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I don't want to pre-judge the new Cooking SE that just entered private beta, but looking over some of the questions and especially the answers, there are going to be a lot of answers that are based on 'conventional wisdom' and as such will rise to the top.

To illustrate without picking on any particular question here is a made up example:

Q: How long does it take to soft boil an egg?

A: I was always told to boil 3 minutes for soft boiled eggs.

A: I was always told to boil 2.5 minutes for soft boiled eggs.

A: I was always told to boil 3.5 minutes for soft boiled eggs.


Then some one comes along and answers with a fact-based method of determining the correct boiling temperature and duration. Is there a process to promote more accurate answers over subjective answers?

Note: I don't have an answer that I wish was rated higher like this, I'm just interested in the communities ideas about this kind of situation. Accurate vs Popular is often a distinction without a difference in a mainly engineer-type group, but I predict in the new sites will it may become more important.

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As always down-vote if it's really inaccurate. – ChrisF Jul 9 '10 at 20:36

Fundamentally this a problem with democratized information. We unwashed masses get to decide what is right or wrong (or more literally in SE terms, what answer is "best").

Because SE sites will be most appealing to us "techy" types, users will likely appreciate answers with detail, references, and actual facts.

I would also point out, however, that for the cooking site, subjectivity comes with the territory. It doesn't matter if you can "prove" that I should cook an egg for 10 seconds longer, it only matters what I think tastes better. And there's no scientific formula for that.

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