Vanilla 1.1.9 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.
1 to 12 of 12
The question http://mathoverflow.net/questions/79960/what-part-of-using-vietas-formulas-violates-quintic-non-solvability currently has four votes to close. I assume they are because the question is "too localized". It is not a good question, sure, but I do wish that at least one closer leaves a comment (maybe just for others to upvote) with some indication as to the reason. I will not be the last vote to close.
As written, the question was not great. But there really was an interesting question there. There does seem to be some misunderstandings about what some 'impossibility' results mean, as well as what some formulas (like Vieta's) and algorithms (like Newton's) really mean, and even more so how they are related. So even bad questions can give one the opportunity for clarification. So I have voted to reopen.
In my view of (an idealization of) reality, MathOverflow becomes a resource for people interested in mathematics at many levels, not just research level. While this question resembles the Banach space question in another meta thread, I like this question better because I get to show my general algebra bias and infect, er, inform others. I am glad I had that opportunity, however unaltruistic my motivation.
I think there should be a community gathering, called by the moderators, to review and reinforce policy. There is enough of an active user base and enough common issues on which there is not community consensus, that such a gathering makes sense to me. I feel that lack of such a redefining of MathOverflow will result in many discussions about what is proper, with no resolution, and with a possible fragmenting of and erosion of the community membership.
Alternatively, a poll could be conducted so that people are aware of the strength of each other's desires on various issues, e.g. research vs undergrauate level, resource for academics vs resource for significant fraction of the scientifically minded public, big list questions or no, J.R. Martinez or Rob Kardashian (you know, the important stuff).
If even just the voting-to-close-or-open population were aware of the results of such a poll, I think it would add strength to MathOverflow the forum. (Plus, we might help J.R. get the top spot.)
Gerhard "Does Not Watch Dancing Shows" Paseman, 2011.11.03
In my opinion there is very little relation between this question and the Banch space question; except that on days were I would be more active I would have voted to close both.
As Jacques Carette says this question shows some basic misunderstandings; in my opinion by what some people consider the standing standards of MO to basic to be on-topic here. While this is going a bit off-topic, in some sense I would have less issue with lowering the level restraint to include such question than with lowering the exposition constraints to allow the Banch space one.
Regarding Gerhard's general suggestion: on the one hand I agree, on the other hand to discuss such things in abstarct is difficult, say, as then I assume many will agree that good graduate level is fine, yet then the problem starts to decide what is good garduate level in actual reality.
I guess my secondary point is that, for some questions, a basic misunderstanding (which working mathematicians should not have, but that is another matter) can become a teaching moment -- not about the core misunderstanding, which is easily cleared up, but rather about current related research related to the topic. Then the question becomes interesting, as it shows that 'very close' to the question, there are actually very very interesting research questions, something of real relevance to MO.
Jacques Carette: I can certainly appreciate this point of view, and sometimes gave answers in this spirit myself. However, meanwhile, I try more and more to avoid this. In the end, somebody could find something interesting to say on almost everything. I think 'MO' should answer the questions (or close them) that get asked and not those somebody wished would have been asked. Of course this should not exclude that somebody gets inspired by a 'bad' question to ask a better one, or if they prefer and perhaps even better to edit the existing question to make it good.
But in my opinion this step--before answering--should not be skipped (at least not too often).
@quid: very reasonable stance. I may well adopt it myself.
As I think it was not yet mentioned explicitly in relation to your post: There is a site http://math.stackexchange.com/ which is on the one hand very similar to the present one yet on the other hand more open regarding questions. It seems to me that site might be what you think MO should be.
(There are many peole that contribute on both sites).