I am seeing an increasing amount of vague oppositions for odd reasons such as "I ask too much", "too basic" or "low-cost not bike-related". Every time someone has noticed a fallacy in my reasoning or a mistake like wdypdx22 here, I have tried to correct the issue. Let's take an example about the opposition here. This question "What are the different kinds of kickstands and what are their advantages?", even proposed by the mod Neil (which I think is a good proposal), has many question of the same format:

The examples show that the opposition has nothing per se to do with the question. It must to some extent be discrimination i.e. unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice. I do hate it and I will stay loyal to the question by "not removing it" or "not changing it" until an intrinsic error. The question does show my problems with the imaginary about hardness to load groceries and hardness to clean chain. It is specific and answerable question, it is not a big discussion question. I am satisfied with down-votes, for example here, particularly if they are baseless. Poor treating due to strait like stinginess is not a good premise, it is a prejudice. It is hard to understand the term professional if you are hindered to speak about value products i.e. low-cost and risky. So what is SO's stance about discrimination? I think it is spam because it won't help communication, some people may be less brave to be open about this kind of problems.

  • I think you meant on StackExchange, it is not StackOverflow.
    – Starx
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 13:32

4 Answers 4


You do ask a lot of questions. This is a good thing. But please don't take feedback on your questions personally. All of the commenters are trying to improve the quality of the site and just want to help your questions become more focused so that they can generate better answers.

Keep in mind that the examples you've posted above are quite different than the kickstand question. In the cases of investment casting and flat spoked wheels, the question is asking about the advantages of a single thing. This is possible to answer well. For the others (shifters, clipless, trainers) the different options are fairly limited so it is still possible to come up with a decent answer that covers all options (personally, I don't think the clipless question has yet been answered well -- but it could be).

For an opposite example, questions about the "best bike" or "all-around bike" have routinely been closed. It's just too broad a question and there is no real answer. Keep your questions focused and you will get the answers you're looking for. (if you just want to start a discussion, then meta is the place for it, not the main site)

You're definitely interested in touring and a lot of your questions are oriented that way. Why not ask about kickstands that are good for touring? Other tourers will find the answers useful too.

  • good suggestion about touring, I added it as a label.
    – user652
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 6:51
  • 2
    @hhh: I'd suggest changing your title too to reflect the edits you've made to the question. Also see my answer, I tried to summarize what I think you're looking for. My kickstand experience is quite limited so hopefully other tourers write up better answers.
    – darkcanuck
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 6:59
  • sounds logical, thank you. Clarified the title.
    – user652
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 7:10
  • +1 very helpful.
    – user652
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 18:08
  • 1
    @hhh: Your kickstand question has been considerably transformed since I posted this. I like the result!
    – darkcanuck
    Commented Feb 26, 2011 at 17:09

Should Discrimination be tolerated in SO?

Of course not. It shouldn't be tolerated anywhere.

I am seeing a huge amount of assaults for vague reasons such as "I ask too much" or "too basic".

"Assault" is a rather strong word for this situation. I went to see that question, and I don't see assault. What I see are people who didn't like the question and provided reasons for their objections. You shouldn't take everything on the Stack Exchange sites (or anywhere on the Internet) personally. Downvotes are not meant to be a reflection of you as a person.

The examples show that the assault has nothing per se to do with the question. It must be discrimination.

This has to be a false dichotomy. How do you know that "bad question" and "discrimination" are the only two reasons? What if there was a third reason? Perhaps the downvoters weren't aware of the questions you list?

It's good that you have voiced your concerns over here at meta and wanted a discussion about it. But quite frankly this situation doesn't appear to be anything like assault nor discrimination.

  • thank you for your observation, removed the generalization. Partially, it may indeed be a problem in describing the problem -- updated the question to address the problem. But it is very hard for me to see it with all cases considering stinginess or asking too much.
    – user652
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 6:43
  • I hope so. The problem is that it is very hard for me to understand the discouragement of value items [1]. I know the questions may require certain creativity like with [2] but I do think professional site should be able to address it. For example, the cooking oil solution against the dirt require certain understanding of molecular bonding to be able to watch though marketing facade. [1] bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/2799/… [2] bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/2903/…
    – user652
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 7:24

This doesn't look particularly discriminatory or personal to me.

Look at the questions you used as examples and look at the original versions of your question, before Jay edited it.

I don't think it's really about you, or about the underlying essential question, it's about all the extra words that don't ask your question, and about difficulties you're giving us with figuring out what question you are asking.

The examples you link to here are mostly one or two sentences, with enough detail to narrow them down to something useful and answerable. The question about clipless pedals would, in my opinion, be improved by specifying what kind of riding or what kind of bike. The others are actually pretty specific and limited in scope.

Your original question rambles on and fills the screen with a dozen sentences. You talk about what inspired your question. You talk about images you saw. You talk about the history of why you're asking the question. And your original version didn't say what kind of bike or what kind of usage. It takes a while to realize that the images you saw are actually the types of things you want from a kickstand.

A lot of your questions have this kind of problem where a potential answerer will have to spend too much time figuring out what you're actually trying to ask.

Don't give us your life story; don't give irrelevant details (like who inspired you to ask); don't introduce the question with a convoluted preamble; don't try to ask in a way that will solve the problem for everybody else. Just identify the essential core of your question, ask that, and provide the directly relevant details needed to help you solve your specific problem. I highly recommend putting the question very first, and the essential details afterwards, and leave any non-essential details out unless somebody asks for them.

  • I used the term assault to refer to a situation that means a lot of discussion comments, perhaps-prejudiced down-votes due to my tendency towards stinginess and odd discouragement of certain type of questions concerning risky/low-cost items, stinginess per se. I don't like it because it steers the attention from the question like here [1], underestimated by some power-users to be too basic. In a pro site, I do think my questions, even very narrow or very abstract, are appropriate. [1] bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/2913/…
    – user652
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 19:14
  • 6
    Redefining words with your own meanings isn't helping. At the very least "assault" means a verbal threat of physical violence. thefreedictionary.com/assault en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault
    – freiheit
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 19:21
  • 2
    thank you for the point. I think a better word is opposition, fixed it. It lacks some connotations but hopefully my description make them clear.
    – user652
    Commented Feb 27, 2011 at 2:19
  • @hhh: yes, opposition is a much better word choice
    – freiheit
    Commented Feb 27, 2011 at 4:31

The examples show that the opposition has nothing per se to do with the question.

No I don't think so: there's more to a question than just having "what are the advantages of...?" in the title.

What are the advantages of investment casting? - Not asking for a catalog of all possible tube-join fabrication methods

What are the advantage of the different gear shifters - The OP says what kind of bike that's for: "I have just buy for the first time a road bike (Boardman Team Carbon) after long years on hybrids bike"

What are the advantages of flat spoked wheels? - Again this is a question about one thing, not a catalog of all subtypes, and (in the referenced question) he says what kind of bike he has and how he's using it, and why he's asking about the spokes

What are the advantages and disadvantages of turbo trainers and rollers? - Again it's only asking about one type of thing, and the question implies why he's interested (he's a member of a triathlon club)

Remember that narrower, more focussed questions are easier to answer: for example, "What bike+equipment should I buy for a 20km-each-way commute through traffic in a city on flat ground?" is still quite general/broad/basic/novice but it is at least, IMO, narrower and easier to answer than e.g. "What are the different bike manufacturers, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each brand?"

Remember: "practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face". Part of making a question 'answerable' here is to make sure that an answer doen't need to be infinitely long:

  • So, questions which ask for a list or catalog aren't 'answerable' if the catalog/list isn't finite.
  • In contrast, if you ask for the/a solution to a/your specific problem, that is more answerable because an answer only needs to mention one thing (i.e. the or a solution).

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