Hot answers tagged

26

A question should be judged based on whether it is a good statistics problem. Statistics are used in business, in academic research, in politics, in volunteer activities, and by some really weird people (ahem...) for fun and recreation. Whether a question posted to CV concerns a specific one of these use cases should not matter. What should matter is ...


24

Welcome messages are not noise. Early on in the life of this site, the SE Team actively encouraged posting comments to help people feel welcome. I therefore always decline flags that suggest those comments are "too chatty" and I usually keep the welcoming comment intact. I personally make an effort to identify newcomers who are likely to contribute beyond ...


21

See http://stackexchange.com/legal & https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/. For what it's worth,† my understanding of all that is that you're perfectly free to reproduce anything you've written here elsewhere; but you can't stop someone else reproducing it provided they properly attribute it to you. † I'm not giving legal advice,...


19

Like so much around here, this pivots on the slight tension between Individual posters with short-term goals of getting an answer, who almost always want to express appreciation of your attention, their need for an answer, their gratitude if you provide one, and so forth. That's all fine, and I have no inclination to dismiss or downplay politeness. The ...


18

CV's a democracy of a kind, so many standard political points arise. The first lessons in politics include learning that many other people are very confident in telling you should be voting this way or you shouldn't be voting that way. Excuse me: they're my votes, or not. Within the rules, I vote as I like. (I don't impute or infer attempts to offend, ...


18

Statistical questions are unlike mathematical questions. On the math site, a question will quickly be closed if it is not immediately clear what it means and what it is asking. All other questions on that site might as well be textbook questions--there is really no basis for distinction, not even the level of sophistication. Our community has learned to ...


17

Your content is yours: you own it, and can use it howsoever you wish. You may also license it to other people to use it. By posting something here, you grant Stack Exchange a license to host and reproduce your content. Of course you do: otherwise they couldn’t legally do so. The license is non-exclusive, meaning that you can also license your content to ...


15

@Tim is right: users will be automatically banned by the SE system from asking (answering) questions if they have too many posts that are negatively scored, closed, or deleted. The exact parameters of the ban are not disclosed, even to moderators. The moderators do not have the ability to impose or lift it. That said, you don't have to wait for that ban to ...


13

Cromwell's rule : "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken." This wise rule (modernized perhaps by substituting "probable" for "possible", and maybe changing the gory religious reference), should have been all along supplementing the SE-wide catch-phrase and policy "Be Nice". Now, "Be Nice" is more wide-reaching ...


13

I am a little hesitant to write this "answer", but let me explore a question of a slightly broader nature. Tagging. In my view, a tag should be indicative of the subject matter and we should avoid so-called "meta tags" (e.g., homework) insofar as possible and reasonable. I've seen the resurgence of a couple that seem borderline cases of this recently. I ...


12

Some personal thoughts/methods about this important issue: voting. 1- Voting on answers: In this thread, Peter Flom gives an answer about the low answer ratio that was found/audited in CV (at that time): "...I think that is partially a function of the nature of statistics and the questions we get..." Many users agreed with him and I believe this ...


12

There are some good answers here. My policy (and I think the default overall), is that if I edit, I remove all peripheral comments, be they 'thanks', '-Bob', 'I'm not a statistician, sorry about the dumb question...', etc. A topic that hasn't been covered much yet is deciding when to edit, or to approve suggested edits. If the only thing that needs to ...


12

I don't think there's a formal policy, but I'll talk about what I've noticed myself doing. If someone just says 'thanks', I tend to leave it, even when doing a lengthy edit, even though it strictly doesn't belong. However, if I'm removing a subsequent signature, I may take 'thanks' as well. If it's a long rambling thanks (say a couple of sentences) I take ...


12

I'd say No in broad terms, but as usual much depends on the details. Positively, substantial new information could help a thread considerably, but that should typically be added through comments or very possibly as part of an answer. But what's substantial? For example, if someone edited a literature reference to add detail or to add a URL, that's an ...


12

Solution: exact copy elsewhere It is possible to have a virtually identical format, widely and productively used, under control of a non-SE entity that is invested in high-quality treatment of the subject area. I'm thinking of this site's bioinformatics equivalent, BioStars. https://www.biostars.org/info/about/ https://physicsoverflow.org/ Recent efforts ...


11

Merging is difficult (impossible?) to reverse and so is used only when the questions are such close duplicates of each other that all the answers to one would read acceptably as valid answers to the other. Perhaps more merging should be done, but since the decision in each case requires comprehensive review of both threads, careful thought, and great ...


11

I disagree with this suggestion. Having grown up on this policy, I don't have the same issues with it. Here are some (rambling) thoughts: There are a number of 'big-list' type questions on CV that are not really on topic here. Under the strict policy you suggest, they should be closed and then subsequently deleted. I gather this has happened on SO in ...


11

The deleted answer has been restored. I am guessing that the deletion of that post was a well-meaning response to a (well-upvoted) comment by a community member claiming that it did not answer the question. Subsequent edits to the answer appear to have addressed that comment, but evidently they were overlooked by another community member who flagged the ...


11

Comments Your culpa doesn't seem maxima enough! Knowingly cross-posting...Shame!! I'm guessing you're responding to this comment on your recent Mathematics question. Do clarify if your ME $\ne$ Mathematics. We may wish to discuss the issue on a per-sister-site basis, and having it arise WRT a different site than usual could make this question unique. As is,...


11

I agree with most of what has been said so far. Disclaimers: I didn't see the original comment or add +1 to it. My comments can easily be sharper than average here, so I am not posing as a nice guy, but I would never dispute a moderator's judgement on my comments. Comments can be sharper than answers, but they must not be offensive. But give and take is ...


11

It seems to me that we have to balance two imperatives on CV: We need to preserve information that is germane to on-topic threads and provide information about statistics, machine learning, data mining and data visualization. Material that offends someone or makes some class of people feel unwelcome should be deleted. How should these two be balanced? ...


11

I see your valuable contributions quite regularly here; thanks for those. Thanks for asking first, as well. The SE network has a fairly clear policy on self-promotion, which you should look at. https://stats.stackexchange.com/help/behavior Limits for self-promotion in answers What signifies "Good" self promotion? (or: Self Promotion Part ...


10

First of all--and most importantly--I am sorry you feel bad about that comment. In coming to a decision about the flag, I considered several aspects of the situation. Relevance. Despite your claim that the comment is off-topic, a huge underlying issue in that thread is whether banning the use of a standard tool for pursuing scientific investigations is an ...


10

I had debated on posting a similar question awhile ago so I have collected a few links on the subject. There is actually a cross-posting tag on Meta Stackoverflow. And the highest voted question is Is cross-posting a question on multiple Stack Exchange sites permitted if the question is on-topic for each site? This is clearly in line with favoring migration ...


10

Based on the discussion in chat and here my understanding is: Pleas for help should be removed as part of a larger edit, just like "Thanks", and <poster's name/signature>. Smaller edits produce benefits (they make threads more readable for future readers, and set a better example of the site's standards and expectations for future posters) and costs (...


9

I agree that there is no universal criterion, which is why I am glad this question refers to the plural, criteria. Negative Criteria If any of the following hold, the question likely does not need statistical expertise to understand or answer: The only tag is for a single particular software platform (e.g., r, excel, sas). Examples: Multivariate distance ...


9

As I understand your description, this would be a pure software / how-to question. As such, it would be off-topic. There is, however, a glmnet tag. You could leave comments (where it seems appropriate) on tagged questions. You could also edit the tag wiki. Moreover, in answering questions with the tag, it might be fine to mention the package along ...


9

As long as the question is on-topic, not duplicate and well posed, answering with comments is a bad practice, because it can leave the post officially unanswered, which is bad for our site statistics. Also, the comment can't be voted down (likewise, if it is a correct answer the author will not receive credits for it; which is also bad). Moreover, regarding ...


9

Why not treat all questions on CV the way self-study questions are treated? People come to CV to get real help on real problems, and they often succeed. I don't see why we should stop providing this help and instead start just giving hints and observing how the asker is progressing with the help of the hints (which is how I understand your suggestion of ...


9

[Posting an answer myself to enable people to vote.] By now Approximate $e$ using Monte Carlo Simulation became CW as well. I think that making such questions CW is an unfair, unreasonable, and harmful policy. This policy is unfair. If @Aksakal posted his (by now accepted) answer first, it could have been upvoted and accepted by the OP without many other ...


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