What bothers me quite a bit is that many people come to MO to get some help with their mathematical problems and are met with nothing but our standard "closed as not research level" verdict and a few comments about which written and unwritten rules they have violated 30 minutes after they make their first post, after which they
a) get scared away for good
b) leave with the impression that mathematicians are utterly obnoxious and arrogant people
c) still have their problem unsolved
I'm not talking about obvious nonsense (I have zero tolerance for that myself) or pre-calculus homework questions (though even in this case I do not see why the redirection to MSE should be done with a crushing blow of an iron fist instead of a push with a firm but reasonably soft hand). What I'm talking about is people who just really face some mathematical questions in their work that are above their head.
Whether those problems are "beneath" the level of the current MO frequenters or not doesn't matter too much. The person who asks a question here for the first time has no clearer idea of what is expected and what is considered fitting than I have about what is "Hodge theater" in Mochizuki's papers and telling them to look at our written explanations about what is a research level question and what is not is about as useful as telling me to quickly learn the theory of Frobenioids. They often have already enough struggle with figuring out what exactly to ask (and on average they are doing a good job: many questions are crystal clear from the beginning, and many other require just a couple of inquiries to make sense of). So why to repel them so harshly right from the start?
Let me make it clear (if somebody hasn't figured it out yet) that I can be as arrogant as anyone else and if somebody asks me a question of the type "What use is for me in what you are doing?" about my work, I respond with "And what use is your existence for what I'm interested in?". Also, I do not come here (or anywhere else on the web) to "serve". I just come to play and there is no way to force me to think of any question that is not to my liking.
However I stop at that and find it a bit strange to meet an open hand stretched in my direction with a slap in the face and this comparison is an understatement in some cases.
I do not think that we will change our official policies or even that there is any need for that. The policies are fine; it is their interpretation and implementation that often frustrates me. I have no idea why quid left MO, but I suspect that he (or was it she?) might have felt the same way.
So what do you think (or feel)?