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    • CommentAuthorThomas
    • CommentTimeMay 16th 2010

    a) assumption: I suppose that ideally most good questions, either by grad students and postdocs or otherwise, should be asked on MO and answered by experts there, rather than the person directly asking to the expert and keeping the answer to him/herself.

    question: Have you ever mentionned MO while discussing a topic with someone (as in: "this may well be of interest to others, would you mind me sending the question to MO, with you answering there") ? In case the expert refused, was it because it felt like a hassle to him/her to take the time to write an answer, or was it an anonymity issue? What ready-made arguments us users should employ to convince the expert ? (maybe "let's archive your expert knowledge" would strike a chord?)

    b) question: are there plans to set up regularly MO public events, until most people know what it is (math.DS is hugely underpopulated compared to real life, and so is math.PR) ? For instance I've read a comment by Scott Morisson in question 20714 about an ICM dinner, but that is it.

    Recently on Peter Cameron's blog ( he posted a question which I suggested he post on MO. His response was that it seemed to him that MO was for questions that you were fairly certain people already knew the answer to, whereas his question involved relatively new concepts and wasn't likely to have already been studied by someone else. The question was later answered by someone else, which is fine, but I'm curious how searchable Wordpress posts and comments are as opposed to MO questions and answers.

    I disagree with this characterization of the intended purpose of MO. It almost sounds like a negation error: I would say that MO is rather for questions for which you are not fairly certain that no one else already knows the answer!

    Right. Maybe I should've pointed him to all those open MO questions.