During the daytimes I visit StackOverflow, I often have the feeling that the gross of the questions is unseen, unvoted on or downvoted.

I see a lot of low-quality-, no-reasearch-kind of questions.

It feels like popular question only come up rarely, and that StackExchange box on the right only seldomly shows StackOverflow questions.

Does StackOverflow converge towards the state of "Done"?

Aside: Was that the business reason why new languages are explored now?

I was writing up my own theory as an answer, but then the question got closed:

Here is my new theory:

StackOverflow is on a decline. During european daytimes at least, a lot of questions are closed (because of quality, duplication or lack of research). That decline roots in that the big questions of the past years are answered now.

A majority of good question is now very specialist, with minor audiences.

However. Technology and reasearch advance faster and faster. Even though the not-so-good or specialist questions now hide the big questions by their sheer number, sooner or later the number of new and pristine questions will exponentially rise.

We will be travelling towards the technological singularity.

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    Sure, we're converging. We'll probably get there in 6 to 8 weeks. – Frédéric Hamidi Feb 20 '14 at 15:27
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    You seem to be experiencing the recency illusion; this is not a new phenomenon. – Martijn Pieters Feb 20 '14 at 15:29
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    @MartijnPieters all of the sudden it seems like everybody is experiencing the recency illusion! ;) – Digital Chris Feb 20 '14 at 15:33
  • @DigitalChris: I know! I only recently learned about this illusion, and suddenly everybody is suffering from it. Uncanny! – Martijn Pieters Feb 20 '14 at 15:34
  • Gah. I am not sure if this is the same as the duplicate question. The other question specifically asks about "duplicates", while mine is about "low participation". And see my theory. – phresnel Feb 20 '14 at 15:41
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    I find the term sort of too-basic-for-SO very disturbing. You may be shifting byte arrays for fun on your free time but I believe people stop by here to learn some language from the scratch. – Desdenova Feb 20 '14 at 15:43
  • @Desdenova: Yes of course. By "too basic" I really mean "low quality", "no research effort" and stuff like that. I didn't mean questions about constructs that are basic to me, because I know that most of the world's stuff is too advanced for myself. – phresnel Feb 20 '14 at 15:46
  • @Peanut: The irony is significant. xd. – phresnel Aug 9 '16 at 17:58

It will never be "done" simply because the industry and technologies used are always changing. New sub-fields, sectors, paradigms, etc. crop up all of the time, new programming languages, language versions, features, tools, etc. generate new questions that need answering.

And despite all of the millions of questions, people still do manage to come up with entirely original questions about very old technologies. They're uncommon, but there. Keep in mind that SO is here to be a place to find answers to the "long tail" of questions, not just the 20% of questions that a huge percentage of people have.

Yes, the percentage of duplicate questions will always be on the rise, as the question base increases, but it's simply impossible for it to ever be "done".

  • I didn't say it is or will be done. I said converging. /edit: But you brought me to another idea. – phresnel Feb 20 '14 at 15:28
  • @phresnel Well by definition every single question that's not a duplicate decreases the possible number of original questions, bringing us closer to "done". Not sure what else you're expecting from an answer, or how that distinction is relevant here. – Servy Feb 20 '14 at 15:30

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