This is a follow up to this post:

I haven’t received a response from either this or this post, since, according to @Asaf Karigila:

"The longer, more detailed, more effort that is required to read through the question (or the answer), the more edits you're making, the higher the odds that people will scan the question and just give up in advance."

and according to @David Roberts:

"A wall of text and technical details does not attract most people. An extremely focussed question is your best bet, not offering a bounty."

Here is what I tried, inorder to get a response:

I made the first post short and to the point (i.e. the purpose was to measure the uniformity of subsets of $[0,1]^2$ w.r.t a dimension of the Hausdorff measure). Furthermore; while the second post was somewhat long, it was clear what I wanted (i.e. to find an extension of the expected value that is postive and finite). Infact, I'm sure there are math overflow posts that are longer.

Despite this, I have not gotten any responses. (Infact, I have gotten downvotes.)

What can be done to either post to attract responses?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ To be fair to Math Overflow, it is for professional mathematicians meaning your bottom comment "Note I'm unable to gain reputation on MO since I don't know in detail, higher level mathematics" shows the site is working correctly as this site is for detailed higher level mathematics, which I don't profess to have either btw although my subjects are highly mathematical (to users who frequent MO, I come to read interesting questions and was curious about the response to the strike, hence why I am here). $\endgroup$
    – JamesT
    Jun 19 at 2:06
  • $\begingroup$ @JamesT Perhaps I should send the question to Math Stack Exchange; however, I’m sure I still won’t get an answer. $\endgroup$
    – Arbuja
    Jun 19 at 2:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's also important to keep in mind that there is no way to guarantee that your questions - irrespective of quality - will be answered. Even bounties are imperfect mechanisms for this; I've offered about 200 bounties for an average amount of about $200$ points each, and at a quick glance around $80\%$ never got answered. $\endgroup$ Jun 23 at 23:36

1 Answer 1


Instead of assuming complete ignorance on the part of your readers (which is good policy many other places), chances here are anybody who really understands what you're talking about has spent thousands of hours thinking about similar (or sometimes identical) concepts.

In light of this, unnecessary preamble and explanation can come across as condescending and pedantic. I would advise cutting directly to the point, as quickly as possible, as though you were speaking to someone who had studied alongside you at great length, as opposed to the current prose style which seems aimed at neophytes.

  • $\begingroup$ What if the material has never been covered? If the work is brand new and something is missing, no one will understand what I’m trying to say. $\endgroup$
    – Arbuja
    Jun 20 at 0:03
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @DavisJohnson It is precisely that you weight that possibility so heavily that is offputting; to people outside research mathematics it is understandable to believe you're thinking about something nobody else has ever thought about, but I'll eat my shoes if that's the case. The first thing I thought I discovered myself (in a 60 page manuscript) was originally discovered in the 30's, and the second time I thought I had original thoughts they had already been discovered in the 70's -- I was working in a field much less prominent than measure theory and analysis. $\endgroup$
    – Alec Rhea
    Jun 20 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ I made edits to both posts using your advice. Is this better? $\endgroup$
    – Arbuja
    Jun 20 at 1:58

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