The problem being:

  • an answer to a problem that works on my "machine" may not on yours, and what works on yours may not work on Person C's;
  • etc...

I'm wondering therefore whether it would be more relativistic - ergo accurate - to simply use upvotes, and dispense of the notion of an "accepted" answer?

For those interested in context, this is the post that prompted my question.

(apologies if this question has already been discussed and/or concluded, I did search for existing threads but found none).

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    Seems like the question itself is not sufficiently narrowed down if "works on my machine" is a possible answer. Computers and programs tend to be deterministic and "my machine" is just a shorthand for "the config and settings I have that I haven't listed". Surely if all the environment is specified, you'd get repeatable results. – VLAZ Sep 30 '19 at 9:46
  • is not "environment is specified" a massive and overtly complex thing to actually describe? the amount of settings/legacy code/configs/etc on any given machine would take weeks to documents and would be impossible to understand – Joseph Beuys' Mum Sep 30 '19 at 9:48
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    Then the question can be too broad. In either case, it's a bad question. In particular if a restart is all that was needed, then perhaps some service started or something. Seems like there is lack of research, since restarting to see if it works is fairly common, since it's fairly often needed. – VLAZ Sep 30 '19 at 9:50
  • "it's a bad question" is an absolute statement, and such things are inadvisable. "I believe it is a bad question" would be fine, but part of the problem here is that people are too quick to definitely say something is correct or not, without recognising that situations tend towards complexity and there is no right or wrong. – Joseph Beuys' Mum Sep 30 '19 at 9:54
  • The answer is "it works on my machine" => this implies not enough specifics are given and/or the asker didn't spend enough time to refine and research the question => if so, the question is bad. – VLAZ Sep 30 '19 at 9:56
  • again you are making absolute statements vlaz. the world is itself and will not bend to your vision no matter how hard you try. "enough time to refine" would take literally weeks and is unrealistic. All I can say is "given what I know from my experience and the time I have to think about it (both extremely limited in everyone's case) I am asking X" – Joseph Beuys' Mum Sep 30 '19 at 9:57
  • How is restarting in any way unrealistic or unexpected? It's quite expected when installing software, as there are all kind of tiny details that are usually left off until the next boot. It's almost a standard to require a restart after installing something more significant. – VLAZ Sep 30 '19 at 10:00
  • you may be focusing a little too much on the example question posted for context, rather than the higher notion that: IT set up are complex to a point beyond any individual's holistic understanding and claiming that X or Y is absolutely correct FULL STOP is arrogant and highly unlikely to be the case in every context. We all need to be a bit more humble – Joseph Beuys' Mum Sep 30 '19 at 10:03
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    Others answers are anyway welcome to be posted and to be upvoted. Acceptance is the only thing that the asker owns and shows people what helped them the most. (sad you'd have to tag people now) The bottom line is that you should accept the answer that you found to be the most helpful to you, personally. from the FAQ in the sidebar – anki Sep 30 '19 at 10:04
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    And I think you may be focusing too much on "works on my machine" being an acceptable answer. It shouldn't be to a good question. If this really is the answer, the implication is that the question is bad. If it would realistically take too long to give the proper specs for a question, then it's too broad. If it "randomly" happened, and then didn't, it's a problem that cannot be reproduced. – VLAZ Sep 30 '19 at 10:05
  • DVotes on meta are disagreement, not poor quality(except sometimes). I can claim that staying active is the best way to learn and help SE improve (or maybe not, seeing the other post by Amon(229223) ) I prefer coming here after some chat though. – anki Sep 30 '19 at 10:12
  • I understand that I can't upvoate my own post but I'm disappointed that I can't downvote it. Given that I am blocked from doing this I would encourage others to do it on my behalf – Joseph Beuys' Mum Sep 30 '19 at 10:26
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    @JosephBeuys'Mum There have been much worse things asked here, don't worry. Meta is a place where downvotes come fast, so I understand your discomfort, but but don't be so ashamed: your question won't have a lot of consequences. – dim Sep 30 '19 at 10:36

See How does accepting an answer work?

I quote (emphasis mine):

The bottom line is that you should accept the answer that you found to be the most helpful to you, personally.

So it is actually clearly specified that the "accepted" mark is not supposed to imply that the answer is universally applicable. It is simply the answer that helped OP the most. Period. If it does not work on another machine, it still deserves to be the accepted answer if this is what helped OP.

I think you just put too much meaning in this mark.

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