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    I am exploring a different methodology in the exploration of a certain line of questions. I do not wish to fall into the language-game that is philosophy, and have begun developing thought-experiments that are based purely on mathematics, and the mental processes which allow us to perform mathematics. May I post an example thought-experiment, so that we can evaluate what responses participants come up with?

    No. This is what blogs are for.

    i hope you are joking, because it was you who suggested that the question should be placed here...

    Why don't you post your question here? As-is you're not asking if a particular question is acceptable or not, but you're leaving it to us to imagine what you might post.

    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2011

    What is a thought-experiment that is based purely on mathematics?

    I do not think Qiaochu Yuan is joking, he already made the same, correct, statement in the comment to your question on mathoverflow.
    You should post your thought experiment here, in this thread, and then we can evaluate whether it would be appropriate to ask about it on MathOverflow or not. Right now we do not have enough information to say.

    Dear happyseaurchin,

    to clarify, Qiaochu's comment on the main site informed you that asking about the suitability of the question was off-topic there; questions about suitability belong here. His response here, to your question about suitability, was no, such thought-experiments would be inappropriate on MathOverflow.

    That all said, Ryan Budney's suggestion above is sensible. The rules are much looser here, and no one will get too annoyed no matter what you do.

    Thanks all, for taking the time to clarify. Thanks too to Steven and Scott, though I really think Qiaochu's response is just too curt to warrant defence. The question is now, where is the place to test a thought-experiment? Though perhaps he is answering the question in the expanded section, "may I post a thought-experiment?" I guess it is my fault for asking two questions.

    So, a few people here are asking for a thought-experiment that is based on mathematics, thanks Ryan and Quid and Steven. I'd love to, but I am concerned that instead of attempting the thought experiment, there is just a barrage of criticism of what it is not, which is what the banning on the original maths stack rightly inhibits, I believe. I really like the system here: it keeps the quality of engagement high, thus attracting the highest quality minds. I myself feel I might have "distracted" some folks with my question and contributed negatively to their day and indeed the site's reputation. This, of course, was not my intention. I was merely innocent and enthusiastic.

    When I did post the thought-experiment on the maths stack, most people said it was not maths, an observation expressed by the few mathematicians I have bumped into over the last two years. I would like to see if anyone can see the validity of what I am proposing, shocking (or entertaining) as it might be.

    Should I start off another discussion? Rather than positing the same thought-experiment I used before, which I thought would make full use of answers and comments and ratings, perhaps I should lead with a few, slightly more baggy, questions..? Sorry, I feel a little knocked back into a tiny corner, and am a little out-of-sorts...

    Dear happyseaurchin,

    no, I don't think you should start another discussion. This one should suffice, I think. As others have said above, this isn't really the best place for what you're proposing, but we are perfectly willing to consider questions of the form "Is the following question appropriate for MathOverflow: ...". You should probably anticipate the answer to this being no, given the above, but you may also find some readers of meta volunteering further feedback.

    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2011

    Just realised there is some lengthy story on this on math.SE...but most seems to be gone.

    • CommentAuthorWill Jagy
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2011
    Aha, thanks Scott. Finally, I understand! I agree, my line of questioning is not appropriate for MathsOverflow, nor indeed the Maths Stack, nor Maths Meta Stack. Nor will it be appropriate for philosophy stack, even if it is beta I think. Nor education. I have gathered that the stack is a crowd-sourcing mechanism for quick Q-A exchange. Experimentation isn't part of the deal. Perhaps one day there will be an XQ stack :) when there are enough people who have invested in it. And indeed, Will, that's a small collection of thoughts about the topic in case anyone feels intrigued enough to explore. Thanks for your time, and I commend you and this site on your civility and patience. I do look forward to a time when XQ meets with serious attention to verify its truth and utility, a time it may be wise to measure in years. Be well!
    For people's information, I started another stack called WISDOM, and my example questions were closed and I was downgraded:, so the attitude to what this site is is quite consistent. The direction of thought-experiments I am bringing to bear on the maths, is the same direction as wisdom. Whether based on maths, or a bunch of words, looks like this stack exchange is not the place for it. Which is unfortunate, because it would be nice to be as precise with wisdom as we are with "information" and I believe the tech provided by the stack system can be utilised for this purpose too...

    You seem to be looking for a discussion forum -- there are many out there. The Q&A format is specifically designed to minimize discussion, so I agree it does not appear to be the kind of thing you're looking for.

    • CommentAuthorfedja
    • CommentTimeNov 20th 2011
    @ happyseaurchin

    "my example questions were closed"

    Strange questions, those two. If you want my two cents, the answers are
    a) sometimes.
    b) a crank.

    My answer to b) may give you some ideas...
    Thanks @fedja... It is not surprising that your response is what it is, since this site brings accuracy to knowledge, to information, to "facts". I have no idea what age you are, or your experience, but I can assume you are human and there are qualities of your experience that do not conform to "facts" etc. I think we can attend to them with a level of accuracy that is not warped by poetry or the heavy use of language as we are used to in philosophy. To sum up, when I verbalise "wisdom" we end up with more and more words, and hence -- however cranky or counter-intuitive it may appear -- to apply a buddhist methodology to maths might actually provide us with an accuracy to aspects of existence that you currently have little appreciation of. May you grow wiser with the years...
    • CommentAuthorYemon Choi
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2011

    Suggestion to moderators: this thread has outlived its usefulness.



    Yeah, you'd think I'd be better at noticing these things myself, but for some reason it always requires prompting --- so thanks.