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This question asks, how do you flip a boolean in C++? The answer, of course, is to use the single-character built-in operator made for doing exactly that.

Now, that's a perfectly good answer to a neophyte's question, but I'm willing to bet that at least 99.44% of C/C++ programmers are familiar with the ! operator, so why did this answer receive 78 upvotes and a bounty of +500?

Seriously, I'm not here to complain about the bike shed problem. I'm really curious whether I'm missing some kind of "inside" joke. Enlighten me, please!

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    There was some crazy voting going on in the first year of SO, no doubt. This one however looks like an experiment with the new bounty system, introduced just a month earlier. It worked, well over 4000 views for a ho-hum question. From users who weren't shy about voting back then. – Uphill Luge Mar 1 '11 at 13:27
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What bounty, I see no bounty, just a user that was experimenting with sock puppets early in his career.

This is the bike shed effect, in action, mixed in with some deliberate gaming.

  • There is still +500 besides the answer, for 99.999% of the users it means "this answer won a bounty", even if there's really no bounty behind the scenes. :/ – Shadow The Princess Wizard Jan 2 '14 at 9:29

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