0
$\begingroup$

The question, uhh... in question:

If you only ate fruits, vegetables or smoothies would you be able to skip drinking water?

You can follow along by looking at its timeline. Some parts may only be viewable by high-rep users, I'm not sure.

So, getting on with it. The question was originally asked as a one-liner, and ended up accumulating 4 downvotes by the end of the day it was asked. I added my usual "What research have you done? Bio.SE works this way..." comment, but didn't downvote or cast a close vote because it was asked by an established user, and there was a decent chance they'd come back and edit it into shape. Others didn't feel that way, apparently, and it was closed by two regular users and a mod-hammer. OK, whatever, happens all the time.

However, in this case the asker came back and actually put a decent amount of previous research and critical thinking into the question. Their edit put the question into the Reopen queue, where it was voted to stay closed, one of the votes coming from the same mod who hammered it closed the first time, and the other by a user who had voted to close it in the first place. That vote from the mod seemed to hammer it again.

I revisited the question at some point after this, saw the revision, thought it added a lot of value, and nominated it for reopening, pushing it back into the Reopen queue. The same two people reviewed it and voted to remain closed again, with a mod hammer ending the discussion yet again.

A few questions and a short rant. Why was this post hammered three times by the same mod, even after substantial improvement? More broadly, why did only four people in total interact with it (including me), and why weren't any comments left besides mine, especially when it traveled the review queue twice and was hammered three times, by the same mod? What is so wrong with the edited post?

One takeaway from this is that we need many more people to get involved in close/reopen voting, and the review queues in general. That's a common plea around here, unfortunately, and I haven't heard (nor thought of myself) any good ways of doing that.

The second takeaway is that we need to have a full, serious discussion on the use of mod hammers in closing. Since I want discussion here to focus on this question and this particular set of circumstances, I will ask a second Meta question specifically about that, referencing this one.

$\endgroup$
10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The biggest problem underlying the multiple mod hammers is indeed that the active voting sub-community is shockingly low. I have put out meta posts, chat requests and what not, to no avail. Secondly, the last hammer was in response to a flag the mod team received recommending closure. I might have acted too quickly. I have no grudge against this post and I wasn't consciously aware of the hammer striking thrice. Thanks for bringing this up. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 10 at 21:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If it would be of any help, I'm happy to re-open it, but I'm unsure that would do any good.... Also, I'm happy to throw my hammer away and let the community deal with voting, but I'm just afraid that the few active voters handling the review queues will lose motivation too, as close-voting wouldn't do much good anymore as their votes will just wither away in silence until they're removed by the bot. That in turn may affect the quality of our site, as poor questions will survive. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 10 at 21:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would be really interested in the community's ideas about this and I happily encourage a post on this. This post also criticized my actions. So perhaps I should pull back, refrain from participating in the voting queues and see what happens. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 10 at 21:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @AliceD thank you for your thoughts. The problem with completely retiring your hammer is that are truly are questions that should be closed quickly - and in its original form, this was one of them. I have a dupe-hammer for several tags on Stack Overflow, and I know how tempting it can be to use, but it's also a completely different culture over there. I guess the answer I'm looking for on this particular issue is why it was kept closed, even after substantial good edits? From their comments, it looks like the OP is kind of fed up with things, so maybe reopening it is worth it. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Feb 10 at 22:49
  • $\begingroup$ I guess you are right. I'll mull all this over for a bit. In the meantime I've reopened the question. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 10 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Fizz brings up an important point; I looked back at the question and they're right in that the bottom line is a one-line question, with a thick icing of pretty irrelevant information. The question itself ends with this 'copy-pasta' material (following Fizz' wording :-), without wrapping the question up. That was the main motivation to close it (yet again) when the flag was raised by the community that the post should be closed. By then the post had 4 downvotes and counting. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 11 at 8:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In retrospect I perhaps took your post a bit too personally (it was late, had a tough day at work :-). Given the fact I've reviewed over 4,000 question in the close-vote queue only, a few slips now and then may be viewed as unavoidable human error. Nonetheless, I will be careful in the future when reviewing edited questions, although the one linked here may not be the prime example of a question that has benefited much from editing. Thanks once again for your keen eye and relentless devotion to this site. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 11 at 8:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @AliceD I definitely didn't mean for anyone to take this personally, as this sooner or later probably happens to everyone with a hammer. Thank you for the work you do on this site, as well! $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Feb 11 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ @MattDMo Aside: I suggest that you revise your usual What research have you done? etc., using constructions like Could you tell us..., I suggest... and so on. It will promote more constructive discussions. Using what-questions is ok only with one's lab-mates and subordinates (and I am not even sure that it is really okay with the latter). Please don't take it as an offense. $\endgroup$ – Vadim Mar 19 at 8:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Vadim thanks for the feedback. I try to use what's known as active voice instead of passive voice. Technically, the question Could you tell us what research you have done? could be answered simply by yes or no. Given the character limit in comment boxes, I sometimes choose to use more direct words in my longer comments. The bigger problem is that text alone is an awful way to communicate. There's no way to indicate tone or other nonverbal communication mechanisms, and it's very easy to take things the wrong way. Generally, it's best to assume good intentions unless signaled otherwise. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Mar 19 at 12:59
6
$\begingroup$

What's wrong with the question is that smoothies can contain any proportion of water. All the research added (in edits) somehow failed to look up "smoothie" on Wikipedia:

A smoothie is a drink made from pureed raw fruit and/or vegetables, using a blender.[1] A smoothie often has a liquid base such as water, fruit juice, plant milk, and sometimes dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, ice cream or cottage cheese. Smoothies may be made using other ingredients, such as crushed ice, sweeteners (honey or sugar), vinegar, whey powder, chocolate or nutritional supplements, among others by personal choice.

Much of the "research" added by edits is random irrelevant stuff like Maslow's hierarchy of needs etc. Another quote was added that smoothies lack fiber... when the question is about water... Actually that quote does have the answer:

A smoothie, in contrast, may or may not be high in water, depending on how much fluid it contains.

But I guess the OP didn't notice it, with their bulk copypasta. Actually, OP's own conclusion from reading that quote was that

Fruits and veggies contain water but smoothies do not.

It's hard to say what may cause that level of failure in reading comprehension...

The original question was primary-school grade. The edited question was worse in terms of signal-to-noise ratio.

Anyhow, I tried to give it (an actual) biology angle by answering it with water contents of fruits and vegetables.

$\endgroup$
3
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer and thoughts on this. They are most helpful. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 11 at 8:31
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ That's a great explanation, thanks. To the community in general, I would encourage everyone to leave comments as much as possible, even if it's only a copied blurb. I know that's not always possible or desirable, and I don't do it all the time either. However, if our goal truly is not to simply be an answer site, but rather a site that promotes self-learning with some expert help along the way, then we need to actually provide that help. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Feb 11 at 14:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ MattDMo here here! you know I'm all for that! @AliceD, I think mod close-hammering has become a bit trigger happy of late. Let's step it back a bit (maybe wait until at least 3 other members vote -- that's my typical threshold). Thanks, all, for the respectful and insightful conversation about this; and thanks, MattDMo, for initiating. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Feb 17 at 5:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .