TP SE? $\endgroup$ – peterh - Reinstate Monica Jul 24 '16 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ @dmckee Narrowing the topics of the sites is always a very popular thing in the eyes of the inner circles, it is an SE-wide problem. On my opinion, it could have been correctly answered by developing the SE sites into a site network, where every inner circle gets his narrow topic. It seems the SE doesn't go in this direction. Instead, as I can see, the CMs try to avoid this aberration by more direct control (to me, it is clearly an aberration). $\endgroup$ – peterh - Reinstate Monica Jul 24 '16 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ "Intellectual commerce" mean a on-going conversation: that they wanted big names to participate (as a fair number do on Math Overflow), but there is the usual catch-22: to a significant extent you have to have big names to get big names. Math Overflow started with big names and so they succeeded. Theoretical Physics didn't start with enough. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jul 24 '16 at 23:26
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee These active users weren't ever really active, and now they seem quite inactive. While the collective of group (1) seem quite active. Now you have to choose: you want an living, active user base including group (1), or you want a narrow site from group (I). But considering that group (I) expels not only group (1), but actively nearly everybody, while also they aren't really active content producers, their worth is maybe a little bit overpriced in the current system. The main problem solution model should be to give everybody what he wants, and not expelling any group. MathSE does this. $\endgroup$ – peterh - Reinstate Monica Jul 24 '16 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee Yes, the MathSE is full with... hm... say, not really HQ content producers, but there is also a lot of really HQ content there. Why would be the same impossible in the case of the PSE? Because in our case, also the MO-only people is here. Because they don't have a better option. The symmetry is broken by the non-existence of the MO. $\endgroup$ – peterh - Reinstate Monica Jul 24 '16 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee Ok, then we can't have enough Big Names here. It doesn't matter if you expel the 90% or the 99% of the LQs, they won't come here. They will come here if they get an MO. Probably this is what group(I) wants, but you can't reach it without expelling anybody out of them. The solution of the catch22 problem would be to make an MO for them. The killing of the TP wasn't an adequate action. Also group(I) would be much more active and useful on a TP-like site, I am sure it would be an enough strong base for that. There were Nobel Prize owners here. $\endgroup$ – peterh - Reinstate Monica Jul 24 '16 at 23:53
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    $\begingroup$ @dmckee Big names won't ever come to a site where you can ask trivial substitutions into the universal gas formula. Either you need to give up this, or you need to give up the Big Names. Or you need to divide the site. If you only try to survive without doing anything, then you will starve with doing nothing. The site now starves. $\endgroup$ – peterh - Reinstate Monica Jul 25 '16 at 0:01


The question comes in 2 parts.

The 1st is about the possibility of crossing the light barrier using a rocket. Clearly impossible as it would violate SR, and is not something that is likely to change as physics develops. If the questioner had asked only this I think there would be no dispute over deletion, would there?

The 2nd part is about what you would see if you were already travelling faster than light. This does not violate SR, I think. We have a tag for tachyons, so I presume we accept questions about them. I think this part of the question is acceptable. It is hypothetical, but worth exploring, like Dirac's willingness to think about negative energy solutions to his equation for the electron.

It is not an issue of what the majority of physicists think is possible, but of whether the scenario actually does violate established laws or theories. The site is, after all, one for active researchers, and as has been pointed out this is the kind of question academics ask themselves every day.

IMO the question could be edited to make it acceptable, so I have posted a comment suggesting that the OP do so and advising how.

Naive Questions

You and ACuriousMind suggest that the intrinsic value of the question is all that counts in deciding whether to close it. I would like to question that view, playing Devil's Advocate since I am mostly in agreement with it.

I define a naive question as one posed by a person who is asking about an issue outside of his/her understanding. We might find some intrinsic value in it which the OP did not have in mind and which is possibly even beyond the OP's comprehension. Such a situation might be what DavidZ is describing in his comment above to LukeH about good questions from those who are merely curious. I think it then becomes our question, not the OP's. Do we then accept the question because answers could be useful to the broader community, or reject it because answers would not address what the OP had in mind or would be incomprehensible to him/her?

A side issue here is acting consistently between questions. I do not think it is consistent to tolerate naive or lazy conceptual questions and walk the OP through a detailed explanation yet refuse to help a different OP by pointing out where they went wrong in solving a problem which they have made a fair attempt at.


I think we are talking about brusqueness, not abusiveness nor even just belittling someone. Some OPs - and some commentators - are offended even by constructive criticism. eg By my ubiquitous "Have you done an internet search?" and "What have you tried already?" Some newcomers seem to think they are entitled to an answer, because elsewhere nobody regulates what kind of questions can be asked.

It has been suggested that we be more tolerant. While I sympathize with that view, it is inconsistent with current policy and aims. dmckee's advice about being firm has its merits in being efficient and consistent with policy.

I have hesitated to use my privilege to VTC, but I can see the sense in getting questions closed ASAP if they are off topic. When answers have been posted, it is more difficult to deal with the closure issue.

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    $\begingroup$ If someone has a question, I'm willing to give it my best shot to help them understand. I don't take the "high and mighty" approach of a "regulator". People come here to find answers and don't want to waste time. They certainly don't come for criticism. Criticism wastes their time. They generally want a quick, clear, correct response that they can learn from. It really is that simple. $\endgroup$ – Inquisitive Jul 20 '16 at 21:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Inquisitive : There are plenty of less strictly regulated sites which offer quick responses, some of reasonably high standard. Nobody is forced to come here - see LukeH's comments above. And nobody has a right to an answer. We are all volunteers here. The rules of the site are set by the community of users. Our high standards are why people want to come here. But those who do so must accept what is on offer, or go elsewhere. $\endgroup$ – sammy gerbil Jul 20 '16 at 22:18
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    $\begingroup$ The community? Did you put that to a democratic vote? $\endgroup$ – Inquisitive Jul 20 '16 at 22:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Inquisitive : Yes, I believe so. I am a relative newcomer to the site so I have little experience. However, any user can vote on the Meta site - as in this question - one man, one vote - and everyone can see the results. The moderators DavidZ and dmckee will be able to tell you more. My own views are often down-voted, but have changed through experience. If you want to get policy changed you have to get involved and persist. $\endgroup$ – sammy gerbil Jul 21 '16 at 9:29

Thanks for posting this topic. Yes. There are an unfortunate number of rude people on this site. I refer to them as "Sheldons" because, although they may have significant scientific knowledge, they completely lack social skills. They are not normal in that regard. Their social IQs are very low indeed. Their effect is to deter people from exploring science. It's a shame.

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    $\begingroup$ This answer displays obvious abusiveness which is unacceptable under the "be nice" policy of the site, unlike the brusqueness complained about above. $\endgroup$ – sammy gerbil Jul 20 '16 at 13:36
  • $\begingroup$ No. Instead, it displays anger toward people who like to abuse those they consider "inferior". $\endgroup$ – Inquisitive Jul 20 '16 at 21:40

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