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What has happened to the following question?: https://mathoverflow.net/posts/202242/revisions

Firstly, it looks like a reasonable question to me (although the notation could be improved). Why was it closed, and isn't one supposed to leave a comment indicating why it is being closed?

Secondly, why would it be migrated to stats.stackexchange? That site is for "statistics, machine learning, data analysis, data mining, and data visualization" and the question doesn't seem to relate to any of those.

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    $\begingroup$ Leaving a reason for closure beyond the scripted boxes is (and has always been) optional. One reason for leaving it optional might be that people don't want to get into arguments with the OP, although I think it's commendable when someone makes an effort to explain in a constructive way. Finally, let me mention also this thread: meta.mathoverflow.net/questions/223/requests-for-reopen-votes where people can make appeals to have questions re-opened, although it'd be somewhat trickier here since we'd have to get the mods there to migrate it back. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Apr 8 '15 at 11:30
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks quid, I edited it a bit - any better? I have no stake in the question at all - just that I started thinking about it when I saw it in my rss-feed, and I was surprised to see what had happened to the question when I came to MO. I am genuinely interested in why it was rejected, and also why it was migrated to the stats site. Todd: thanks, unfortunately the scripted box is unhelpful in this case, since "off-topic" doesn't seem to apply at all. Is it appropriate for me to "appeal" it even though I have nothing to do with the question myself? $\endgroup$ – James Martin Apr 8 '15 at 11:56
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    $\begingroup$ One shibboleth seems to be that troublesome phrase "Show that..." which can make a question look like an exercise from a textbook. (By itself, that's a weak criterion; some independent judgment should be exercised.) While I am concerned by some of the recent judgment calls on question-closure, at least one of the closers has established expertise in the subject area, and I don't have an instinct whether a mistake was made here. The fact that you yourself seem knowledgeable about this area and don't have a stake in the game makes it seem very appropriate for you to consider appealing. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Apr 8 '15 at 12:01
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for following up. I removed the vote and the comment. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Apr 8 '15 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ @ToddTrimble I just noticed your comment on Cross Validated. I am not sure what is the best way to proceed. But it might be simplest if you do a "recall" on the migration right away; as soon as there is relevant action on Cross Validated it might be too late. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Apr 8 '15 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ @quid Thanks for the suggestion. I've signaled to have a pow-wow; meanwhile, if there is anyone who would like to weigh in on whether they think the migration was justified, that could be useful information. It might be nice to hear from one or more of the closers as well, why they thought closure+migration was the right response. (As I said before, I don't have an instinct one way or the other.) $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Apr 8 '15 at 22:07
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    $\begingroup$ @ToddTrimble: My reasons to vote to migrate were as follows: 1. the imperative "Show that ..."; 2. the uncommon use of pluralis auctoris in the second-last sentence; 3. three pending votes to migrate to stats.se (so some people regarded this as a suitable question for that site -- I don't know the precise scope of stats.se, but my guess was the question might fit, as it is about stochastics); 4. new user. If the question is mathematically fine for MO (which I can't tell, as I am not working in stochastics), it could be migrated back and edited, I think. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Kohl Apr 8 '15 at 22:28
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    $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl I appreciate your responding. It seems generally consistent with stances you've taken in the past on reasons for closure. My general feeling is that we should be rather more welcoming to new users and their questions (thus I strongly reject 4. as a good reason), as the continued health and viability of MO really depends on it. Thus I am all for maintaining high mathematical standards, but IMHO reasons for closure should not be based on surface-level features as in 1. and 2. (or because others voted a certain way, as in 3.). We should discuss this further some time. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Apr 8 '15 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ The migration to stats has been rejected. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Apr 9 '15 at 1:01
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    $\begingroup$ Right: following quid's suggestion, I had put in a request for a recall. The status of mathoverflow.net/questions/202242/… is that it is now unlocked at MO but is still on hold while we discuss this. The stats mod remarked that it would have been on-topic for their site, but he thought it might fare better here at MO. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Apr 9 '15 at 1:08
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    $\begingroup$ The question got reopened. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Apr 9 '15 at 9:03
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    $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl I didn't think the question looked sloppy. Certainly not on account of "show that" and English that is just slightly off. Otherwise, you and I agree on being opposed to sloppy questions -- but they might not learn what the problem is unless we actually say something in a comment. Closure (plus migration) is not necessarily going to get that message across; a comment would be better, provided that the level seems right. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Apr 9 '15 at 10:49
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    $\begingroup$ Even if the question were sloppy, that doesn’t get solved by migration. We are not supposed to just dump our garbage on someone else’s backyard, are we? $\endgroup$ – Emil Jeřábek supports Monica Apr 9 '15 at 15:43
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilJeřábek Indeed. In addition one should only migrate to sites one is familiar with, and in doubt one should not migrate. Put differently: one should only migrate if a question is off-topic here, and one is sure it is a good on-topic question there. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Apr 9 '15 at 17:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Emil: Speaking as a lurker (and occasional contributor) here, and as a mod on stats.SE: Thank you! For those other readers and some commenters here, please consider reading this meta post regarding migration. MO users can be quite adamant that site norms are respected (even by first-time users); it would seem that, reciprocally, we should be equally mindful of the norms of other sites (and SE as a whole) as well, even though MO culture will deviate from them at times. Cheers. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Apr 9 '15 at 21:20

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