Hot answers tagged

60

It's fine in my opinion just to ask and not answer questions, and conversely I think it's fine just to answer and and not ask questions. In time you will probably acquire enough knowledge to feel comfortable and confident answering questions as well, but there's no particular hurry. Either way, if your questions or answers are well received, you are seen ...


45

I recommend posting your version $Q$ of the question, linking to $P$, and stating explicitly why the accepted answer is not what you want. I don't like the scenario of editing question $P$ because I expect that people are less likely to answer a question that already has an accepted answer (and it feels like it undermines the original asker of $P$).


28

Ironically, this question has been answered in the comments by Tobias Kildetoft. If you see a question which has been answered in comments you can make a CW answer which incorporates that comment. You can also add some additions of your own, and if your additions are sufficiently substantial then it's ok to make it not CW. In addition to what Tobias said, ...


23

One thing I've seen done in this situation -- and it may be the best option under the circumstances -- is to summarize all the answers in one master answer yourself. I would write it anew (without copying-and-pasting), tie it together nicely with a narrative thread, credit individuals as appropriate, and (important) make it community wiki. Then accept it as ...


18

What is the benefit to later readers in seeing the vote counts on answers A and B? Questions on ME sites are supposed to be interesting for non-expert readers as well. A layperson benefits from reading an answer that hits the nail on the head (at least more than from reading one that misses the nail entirely) but may not be able to recognize such an answer &...


13

Yes, Indeed you can gain a bronze badge as a self-learner by answering your own question, providing that your answer scores 3 or more. That means MO supports self-learning by principle.


12

What is the benefit to have such a system at all? For each question, there are many perspectives on it. Various presentations can reach wider audiences, if they are on topic, well written, and show some degree of relevance. The StackExchange platform is intended to encourage good questions that others can use, as well as good answers to those questions. ...


12

Mathematicians tend to care a great deal about correctness. If you bump the question by adding your own answer (or even a minor edit), this will tend to draw attention to your comments that the other answer is incorrect. In several cases, highly-upvoted answers have been voted down after it was pointed out that they were incorrect, while other much later ...


11

If you don't understand the answer, ask in your comments the person who gave the answer for more explanation. Certainly you don't mark the question as "answered" until you understand. What for?


10

I think so. The detail is all there, even if spread into the comments; it's what they are for. If further expansion is needed, why not just ask the person who wrote the answer to expand it? But, as you say, if this is only for the sake of third parties, can they also just read the comments? Or, ask in the comments for clarification themselves? [Added, as ...


10

This is somewhat not-an-answer, as it is just advice/thoughts that cannot be used in this instance, since that horse has already left the barn. But it is something to consider in the future. I think that in cases like this where there are multiple questions along the same theme but each of which can stand alone, it would probably make more sense to ask them ...


10

I think many wrong answers should be kept for the reason you stated. But this only applies to answers that have mistakes that are interesting or easy to do; it is only worthwhile to keep answers if people can learn from them. Comments and downvotes can indicate that the answer is not good, and ideally it should be also indicated in the body of the answer as ...


9

This is a perfect task for the Stack Exchange Data Explorer, which allows you to make SQL queries to the database of any network site. Here is a query that gives the top 50 questions sorted by answer count. http://data.stackexchange.com/mathoverflow/query/264370/questions-with-most-answers


8

My personal opinion is that there are two options, depending on the situation: You could post a separate answer, clearly explaining that this is a more detailed elaboration of the other answer - both to get some feedback to your approach (which helps you to see whether you understood it correctly) and for the benefit of others reading the same answer. ...


7

Slightly tangential answer: I don't think there is anything wrong with having incorrect answers on MO. People make mistakes, and other people are free to point out the mistakes in the comments. And as long as some form of the correct exists in the record, I don't think having incorrect answers in anyway reflect poorly on the community as a whole. A ...


7

My feeling is that either (1) or (2) should be fine, depending on the result. Generally if it's concise enough for (2) then my feeling is that it probably isn't publishable on its own, though this may depend on your field. Of course, if I were you I'd also ask experts directly whether this was previously known before submitting it to a journal. Just because ...


6

I did this once, here. I was going to answer the question, but Andy did it first. I still felt there was some value in the remarks I was going to add, but it felt strange to do it in a new answer, and it would not have the same reach if I just added the remarks as comments. So I edited Andy's answer to include the information, while attempting to make it ...


6

Here is a comprehensive description of actions which lead to reputation change, and by how much: https://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/269653/why-did-i-gain-lose-reputation-can-i-audit-my-reputation-history So: when you unaccept an answer, you get -2 and the answerer gets -15. In other words, you reverse what happened when you accepted. Same deal if you ...


6

One possibility, in the event of having left a comment but received no response, to edit the answer itself and add a line like: n.b. (Benjamin): this answer appears to be incorrect. Please see my separate answer. I think when the original answerer does not address critical comments, it's perfectly reasonable to edit.


5

I'm a little late with this one. I think a tighter question is a fine idea, especially if you put in some effort as far as improving the background. That is what happened with Can a positive binary quadratic form represent 14 consecutive numbers? Just don't say you were inspired by the previous question, bunch of people running around inspired all the time, ...


5

I think the best practice is to leave a comment, and if necessary provide more information by writing an additional answer. A reasonable person who reads an answer, reads comments under it. You should not care too much about unreasonable people. Also, you should not care too much about votes --- if you wrote a good answer, and a bad answer receives more ...


4

oldest does sort by the answer time, however, the accepted answer will still be on top, even if it is not the oldest; the same applies to the other sort options.


3

Because this is a publicly viewed forum, in my opinion, there is no moral obligation of the original poster to do anything with the question after it is presented. (Private forums are a different matter.) There are social niceties such as editing to improve the question, responding to answers, and even accepting an answer, but most if not all of these can ...


3

It is ok but the extra material should be separated from the original material and clearly labelled as written by someone else.


2

That could be another post, so feel free to ask me to remove my answer, but what about creating an intermediate category, such as 'waiting for clarifications', which would mark questions for which comments have required to clarify the question asked / verify that the suggested answer works which have not been active for e.g. 1 year ? This would put the ...


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