I feel like this post was a question with a legitimate statistical issue in it (though poorly identified in the question)... and was unfortunately moved fairly* quickly (indeed it disappeared while I was trying to formulate - off line - an explanation of the relevance of the issue that was raised, much to my frustration).

* relatively speaking, at least - to be fair it was here for several hours

Specifically, I feel the central issue was related to statistical algorithms (and has connections to topics like Rao-Blackwellization and importance sampling, for example).

I think it clearly falls under the last item in the list for what's on topic in the help (i.e., statistical and data-driven computing).

Indeed, even in the absence of my (too slow) attempt to make it clear there was a statistical issue there, I think the answer that was given before it was moved made it clear enough that it was pretty solidly on topic. (The crucial point is that second line of algebra.)

Frankly, I'm saddened to lose such a great, relevant answer from our site. One that I think is very likely to be useful to a subset of other users.

So two main questions:

1) Am I off-base? Is that really off topic? How would one tell?

2) Given that getting such a post back is relatively tricky, in the absence of at least a close vote* can these things be done ... a little more slowly, so there's a little more time to respond to them?

* that I saw, at least; if I had I'd have clicked the "leave open" button really hard. I may have needed a new trackpad.

(I don't wish to criticize the great work that the moderators do, nor would I remotely suggest that there's anything here but the highest of motives. I am mostly concerned about the speed on what was - in my opinion - at worst toward the borderline of being off topic and worthy of a chance for more extensive consideration.)

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    $\begingroup$ In a situation like the one you describe, I think the best strategy is to leave a comment explaining that you think the Q is on-topic & why. An example of where I have done this can be seen here: generate data from a t-distribution with specified mean and standard deviation. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Nov 13 '13 at 2:40
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    $\begingroup$ The mods are looking into this. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. :-) $\endgroup$ – cardinal Nov 13 '13 at 2:55
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    $\begingroup$ @gung As I explained, I was actually trying to do exactly that (as I said "it disappeared while I was trying to formulate - off line - an explanation of the relevance of the issue that was raised") i.e. constructing a comment that I thought it was on topic and why (my fear was that it might end up on SO because it mentioned code), but it was gone between when I saw that post and finished typing my comment. (If at least there had been a close vote I'd have known to hurry it along.) $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Nov 13 '13 at 3:37
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    $\begingroup$ @cardinal Thanks. I'd rather not make more of this than it is. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Nov 13 '13 at 4:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Glen: It's ok. There are many questions that fall in grey areas and it's good to raise the question if you have doubts about any action the mods might have taken. Ultimately we want to find the best possible site for each question so that it gets a great answer. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Nov 13 '13 at 11:21

The referenced question has now been reopened on the main site.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, thanks cardinal. I saw it and just came here to make sure it was made clear it was resolved ... but you've done that already. Fast work. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Nov 13 '13 at 11:19
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    $\begingroup$ I should be clear -- the 'fast work' there is a collective note of approval to all the moderators that were involved. I must applaud the speed and dedication with which you all seem to work and the way things operate. I agree with cardinal on the fact that there are grey areas - if the site operates as it should, these things will happen now and then. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Nov 13 '13 at 22:39

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