The Analytical badge is retired, presumably because it is no longer possible to obtain it. If this is not the case, please let me know. If it is the case, shouldn't the Precognitive and Beta badges be retired as well?

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    $\begingroup$ I assume the retirement is done for the entire network. All FAQs are gone, so no analytical badge can be obtained on any site. Yet, the precogintive and beta badges still can be obtained for some sites/proposals. (I did not check many other sites, but also on math.SE analytical is retired but precognitive and beta not, while also there noone will get them anymore.) $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 23 '13 at 16:03
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    $\begingroup$ This MSO post has an answer (at least for Precognitive). Personally, I'm not convinced it's a very good answer. $\endgroup$
    – Logan M
    Jul 23 '13 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ @LoganMaingi: Could you put this as an answer so I can accept it? $\endgroup$ Aug 9 '13 at 13:37

From this MSO post:

The Precognitive badge appears in the badge list on every site to announce the presence of Area 51, and its primary function.

Since Area 51 is itself about creating new sites that don't exist yet, the thought process is supposed to be:

hmm, I can't get [the precognitive badge] on this site, but I could get it on some hypothetical future site I might be interested in.

Yes! Thus, based on seeing this badge and reading about it, a user is incentivized to:

  1. visit Area 51 (and we provide a handy link in the badge description itself) -- win
  2. look at upcoming site proposals -- win
  3. follow likely proposals, which requires reading them and deciding if they have a chance -- win.

So in conclusion it seems that Stack Exchange knows these badges (or at least Precognitive) aren't possible on this site, but still thinks their presence on the Badges page is a net positive. I'm not sure I agree, but in any case this isn't likely to get changed.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 for looking into this. I disagree with the claim that these badges give a net positive (it sounds like you do too). What would have to be done to get rid of them? $\endgroup$ Aug 9 '13 at 18:12
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidWhite Someone would need to put in a feature request here (or on MSO, but here is probably better if you only care about this site). If it gets enough upvotes, Stack Exchange is likely to look at it. I very much suspect it would be declined since they've already commented on it, but I could be wrong if the community can put together a strong enough argument that these badges are actively harming MO. In my personal opinion, while I don't agree with their answer, I also think there are more important things for everyone to worry about so I'm not sure the effort is justified in this case. $\endgroup$
    – Logan M
    Aug 9 '13 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ To supplement what was just said by Logan Maingi (with which I agree, except that I even can see a small positive effect) regarding @DavidWhite comment: as internal procedure it was suggested by a moderator (Scott Morrison if memory serves well) that before a (formal) feature request is made a discussion is started based on the outcome of which a more efficient feature request or none at all could be made. (For one thing, if one were to ask this, at least the request should be "complete" ie asking it for all badges where relevant not just those were it happened to come up) $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Aug 9 '13 at 19:03

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