I'm perceiving a class of problem that I don't know is really there, so I'm posing this as a feature request but would like to see some discussion if anyone else has an opinion.

Problem: The process of voting on individual exemplary questions isn't always aligned with the goal of producing the set of questions that define a site. The system is designed so that participants discuss and vote on individual questions as though that were equivalent to discussing and voting on this aggregate object "the definition of the site". This equivalence is true in many cases but not all of them. I'm calling this the individual/aggregate problem.

The simplest example I can think of is astrology questions on the astronomy site. There are multiple astrology questions that are off-topic and they are receiving appropriate off-topic votes. The voting is going exactly as it was designed. However, if these questions each survive the discussion period instead of having 10 different dimensions of off-topicness represented in the defining questions, there will only be eight (assuming the other questions aren't degenerate with each other). A precious limited resource used for defining the site is being allocated sub-optimally.

I realize we have a tool for dealing with this particular instance of the I/A problem (deleting duplicates EDIT: Actually I don't even know if this is a feature), but there are probably going to be other instances that don't have simple solutions.

Proposed Solution: My proposed solution to help deal with all instances of the I/A problem is to create a view that shows only the 20 on/off-topic questions by which the site would be defined if it were created today.

It would provide another way to bring the duplicate problem to light and would also show other schizophrenic behavior such as two questions that are essentially the same on both the on and off topic lists (This is a just another instance of the duplicate problem, I'm having problems coming up with other instances of the I/A problem if you can't tell).

In addition to hopefully helping to deal with the I/A problem this feature just seems like something that is simply missing from the site. If one of the goals of the discussion period is to produce this site definition it seems odd that there isn't one place to go to find out how that's progressing.


1 Answer 1


There should be a way to close them as duplicates and aggregate their votes

  • So far, that's manually commenting with a link to the duplicate and voting Meh. Everyone else has to switch their votes manually, though. Not sure automating the vote switching is desirable.
    – Gnome
    Jun 7, 2010 at 1:10

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