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I've found that most of the new questions from new users are closed. So two questions:

  1. Is this because the search functionality is not working properly?

  2. Why do the originals not show up in the "Related Questions" list below the title while these questions are being asked?

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I agree with both answers and just wanted to comment that not most of the questions are closed - I'll take a guess of 10% to 20% which is indeed high rate but still, not close to "most". – Shadow Wizard Jan 30 '11 at 15:03
up vote 8 down vote accepted
  1. People frequently don't bother to search
  2. Similarly, people have an impressive ability to ignore the "related questions" box
  3. For the people that do bother to search, search has historically sucked (although they improved it very recently)
  4. Some questions are migrated from SO, so searching/duplicate detection wouldn't have found the duplicates
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  1. New users often assume that they are the first to ever encounter a given problem / think of a given feature / etc... And so they don't bother searching. (Contrast this with old users, who know that others will do their searching for them if they post a question...)

  2. Sometimes they do (But see #1). However, in many cases a question will be asked many times in many different ways, with no easy similarities between titles (and to be fair, many titles are horribly bad at describing the actual question). Closing these as duplicates increases the chance that search will work better in the future (for users that bother to use it).

This may look a bit odd, but it's normal - Meta is all about Murder Closing.

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