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First off, a link to the post in question.

It has been marked as "too broad".

What could I do to improve my question? Should I break each sub-question down into its own question? Should I repost it on M.SE? Other suggestions would be welcome.

EDIT 1: I have reworked the question based on suggestions in this thread. There are now three of them. See: 1 2 3

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    $\begingroup$ The point is that the question you link to asks people essentially to write a book for you. -- This is asking far too much. A question suitable for MO can usually be answered in at most one or two pages of text. Therefore I suggest you to formulate your question in such a way that it allows brief, concise answers. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Kohl Feb 2 '14 at 10:29
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    $\begingroup$ It perhaps should go without saying, but however one chooses to focus on a particular sub-question, answers should be solidly based on evidence and/or first-hand knowledge. If an ex-Soviet mathematician were to come forward with mention of specific directives on research coming out of board meetings, that could be good and interesting. Opinions based on no more than guesswork or Cold War projections (or nationalistic impulses) would not. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Feb 2 '14 at 13:21
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    $\begingroup$ Regarding reposting on MSE: that seems like a bad idea since MO is much more likely to have knowledgeable people answering the question. Of course, that point is moot if the question doesn't get reopened on MO. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Feb 2 '14 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl I hope I have been able to address the issue you bring up in most most recent rework of the questions. $\endgroup$ – user45695 Feb 2 '14 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe when Math Pedagogy gets going, it will be a home for some of your questions... area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/64216/… $\endgroup$ – Gerald Edgar Mar 3 '14 at 15:18
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I wrote something to answer your question, it is 2 (pdf) pages, and it addresses only a small part of the question. While I was writing, the question was closed. You can read what I wrote on

http://www.math.purdue.edu/~eremenko/education.pdf

But I also think MO is not a place for this question. For the simple reason that the only reasonable answer has to be a book-size text.

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This is very tricky. I personally would be interested to hear answers to your questions; I think each individual one is probably OK for MO (I think the diciest is probably "How did Soviet/Communist philosophy affect the choice of research directions that Soviet mathematicians undertook? Conversely, how did American/Capitalist philosophy affect the choice of research directions American mathematicians undertook?" in that any answer would be incredibly subjective.)

My advice is this: think about which aspect of this question interests you the most. Is it how the collapse of the Soviet Union affected Soviet mathematics? Is it how education and professional life differed between the Soviet Union and US (of course, one could talk more generally about the West and the Soviet bloc, but again, that's broadening things considerably)? Is it whether there are important lessons from the Soviet mathematics system that could be applied around the world today?

Whatever aspect it is, ask a question just about that one thing; probably it's best if you edit your old question and ask for it to be reopened (put a moderator flag on it). It might be you'll have to go through a cycle of editing and getting feedback, and editing more based on that. Then see how things go, whether you get good answers etc. Then over time, you can ask questions about the other things you were wondering about; probably knowing the answer to one will help you to shape other questions. You also might have some private discussions with the people who turn up to give answers. I wouldn't ask a bunch of questions at once. I think it's better to wait until one question has been answered, you've had some time to think about the responses, and people don't feel overwhelmed.

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  • $\begingroup$ I have reworked how the questions have been divided. See: 1 2 3 $\endgroup$ – user45695 Feb 2 '14 at 18:53
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Twirlobite, I find your questions interesting but i think it is really not a good idea to have divided it in three. Now it looks frightening, a little like the broom of the Sorcerer's apprentice. I think you should remove two of them, and keep them for later.

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    $\begingroup$ I wish that had been done, as essentially suggested by Ben Webster some hours ago. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Feb 2 '14 at 22:54
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    $\begingroup$ I am not sure I understand, and I am not sure the broom analogy helps me understand. $\endgroup$ – user45695 Feb 2 '14 at 22:57
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    $\begingroup$ It is considered bad form to flood the site with questions, especially ones that are on similar topics. As Ben had suggested, you should have asked them one at a time with a couple of days between them. $\endgroup$ – Andy Putman Feb 2 '14 at 23:07
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I think the question has two competing major themes and could be split in two questions with a narrower focus.

  • One theme has to do with academic publishing traditions and back & forth translations. So 3, 4, 5 could be grouped into one split question.

  • Another theme has to do with research and education traditions. So 1, 2, 6 could be grouped into one split question.

I think the effect of the collapse of the Soviet Union is a minor theme that makes sense with both major themes. So reformulations of 7, 8 could be added to both split questions.

Of course, this is not the only sensible way to split the question. If you do split your question, make sure to link them together since the same people are likely to be interested in all of them.

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  • $\begingroup$ I have reworked how the questions have been divided. See: 1 2 3 $\endgroup$ – user45695 Feb 2 '14 at 18:52

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