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Is there not a way to do massive retagging without bumping questions to the frontpage? Jose (José, I guess...) Brox has added the 'visual-math' tag to quite a few questions, bumping out half of the active list.
(By the way, I have to say that I honestly do not see what exactly is 'visual-math' supposed to be, looking at what he has tagged...)
Was just coming here to ask much the same thing. While I try to adhere to "chacun a son gout", I personally am not keen on bumping questions that were closed over 6 months ago ( http://mathoverflow.net/questions/5133/how-to-present-overlap-of-related-sets-closed ) just to add a vague tag. It is not clear to me that this tag is any extra help in searches, which is IMHO the real use of tags.
Oh, for the love of Om...
Yemon, please do not remove now the tags.... I think this can be done more quietly by Anton.
Fair point Mariano. I was not intending to remove all of them, but my hope was that by removing one or two I could get JB to contact me - I can't find an email address on his profile or weblog or via Google. But as you say this is best left to the Powers That Be. (Who force us to live like we do.)
Either one of you could have participated (as candidates) in the moderator election. =p.
Harry: well, as I may have said at the time, I don't like the fact that a moderator's vote to close is final (as it were). Also, at the time I said I should be spending less time on MO, and that is certainly true - I'm only on at the moment because I can't get a calculation to come out right...
I think that many of the questions Jose tagged as [visual-math] should not be tagged as such. Here's my list:
This is so extensive that my preferred option would just be to merge [visual-math] into [tag-removed], unless we can convince Jose to roll these back himself.
(It is a bit silly that closing an question ends up with -closed appended to the URL: it breaks references!)
[Post is now irrelevant]
First: thanks Jose for coming over to this thread to discuss this.
I guess my problem is that, as I see it, almost any question in mathematics can be thought of in visual terms, at least in part, since that seems to exploit a well-evolved part of our neurological setup/training. Should I start tagging functional-analysis questions with "visual-math" just because I'm thinking about block bases or "compact operators squashing regions" or "isometries" moving "mass" far away? How about probability questions where people are thinking of a Brownian motion meandering its way out of a given region?
I just fear that as conceived, the tag just applies too broadly, and if it is to stay it should really be used for questions specifically asking for aids to visualization.
Jose, in my view the question you link to is a technical question about LaTeX - it is not a question asking about the process of visualization in mathematics. There seems to be a big dividing line between that and a question such as "how should I visualize Teichmueller space?" which, although I don't personally find a very good question, is at least asking about visualization. Similarly, nowhere in the question http://mathoverflow.net/questions/11743/database-of-polyhedrda does the questioner ask about visualization. The fact that what he is asking about can be used in people's private attempts to visualize math(s) seems to me to be a tenuous link.
To continue my line of argument from above, suppose I post a question about the Moebius function of a finite (semi)lattice; would that get tagged with "visual-math" since one usually tries to get a handle on lattices through Hasse diagrams or similar? Even if I was merely asking for some asymptotic bound on a combinatorial convolution-type sum?
I vote to remove the [visual-math] tag from all questions. No offense, Jose, but I don't think it adds any value. I think that tags are probably best used to classify questions according to subject matter, not according to content type, be it "visual math" or "conceptualization" or "intuition" or any other such thing.
Incidentally, there are many questions tagged with [intuition], [big-picture], and [motivation] -- I think these tags are also needless and should be removed.
Any tag needed so much explanation is probably not very useful to the masses... :P
Continuing the discussion of individual questions:
I strongly agree with Yemon that my first example about the octahedral example has nothing to do with visualization, it's purely asking how to render a diagram in LaTeX.
I actually went through the list of all the questions you tagged, and I have specific reasons for opposing the [visual-math] tag on each question on my list, and I think it's fine and appropriate on the complement! Perhaps you should try defending others from my list, Jose, so we can come to an agreement about the scope of the tag?
Crossed-posts: Jose, how about you explain why the questions on Yemon's latest list deserve the tag, and we'll see what comes out.
For what it's worth, I agree with Kevin Lin -- many, many questions on MO could be concerned with visualization if one is inclined to construe them that way. It doesn't seem to be a useful way to classify questions.
Okay, my preferred solution at this point is to merge [visual-math] into [tag-removed], which isn't a great solution, but seems to be the best.
Only by moderators, who can merge tags.
There is no shame in pulling up a couple of old questions for some oxygen. It's even a good thing. It should only be cause for embarrassment if you're really flooding the home page or if you're bumping terrible questions.