Make an effort, please. April 23, 2012 6:31 PM   Subscribe

This was a perfectly serious question.
posted by unSane to Etiquette/Policy at 6:31 PM (51 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Nonsense. A perfectly serious question would be "Why is six afraid of seven?"
posted by brundlefly at 6:33 PM on April 23, 2012 [12 favorites]


If it was a "serious" question then you ought to have elaborated more and not relied on us having to read your mind.
posted by dfriedman at 6:33 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel like you need to explain a bit further in order for this post not to get the same reaction as your AskMe.
posted by hepta at 6:33 PM on April 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Then make an effort to not make it look like it's some sort of a joke or stunt question. You have been on this site for almost seven years and hang out in MetaTalk. You should know that a cryptic six word question isn't really going to fly here. It was flagged more than any other AskMe post I can remember this year in the seven minutes that it was around. You can ask again next week with more details.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:34 PM on April 23, 2012 [13 favorites]


If it was a serious question, then you should have added an explanation of why you thought it might not be necessary.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:34 PM on April 23, 2012


"god is seven . . . "
posted by IvoShandor at 6:36 PM on April 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


Anyone who's asking a serious question should always clarify the context of their question. You didn't.
posted by John Cohen at 6:36 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was obviously a roundabout way of asking why we don't count in base 6. But I'm one to talk.
posted by 0xFCAF at 6:37 PM on April 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


This post is about as appropriate as your question.

In what way was it perfectly serious?
posted by Specklet at 6:37 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lots of perfectly serious questions get deleted.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 6:38 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]




The point of the question was exactly the lack of context. My son was watching a Curious George show in which the question popped up. I posted it on Facebook and an interesting discussion arose between various people I know and respect, precisely centering on the lack of context. It raised a number of philosophical questions about numerical representation in different bases. I would have hoped that having been around so long some good faith would have been assumed on my part.

Back to your discussions of whether you can eat those week old potatoes.
posted by unSane at 6:40 PM on April 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Back to your discussions of whether you can eat those week old potatoes.

That's where we are vikings!
posted by Edogy at 6:42 PM on April 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


mods: should have waited until it got 6 comment before deleting the post.

unSane: you should have put the context below the fold.
posted by cupcake1337 at 6:43 PM on April 23, 2012 [10 favorites]


The point of AskMe is not to have an interesting philosophical discussion. It's to get an answer to your question.
posted by Lobster Garden at 6:43 PM on April 23, 2012 [70 favorites]


I would have hoped that having been around so long some good faith would have been assumed on my part.

I didn't presume lack of good faith. You don't get a pass on wacky AskMe questions just because you've been around a while. There are guidelines for what a question needs to be. Yours didn't meet them. You can ask again next week with more context. Otherwise this was just a random nonsense question without a problem to be solved which is the bare minimum that we require.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:44 PM on April 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


The point of the question was exactly the lack of context.

So, a stunt question.
posted by Cortes at 6:44 PM on April 23, 2012 [25 favorites]


Getting people to do your homework/google job interview for you is discouraged on Ask Mefi.
posted by dng at 6:48 PM on April 23, 2012


What comes after a 6 pack?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:48 PM on April 23, 2012


The point of the question was exactly the lack of context.

The need for it to make a point by virtue of that form gets in the way of it being at all workable as an Ask Metafilter question. Not everything works everywhere. I like you and all but this feels like a weird double-stunt and is maybe something you need to stop and rethink as far as what the reasonable expectations are to have for doing intentionally oblique things on the site.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:49 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


In what way did the question break the guidelines? There was a clear question/problem to be solved. If the number seven is clearly necessary, then there's a clear answer as to why it's necessary. If not, not.

I know you think it's a stunt, but it's not.
posted by unSane at 6:50 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Back to your discussions of whether you can eat those week old potatoes

Dear AskMe: should it be week-old? Or weak, old?
posted by scody at 6:51 PM on April 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


It raised a number of philosophical questions about numerical representation in different bases.

It doesn't seem to raise any such question at all — at least, presuming you were asking about the number seven and not the numeral. I mean, the numeral 7 is obviously not "necessary"; any counting system of base 6 or lower needs no numeral to denote the number, nor does it have a corresponding Roman numeral, tally mark, notch on a stick, or whatever. But all those ways of counting still use the number seven.

What the fuck "necessary" might mean is, of course, a bigger problem than this, and closer to the root of your problem here. Asking "Is X necessary" without context, for almost any value of X I can think of, makes you seem high.
posted by RogerB at 6:51 PM on April 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


The point of AskMe is not to have an interesting philosophical discussion. It's to get an answer to your question.

Absolutely. That's why I asked it.
posted by unSane at 6:52 PM on April 23, 2012


Yes, seven is necessary.

There, answered!
posted by carsonb at 6:52 PM on April 23, 2012 [13 favorites]


"Necessary" for what?
Without that, it's not answerable in a useful way. Do you have something in mind?
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:53 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Are you drunk?
posted by inigo2 at 6:53 PM on April 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


If the number seven is clearly necessary, then there's a clear answer as to why it's necessary. If not, not.

Seriously, I say this with all kindness, but this is the sort of question that without some elaborating context for why you're asking sounds like dorm room bong fodder.

If you have a question about essentialness or not of numeracy as a fixture of human ratiocination or of human culture or anything else, it's possible to put that question into so many words so people have any idea what your actual serious question is. If you can't actually do that yet, hold off until you figure out what your answerable question is. If you can but won't, you're making poor decisions about how to get Ask to actually work for you.

If this is not a stunt, it's you just really really getting the room wrong and then defending that mistake to the hilt. Which does not seem like it's going to improve anybody's night. Maybe just let this sit for a day and come back to it when you've gotten some distance.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:55 PM on April 23, 2012 [23 favorites]


This was a perfectly serious question.

So? It was incomprehensible and could not be answered.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:55 PM on April 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


I posted it on Facebook and an interesting discussion arose between various people I know and respect, precisely centering on the lack of context.

That is the textbook definition of chatfilter.
posted by empath at 6:56 PM on April 23, 2012 [31 favorites]


There was a clear question/problem to be solved.

It was six words. There was no clear problem. You are acting like someone who is deliberately needling us with successive AskMe/MeTa six word questions.

If you are not deliberately needling us I'd appreciate some understanding that deleting your question wasn't a judgment call on our part, it was a community-led mandate where all we do is do peoples' bidding. So, okay, you say it's not a stunt. You may wish to be concerned that it looked so much like a stunt that it was completely inadmissible as an AskMe question, not on the fence, not near the fence. This part is your responsibility and not ours.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:57 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Without 7, you'd just have the characters saying "double-oh", "double-oh", over and over again.
posted by Trurl at 6:58 PM on April 23, 2012 [21 favorites]


I can think of three types of necessity you might have in mind here:

Do we need numbers and computation, or could we get along in practical terms without them?
vs.

What are the arguments on both sides of the question as to whether numbers exist in a Platonic heaven (eternal, changeless, etc)? Similarly, as to whether numbers exist necessarily in all possible worlds, or do some philosophers hold that they are mere contingents?
vs.

What would be the mathematical consequences if we removed one number (say, 7) from the number line?

Are any of those the question you wanted answered?
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:59 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is the number seven really necessary for baking apple pies?
posted by andoatnp at 6:59 PM on April 23, 2012


Please help me name the number between six and eight.
posted by box at 7:02 PM on April 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Or are you asking about something more specific to the number seven? If so, I don't have a good start on what you might have in mind. I'm only able to parse this question as asking about some fact about numbers generally, where you're using seven as a randomly chosen example.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:02 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Deep down you know it was a terrible question. Maybe not even that deep. You do. You thought either it'd sneak through and be a lively and interesting discussion (unlikely, but stranger things &c), or that it would get deleted and you'd come in here and be able to dazzle the room with your technicalities and such. But you never thought, and you don't think, that this is good question for MetaFilter. You don't. Let it go.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:03 PM on April 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


dorm room bong fodder.

Yeah, no. I'm not high and I'm not drunk (for once! I KNOW!). I've no wish to go to the mattresses on this.
posted by unSane at 7:04 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please help me name the number between six and eight.

Sir Isaac Mewton.

You're welcome.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:04 PM on April 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


I've no wish to go to the mattresses on this.

You could ask the mods to close up this metatalk post.
posted by andoatnp at 7:05 PM on April 23, 2012


You can ask odd questions if you acknowledge the strangeness and provide context.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:05 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, Seven is necessary.

Neelix, not so much.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:06 PM on April 23, 2012 [24 favorites]


What comes after a 6 pack?

A joint, and then the gay sex?
posted by hippybear at 7:08 PM on April 23, 2012 [13 favorites]


When I was a kid, I thought that "several" refers to seven of something, the way "couple" means two of something.
posted by jpdoane at 7:08 PM on April 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


A joint, and then the gay sex?

So tired of this homonormative privilege.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:11 PM on April 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


Lobstermitten, not far off, but I don't really want to rehash the question in this thread as a proxy for the AskMe. I will ask it again in a week.
posted by unSane at 7:11 PM on April 23, 2012


It's not necessary, btw; I've been using an old 5 for years, and most people don't even notice.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:14 PM on April 23, 2012 [21 favorites]


0xFCAF: It was obviously a roundabout way of asking why we don't count in base 6.

Okay, but is 11 really necessary?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:16 PM on April 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


escabeche, that's right on the money. Not a stupid question at all, is it?
posted by unSane at 7:19 PM on April 23, 2012


I've no wish to go to the mattresses on this.

huh, thanks. I'd always assumed this derived from wrestling (go the the mat = have a bout), but now I see claims that there's a longer history of an Italian phrase for go the the mattress. I wish there was still a working languagehat signal.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:19 PM on April 23, 2012


Lobstermitten, not far off, but I don't really want to rehash the question in this thread as a proxy for the AskMe. I will ask it again in a week.

Sounds like a good plan. You know you're welcome to run a draft by me if you want like spit-take insurance.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:20 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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