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    There've been several questions like this recently; two of Hilbert's problems have come up, as has a classic question about real algebras.

    Although it was discussed in the comments to Theo's question I think it would be good to get some kind of community consensus on what to do with such questions. The way I see it, these questions mostly come up when it is difficult to search for the answer to the question if you don't know a keyword that other people can provide for you, and I think MO is a good place to find out about these keywords. On the other hand, after the appropriate Wikipedia link has been posted the question isn't doing much good on the front page.

    Is there any kind of cleanup protocol for getting rid of such questions from the front page but keeping them searchable?


    Is this really a problem? They'll sink down the front page fast, and maybe other people will be curious about the same thing.

    I'd separate two issues here. I think the first two questions are fine questions. Although the answers are well known theorems, they are questions that a mathematician would come up with naturally and would not easily be able to find the answer without asking colleagues. I see no reason we shouldn't host questions like that, and I don't see a need for clean up. Once the right answer has been given, it will die off because there is nothing more to say.

    After all, it should hardly be surprising that some of the questions which mathematicians have studied are interesting enough to be asked again!

    The third question is more problematic. When I saw it, I felt like it was only borderline appropriate for the site, because I would have thought that any undergraduate math curriculum would cover this. (Am I naive?) My reflexive reaction to that sort of thing tends to be to put up a quick answer. Apparently, at least four other users share that reaction!

    Id be glad to here some guidance from our moderators as to whether they'd rather we leave questions like this unanswered entirely. Note that this is not an issue of homework. I think the sort of person who would ask this question has good mathematical instincts, but not much background; perhaps a high school student or an engineer.

    My instinct for the question about fields structure on R^n (which already had several sufficient answers) was to close. That said, I think it's good thing that we gave good answers.

    This would prevent people wasting their time voting or reading multiple answers and prevent the question from being highly upvoted (which easy questions have a tendency to be).

    Frobenius theorem was on my homework.

    Meanwhile, whould it be Frobenius's theorem or the Frobenius theorem, since his name ends in us?

    This would prevent people wasting their time voting or reading multiple answers and prevent the question from being highly upvoted (which easy questions have a tendency to be).

    People can still vote on closed questions, as witnessed by the 'walking in the rain' one.

    Hmm, I feel I need to understand a little better the consequences of closing a question (and of deleting it). Presumably these are somewhere on the meta.SE site.

    Voting on closed questions is like beating a dead horse: It's fun, but it shouldn't be allowed in polite society.
    Is there really that much of a problem if some people decide to waste votes on an easily-answered closed question? If it's closed, it probably won't spend much time at the top anyway...

    It could be used as a way for a group to garner rep even though the wider community don't like their questions.


    Frobenius's theorem!