# Questions seemingly/apparently/ostensibly too elementary for overlfow

Well I don't really get notifications of flag responses sooo...

Nov 6 at 14:01 helpful - I suggest you take this up in meta; there is not enough space to answer here. But there are a number of unwarranted assumption you're making here. Plus, you're being argumentative with abx.

Why is this question off-topic but that question is on-topic? It's like I have to ask it on maths se first but hypothetically if I ask a question that's closed on overflow and then re-ask on maths se and no one responds there, then it's like AHA it's actually on-topic in overflow after all?

Some notes:

1. I could swear I've read some post that says if I ask something on maths se and it doesn't get a response after 2 days, then I can ask on overflow. Or like I have to set a bounty 1st and then if it doesn't get responses still, then I can ask on overflow. (well there's always the possibility I can't afford a bounty...in which case I think the one I've read doesn't include any mention of a bounty)

2. This issue kinda came up again here: What exactly is the relationship between the concepts of conjugate complex vector space and conjugations/real structures?

3. (not really a note. more like my opinion/observation/noun version of ostensibly) Ostensibly, overflow has kind of a not so well-defined definition of not research level or of too elementary or something. For example, I don't see that question or even this other question as 'research level', yet somehow in both questions, the downvotes do not exceed the upvotes.

• "I could swear I've read some post that says if I ask something on maths se and it doesn't get a response after 2 days, then I can ask on overflow." I would say, if you ask something on m.se then you can't ask on MO until it has gone several days without a useful response – but even then, it has to be a question suitable for MO. The mere fact that no one has replied on m.se does not in and of itself make a question suitable for MO. Nov 24, 2020 at 2:52
• To echo what I see as @GerryMyerson's point, I think it's important to realise that there is no inbuilt right to get answers to questions on MO. The collected wisdom of so many mathematicians is a resource that we are lucky to be able to access, but not one that is due to us; and if, on some question, this resource is not available to us, then it is simply that we have not been so lucky to have a question that is appropriate for MO, rather than that we have been denied some fundamental right. Nov 25, 2020 at 1:13
• @GerryMyerson Ah so necessary but not sufficient?
– BCLC
Dec 3, 2020 at 23:59
• In summary, yes. Dec 4, 2020 at 2:20

The judgment of whether a question is considered on-topic or not for MO is made by individual MO users. If a question is closed but other users disagree with the reasons for closure, the latter may cast votes to reopen. But there is no blanket answer to your first question. The individuals who voted to close may or may not give their explicit reasons. You can ask, but if you leave a long string of comments, users (like abx) might come to feel harassed. Cf. "sealioning".

We are not in official contact with Mathematics StackExchange, and there is no rule that says that just because Math SE doesn't answer, that means a question is ipso facto considered suitable for MO. (Of course you are always welcome to try.) Another assumption that we see often is that a question must be "too hard" for Math SE and is therefore okay for MO, and that somehow the people here are "better" or "stronger". I think that's a misreading. There are lots of professionals who answer over there, including many users registered here. I think what really happens is that there are so many questions there, that a lot get lost in the shuffle. Or that the low-hanging fruit that reap quick points for answers tend to get addressed before questions that require more time or consideration.

As for your point 3.: you're right. It's not at all well-defined. It'd be hard to enforce policy which would make it well-defined.

• I'm surprised to see a user explicitly named in this post. It seems that there is no name in the original post. Is it referring to some hidden history? If so, should that hidden history be put out in the open here? (EDIT: I guess it references mathoverflow.net/questions/350788/… .) Nov 25, 2020 at 1:09
• LSpice: Yes, correct, all is above board here, nothing hidden has been divulged.
– Todd Trimble Mod
Nov 25, 2020 at 1:18
• I certainly didn't mean to imply that anything wasn't above board. I'm sorry for any such suggestion. Nov 25, 2020 at 1:35
• question re : 'that means a question is ipso facto considered suitable for MO' --> ah so necessary but not sufficient?
– BCLC
Dec 4, 2020 at 0:01
• 'As for your point 3.: you're right. It's not at all well-defined. It'd be hard to enforce policy which would make it well-defined.' --> OH GASP! I really wasn't expecting this. I thought there would be some well-definedness.
– BCLC
Dec 4, 2020 at 0:02
• well anyhoo thanks Todd Trimble♦
– BCLC
Dec 4, 2020 at 0:02
• about sealioning, does that include the case when the other party is the one who makes a claim in the 1st place? the wiki article mentions an invitation. to me, an invitation suggests the sealioner is the one who starts it. abx was the one who made a claim and so i was asking about the claim. i think it would be sealioning, if i were to comment on some random user's post or something
– BCLC
Dec 4, 2020 at 0:05
• (1) Re necessity: well, if a question was answered satisfactorily at Math.SE, then it probably shouldn't be duplicated here. (2) Re sealioning: yes, it does include that case. The Victorian lady in the comic strip "started it". Just generally speaking: leaving an uninterrupted series of questions/comments, as you were doing there and now here, can be annoying to the recipient. It isn't necessarily sealioning, but it can be wearisome. Again, people are busy; they may have neither time nor enough interest to respond to a bunch of comments clustered together.
– Todd Trimble Mod
Dec 4, 2020 at 6:00
• PS. The comic strip can be found here: knowyourmeme.com/memes/sea-lioning
– Todd Trimble Mod
Dec 4, 2020 at 6:13
• 'The judgment of whether a question is considered on-topic or not for MO is made by individual MO users. ' --> Actually I think I get it now. What you want to do is let the community like self-moderate and decide on a case-to-case basis based on whomever happens to be online at the time. Something like...a jury! That's it! So like a jury could find someone guilty but then again if you do repeat the trial 100 times with different jurors/juries (in case you allow repeats?), it's not necessarily that all 100 juries will find the defendant guilty right?
– BCLC
Oct 7, 2021 at 13:17
• I wonder if there's a sufficient condition: If I set a bounty/bounties with a total reputation offered exceeding some $\varepsilon$ then it has to be by law on-topic on overflow? surely you wouldn't object to $\varepsilon=2,000$ but you would object to $\varepsilon=50$. Soooo by continuity (? perhaps Bolzano's theorem? or intermediate value theorem?) there exists a $\varepsilon$...it's like...Willingness to pay in economics?
– BCLC
Oct 7, 2021 at 13:21
• In answer to the first question: not quite like a jury, since the voters don't get together to deliberate. People vote as individuals. But yes, other people who think a closed question has merit can vote to reopen it.
– Todd Trimble Mod
Oct 8, 2021 at 1:37